The New York Times opposes president-Elect’s Trump’s appointment of Breitbart executive Steve Bannon to a top White House role. In an editorial titled “Turn on the Hate,” they quote him at his own word–and challenge Republicans on their sudden accommodation with a man who says he’s a Leninist that wants to destroy both political parties and the State.
Mr. Bannon is in some ways a perplexing figure: a far-right ideologue who made his millions investing in “Seinfeld”; a former Goldman Sachs banker who has reportedly called himself a “Leninist” with a goal “to destroy the state” and “bring everything crashing down.” He has also called progressive women “a bunch of dykes” and, in a 2014 email to one of his editors, wrote of the Republican leadership, “Let the grassroots turn on the hate because that’s the ONLY thing that will make them do their duty.” …
But most Republican officeholders have so far remained silent. Some have dismissed fears about Mr. Bannon. Other Republicans have praised him, like Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, whom Mr. Trump announced as his chief of staff on Sunday, and who said Mr. Bannon could not be such a bad guy because he served in the Navy and went to Harvard Business School. Some saw the pick of Mr. Priebus as evidence that Mr. Trump would not be leaning so much on Mr. Bannon. But don’t be fooled by Mr. Priebus’s elevated title; in the press release announcing both hires, Mr. Bannon’s name appeared above Mr. Priebus’s. In a little more than two months Mr. Bannon, and his toxic ideology, will be sitting down the hall from the Oval Office.
As turns of phrase go, “far-right ideologue” isn’t so bad.
Bannon represents Trump’s intent to try and play off the “Bannon base” against the GOP establishment that suddenly finds itself happy to play ball with him and with it. Left out of the equation: the poor and middle-class people who floated his campaign to the top of the electoral college.
Today in rhetorical questions the answer is “power.”