After Roy Moore’s embarrassing defeat in Alabama, Breitbart executive and erstwhile Trump aide Steve Bannon is entrenching himself in his war against the GOP establishment — and they’re responding in kind.
As the New York Times reports, Bannon’s anger at the more traditional wing of the party simmered just below the surface in a meeting of conservatives at D.C.’s Trump International Hotel following Democrat Doug Jones’ victory over his candidate.
“If we want to win, we need to stop playing footsie with the establishment,” he said, according to three Times sources who attended the meeting. “They’re just going to string you along, pat you on your head, and send you on your way.”
He went on to say that he was “not going to name names,” referencing the Republicans who left Moore — and Bannon — out to dry after woman after woman came forward to allege they had inappropriate relationships with the former Alabama Supreme court chief justice when they were teens and he was in his thirties.
To avoid the factious “spasms” that choked GOP during the reign of the Tea Party, the Times report continued, establishment Republicans “intend to kneecap him before he has the chance to recover.”
Scott W. Reed, the chief political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (a backbone of the GOP establishment) told the Times that in order to cut Bannon off at the knee, the party must first “dry up his money.” He explained that Republicans are already calling donors around the nation to urge them not to donate to Bannon or his candidates.
“Two is to try and drive a wedge between him and Trump to the point where Trump is questioning him and his judgment,” Reed continued. “You win, you win. You lose, you’re a loser. And that’s what Bannon has to wear around his neck now. A big L.”
Reed and the GOP establishment have their work cut out for him — in an interview with the Times shortly after Moore’s loss, Bannon expressed his intention to play a long game.
“Revolutions and civil wars take a long time,” Bannon said. “I never said Alabama was going to solve anything.”