Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, and Stephen Miller formed a three-headed West-Wing monster that spit the fire of populist nationalism onto the accelerants sloshing around in Donald Trump’s soul: poisonous self-loathing, moral indifference, and pathological enmity. The result was a conflagration of racism and bigotry not seen in the White House for many decades.
So after Charlottesville, it stood to reason that some asked Donald Trump, if he wasn’t going to resign, at least to fire Bannon, Gorka, and Miller.
Now that Bannon has seen an anvil dropped on the big toe of his alt-right Frankenstein, it would be convenient to think that we’re a third of the way there. We’re not. Bannon’s fat ass getting propped back atop a barstool was not a concession to human decency.
Here are the reasons so far floating about as to why Bannon’s flame was doused:
- Bannon infuriated Trump by contradicting Trump’s position on North Korea;
- Bannon infuriated Trump by suggesting that he (Bannon) was the real man in charge of the administration;
- Bannon infuriated Trump by referring to Trump’s ethno-nationalist base as “losers” and “clowns”;
- Bannon infuriated Trump by being the subject of a New York Times bestseller out right now — a bestseller that is, ahem, not about Trump; or
- Trump didn’t do it; John Kelly did. Note the official White House statement: “White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”
Did you see anything in there about ducking neo-Nazis or Confederates reincarnate? I didn’t either.
This is a sack job in service to Trump’s ego. Like any malignant narcissist, Trump indulges only one calculation: Is this person of any further use to me, or is he not? Bannon got on the wrong side of that calculation, so he’s gone.
This is no win for civil-rights advocates or even just for decent humans. Those wins won’t start coming until November 2018 — unless Bob Mueller has something in mind to hasten our relief.