Steve Bannon’s Shout-Out to a Left-Wing Terror GroupRoundup
tags: Steve Bannon
Last August I wrote an article for the The Daily Beast [that has now gone viral] about a strange encounter I had with Steve Bannon at a party on Nov. 12, 2013. Bannon, whom I had never met, came up to me and informed me that he was a “Leninist” who wanted to bring down the establishment including the Republican and Democratic Parties. Back then, he was organizing and speaking for the Tea Party, and his sights were set on winning Congressional races. They were the vehicle through which he hoped his ideas would take root and that by winning races the Tea Party activists would set the stage for a future populist transformation.
Bannon has certainly come far. Not only is he a senior adviser to the president at the White House, he is hiring many of his former staff at Breitbart.com to join him. He has been given an unprecedented seat on the Principles Committee of The National Security Council (never before given to a political adviser by any administration, Democrat or Republican). Not content with this, Bannon has created a counter group to the NSC in his office, called the Strategic Initiatives Group. The NSC’s “stature, independence and influence,” as Julie Smith and Derek Chollet write in Foreign Policy, has been even more eroded. As they put it, “Bannon and his team have been increasing their public profiles on foreign policy issues in recent days,” which may be an understatement.
It is no wonder that Bannon is sarcastically being referred to by many commentators as “President Bannon.” This past week, it was Bannon- not the president- who got the cover story in Time which called him “the Second Most Powerful Man in the World.” Because of his importance in the Trump administration, there is great interest in finding out what he believes, and what motivates him.
The answer is to be found in a speech Bannon delivered in New York City to an outdoor rally to the New York Tea Party on April 15, 2010. Here he is angry, and inflames the rowdy crowd with his attacks on the “world financial system.” Bannon attributes the financial collapse to “the financial elites and the American political class.” They took care of themselves, he tells the crowd, and let everyone else suffer, as government took over the financial industry, the auto industry and the health system. He refers to the “ticking time bomb” of mortgage defaults, and he calls the situation an “existential threat” to the nation, a “true crisis” that threatens the nation’s sovereignty. “Our beloved country is an addict,” he says, led by the “pushers on Wall Street.” Then he holds up a copy of The New York Times which he calls the paper “of the liberal elite,” while he describes The New York Post as the paper of the people. The Tea Party, Bannon says, are the people who fight our wars, pay our taxes, work in civic organizations—“the beating heart of the greatest nation on earth.”
It is the end of his speech, however, that is most important. After blasting Anderson Cooper and CNN, he concludes with words that somehow have escaped all the commentators who have been writing on Bannon:
"It doesn’t take a weatherman to see which way the wind blows, and the winds blow off the high plains of this country, through the prairie and lights a fire that will burn all the way to Washington in November." ...
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