Gage Skidmore / Flickr trump scowling...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Some of Steve Bannon’s disciples online promised a revolution if he was terminated, another periodical said Trump was ”kicking the hornet’s nest” by firing Bannon. The New Yorker said that Trump firing Bannon isn’t going to save his presidency; which is what Bannon was always supposed to be there for, whether it was saving the campaign with Russian bots or “time to go to the mattresses.” The New Yorker:

Far from being a ventriloquist’s dummy, Trump is a headstrong lone operator, and he strenuously resists any efforts to constrain or direct him. For a time, Bannon was useful to him because he had the instincts of a political brawler and the ability to convert rabble-rousing rhetoric into something that could be presented to the gullible as a semi-coherent political philosophy. But now that Bannon has departed, there is absolutely no reason to suppose that the President will change his ways. Trump is Trump is Trump. That is how it has always been. That is how it always will be.

If Trump is hoping that Bannon’s departure will ease the political pressure on him, he is certain to be disappointed. Three months ago, it might have had some impact, but today the focus is firmly on the President himself, and whether he can repair any of the enormous damage that he has done to himself, and to the country, with his loathsome response to the tragic events in Charlottesville.

After all is said and done, Bannon was just another political operative,albeit one with some grand ambitions and extreme views. Trump is the head of state, and, as Mitt Romney pointed out in a Facebook post on Friday morning, he owes it to the nation to say sorry for his appalling behavior. “He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize,” Romney wrote. And once and for all, he must definitively repudiate the support of David Duke and his ilk and call for every American to banish racists and haters from any and every association.”

Be that as it may, Bannon’s departure does signify a turning point for Trump, his siding for the first time with the GOP establiishment of the Mercers and Rupert Murdoch that he ran on a platform of eschewing as the Great Populist President.RawStory:

The evidence of the Republicans’ big-money wing being pleased by Bannon’s leaving could be seen immediately, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 60 points in the first 20 minutes after the announcement. There were numerous reports in recent days that Bannon was on the way out, especially after Trump dined with Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch in New York City recently and Murdoch said he had to go. The president reportedly vented about Bannon instead of defending his strategist.

But there’s more to this than the daily White House soap opera. Bannon was not just an idea person who encouraged Trump to stand with white supremacists in Charlottesville and deride those seeking to take down monuments celebrating slavery’s defenders. He was also an economic nationalist who saw China as a foe, not the friend to help defuse the North Korea crisis (in exchange for easing up on his tough talk on trade). Bannon wanted to raise income taxes on the very rich—stands cut from the same nativist cloth that was Trump’s bridge to the Tea Party, Freedom Caucus and Rust Belt voters.

Whether Trump’s White House can join the pro-corporate GOP mainstream is anybody’s guess. Trump’s association with Bannon, who became campaign CEO when Trump was down by double digits and who pushed Trump to hold more rallies and step up the attacks on Hillary Clinton, represented a bond between two men who clearly share instincts and values. Trump’s firing of Bannon is likely to haunt the White House. As ex-President Lyndon Johnson famously said of infamous FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, “It’s probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.”

Truer words were never spoken.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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