Will Biden Share Bannon’s Fate? – Malcom Kyeyune 7/1/24

Source: Unherd.com

All eyes are naturally fixed upon Joe Biden in the aftermath of last week’s “debate”. Will he stay in the race or bow out?  Yet there is another, smaller political drama playing out inside the American political system at present, one that is at least tangentially related to the debacle that took place a few days ago.

Steve Bannon is expected at some point today to report to a US prison to start serving his sentence for contempt of congress. His four-month sentence is not in itself the end of the world for Bannon, but there is perhaps a greater symbolism at play. In the early days of the 2016 Trump presidency, Bannon was often seen as the political visionary behind the operation, with many on the Right looking to his heterodox mix of issues and reforms.

For him to go to prison might, therefore, be seen as the end of an era in American politics. We are talking about a period of around half a decade, starting a bit after Trump descended that golden escalator. It was the era of people enthusiastically trying to reform the US political system from the right. Like mushrooms after rain, the success of Trump’s outsider campaign gave birth to a whole ecosystem of organisations and ventures intending whether to capitalise on or assist in the sea change that was surely about to take place. From organs such as American Compass and American Moment, to media ventures such as The Realignment podcast or American Affairs magazine, the early years of the first Trump administration had, at least for the Right, a real sense of “springtime in America”. This was the time where senators such as Josh Hawley and Marco Rubio talked a big game about the Republicans now being a “multi-racial working-class party”; Bannon might have been one of the first people to see a new dawn of opportunity opening up in the wake of Trump’s surprise presidential bid, but many, many others followed in his footsteps.

It is for that reason that Bannon’s trip to prison serves as a convenient bookend for an era that is now well and truly dead. All the hope of reform that existed in 2016 and 2017, the talk of “draining the swamp”, or reindustrialising, or putting an end to new and stupid “forever wars” — all of it ended up amounting to very little in the end. The factories did not come back, the swamp was not drained, and Trump’s administration got bogged down fighting a two-front battle against sabotage from within the state apparatus on one hand, and then its own dysfunction on the other.

“Bannon’s trip to prison serves as a convenient bookend for an era that is now well and truly dead.”…

Read More…