The defenestration of Steve Bannon happened more quickly than the wildfires spreading on the west coast. As of Tuesday afternoon, Bannon is out at Breitbart, in the wake of Rebekah Mercer’ssurprising first-ever public statement last week to the effect that she had not spoken to Bannon in months nor would she and her father be funding any of his projects. Bannon issued a one sentencestatement, “I’m proud of what the Breitbart team has accomplished in so short a period of time in building out a world-class news platform,” and Breitbart also issued one, “ Steve is a valued part ofour legacy, and we will always be grateful for his contributions, and what he has helped us to accomplish.” That being said, where does Steve Bannon go from here? CNN:
[Josh Green, author of “Devil’s Bargain”] What Bannon did by talking to Wolff for this book — and by extension, probably, talking to me for my book — is pour a can of gasoline over his head and light a match. Trump appears to have broken with him in a way that seems final and ultimate, even tagging him with a dreaded nickname, “Sloppy Steve,” which I think we can all admit is pretty fantastic.__Bannon has been in the doghouse before and come back. I hear that he thinks he can come back from this, too. We’ll see; nothing’s ever quite impossible in Trump’s world. You can never say never.__As Bannon has told people in the past, Trump is entirely transactional. But if he loses his platform at Breitbart News, [this interview was four days ago] then it’s hard for me to see how he’ll be able to wield the kind of influence that I describe in “Devil’s Bargain,” and that he seemed to have regained after leaving the White House last year.
The reason uber-wealthy people like the Mercers become involved in politics is to exert influence. Bannon was an agent of that influence, and the architect. And he did, for a time, have a profound influence on American politics that culminated in Trump’s election. Bannon was the real force behind Breitbart; the head honcho at GAI, which produced the “Clinton Cash” book so damaging to Hillary’s candidacy; and a board member at Cambridge Analytica, the data research firm that worked on the Trump campaign.__So as an investment, Bannon really did pay off for the Mercers like early-’80s Apple stock. The problem is that effectiveness waned almost immediately upon entering the White House, and that, coupled with his megalomania and his belief that he was the true leader of the nationalist movement, backfired on him big time.
Look, here on planet Earth we’re all rightly astonished that Bannon holds (held?) presidential ambitions. But the psychology would work as follows: Bannon has always thought that Trump was riding a global nationalist wave that’d swept across Europe, the UK and now the US. Trump embraced that politics — Bannon’s politics — and got elected. So clearly the ideas resonate in the US. If Trump were to decide against running for re-election, Bannon, believing he’s the true carrier of the faith, must’ve thought, “Why not me?”