Steve Bannon’s Plans for Revenge are Legion. They Include Running Against Trump in 2020

by ursulafaw –

 

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Whichever way you look at it, Donald Trump did make the statement last week about Steve Bannon, “I like Steve.” History tells us that Trump saying that he likes somebody is the kiss of death. Vanity Fair cited these examples: “If Trump genuinely likes you, you’re “brilliant” or “a great guy.” By contrast, “like,” in Trump-speak, means “dead to me.” Just ask Newt Gingrich (“I like Newt”), Chris Christie (“I like Chris a lot”), Ted Cruz (“I like Ted”), John McCain (“I like John McCain”), and Paul Ryan (“I like Paul”).”

So granting for the sake of argument that Bannon is through, what revenge might Bannon, described by the New York Times as, “the grenade-lobbing, pugilist Chief Strategist, [whose office at] the White House is aptly named, ‘the war room,’” take after he is publicly de-throned?

“I think firing Bannon would be a huge mistake for Trump,” Steve Deace, a conservative commentator from Iowa said. NYT reported that Deace also said that cutting Bannon loose would send the wrong signal to conservatives and could be dangerous given the delight that Bannon takes in disruption. “Hell hath no fury like a Bannon scorned.”

The fury of Hell would likely take the form of Breitbart unleashed, and that is notoriously unpleasant:

“He’ll have his minions eviscerate you on Twitter and write articles with fake information. You will be attacked and lied about,” said Republican operative Cheri Jacobus, who was the subject of critical coverage in Breitbart in 2015 after saying Trump was popular with “low-information voters” and who blames Breitbart for a campaign of online harassment she has endured since then.

“Bannon can launch something, and there’s an army of people who are part of the alt-right that will then pick up on it and they know what to do,” Jacobus said. “It’s like a chain reaction.”

Also read The Daily Beast, where reportedly Republican political consultant Rick Wilson was harassed after referring to Breitbart as “Trump Pravda,” last February.

Anonymous trolls—some apparently active on an online forum associated with white supremacists—posted photoshopped sexual images of his college-age daughter, claimed she’d had a child with an African American, threatened gang-rape, and claimed Wilson’s teenage son was a pimp.

When Wilson tweeted complaints about the online abuse, Breitbart’s Nolte accused him of “us[ing] a threat of rape against his own daughter as a political talking point to attack Breitbart News.” The situation got even more heated when Trump backer Ann Coulter tweeted: “Hilarious public meltdown: THEY’RE THREATENING TO RAPE MY DAUGHTER! #RickWilsonIsAGirlInAPinkPartyDress”—and Wilson replied to Coulter, “Does Trump pay you more for anal?”

While Ann Coulter is abysmal and richly deserving of the criticism that comes her way, I think that reasonable minds will agree that it is regrettable, to say the very least, that our public discourse has fallen to such heretofore unimaginable depths for this to be considered a normal exchange between adults.

Here’s what a Politico Magazine article had to say on the forces gathered pro-Bannon:

Taken together, their suggestions amount to an epic, Kill Bill-style revenge saga that starts with Bannon leaking personal dirt on his enemies to the tabloids, using the megaphone of Breitbart News to exacerbate divisions inside the administration, and siccing an army of internet trolls on his adversaries to harass and defame them. It ends with Bannon using Cambridge Analytica data to identify and primary their vulnerable allies in Congress, then releasing a “Where Trump Went Wrong” documentary on the eve of the November midterms and finally—in this revenge fantasy’s epic climax—running against Trump himself in 2020. […]

Meanwhile, Bannon could launder more salacious hits through the tabloids. “You go National Enquirer on them,” said blogger Mike Cernovich, a self-described student of Bannon’s work who said he has discussed the eventuality of Bannon’s firing with people close to him.

“There’s sex scandals people are sitting on,” Cernovich said. “All the gossip and drama and stuff that might be a little more personal is going to get leaked.”

Cernovich speculated that Bannon could, with the help of Cambridge Analytica’s data, move from the personal to the political by identifying his enemies’ most vulnerable allies in Congress and encouraging challengers to run for their seats. “There will be big primary campaigns against them,” Cernovich said. “It will be Eric Cantor-style warfare.”

Several people familiar with Bannon’s modus operandi said he would be unlikely to take on Trump directly, preferring instead to shift blame toward others while leaving the door open to a rapprochement with the president — at least at first.

“In Steve’s dream scenario, he would depart, things would fall apart even more so, and Trump would beg him to come back to fix it,” Kurt Bardella, previously a Breitbart spokesman, said.

And regarding the comment about running against Trump for president in 2020, none other than Milo Yiannopoulous said that, “It will be my very great honor to manage the Bannon 2020 campaign.”

If any of this seems implausible to you, don’t forget that this is the man who poured acid in a $25,000 Jacuzzi and then etched carvings in it for good measure, when he was annoyed at a landlord. The landlord took this as equivalent to a horse’s head in the bed and didn’t pursue the matter. Bannon also testified in a 1996 trial on the Biosphere 2 project that he headed up in the Arizona desert for a while, that when a woman submitted a five-page complaint outlining safety problems at the site, he promised to shove the complaint “down her fucking throat,” according to a Mother Jones article.  Steve Bannon is a man who does not like to be crossed and most especially one who doesn’t like his authority challenged. It will be interesting indeed to see how this matter with Bannon and Trump plays out in the foreseeable future.

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos