The undercard fight is over. Former National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn lost a unanimous decision to the Bully President and Vice “Ice” President Monday night, submitting his resignation after it was crystal clear he had cozied up to the Russians in an unethical and possibly illegal fashion.
This is a serious defeat since Flynn only operated as NSA for 24 days. That Russian thing seems to have a way of landing fatal political body blows to those who dabble in conversations with representatives of the president’s ever-more-friendly foreign power partner, Vladimir Putin.
That staff tumble in the White House, while significant for the moment, could be dwarfed in days to come if the main card fight between Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon results in one of the two would-be Rasputins leaving Washington on a jet plane. Oddsmakers in the nation’s capital seem to think it’s a pretty good bet that the war of the White House will wind up soon, with just one of the two left standing.
The New Yorker provided a solid fight card review of the struggle for control of the mind and actions of the man at the helm of the Executive Branch of our government at the moment: Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus’ War for the White House (February 3, 2017). CNN alluded to the struggle between the two political operatives during a recent broadcast concerning the Flynn debacle.
If Donald J. Trump, chaos creator extraordinaire, wants to continue to operate in a slapdash fashion, bouncing from one tweet to the next, attacking all who oppose him, and creating a universe of alternate facts and figures — for instance Flynn didn’t do anything illegal by talking with the Russians (while still a civilian) about sanctions being lifted once Trump took office — then it would be best to lay your money down on Bannon surviving.
It would seem probable that if Bannon, the former Breitbart chairman, manages to convince the president to oust Priebus, then the Saturday Night Live characterization of Bannon as the grim reaper will be seen by historians as fairly accurate. Bannon considers himself a Leninist, and as such wants to tear down the social order as it currently exists.
His quote on the topic, as reported by the Daily Beast last summer is: “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”
A recent example, you ask: Bannon led the team that authored and then orchestrated the issuance of the now much-maligned, vigorously protested and legally challenged immigration ban. In all its chaotic glory, the rollout of the executive order that for a short time caused great angst and fear among thousands of travelers holding valid green cards and visas provides a snapshot of a future United States with the president following Bannon’s instructions. Yes, the leader of our country is dependent on senior aides to tell him what to sign and what to say on a regular basis. It’s called keeping Trump on message.
Stephen Miller, the White House aide who spent last Sunday on numerous talk shows defending, among other things, the immigration ban and the president’s unsubstantiated accusations of massive voter fraud during last year’s elections, clocked a number of years on Capitol Hill fighting side-by-side with Breitbart against the Republican Party’s immigration reformers. In doing verbal battle with talk show anchors last weekend, he took a few bullets for the cause. It was most likely a show of Bannon’s shock troops covering for the big guy.
So stay tuned. They’re already rumblin’ in the White House. A body slam out the door can’t be too far away for either Bannon or Priebus. What’s the Vegas line this morning on this one?