Rick Wilson dances on the political grave of Steve Bannon, and it’s glorious.
Prior to last year’s election, a sizable number of Republicans assumed the rubric of ‘Never Trumpers’ – opposed to the damage that Trump would inevitably do to their party and determined to expose Trump’s fraudulent presidency.
The Never Trumper with the highest profile is probably Rick Wilson, a Floridian political consultant with a vicious streak a mile wide and a way of putting his venom into hilarious soundbites. It’s no wonder he’s a favorite of every yapping head show in the cable news game. (We first mentioned Wilson on this blog back in 2016.)
And in the wake of the ‘Fire and Fury’ firestorm, Wilson takes to the Daily Beast to pour gasoline on the tire fire that is now Steve Bannon’s career.
Bannon fronts like Karl von Clausewitz but delivers like George Costanza. Bannon is a terrible, horrible, no-good political strategist; he seeks out the dumbest common-denominator garbage candidates he can find and tries to elevate them using breathless Breitbart pieces praising them as the True Voice of The Conservative Revolution… until, of course, they lose or he abandons them.
As Trump’s lack of nationalist wins becomes painfully evident, it’s harder to feed the rube machine with Fake News from the Dear Leader. They’re frustrated that there is still no Wall, still no mass deportations, and still no trade war with the perfidious Chinese. Where will Bannon find and fund the next cadre of Roy Moores?
One of the most cringeworthy aspects of the Trump era is the mental and moral gymnastics required of conservatives to Trump-splain every new feud, screw-up, and absurdity. By Thursday afternoon, many were slamming Bannon as an apostate to the Trump faith. Matt Drudge, the wellspring of the right’s media ecosystem, has gone into full-throttle hate mode, running headline after headline slamming Bannon. Rush Limbaugh and his lesser imitators joined in the Bannon-bashing and even professional lunatic Alex Jones had the knives out for his former ally.
Some in the Trump-right were pretending that this titanic rupture in Trumpworld was a devious plan to distract from his masterful handling of Iran and North Korea. Let me disabuse the Trump readers in our audience (a small subset, I know) of this fantasy. No, this isn’t the president playing some form of quantum chess with rules so complex and subtle that it would take a team of physicists and string theorists decades to understand. Trump is a furious, shallow, weak man reacting in a spasm of self-indulgent fury to excerpts from a book repeating the taped, verbatim views of some of his most senior aides.
Follow Rick Wilson on Twitter. It’s worth it.