Uh-oh. There’s trouble in MAGA-land and conservatives are starting to eat their own. You see Republicans are at each other’s throats because the ultra-rightwing House Freedom Caucus is mad that many GOP lawmakers supported the latest national debt deal to avert a default on the country’s debts. That has alt-Right provocateur and Sith Lord Steve Bannon up in arms. He is calling for primaries against all 149 House Republicans who voted for the bill forged by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden.
Bannon Is At It Again
This is, of course, ridiculous but par for the course for an extreme fringe character like Steven Bannon. The former White House adviser under Donald Trump was glowing white hot in his lair spouting vitriol on his War Room podcast in the days after the vote.
What’s the Problem?
On May 31, 149 Republicans and 165 Democrats in the House voted for the measure that will suspend the debt limit through January 2025 and trim spending by $1.5 trillion. Some supporters were from the far-right like Congressman Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and “Dr. No” libertarian Thomas Massie of Kentucky who usually votes nay on everything. I must admit I was surprised by these votes, especially Massie who hates any bill that expands the role of government, gives power to the Federal Reserve, and doesn’t sufficiently limit spending.
Bannon Believes the Turncoats Need Punishment
Greene is becoming more of a McCarthy ally much to the chagrin of the Freedom Caucus and Bannon. She even had an argument about her support of the debt ceiling bill with her former buddy, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert. MAGA darling Jordan also made an uncharacteristic decision to favor a compromise with Democrats.
Bannon took notice of what he thought was disloyalty. “Let me repeat that. All of them, including people we’re quite fond of and some who we used to be fond of, have to be primaried,” Bannon said on his podcast.
That includes Jordan and Greene who are usually on the side of Bannon. Greene has had it from Bannon, and according to a text message that the Daily Beast uncovered is “done” with the machinations and plots from the Machiavellian practitioner of political dark arts.
Bannon continued his diatribe of those Republicans who have made an unpardonable sin in his eyes. “They have to stand on a debate stage in the primary season and they have to justify what they did with the knowledge they had, at the time what went on and then what the impact is, because the impact on primary season is going to be a lot worse than it is today,” Bannon said.
Bannon Is Evil
Steve Bannon is one of the most frightening political activists of his generation – and the strangest person in politics I have encountered since I first worked on a presidential campaign at the age of 16.
His entire bio is beyond the scope of this article, but you can look it up if you don’t believe me. But let’s just focus on his alleged crimes and the wrongdoing he has already been convicted of.
Bannon was found guilty in July of 2022 of Contempt of Congress for not cooperating with the legislative branch for “refusal to appear for a deposition and another count related to his refusal to produce documents in response to a subpoena from the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol,” according to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
He has been sentenced to four months in jail and a $6,500 fine. Bannon is currently appealing the verdict.
Bannon also had a non-profit that claimed to raise money for building a wall at the Southern Border. In 2020, Bannon was accused by federal authorities for allegedly defrauding donors after the entity raised $25 million for the border wall scheme. Donald Trump pardoned Bannon on the federal charges on the last day of the president’s tenure.
But that did not end the legal odyssey for Bannon. In September of 2022, Bannon was indicted again in Manhattan for the border wall scam for accusations that he ripped off donors. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. said that Bannon “acted as the architect of a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud thousands of donors across the country — including hundreds of Manhattan residents.”
Bannon believes he is innocent and a victim of political persecution. His trial in the New York case is slated for May of 2024. He cannot be pardoned by a president for these alleged state crimes.
Of course, Bannon is presumed innocent, and I don’t want to convict him before he has his day in court. But at a minimum, one could question his judgment and lack of moral compass, if he is proven guilty next year.
Meanwhile, Bannon will continue spinning conspiracies and making outrageous plans from his perch on the podcast. He has a loud megaphone and loyal fans who await his every word, however ridiculous. This prince of darkness has a dangerous hold on a significant number of MAGA extremists and it may take jail time to silence him.
Author Expertise and Experience: Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.