Remember the interview in which Bannon wanted to burn down democracy?
“I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed. ...
“Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”
That makes Steve Bannon possibly the only person in Washington who’s getting exactly, exactly what he wants.
Inside the White House, Mr. Bannon said, everything is going according to plan. The “deconstruction of the administrative state” has just begun.
Sure, Trump’s “fine-tuned machine” may look to everyone else like a chaos engine. But chaos is the goal. Every cabinet appointment diametrically opposed to the agency they’re named to head, every sensible regulation tossed in the trash, everything simply done worse … is better. For Steve Bannon. Because worse is what he wants. Confusion is better than clarity. Destruction is the plan.
“Every day is going to be a fight.”
Those who still expect some reset, slow down, or glimmer of common sense are going to be disappointed.
Bannon dismissed the idea that Trump might moderate his positions or seek consensus with political opponents. Rather, he said, the White House is digging in for a long period of conflict to transform Washington and upend the world order.
All those stories about how Democrats are being pushed to disagree with Trump have it backward. Trump isn’t interested in compromise. He’s not even interested in agreement. Conflict is what he, and Bannon, want.
Bannon framed much of Trump’s agenda with the phrase, “deconstruction of the administrative state,” meaning the system of taxes, regulations and trade pacts that the president says have stymied economic growth and infringed upon U.S. sovereignty. Bannon says that the post-World War II political and economic consensus is failing and should be replaced with a system that empowers ordinary people over coastal elites and international institutions.
The post World War II United States only produced the greatest economy the planet has ever seen, in the period of greatest relative peace the globe has ever known, while opening democracy to more people than ever before.
That’s what Bannon is out to kill. And it’s going well.