On Thursday, Drudge Report announced that Stephen Bannon would be leaving the White House. Multiple sources offered different accounts of whether Bannon resigned or was fired. Some sources even alleged that he resigned two weeks before.
His departure follows a press conference in which reporters badgered Trump about Bannon’s continued employment. Events in Charlottesville drew increased attention to Bannon, who boasted about making the right-wing website, Breitbart, into a platform for the alt-right. He transformed a publication beloved by conservatives, the publication of Andrew Breitbart, the publication of Ben Shapiro. He hired Milo Yiannapolous. Stephen Bannon’s employment as Chief Strategist was a godsend for liberals desperate for an angle to attack the president. They could question whether Trump’s denunciation of white nationalism and the alt-right were sincere. They could ask why Trump paid one of the alt-right’s chief enablers and promoters to advise him. Many believe this is why Bannon fell. He was too great of a liability in light of recent events.
Alternative Explanations for Bannon’s Fall
Of course, Charlottesville and the recent media frenzy did not necessarily bring down the Chief Strategist. President Trump did not need to look far for a reason to fire Stephen Bannon. The man who claimed to admire Vladimir Lenin had frequently angered conservatives by abandoning fundamental conservative principles on the role of government, spending, and taxes, including a plan to raise taxes on the wealthy. In addition, Bannon allegedly showed very poor judgement by attacking the president’s son-in-law. Recently, he demonstrated this poor judgement again in an interview with The American Prospect, firmly stating that a military option was off the table in North Korea, contradicting the president and weakening America’s position (His reasoning is sound, his decision to say it is disloyal and hurt his country).
Furthermore, Bannon’s overreach in the early days of the Trump administration may have cost him dearly. When Bannon joined the Principals Committee of the National Security Council, public outrage ultimately culminated in Bannon’s deposition.
Bannon likely survived some of these displays of poor judgement and his connections to white nationalists because of his critical work on the Trump campaign, to say nothing of his work for Trump at Breitbart. Yet, it now appears that Bannon has exhausted the administration’s gratitude.
Some, like Ben Shapiro, have found an alternative explanation. Shapiro points out that although Bannon promised to fight for the Trump Administration from the outside, Bannon also revealed his frustration with and ineffectiveness in the White House. Bannon stated that the administration which he and his had fought for was gone. On matters of foreign policy, domestic priorities, and the alt-right, Bannon may well feel betrayed. Of course, Shapiro does not believe that Bannon will attack Trump directly.
Bannon is smart enough not to attack Trump directly. That would alienate Bannon's crowd. Instead, he'll target the "globalists." (/1)
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 18, 2017
Bannon Returns to Breitbart
Step returns to run Breitbart at a time of many paradoxes. After CPAC removed Milo as a speaker and threw Richard Spencer out of the conference, many conservative opponents of the alt-right grew bolder. The alt-right has finally attained the attention it has lusted for, but they may ultimately regret all this free media. Instead, their #unitetheright rally at Charlottesville united the right in universal condemnation of the alt-right. Trump, Sessions, Cruz, Rubio, and nearly every member of the GOP in the House and Senate stood together against the alt-right, the white nationalists. College Republicans groups across the nation, including the UVA College Republicans condemned them as well. The Republican nominees for this year’s gubernatorial election also released statements condemning the alt-right.
At this moment, the next generation of conservative voters and activists, as well as our current and future elected representatives, have made clear what kind of party we want to be. We are not a party of identity politics. We are not the party of the alt-right.
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