Since he first shambled into media view, I’ve thought of Steve Bannon as a mucker… which was not, in the Irish-American community when I was growing up, exactly a term of endearment. To us, a mucker was a guy known to be connected, not exactly a leader but intimately associated with the leadership — someone you called a friend because you sure as hell didn’t want to be known as his enemy.
The Dominican nun who taught theology at my parochial high school said that St. Peter was a mucker (possibly the patron saint of muckers): He was an early, enthusiastic supporter of The Big Guy; he seemed to be around for all the important events, usually making needless trouble; and when worse came to worst, he publicly denied any association with his chieftain, not just once but three times. And yet — as soon as Jesus the radical insurrectionist emerged triumphant from that whole torture-and-crucifixion incident, look who ended up in charge of the Jesus Empire, with his name at the top of the historical plaque!
Steve Bannon, also Irish-American, would’ve been taking catechism classes at approximately the same time as I was. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he heard some version of the the St. Peter, Patron of Muckers story. Everybody needs a role model…