Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Was McConnell Mortally Wounded In Bannon's First Skirmish Against The GOP Establishment?


Even before Luther Strange's-- and Trump's and McConnell's-- humiliating 54.6-45.4% defeat in the Alabama special election last night, Bannon was crowing that it was he, not Señor Trumpanzee, who could control the Trumpist base of racists and, to use his own word, "morons." Trump's own high profile endorsement of Strange-- and McConnell's millions of dollars-- had failed to move the needle in the primary runoff. Every poll showed lunatic fringe neo-Nazi Roy Moore 10 points ahead of McConnell's (and Trump's) boy Strange. The funny thing is that before Trump's rally for Strange in Huntsville, Moore was leading in polls by an average of 8.6 points. It wasn't until after Trump's rally that Moore went into a double digit lead. Monday night Bannon spoke at a Moore rally in a barn in the Mobile area and warned that not just Luther Strange but the Republican establishment faces a "day of reckoning."

Steve Bannon barreled onstage at a raucous rally inside a barn here to deliver a warning to the national Republican establishment ahead of Tuesday’s special Senate election: I’m just getting started.

In a thundering 20-minute speech Monday night that was partly a rally for insurgent Senate candidate Roy Moore but equally a declaration of war on the Republican Party hierarchy, Bannon made clear that this next act of his political career could make the Republican civil war of recent years look tame.

“For Mitch McConnell and Ward Baker and Karl Rove and Steven Law-- all the instruments that tried to destroy Judge Moore and his family-- your day of reckoning is coming,” Bannon said, referring to the Republican Senate leader and a trio of prominent GOP strategists backing incumbent Sen. Luther Strange. “But more important, for the donors who put up the [campaign] money and the corporatists that put up the money, your day of reckoning is coming, too.”

With polls showing Moore leading comfortably, the event was an early victory lap of sorts for the nationalist ex-Trump adviser. Since departing the White House last month, he’s made electing Moore-- a like-minded, pugilistic outsider-- the first of what he hopes will be many pet projects to oust “globalist” Republican incumbents. Bannon broke with his ex-boss, President Donald Trump-- who traveled to the state last week to campaign for Strange-- and suggested Monday that the president was duped into supporting the incumbent.

Bannon said mainstream Republicans behind Strange's campaign regard Alabama voters as “a pack of morons. They think you’re nothing but rubes. They have no interest at all in what you have to say, what you have to think or what you want to do. And tomorrow, you’re gonna get an opportunity to tell them what you think of the elites who run this country!”

Bannon headlined the get-out-the-vote rally inside a hay-lined barn alongside Moore-- who at one point pulled a gun out of his pocket to highlight his Second Amendment bona fides-- Brexit leader Nigel Farage and Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson.

But Bannon stole the proverbial show. In his fiery us vs. them rhetoric, Bannon name-checked his enemies, repeatedly going after McConnell.

“Mitch McConnell and his permanent political class is the most corrupt, incompetent group of individuals in this country!” Bannon said to loud applause.

Bannon will now use the momentum of the Alabama victory to go after mainstream conservative senators up for reelection in Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee and Mississippi and to threaten Republican House members coast to coast. Supposedly his first House victim will be Barbara Comstock who has enough problems in a district that had an R+2 PVI last year and a D+1 PVI this year, a district where Hillary thrashed Señor Trumpanzee 52.2% to 42.2%. Yesterday the NY Times noted that Señor Trumpanzee put his prestige on the line in the "proxy fight between the Republican establishment and the party’s populist wing," testing his own clout on the right while also shaping primaries in next year’s midterm elections.
Moore spent 20 minutes longer at the microphone after entering to the strains of “Sweet Home Alabama” clad in a leather vest and cowboy hat. He also briefly brandished a pistol on stage.

“Alabama can’t be bought,” he declared, before winning his loudest applause of the night by declaring “Mitch McConnell needs to be replaced.”

...Only Tim James, son of a former governor here, dared to criticize Mr. Trump, predicting that the president would “think twice before he jumps in a family feud” again in the party... Strange’s event, lacking Mr. Moore’s colorful array of activist speakers, featured a comparatively low-key, loafer- and blazer-sporting crowd, dotted with Republican Party staffers flown in from Washington.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home