The Atlantic: Steve Bannon is still scheming. And he’s still a threat to democracy.

Colonoscopy

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Still incredibly creepy, and still up to no good. This is the sort of stuff we had better be paying attention to:

But Bannon is more than just a broadcaster. He’s a televangelist, an Iago, a canny political operative with activist machinations. With almost every episode, he hopes to transform his audience into an army of the righteous—one that will undo the “illegitimate Biden regime” and replace the current GOP infrastructure, still riddled with institutionalist RINO pushovers, with adamantine Trumpists who believe that 2020 rightfully belonged to them. “The show’s not about entertainment,” he told his audience in one of his typical pep talks. “That’s not us. This is for the hard-cores, okay? … The people who say, ‘No no no no no, not on our watch.’ ” He goads his followers into action with a combination of praise, flattery, and drill-sergeant phrases he repeats like a catechism: Put your shoulder to the wheel! Be a force multiplier! And especially: Use your agency!

And how, specifically, does Bannon propose that his audience use its agency? By taking back their government from the ground up—as election inspectors, as school-board members, and, most practically of all, as precinct-committee members. Bannon may be the country’s biggest exponent of the “precinct strategy,” first developed by the Republican lawyer Dan Schultz, which encourages interested citizens to sign up for the grunt work of elections, because it can lead to the big stuff, like helping decide who oversees them. War Room regularly features citizen activists who have figured out how to work the system. After each segment, Bannon asks: “How can people get to you? How do they find out more about what you’re doing?” And they provide Twitter and Gettr handles, websites, on occasion even a cellphone number.

Why do you do that? I once asked him.

“It’s a force multiplier,” he answered.

Right right right.

This is the Democratic Party’s nightmare scenario, the hobgoblin that visits at 4 a.m.: The infrastructure of civil servants on the state level, which barely held the United States together in the aftermath of the 2020 election, comes entirely undone through democratic means. As it is, the Republicans are poised in the 2022 midterms to take back the House in a potential rout, a prospect that fills Bannon with inexpressible glee, and for which he seems to take partial credit. He’s hoping for a 60-, 70-, 80-seat loss for the Democrats—something that will set the party back for generations.
 

Titus Andronicus

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I enjoyed the article. Jennifer Senior is clearly a talented writer/investigative reporter ... and has won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. She clearly likes Bannon personally, and this interview appeared to show two highly intelligent, dynamic, and determined people enjoying the verbal bombast/combat.

She attacks him with hyperbole AND splits a lot of hairs. She also accuses him of being manipulative while sparring verbally over multiple interviews and ends up with a very interesting Human Interest piece. She even went to his father's funeral (a two day affair) and was warmly greeted by his family members who seemed to consider her presence nothing unusual.

I do not see this as doing much damage to the Bannon Brand in that it shows his intensity and crazy focus. These are things that are clear to all. She accuses him of being an antisemite, and he appears to relish taking issue with this ... mounting any number of defenses, but notably by calling attention to a whole lot of Jews in his orbit who seem to like him a lot. Some claim he is not an antisemite and others do not appear to give it much thought.

Rasputin? A clever word game, but Bannon probably does not mind. In fact, he probably likes the grandiose nature of the comparison to someone/anyone who has assumed larger-than-life standing.

He is a showman. That is clear, but plenty of personal details emerge.

This is a long article and was a major commitment by the Atlantic. I would say they scored a win.

............................

Edit: He seems to admire Rachael Maddow for her narrative verve. (I am in agreement with him on this; she is extremely good.)

"Bannon loves hating on MSNBC. But he also thinks its shows, Rachel Maddow’s in particular, set the gold standard for production values and narrative verve."
 
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