A former ally warned that Steve Bannon always obeyed his “unsettling rage” — even when he should know better.
Conservative columnist C. Edmund Wright said he bonded with Bannon over their shared antipathy toward George W. Bush’s chief strategist Karl Rove, and he joined Breitbart News — where he gained unsettling insights about the site’s chief executive.
“It’s painful for me to come to the conclusion that for all his success, brilliance and love of country, rage and anger seem within Bannon to ‘trump’ the desire for actual solutions,” Wright wrote for the right-wing American Thinker website.
He said that sense of outrage dominated Breitbart’s editorial content and served as the animating spirit of President Donald Trump’s campaign — but Wright worried that it could ultimately destroy both the Trump presidency and the Republican Party.
“Anger can power a political movement, but it shouldn’t guide one,” Wright wrote. “This is not because of any pearl-clutching hesitancy either. It’s because being guided by anger so often runs one off the cliff. Exhibit A: the Democratic Party and the left.”
He said Bannon’s personal campaign against House Speaker Paul Ryan had nearly cost Trump the White House, because the Republican’s support was crucial in his home state of Wisconsin.
“I cannot believe that intellectually, Bannon didn’t understand this about Wisconsin,” Wright wrote. “He’s too smart, yet his personal hatred of Ryan trumps his understanding of the symbiotic relationship – and, apparently, his wishes that Trump win Wisconsin!”
“This is unsettling rage,” he added. “This is self-defeating.”
He said Bannon wants to fight both Republican leadership his former White House colleagues after returning to Breitbart, but Wright said he couldn’t do both without bringing down the president.
“If McConnell, the GOP and liberal Democrats in the White House are the problem, then Trump owns much of the blame for choosing them,” Wright wrote.
“Bannon wants to help Trump succeed while destroying Trump’s party,” he added. “This cannot happen. That’s now how this works. That’s not how any of this works. If Ryan, McConnell and the GOP are destroyed now, the Trump presidency will fail.”