Okay, I confess to being not entirely sure what to make of this.
If you’re any student of politics, you saw Steve Bannon on the cover of Time magazine in early February — “The Great Manipulator,” it called him — and knew to start the countdown then.
Dead strategist walking.
He’d crossed the line that a politician’s advisers mustn’t, to a place and prominence where only the most foolish of them tread. Or at best he’d failed to prevent the media from tugging him there.
He was fine so long as he was a whisperer. On the campaign trail and on the Potomac, you can whisper all you want.
He was damned the moment he was cast as a puppeteer. That means there’s a puppet in the equation, and no politician is going to accept that designation, least of all one who stamps his name in gold on anything that stands still long enough to be stamped. Or whose debate performance included the repartee: “No puppet, no puppet. You’re the puppet.”
“I’m my own strategist,” the president told The New York Post early last week, and the message to Bannon couldn’t have been louder and clearer if it included a four-letter word.
Trump went so far as to suggest that he was barely acquainted with Bannon before August 2016, when Bannon joined his presidential campaign. Wrong. Trump had been a guest on the radio show that Bannon used to host nine times. But his rewrite of history was telling. Bannon needed to be erased because he was taking up too much space on the page.
Politics is a tricky business, Washington is a treacherous place and Trumplandia is downright brutal. In all three realms, you have to strike the right balance of self-promotion and self-effacement. The media’s no help: We love few archetypes better than that of the brilliant mastermind who’s the real power behind the throne. But the savviest operators find ways to resist that assignment, deflecting as much credit as they claim.
So you guys feel free to correct me if I’m getting this wrong and all, but: the NYT is now reduced to attacking Trump by…defending Steve Bannon? Really? REALLY?
Wow. I have to admit, I’m slackjawed flabbergasted over this one. Trump has them so completely discombobulated I’m gonna have to come up with some new categories here to cope with the contradictory madness emanating from them daily. Like, say, “Shit Or Go Blind,” or something along those lines. I repeat: WOW.
Via Breitbart, whose headline take makes way more sense of this than I’m able to: “NYT: The Media Manipulated Steve Bannon’s Image to Drive a Wedge Between Him and Trump.” Well, yeah, sure. But now they’re gonna openly admit to that? I repeat: slackjawed. Flabbergasted. They continue to have no clue at all as to how to approach destroying Trump. Nothing they’ve tried so far has worked; in fact, each new attempt has blown up in their faces and made their plight worse. They just can’t seem to grasp that we don’t believe or trust them anymore, and no longer care what they may say about anything.
May they remain forever clueless.