Here’s Why Donald Trump vs. Steve Bannon is a Nightmare That Could Rip the GOP Apart

When Steve Bannon joined Donald Trump’s campaign in the summer of 2016, I knew then that the “marriage” between the two would never end well. There was no way two men with egos as massive as Bannon’s and Trump’s were going to be able to co-exist, then ultimately split amicably. Especially when I’m almost certain Bannon’s aware that Trump’s an incompetent buffoon who has no idea what he’s doing. In fact, that’s probably the main reason why he joined his campaign, and ultimately his administration, in the first place — Trump’s an easily-manipulated simpleton he believed he could manipulate and control.

For someone like Bannon whose ultimate goal seems to be to create as much chaos as possible to burn the whole damn country to the ground, Trump was exactly the type of unhinged fool that he figured could help him do just that.

Bannon’s biggest problem was he underestimated the size of Trump’s ego, his incompetence, the influence his family has over him, and just how much influence he’d ultimately have.

If you ask me, I think Bannon felt that he could play Trump well enough to get this “president” to turn on his own family. Which just goes to show you how arrogant he actually is.

So, this past summer when I heard that Bannon had essentially been fired from Trump’s administration (though both sides claimed it was a planned departure), I had a feeling things were going to get very interesting.

At first Bannon played nice, often speaking highly of Trump, while saying he was going to instruct Breitbart to keep supporting the policies of this administration. However, there were little comments here and there Bannon would make that made me believe his whole “pro-Trump” shtick was just an act.

Easily one of the biggest breaks from Trump came when Bannon put his full-support behind Roy Moore during the GOP’s primary in Alabama, while this “president” backed Luther Strange. Ultimately, Bannon’s candidate won the primary — but lost the special election to the Democratic candidate, Doug Jones.

In an article we published just after Bannon’s departure from Trump’s administration, I wrote this:

Now Bannon’s back at Breitbart, the alt-right publication/propaganda factory that’s gone from a fringe site mostly followed by white nationalists and conspiracy theorists to a more “mainstream” source trusted by millions of conservatives — and white nationalists and conspiracy theorists.

If you’re thinking that’s a terrifying thought, you’re right, because it is.

Unfortunately for Trump, Breitbart is a source trusted by a good chunk of his supporters. Considering both Trump and Breitbart pander to the worst parts of our society, it’s only natural that both would attract the same sorts of people.

Only now Bannon’s back at Breitbart filled with a year’s worth of inside knowledge on Trump, his inner workings, and what’s gone on behind closed doors. A man who’s probably just as corrupt, crooked, petty, and arrogant as Trump — who was just forced out by the administration — is now back in a position to control Trump possibly even more so than he did serving as one of his top advisors.

Now we know from Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Wolff claims Bannon told him that he viewed Trump Jr.’s Russia meeting as “treason.” He also apparently claimed that there’s no way Trump’s oldest son didn’t immediately run up to his father’s office to tell him what had been discussed at that infamous meeting. Furthermore, he supposedly said that he believes special counselor Robert Mueller will “crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”

Needless to say, Donald Trump didn’t take too kindly to the things Bannon apparently said to Mr. Wolff. He released a statement where he accused his former advisor of “losing his mind” and, of course, downplaying his role in both his campaign and his administration — because that’s what Trump always does.

He’s also using legal threats to try to block the publication of the book, as well as silence Bannon from being able to talk about anything he witnessed while working with his campaign or administration.

Like a typical bully, Trump loves attacking others. However, when someone attacks him, he’s the biggest crybaby around.

You don’t need to be an expert in politics to realize that this is really bad for the Republican Party. We’re now seeing the beginning stages of two extremely egotistical lowlifes with seemingly no concern for being dignified or factual going at one another.

While, as “president,” Trump’s clearly the more powerful of the two, Bannon’s running of Breitbart makes him an incredibly dangerous foe. After all, a good chunk of Trump’s supporters get their information from the right-wing publication that’s now being run by someone who spent a year in close proximity to a lot of meetings, discussions, and behavior I’m sure this “president” doesn’t want people knowing about.

That’s why I feel Trump’s response to the comments Bannon made to Wolff was so swift, and rather hostile. Trump’s looking to distance himself from one of his former top advisers, downplaying his role in the campaign and his administration, while already trying to paint Bannon as some disgruntled nobody who’s essentially jealous of him.

Usually there’s a bit of a delay between Trump’s response to a scandal such as this — but not this time. In practically no time they released a rather lengthy statement that went right after Steve Bannon as well as issuing legal challenges against the publication of Wolff’s book.

He’s scared, and he should be.

I think Trump’s well aware that Bannon has a lot of inside secrets he’s afraid he’s going to make public, so his only guard against that is similar to the tactic he tried using after he fired James Comey — trying to bully him into not speaking out.

Except, there’s absolutely no way I see Bannon being intimidated by Trump. Not with his ego and clear belief that, as the de facto “king” of Breitbart, he has the power to make or break Republican politicians. While I expect him to play it smart now, he obviously isn’t saying these negative things about Trump, or his family, by accident. A person like Bannon doesn’t “accidentally” tell a guy who’s writing a book that he believes a highly-controversial meeting Trump Jr. had with Russians was “treasonous.” He knew exactly what he was doing.

Bannon’s just much more intelligent than Trump. He’s not going to go out publicly, ranting and raving about this “president.” My prediction is that he’s going to chip away at him, bit by bit, working to erode his supporters away from him. I’m confident he’s well aware Trump’s supporters will simply go into defense mode if you attack the orange menace outright. So it’s better to not necessarily attack Trump, himself, but the people around him. This, of course, forces Trump to defend those people which Bannon will try to turn this “president’s” supporters against, all while clearly implying that Trump’s been well aware of what they were doing — he just didn’t care or possibly even encouraged it.

The GOP has to be terrified of this brewing battle. One of the most influential right-wing publications (which currently ranks as the 51st most visited website in the United States according to vs. Trump, the GOP, and any other news entity that dares try to cross them?

Donald Trump is now facing off against someone who has a lot of pull among a good swath of his supporters, who’s every bit as unethical, morally-bankrupt, and egotistical as he is. If there’s one person out there who currently has the power, and ability, to tear away at Trump’s core supporters — it’s Steven Bannon with Breitbart as his weapon.

This is going to get ugly in a hurry and it could very well rip the Republican Party apart.

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Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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