For all their faults, Democrats have always been far more astute at the long game. Sadly, Steve Bannon was effectively fired in February.
Bannon’s long road to exile began on December 29 last year, when Michael Flynn had an innocuous conversation with the Russian ambassador eavesdropped on and unmasked by Obama officials. After leaks to the Washington Post (probably from the recently fired Sally Yates or her cohort), Flynn resigned as National Security Advisor. Trump needed to fill the position quickly, with someone Democrats calling for Flynn’s scalp wouldn’t object to. He reached into the swamp, and pulled out Army general and Don Rickles doppelganger H.R. McMaster. Bannon was just beginning his work on the National Security Council (NSC) with Flynn, reorienting policy towards the President’s objectives, when McMaster replaced him. Conflict between Bannon and McMaster was inevitable — what few realized was how quickly the President took the side of Lieutenant General McMaster. Unfortunately for Bannon, and the country, he had left the Navy only as a lieutenant. Removing him from the NSC was one of McMaster’s first moves.
That’s the long game. Self-proclaimed members of the “Resistance” like Yates or her subordinates leak, their Democrat handlers in Congress call for resignations, a few cowardly Republicans join in, the media plays the useful idiot, and the President, who advocated for radical policy change, and whose party controls Congress, nevertheless takes his personal orders from the mob, fires someone he agrees with, and must select a replacement that might as well have had the same position in the previous administration. That’s how Democrats have “their” man in the NSC, and how they used him to purge it of anyone who represents the new path the President promised the American people.
Republicans need to start realizing that small power moves by their opponents are part of a strategy that looks out much further than the next midterm elections. Give them an inch, as with Flynn, and they’ll take away every administration official working on foreign policy or national security who actually supported our President in last year’s election.
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