Ladies and gentlemen, Steve Bannon has royally screwed the Republican party.
Last night’s special election in Alabama was just as much about Bannon as it was about Roy Moore. See, ol’ Roy was Bannon’s opening salvo in the war to unseat GOP incumbents and replace them with a merry band of circus freaks.
Having (begrudgingly) come to terms with the fact that Trump simply cannot get anything done in Washington if he doesn’t compromise with the GOP establishment, Bannon set his sights on that establishment, the idea being to do what the President couldn’t: “drain the swamp” and fill it back up with populists. Of course the problem with backing a bunch of circus freaks is that, as Matt Drudge himself put it last night, there’s only so much “crazy” people can take:
Yes, “there IS a limit”, Steve. And it turns out, an accused child predator was a bridge too far – even for Alabama voters.
Well now, the knives are out for Bannon. “Stephen K. Bannon and his alt-right movement have helped accomplish something no one in a quarter-century has been able to do: get a Democrat elected in the state of Alabama,” Marc Thiessen writes this morning, adding that “it takes a special kind of stupid to pick a candidate who can lose to a Democrat in Alabama.”
“Bannon is like so many people that get involved in politics. They work on their first race, their person wins, and they think people voted for them,” Stu Stevens, the former top strategist to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign told The Daily Beast. “I think Bannon made an ass of himself [in Alabama].”
“Steve Bannon has done more for Democrats than they could’ve ever thought possible,” Mitch McConnell’s former chief of staff Josh Holmes declared before accusing Bannon of “displaying an absolutely breathtaking display of political incompetence that will go down in the annals of history for every Republican to mourn for generations.”
Before we get the results, I'd just like to thank Steve Bannon for showing us how to lose the reddest state in the union and Governor Ivey for the opportunity to make this national embarrassment a reality
— Josh Holmes (@HolmesJosh) December 13, 2017
Here’s the statement from the McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund PAC:
This is a brutal reminder that candidate quality matters regardless of where you are running. Not only did Steve Bannon cost us a critical Senate seat in one of the most Republican states in the country, but he also dragged the President of the United States into his fiasco.
And it just goes on, and on, and on.
Stunning. Heckuva job Steve. https://t.co/l99fftMUaG
— David French (@DavidAFrench) December 13, 2017
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is exactly what we’ve been saying for months. Namely that Steve Bannon is a moron. He is not a “strategist.” He knows nothing about this and he’s mistaken a historical accident (Trump) for his own acumen as a political operative. Here are three points we’ve made before that seem especially relevant on Wednesday:
- For one thing, Bannon’s populism is false. Steve is a multi-millionaire former Goldman banker whose entire shtick rests on a patently absurd story about how watching his father lose his ass in AT&T shares awakened something in him.
- Further, anyone who knew Bannon when he was a failed Hollywood screenwriter will attest that Steve is a complete joke. You’d be forgiven for thinking that maybe being shunned by Hollywood might have left Steve feeling a little sour grapes-ish.
- Finally, Bannon grossly overestimates Breitbart’s influence. Breitbart is the online equivalent of a supermarket rag. It has no credibility and no one takes it seriously. It’s not “a machine” (as Bannon has described it). It is simply a propaganda outlet and everyone with any sense knows it. Steve seems to have deluded himself into thinking it’s an actual news outlet.
The first two are important but the last one is just flat-out funny in light of what just happened in Alabama. Turns out Breitbart was no match for the Washington Post, a real media machine.
Perhaps Meghan McCain summed it up best…