Trust is a crystalline thing, once it is broken, to restore it to it’s original form is virtually impossible. However solid the trust was between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump, it pretty much got dashed to the floor last week and Bannon’s atypical and abashed humbling of himself to Trump after Trump lashed out at Bannon is being perceived as the epitomy of too little, too late. What that boils down to, is essentially the Bannon-Breitbart-populist coalition may have been in essence de-fanged as far as having any power to influence the 2018 midterm elections. Politico:
A Republican pollster and operative with close ties to the White House marveled at the terrible timing of Bannon’s feud with Trump. “It happens after taxes, before the Camp David meeting this weekend,” the operative said, noting that McConnell and Ryan were both spending quality time with Trump during the peak of his Bannon frustration, shortly after celebrating their first big legislative victory. “He couldn’t have picked a worse day on the calendar for this to happen. The swamp won.” […]
“The problem for Steve is that we were already into January 2018, and he doesn’t really have a system, he doesn’t have a fund, he doesn’t have a political team,” said Matthew Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, whose wife works in the White House communications department. “Now it’s going to take extra time to make things up, if he’s able to, and repair the trust he had with the president. The clock is no longer on his side.”
The word from administration insiders with respect to Bannon being able to actually mend fences with Trump at this point is “unlikely.”
Meanwhile, the “establishment” wing of the party was cheering the downfall of the anti-McConnell avatar. “This is a bigger win for the president, for whom Bannon is now less able to create problems and now unlikely to give the president continued bad advice in late night phone calls,” Karl Rove, the former chief strategist for President George W. Bush, said in an email on Sunday night. “Bannon shredded his biggest claim, that he was the president’s leader on the outside, the keeper of the flame who had discarded the ‘influence’ of being a mere staffer for the ‘power’ of being the leader of the nationalist populist movement.”
Bannon hit a raw nerve, or more likely several, with his snide take down of Trump and his family as described in “Fire And Fury.” If he had immediately made reparations, he might have mitigated the damage, because he would have allowed Trump to play Godfather, one of his favorite roles and describe to one and all how “Steve came to me” — Trump is always admonishing people to come to him so he can exercise his King Solomon-esque wisdom. But timing is so often a crucial factor in the success of any endeavor and letting the entire week pass by numbed whatever potential for healing Bannon’s recantation may have had if given the first day.
Breitbart has offered zero commentary on this topic. Their reporting has been limited to reprinting Bannon’s statement twelve stories down with no editorial input one way or the other. Likewise, they were silent all week on the subject until they printed Sunday’s statement.
Breitbart touts itself as the mouthpiece for the alt right. It will be interesting to see how continued coverage of the reshaping of the GOP by primary-ing the “dead wood” and replacing them with vibrant “true conservative” candidates goes in light of Steve Bannon’s altered status in Trump World, and more importantly, in the world of GOP mega donors.
Steve Bannon’s day of reckoning may have come and gone and apparently, he was too far out of it to notice.