Steve Bannon once traversed Washington’s halls of government unimpeded, and even enjoyed a seat at the table of American power among the great and near-great, who all competed for the favor and attention of President Donald Trump.
But Bannon alone had a connection with Donald Trump that no one else had within the tight circle surrounding the newly minted president. Among those who vied for the president’s ear, it was Bannon who seemed to wield the ultimate influence over many of the decisions made in the Oval Office. It was a time when all the awe and newness of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue still captivated the new occupants, who somehow managed to snatch a victory from the ravenous jaws of certain defeat.
Even at that tender and wonderful time, it was clear that Steven K. Bannon already had his agenda laid out, and it was time for the world to see what “Make America Great Again” really meant.
Although the Trump campaign coined that catchy phrase, it soon became clear that no one, including Trump himself, had a clue as to how the untried administration would make good on its bold promise to America, except for Bannon.
For Bannon, making America great again meant overhauling the government in his own populist/separatist image, and Donald J. Trump would be the vessel from which he would pour out his vision onto America. He would rule from the shadows and be the power behind the glory of a new nation, birthed out of necessity and tempered within the crucible of nationalism.
Perhaps Bannon would have succeeded if he had not failed to realize the power of family. Then again, perhaps Trump knew all along that Bannon would be to him like Judas was to Jesus.
Whatever the case, the spectacular final breakup of Trump and one of his closest advisers proved to be far more explosive than anyone could have imagined.
What is more remarkable is the swiftness in which Bannon found himself moved from patriot to pariah. Even before the first copies of Michael Wolff’s tell-all exposé rolled off the presses, Bannon was condemned and cast out like some modern-day Satan being forced into the depths of Hades.
Another puzzle of this spectacle is how Bannon’s former supporters rebuked him while simultaneously accusing Wolff’s book of being a work of fiction. It is worth pointing out that at the time of this writing, Bannon has neither confirmed nor denied that the quotes attributed to him in a book labeled fiction, according to Mediaite, are actually his.
Apparently, in the age of Trumpism, a blanket denial will suffice in the face of multiple accusations of misconduct from otherwise credible people. However, silence is an admission of guilt; even if that silence is a response to someone who allegedly plays loose with the truth.
If anything, Bannon’s silence speaks volumes in an unexpected way. If the information is coming from a man whose book has already been called a complete fabrication and “tabloid trash” by detractors, then why believe a solitary section of alleged quotes connected to Bannon?
It would seem logical that in the absence of an admission from Bannon, he would be given the benefit of the doubt, especially if the messenger supposedly has a less-than-sterling reputation. Instead, he was immediately pounced on by the White House.
One thing Bannon has proven, if to no one but himself, is that many of his so-called supporters have little or no confidence in him.
Beyond the Bannon debacle, there is something more concerning about the current activity in the White House.
The fact that almost every new revelation that emerges is batted away as fake news, gives a reason for pause. Now that one former insider has allegedly broken ranks, and another is ready to do the same, raises a red flag. The fact that the White House tried so hard to stop the publication of this so-called book of falsehoods sets off alarm bells.
Either Trump & Co. are the ones who are lying, or there really is a “deep state” and fake news media working to destroy the president.
While neither conclusion is particularly comforting, the existence of a real “deep state” would be far more worrisome than an untruthful president.