26 Feb '17     home | subject timeline

Bannon at CPAC

This is my third Bannon blog in eight days, and my last.

On Friday (the 23rd) Bannon appeared at a CPAC (conservative political action conference) alongside Reince Priebus, and complained about the "corporatist, globalist media." So why did corporatist" media? He must dislike the Washington Post, for example, which is owned by Amazon's Jeff Besos. What about Fox News and the Murdoch empire?

Bannon's was continuing his anti-establishment posturing, employed during the election campaign.

The Washington Post writes:

After donning a dress shirt and tie Thursday [yesterday] morning for a White House meeting with corporate executives, Bannon changed into a black shirt (open collared, no tie), black blazer and khakis for his visit to CPAC. At one point, Priebus looked at Bannon and quipped, "I love how many collars he wears. Interesting look."

During the political campaigning, Priebus and Bannon were reported as not getting along, as having competing agendas. Following Trump's election, Republican "establishment" people accommodated with the Trump and Bannon movement. Priebus became Trump's White House chief of staff and Bannon became Trump's "chief strategist and senior counselor." Accommodation is common in politics. Both men now have an interest in appearing to be working well together, and Trump supporters can conveniently forget or dismiss what is now old campaign rhetoric.

But Bannon has an interest in appearing as a fighter. It keeps him appearing essential. Bannon describes President Trump's opponents as the media, and he won his greatest applause at CPAC announcing: “If you think they’re going to give you your country back without a fight, you’re sadly mistaken. Every day there is going to be a fight." He said, It's gonna get worse everyday."

"And the only way to combat the media," he said, "is to fight like hell against them on everything and anything." The media, he says, is "adamantly opposed to" the president's agenda.

Bannon describes that agenda as economic nationalism. When Bannon spoke to the conference at the Vatican back in 2014 the agenda he defended was saving Judeo-Christianity from the atheists. Now, in addition to saving the United States from the corporate media, he is for saving the country from those opposed to the nation acting in its own economic self-interest. His "economic nationalism" is described by Max Fisher in the New York Times as "American interests assumed to be at odds with those of the rest of the world."

And, at CPAC, Bannon said everything is going according to plan and the "deconstruction of the administrative state" has just begun. Max Fisher writes:

Mr. Bannon portrays the problem as flowing from something deeper: a shadowy “administrative state” engineered by the left to advance its agenda. The state, in this view, is not an instrument of the American electorate, nor even a hurdle to be overcome as mainline conservatives often see it, but rather an adversary innately hostile to the people.

The "administrative state," according to people on the same intellectual page as Bannon, makes and enforces rules – government regulations – based on authority that is unconstitutional, in other words illegitimately ceded by Congress. That's their theory. They call those who don't agree with them "lefty statists."


Copyright © 2017 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.