Steve Bannon, former White House advisor and CEO of Breitbart News, descended on Alabama once again on Tuesday to stump for Roy Moore. Appearing at a rally in Fairhope, Bannon continued to wage war on establishment Republicans, launching disgusting attacks on anyone who wasn’t perfectly in alignment with his views. The fact that he barely referenced Moore’s opponent, Democrat Doug Jones, is further evidence of Bannon’s true, troubling intentions: The annihilation of the conservative & establishment wings of the Republican Party.
Bannon rose to political dominance during his work with President Trump’s campaign. In fact, he deserves much of the credit for aligning Trump with marginalized voters in the Republican party and uncovering the massive amounts of corruption and complacency amongst establishment Republicans.
However, Bannon’s war did not end with the election of Donald Trump nor with the defeat of the Democrats. He has felt increasingly disillusioned and betrayed by members of his own party, who he believes do not hold strong enough to their principles. His answer? An all-out war against the Republican party, employing every weapon in his arsenal: namely his political power and knack for smear campaigns.
Since leaving the White House, the former Goldman-Sachs executive – you could simply substitute corporate sleaze if you’d like – has attempted to bring his war to nearly every major state Republican primary. His first test came in Alabama, where he backed Roy Moore over Luther Strange, the candidate endorsed by President Trump. With Bannon’s help, Moore won the primary, possibly at the expense of the state’s Republican party, which finds itself reeling from the results.
Bannon has waged his war of hyper-partisanship in the nastiest of ways. This was most evident at the Moore rally Tuesday night, where Bannon launched fiery attacks against Republicans. Most notably, Bannon attacked Mitt Romney for his remarks that Moore would be a “stain on the GOP and the nation,” NBC News reported. An infuriated Bannon dug at Romney’s lack of military service saying, “You hid behind your religion. You went to France to be a missionary while men were dying in Vietnam. Do not talk about honor and integrity.”
He then had some choice words for Romney’s family. “You ran for commander in chief and had five sons — not one day of service in Afghanistan or Iraq. We have 7,000 dead and 52,000 casualties, and where were the Romneys during those wars?”
The remarks elicited cheers from the crowd, despite the fact that Bannon implied that anyone who chooses to do mission work instead of military service is a coward. Religious freedom is something that everyone should support, but Bannon doesn’t seem to respect people who are willing to sacrifice for their faith. Bannon may not respect different religious traditions, but it was shocking to see so many cheer at what was a truly evil comment.
Another front in Bannon’s war is being fought against Mitch McConnell, the leader of the establishment wing that Bannon intends to destroy. McConnell is hated among many Republicans for his soft leadership and inability to unite the party. However, Bannon’s attacks are anything but unifying. The two camps ostensibly declared war on each other, with McConnell recently launching an all-out offensive against Bannon. Not shying away from a fight, the battered majority leader has accused Bannon of anti-Semitism and posing a significant threat to the party, while his Super-PAC has spent millions of dollars fighting against Bannon-backed candidates.
Under the Bannon regime, there is no civility in politics, no cordiality, no meaningful civil discourse – the hallmarks of American politics. It’s his way or the highway, “us vs. them,” and those who disagree are publicly shamed. Bannon and his populist whim, bent on destroying the Republican party, could very well take America down with it. In a time of such cultural and political strife, it is exceedingly dangerous for political elites to preach a message of hatred and division.
Bannon is currently in my state because he is supporting Judge Moore. I have no doubt that he will continue to attack and belittle all those who stand in his way. In a recent poll, only 8 percent of Americans had a favorable view of Steve Bannon so its hard to understand why anyone would want his support. Bannon and Roy Moore both preach messages of hatred towards those who see things differently than they do. Bannon has shown he has utter contempt for people of faith and Roy Moore see’s his political opponents as the enemy.
These men do not represent the majority of conservative Republicans nor do their tactics of playing on the fear of voters deserve any praise. Bannon is no different than the people he seeks to replace. In the end, Bannon and Moore want political power and will do whatever is necessary to obtain it. I just hope that these men will be exposed for what they truly are…… agents of darkness.
This article first appeared on The Rouser.
Daniel Bruce, is a former writer for the Yellowhammer News, the leading conservative news source in Alabama, and he is a frequent guest political commentator on conservative talk radio. He is also a contributor for Rouser News, and is studying Political Science and Economics at Auburn University. You can follow him on Twitter @d_bruce96
Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore