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Outsiders vs. Insiders: If Bannon promises ‘war’ on Trump’s enemies we should all volunteer

It’s safe to say in every presidential administration there are “turning point moments” where things change instantly. Sometimes the events are dramatic – like the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor – but in others the happenings are more subtle, such as a key person joins or departs the White House.

Such a happenstance occurred last Friday when it was announced Steve Bannon was leaving the Trump administration. It’s far too early to assess the impact of Bannon’s exit yet you can’t help but feel something’s Uncle Samdifferent in Washington today. Many conservatives are lamenting the personnel change while the establishment is reveling at the taking of another conservative’s scalp.

Sarah Westwood of the Washington Examiner reported, “Sources inside and outside the White House described Bannon's ouster as the inevitable result of his enemies' efforts to dispose of him, a feat that was made easier by the departure last month of his closest ally, former chief of staff Reince Priebus.

“And while some cited Kelly's arrival to the West Wing as the catalyst for Bannon's exit, others said the opposition Bannon faced internally persuaded the president to dismiss him.”

We likely won’t find out the truth for years – if ever. The eternally image conscious Trump certainly heard the din of criticism surrounding Bannon and perhaps felt his senior advisor was tarnishing his presidency’s reputation to the point where the situation couldn’t be reconciled. Nearly all of the recent “racism” controversy included Bannon though it was entirely unfounded.

Bannon’s firm views on putting America First and placing the country’s interests above the globalists and culturally politically correct crowd made him public enemy number one from the outset.

That denigration was not going to go away and whenever another historical statue was pulled down or the crazed Nazis showed up to draw media attention instantly Steve Bannon would be drawn into the media melee. Liberal journalists don’t care about the downing of a good man. Unfortunately Trump gave them another chit to claim.

Already there was much jubilation among Democrats and in #NeverTrump-land over Bannon’s demise. Joe Cunningham of RedState wrote, “That the website bearing Andrew Breitbart’s name is up in arms over Bannon is a good sign. Like any journalist, their number one fear is losing access – something Bannon provided for them. The website and the people slavishly devoted to it were a part of the larger alt-right movement, or so Bannon himself claimed.

“Now, they seem to want to declare war on this White House, and take aim at the Donald Trump administration because it is now a Democratic administration. It of course seems very funny to us here at RedState and elsewhere in the conservative media who predicted this [emphasis added]. After all, Donald Trump was himself a Democrat until he realized he could get elected as a Republican, and promptly switched over so he could begin appearing at CPAC.”

Hmpf. It’s almost like these people have learned nothing in the past two years.

The so-called conservative opposition to Trump has been advancing this same argument since Trump became a politician. It’s amusing to see all of them scream “See, we predicted it!” when the merry band of arrogant judgmental quasi-establishment Trump bashers have unwittingly acted as the media’s greatest allies in smearing Trump regardless of what the real leftists have done.

If you’re a member of the media and seeking someone to make a point about how awful Trump is, why not look to those who would normally support Republicans and use them as authorities?

RedState, many of those at National Review, The Weekly Standard, Charles Krauthammer and Erick Erickson have often supplied all the ammo the “mainstream” outlets needed to damage the credibility of the Trump administration well before it even got started. This latest episode over Bannon and racism is no exception.

The real question is, what happens now inside the White House?

Some are saying Bannon’s void could be filled by another, less media- beleaguered conservative thinker. Gabby Morrongiello of the Washington Examiner reported, “A person close to Trump described Bannon as ‘irreplaceable,’ while another source familiar with the situation said the president is unlikely to look for another chief strategist anytime soon.

“Several Trump allies, however, eagerly submitted their thoughts on who should succeed Bannon in the top White House role. Senior White House policy adviser Stephen Miller, a fierce advocate of Trump's strict immigration who some regard as a Bannon protogé, was mentioned by three sources close to Trump who spoke to the Washington Examiner on the condition of anonymity.”

In her story Morrongiello noted that Ann Coulter suggested former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski should be brought back into the picture. Coulter tweeted, “@realDonaldTrump needs to hire @CLewandowski_ immediately, so there's SOMEONE in the White House who isn't from Goldman Sachs.”

That’s not likely to happen. Lewandowski’s talent for drawing negative media scrutiny was even greater than Bannon’s. But Coulter’s right – SOMEONE other than the “West Wing Democrats” needs to step in.

The wildcard here is Trump himself, a man who makes it clearer and clearer as time goes on that his only ideological leanings concern making American great again – a nebulous concept at best – and he’s a person who doesn’t give much credence to doing what’s politically expedient (even though Coulter also maintained the media is now in charge of his administration).

Trump’s removal of Bannon from his sphere of influence is highly unlikely to go unnoticed by the conservative/populist Republican base, the vast majority of which holds Bannon in high regard and credited him (along with Kellyanne Conway) with steering Trump back to the basics of his campaign a year ago, just in time to gather enough momentum to win the election.

I don’t think there’s any doubt that if Bannon and Conway had not taken over in August that Trump would not be calling the White House home now. If anything the true conservatives running the campaign – along with Mike Pence, perhaps – were able to get Trump to concentrate on the winning elements of his agenda instead of focusing solely on his life story.

While it’s true the distractions continued after their arrival – such as Alicia Machado and the infamous “locker room” talk audio tape with Billy Bush – the candidate was able to focus on real issues at rallies across the country. People didn’t turn out by the tens of thousands to listen to Trump swat away media allegations that he was a misogynist and a racist – but they did relish hearing about the border wall Trump proposed to build and his promises to provide the know-how to get the economy going again.

Steve Bannon helped Trump realize where his political bread was buttered -- and it wasn’t from dumbing down his message and appealing to Democrats to join his cause. Now that Bannon is no longer a few steps away from the Oval Office, who’s going to provide Trump that dose of realism?

Conway is still there of course, as is Mike Pence. As mentioned above, top policy advisor and speechwriter Stephen Miller also remains. Yet it’s hard to come to any other conclusion that the “West Wing Democrats” (Gary Cohn, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, General John Kelly, H.R. McMaster, and the Obama holdovers at the NSC) are now in firm control of Trump’s advisory circle. One can only speculate that his administration from here on out is going to get a lot more “mainstream” and unfortunately, more liberal and less populist.

Needless to say, by all appearances conservative voices are dwindling.  

Bannon reportedly has returned to head up Breitbart, where he’ll likely go back to the policy advocacy he was known for prior to signing-on with Trump. Westwood concluded her article with a hopeful note for conservatives, “As he wrapped up his final day in the administration, Bannon told Joshua Green, an author who wrote a recent book about him, that he plans to ‘go to war’ for Trump against his enemies outside the White House.”

There likely will be a lot of “war” in Bannon’s assault on Trump’s enemies within his administration, too – the liberal voices who are trying to get him to “moderate” in order to improve his standing in the polls. But will getting rid of Bannon make inroads with Trump’s detractors?

Doubtful.

The Nancy Pelosis and Chuck Schumers of American politics realize they can’t regain power and achieve their socialist aims with a man like Donald Trump standing in their way. They will do their best to weaken him – and they already have – but as long as Trump sticks to his campaign promises he ultimately won’t lose.

In other words, if Steve Bannon isn’t giving up the fight, neither should we.

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