The Smearing of Steve Bannon - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Smearing of Steve Bannon


Here is the official announcement from the Trump campaign:


Mr. Trump Appoints Stephen K. Bannon To Campaign CEO; Kellyanne Conway Promoted To Campaign Manager

(New York, NY) August 17th, 2016  —  Donald J. Trump today announced that Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon has been appointed CEO, temporarily stepping down from his role with Breitbart News to work full-time on Mr. Trump’s campaign in a new position designed to bolster the business-like approach of Mr. Trump’s campaign. In addition, nationally respected pollster and Republican campaign strategist Kellyanne Conway, Founder and President of The Polling Company, Inc./WomanTrend, a privately held, woman-owned corporation, has been promoted to Campaign Manager. Paul Manafort will remain as Campaign Chairman and Chief Strategist.

And right on cue… the freak outs about Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon — and Breitbart itself — begin. For the life of me, as predictable as the reactions are, they still amaze.

There is our friend Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard zapping fellow conservative Bannon’s Breitbart by portraying the site as somehow a betrayal of Andrew Breitbart’s memory.

“I hate the fact that it’s called Breitbart News. If they changed the name and called it Right Wing Intolerant Mean-Spirited News, that would be fine.”

My CNN colleagues Chris Cuomo and Brian Stelter hammered away at Bannon as well, with Chris saying “This is an outlet that says CNN is Hitler.”

Well, gee. The Washington Post published a Harvard prof who ever so unsubtly said that a direct comparison of Trump to Hitler should be left aside. How lovely! Then she began by explicitly drawing exactly that comparison, writing:

To understand the rise of Hitler and the spread of Nazism, I have generally relied on the German-Jewish émigré philosopher Hannah Arendt and her arguments about the banality of evil. Somehow people can understand themselves as “just doing their job,” yet act as cogs in the wheel of a murderous machine. Arendt also offered a second answer in a small but powerful book called “Men in Dark Times.” In this book, she described all those who thought that Hitler’s rise was a terrible thing but chose “internal exile,” or staying invisible and out of the way as their strategy for coping with the situation. They knew evil was evil, but they too facilitated it, by departing from the battlefield out of a sense of hopelessness.

One can see both of these phenomena unfolding now….

The Post, to remind one and all, is the DC Establishment’s leading Hillary cheerleader. Has Hillary rebuked her media cheerleader for its Trump-is-Hitler? Nahh. Does anyone in the media care? Apparently not.

And it is surely no accident that an attack on Steve Bannon by ex-Breitbarter Ben Shapiro appears in, yes…the Trump-is-Hitler Post. In an astonishing display of hysteria and sheer nuttiness, here is a guy I hold in high esteem just losing it over Bannon. Writes Shapiro:

Constitutional conservatives can’t stand the alt-right. Conservatives — real conservatives — believe that only a philosophy of limited government, God-given rights and personal responsibility can save the country. And that creed is not bound to race or ethnicity. Broad swaths of the alt-right, by contrast, believe in a creed-free, race-based nationalism, insisting, among other things, that birth on American soil confers superiority. The alt-right sees limited-government constitutionalism as passé; it holds that only nationalist populism on the basis of shared tribal identity can save the country. It’s a movement shot through with racism and anti-Semitism.

Well of course conservatives “believe that only a philosophy of limited government, God-given rights and personal responsibility can save the country.” Now there’s a news flash. So too do the jurists Trump has said he would appoint to the Supreme Court. So are these the principles underlying Trump economic policy (drafted in part by those well-known crazies Steve Moore and Larry Kudlow, disciples both of those well-known “race-based” nationalists Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp). So now Reagan, Kemp, and conservative jurists Trump favors are being recast as racist, anti-Semitic tribalists? What utter hysterical poppycock. Let me rephrase. The accurate word is garbage.

Here’s a curiosity. After reading the Shapiro rant against Breitbart, in comes this from a mass e-mail signed by the deputy communications director of… yes, indeed… “Hillary for America.” It says among other things:

Breitbart is something different. They make Fox News look like a Democratic Party pamphlet. They’re a different breed altogether — not just conservative but radical, bigoted, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic conspiracy peddlers who never have been and never should be anywhere near the levers of power in this country.

Hmmm. So the question? Is the Hillary Clinton campaign channeling Ben Shapiro — or is Ben Shapiro and the anti-Breitbart, anti-Bannon, Never Trump crowd channeling Hillary Clinton and the American Left?

Let’s be blunt. These attacks on Steve Bannon and Breitbart are nothing but smears. As I have documented in chapter in verse over the years in this space, the American Left and the Democratic Party is at its core now — as it always has been — the heart-of-darkness of racism in America. As noted here eight years ago, this is a party that is on record supporting slavery, segregation, lynching, the Ku Klux Klan, racial quotas, illegal immigration by skin color and more. The latest incarnations are so-called “multiculturalism” and “diversity” and “identity politics” — the same old, same old scam- by-race routines that have fueled the party for over 200 years. There is no accident that the 2016 Democratic Convention did not even consider the idea of apologizing for slavery and segregation. Why would they? Without slavery and segregation their party would never have gotten anywhere, much less — repeatedly — the White House, control of the House and Senate, uncountable governorships, state legislators and local governments.

When it comes to anti-Semitism, recall that Harry Truman himself recognized Israel in 1948 over the objection of liberals in the State Department. Writing years later in his memoirs that he was opposed inside the State Department on the issue because of raw anti-Semitism. Only four years ago it took an embarrassed Democratic Convention chair more than one attempt to ignore a loud and vociferous anti-Semitic move from delegates on the floor to pass a platform plank refusing to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Trump’s GOP Platform has the unsurprising — and unambiguous — section titled “Our Unequivocal Support for Israel.” A staunch reprise of the GOP position for decades.

Standing up repeatedly against this racist, anti-Semitic crap in the current day has been Breitbart under Steve Bannon’s leadership. This Congregationalist boy is not about to get involved in disagreements between conservatives in and of the Jewish faith. But to say that Breitbart is somehow anti-Semitic because the Jewish David Horowitz wrote a Breitbart article calling the Jewish Bill Kristol a “renegade Jew” hardly qualifies as anti-Semitism. Horowitz, among other things, said this:

I am a Jew who has never been to Israel and has never been a Zionist in the sense of believing that Jews can rid themselves of Jew hatred by having their own nation state. But half of world Jewry now lives in Israel, and the enemies whom Obama and Hillary have empowered — Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, ISIS, and Hamas — have openly sworn to exterminate the Jews. I am also an American (and an American first), whose country is threatened with destruction by the same enemies. To weaken the only party that stands between the Jews and their annihilation, and between America and the forces intent on destroying her, is a political miscalculation so great and a betrayal so profound as to not be easily forgiven.

The uproar arrives, and Horowitz, no shrinking violet, comes back to Breitbart to say, in part, this:

My quarrel is not with Trump skeptics, but with the effort to nullify the vote of the Republican electorate  —  a politically active and informed, and conservative segment of that electorate. Kristol’s third-party effort exudes an elitist contempt for the will of the people, which is particularly unbecoming in a crowd that prides itself on being “constitutional conservatives.”

Finally, I am disturbed by the failure of the nullifiers to consider the perils of the choices our country now faces. For the life of me, I cannot understand how my friends in the conservative movement cannot have qualms about derailing the candidacy of the Republican Party’s pro-Israel, pro-military, pro-American nominee, and electing the candidate of a party that has built its foreign policy around making Islamist Iran the number one power in the Middle East, providing its jihadists with a path to nuclear weapons, putting $150 billion into their terrorist war chest, and turning a blind eye to their circumvention of international restrictions so that they can build ballistic missiles capable of destroying the Jewish state and causing incalculable damage to the United States.

One does not have to be Jewish to agree with this. It is, indeed, baffling that any conservative worth their salt would be essentially abdicating the field to a ticket representing a party and a political movement with serious streaks of the most blatant anti-Semitism while making a nuclear deal with mullahs whose avowed objective is wiping Israel off the face of the earth.

Which is another way of saying that charges of anti-Semitism against the Israel-supporting Breitbart are the purest of malicious BS. And, not coincidentally, the same kind of bizarre nonsense that accuses the Jewish David Horowitz of being anti-Semitic.

Motives for the kind of disgusting and disreputable attacks that are being made on Steve Bannon and Breitbart? I’ll leave it to the psychiatrists. But suffice to say the attacks against Bannon and Breitbart are not merely bunk. They are disreputable disinformation. I read Breitbart every day. It is stellar in relentlessly taking on anti-Semitism and the racist spawn of slavery and segregation — identity politics, “diversity” and multiculturalism — that are at the very heart of the American Left. Meanwhile the so-called “mainstream media” endorses all of that — shamefully pushing a revised, 21st century version of progressive Democrat George Wallace’s infamous vow: “Racism today, racism tomorrow, racism forever.”

Breitbart has no time for this. Steve Bannon has no time for this. Most importantly, Donald Trump has no time for this. All have had the guts to stand up and fight this racist, anti-Semitic sewage.

And thank God for that.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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