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Betsy's Page

Updated: 2017-08-21T19:24:09.851-04:00


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Well, good riddance to Steve Bannon, but if people think that this will be the end to his influence on Trump, I'm afraid that those hopes are in vain. We keep hearing that Trump regularly calls his trusted friends and complain about his staff and the media. As long as he has his cell phone, Bannon will be just a call away. And now he'll use his perch at Breitbart to push his agenda even more fiercely. Though I'm not sure how that would be any different from what he's been doing. Does anyone seriously believe that he was holding himself totally independent from Breitbart since he started working for Trump?The WSJ is crossing its metaphorical fingers that Bannon's departure will end his particularly deleterious effect on the Trump rpesidency.Yet by any measure the rest of the Bannon Presidency was a colossal failure. The former Breitbart publisher was a major source of White House dysfunction as he brought his brawling campaign style indoors. His Manichean, almost apocalyptic view of politics—us vs. them, patriots vs. “globalists,” America has only a short time to avoid self-destruction—might work in an election campaign. It isn’t suitable to building a coalition to govern.Mr. Bannon presided over some of Mr. Trump’s biggest debacles, starting with the rushed and legally unvetted travel ban. That began his Presidency with a needlessly polarizing debate when the White House should have been reaching out to persuadable Democrats and wary Republicans, and it set up Mr. Trump for a legal and political defeat.Mr. Bannon gets credit in some quarters for focusing on the white working class, but he did so in ways that too often trucked with a white version of identity politics. This has played out in destructive fashion since the Charlottesville riot as Mr. Trump catered too much to Mr. Bannon’s “base” and not to the larger duty of a President to provide unifying moral leadership. Mr. Trump was elected President of the country, not the Breitbart readership.THe WSJ points out how the media will enjoy seeing Bannon go after Republicans like GOP leaders in Congress or H.R. McMaster all of whom he reportedly despises and have been the targets of Breitbart for quite a while.But what else is new? His allies have been doing the same for months while Mr. Bannon sat in the White House. It’s hard to see how he can do any more damage outside it, assuming that is his plan, and it may not be if he still wants Mr. Trump to succeed. One problem he’ll have on the outside is that millions of Trump supporters have now seen that the Bannon style of politics has failed....The larger question is what Mr. Trump has learned from the failures of his first seven months. He seems to want less internal feuding, which is why he brought in Mr. Kelly, the former Marine general. But Mr. Trump often contributes to that feuding with his inability to stick to a decision, such as on troops in Afghanistan. Mr. Trump wants better communication, but his ill-considered tweets and unplanned riffs blow up any communication planning. He still traffics in false claims and divisive rhetoric—and that’s against his allies.Exactly. Little will change because the source of disruption and confusion is the President himself, not Steve Bannon.25% Off in Office and School SuppliesDeals in Office ProductsDeals in Home and KitchenAndrew McCarthy has a very good column about how the right should have been outraged at Trump's equivocation.That doesn’t mean I didn’t notice the anti-fa thugs were out there. It doesn’t mean I don’t see the hard Left’s seditionist shock troops, at war with the country, much like the Weathermen, the Panthers, and the Black Liberation Army back in the day. As we’ve seen many times now (and will, alas, see many times more), the radical Left doesn’t need tiki-torch twits to spur them to arson and mayhem.This time, though, in Charlottesville, the white supremacists were the instigators. They caused it. They orchestrated this disgusting event, they came ready for the violence they knew they were provoking, and one of[...]