In the Pompeo thread downstairs, the subject of Steve Bannon’s reemergence came up, which deserves its own thread, IMO. Last night, in an interview with Bob Costa, Maddow covered Bannon’s preposterous plan for Trump to fire Rosenstein and retroactively rescind administration officials’ testimony in the Mueller investigation. It’s a dumb plan, and it sounds more like Bannon trying to worm his way back into Trump’s good graces than a serious proposal.
But maybe Bannon is more motivated to save his own blotchy ass than Trump’s. Perhaps he’s panicking at Trump’s catastrophic tar-pit wallowing and perceives it will endanger himself and his patrons. The fact that Bannon is back in DC pitching absurd plots to folks in power is significant. As I alluded to in the thread below, I believe that if we ever get the whole story on Russia’s attack on our election, we’ll find that it was abetted wholeheartedly by Bannon and the Mercers.
We’ll find that undermining liberal democracies worldwide was always the Bannon-Mercer strategy, and that riling up Nazis and alt-right goons globally was their technique in service of this aim. I don’t mean to imply this is some startling new insight that I came up with just now while sitting here eating Cheerios. Y’all know this stuff, and I’m glad to have you to talk to about it, because I know I sound like a crackpot to my non-political junkie friends when it comes up.
We already have proof of Bannon and the Mercers’ activities in this vein at home and abroad. We know their connections to Russia. But again, I’m glad to see Bannon ooze back onto the scene, and not just because I own stock in Febreze. Bannon slunk away after Trump fired him over the Wolfe book, and our Beltway haircuts moved on to the next squirrel. But Bannon is a key plank in this rickety Jenga treason tower,* and the more scrutiny he gets, the likelier the entire con is exposed.
That matters, because while Trump has thus far proved a cowardly and inept vehicle for the racist ideologues and fanatical oligarchs who’ve burrowed into his orange hide like fat, juicy ticks, we can’t count on our luck to hold in that regard. Not now, during the Trump nightmare, and not in the future once the current demagogue is excised from the body politic like a cancerous polyp.
If not exposed, the forces the foisted this nightmare on us will be waiting in the wings with a new, more competent demagogue. I caught part of a Fresh Air interview on NPR yesterday with Robert Kuttner (from the American Prospect), who has written a book about how global capitalism is driving the emergence of fascists worldwide. He calls Trump a symptom, and he’s right.
“Economic anxiety” has rightly become a punchline in these parts because it ignores the bone-deep racism, sexism and xenophobia that animates Trump supporters, many of whom are actually well-off, and it perpetuates the lie that the “working class” is white and male. But it would be a mistake to completely discount global economics and rising wealth inequality as factors too.
Authoritarian kleptocrats and wannabes all over the planet are fomenting hatred and exploiting ignorance and resentment to enrich themselves and advance their crackpot causes. And if Trump succeeds in wrecking the Obama economy, it will only get worse. We should be prepared for that, and an honest accounting of how these sleazebags are manipulating people worldwide is good preparation.
Anyhoo. Whew. Glad to get that off my chest. Open thread?
*Image stolen from @hoarsewisperer on Twitter.