As you may be aware, I’ve written a biography of Steve Bannon, Bannon: Always the Rebel. This is an article I wrote recently for The Hill about Bannon’s crusade to upend the Washington Republican establishment.
From the piece:
For Washington establishment politicians, lobbyists and journalists, Stephen Bannon’s crusade defies logic. Why would someone supposedly devoted to President Donald Trump’s agenda risk the Republican Senate majority by supporting nontraditional primary candidates seeking to unseat GOP senators who usually support what Trump is trying to do.
Whether something seems logical depends on your starting point. And Bannon is operating in a whole different solar system — one that the establishment has yet to discover.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other GOP leaders begin with the assumption that the Republicans in power are worth keeping. They fail to understand that Bannon is seeking a wholesale reordering of the Republican power structure in Washington that reflects the change that has already occurred within the GOP electorate. A revolution has taken place, he believes, but somehow the czar and his ministers remain in the Winter Palace.
“Our goal is to nominate people in the primaries next year who can actually win, and the people who win will be the ones who enact the president’s agenda,” McConnell said recently, dismissively deriding Bannon and his allies as “this element” made up of a group of bumblers who accidentally elect Democrats.
But what McConnell and the rest of the establishment still can’t seem to come to terms with is that it is this very “element” successfully elected a president.
I spent 10 hours talking with Bannon over the summer, both before and after he left the White House, for my book, “Bannon: Always the Rebel,” which was released Nov. 13. One of the things that became clear during our conversations is that Bannon believes the Republican Party has already been captured at its roots by Trump’s brand of nationalist populism, and that it’s only Washington’s political class and its house press corps that isn’t yet in on the secret.
You can read the rest of this article here at The Hill.