Led by the Mercers, Bannon’s Allies Abandon Him

Jan 04, 2018 · 324 comments
Estaban Goolacki (boulder)
Don't run down the President with a steam roller, don't, please. Let us all remember this: Despite all the many shortcomings the liberal columnists are rushing to point out, the fact remains he somehow got to be President. And they didn't. Sixteen of them got on the platform to debate him. Being elected President is a Herculean achievement, and they simply can't accept that he did it and they failed. -Estaban Goolacki out
Berkeley Bee (San Francisco, CA)
And yet, political commenters agreed readily last night on the cable shows that Steve will likely be back in Trump's "good - or good enough - graces" soon. Or soon enough. They now hate each other, but they need and want each other. Not just to win, but just because. I doubt he has been exiled for long.
Daedalus (Rochester, NY)
Fear most the man who has nothing to lose.
ck (chicago)
Excellent indeed that Trump and major Republican donors are finally publicly, at least, turning against Bannon. Steve Bannon is a very dark character and his 'base" is made up of the worst of the worst so-called Americans, in my view. And yet, let us not ever forget, the bro-mance between Trump and Bannon landed Bannon the top supporting position in the White House. So Trump and the Mercers and the rest can all say what they want now for cover but they were in fact right there with Bannon and all his inane, insane "global clash of civilizations" blather. The mere fact that a low character like Bannon could ever be parading himself around with security clearances and a high office in the White House should be enough to keep us all very vigilant for a very long time.
L S Herman (MA)
There is no showing of love of country by these men.
RML (Washington D.C.)
This is all a front. The Mercer's and Trumpster's will not abandon Bannon because he has too much dirt on them. He's holding on to some great blackmail material on all of these traitors. They need to keep him close to the fold. This is all smoke and mirrors. The never ending drama of the drama queen Trump. They will keep Bannon in their midst.
Ken (St. Louis)
Two sudden bedfellows: Bannon and Banished How appropriate!
arm (NY)
If there was ever a living breathing reason to EXPAND the estate tax it would be rebecca Mercer. Unlimited contributions by anyone to any party is anti american and as undemocratic as anything. We need to look again at how we fund elections.
Dennis Quick (Charleston, SC)
Long story short: we need to remove money from politics. Period. If we don't, w're doomed. We might be doomed already.
Will (Chicago)
I hope the people of the US will get tired the 001% keeping us down and storm the gate. America needs to remake itself and these ultra rich needs to be gone.
Barb Hill (Malvern PA)
Do the Mercer's manage the individual investments of the republican members of Congress? I wouldn't be surprised if they are running this country. Follow the money...
Dry Socket (Illinois)
Bannon should consider teaching Lenin Studies at Hope College or Calvin College. Great job and all the windmill cookies he can eat. Dutch Courage buddy.
ExCook (Italy)
It's painful for me to write this, but here goes: You know your political system is toxic and out-of-control when even Silvio Berluscon's 20 years in public life look tame by comparison. Face it, after years of cultivating a culture of proud anti-intellectualism, apathy and non-engagement, you Americans are allowing your country to fall into utter and total mediocrity. Sure, you can order lot's of stuff from Amazon (at a discount!) and you have great fast-food restaurants, but, you're now all officially slaves to the Mercers, Kochs, Trumps and all the other billionaires who coudn't care less if you live or die. The fact that someone as vile as Bannon was elevated to a position of power in the White House is proof that you're in really big trouble.
Kyle Taylor (Washington)
The Mercer family is just another reason why we need massive taxes on the wealthy in the USA. They are useless parasites who hate the vast majority of Americans with a passion. Tax them and spend it on REAL Americans!
Trevor (Diaz)
Bannon need to go Vatican and work for POPE. He is an Irish Catholic. He is no NO native here in this side of pond. May go to Ireland and MAKE IRELAND GREAT AGAIN.
Rollo Tomasi (Los Angeles)
I guess the .01% puppet masters will be looking for another frontman.
conradtseitz (Fresno, CA)
By the way, what are the odds that Bannon will turn, or already has turned, state's evidence? A smart guy like him, knowing that the famous Russian meeting in Trump Tower was the leading edge for a criminal act-- accepting foreign government help to win an election in the United States-- and having some deniability about his direct involvement in that procedure-- should think about his personal freedom. If Mueller wants Bannon's testimony to nail down Don the Con's direct knowledge of the criminal conspiracy before the election (and surely Don discussed what he knew about it with Steve, being the idiot he is, not even knowing that it was illegal-- no excuse) he could put pressure on him by indicting him for something... Or he could just cut him loose and force him to live on his savings... which I hear are substantial.
Chamber (nyc)
Bannon is a bigger fraud than trumpie. No one anywhere would be paying attention to this human jelly doughnut if trump hadn't embraced Bannon's reactionary attitudes. I say just drop him from the news cycle. I would also drop any reporting on the Twittersphere. That the press allows trump to dictate the days news via his Tweetbunker is ridiculous.
polymath (British Columbia)
"Stephen K. Bannon is confronting political irrelevance, a dire fate for a publicity-hungry provocateur, as some of his most important backers recoil after his reported criticisms of President Trump and his family." New York Times articles could avoid their own irrelevance by not trying to predict the future from ephemeral evidence.
Larry (Long Island NY)
The real story here is not Bannon, but the Mercers and other mega rich supporters of the right wing agenda. The Mercers and the Koch brothers have used their wealth and influence to leverage their ideology and move the Republican Party further to the right. Bannon was a mere tool of the Mercers as is Marc Short, a tool of the Koch brothers, tugging daily at Trump's ear. The influence these two families alone hold over American politics is shameful. The huge sums of money they pump into campaign coffers insure that their voices are heard and their needs are met. The end result is more more profit and gain for their companies. Both Republicans and Democrats suck at the teat of the 1%. Until there is true campaign finance reform, the rich will always have the final word in Washington while the middle class and poor continue suffer.
George (Pa)
Let the republican bloodbath begin! The sooner these clowns are driven into permanent minority status, the better. Maybe when they go after Social Security people will take to the streets and the voting booth.
citybumpkin (Earth)
"The Mercers were blunt on Thursday in cutting the cord, reiterating support for Mr. Trump while disavowing Mr. Bannon’s remarks and disowning his political endeavors." Too bad, Steve. I guess those billionaires stick together. Now would be a wonderful time for those people who told us Trump really wasn't so bad because his election meant the downfall of the political donor class to give us their spiel again.
Robert FL (Palmetto, FL.)
I think the bigger threat here is that the Mercers and other plutocrats are saying in no uncertain terms," stray from our dictated policies, and face the next election not only without our money, but against a lavishly financed surrogate."
Michael J. (Santa Barbara, CA)
Steve, we hardly knew yee! Now, don't go away mad, just go away!
Son Of Liberty (nyc)
These are all individuals who have sold their souls to the devil. Although fitting, seeing them turn on each other, is small consolation. They have done enormous damage to America and the world.
Massimo Podrecca (Fort Lee)
The Mercers hate one thing above all others: speaking truth to power.
Sarah A (San Francisco)
Well, Ted Cruz is thrilled right now. He's got the Mercer's support completely free now from the guilt-by-association directly linked to Bannon Ideology. Even though Bannon backed Roy Moore who lost spectacularly and tainted Bannon, I fear he's not going anywhere. Bannon is here to stay and going to stay very, very influential. The fringe Left attitude is so close to Bannon's burn-it-all-down manifesto that he is quite attractive to all the people who say there's no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans...and there's a lot of people out there who believe this. People really do go so far Left they go Right. I am not sure there's "a blue wave" coming in 2018, sorry, I think there's something else, a third wave, and its going to be angry, unpredictable and confusing. I don't think the real fight to watch is the cleaving of the Republican Party between establishment R's and Trump R's, its the fracturing of the Left and where exactly the disillusioned Bernie supporters, the hard-core socialists and the anarchists end up going...they may go with Bannon.
Johannes van der Sluijs (E.U.)
Cruz is about to lose his Senate seat, no matter how much money C.U. allows to be channeled into his campaign. And by now Trump has mobilized 99% of Sanders supporters to come out and support whoever wins the Democratic nomination, and if its Kirsten Gillibrand. More likely they're going to help Elisabeth Warren to an overwhelming win in the primary and subsequently in the general.
sm (new york)
Of course they've abandoned Bannon , Trump just gave them what they wanted which was to do business as they want without restraints and pay as little taxes as possible. After all , to quote Leona Helmsley "only the little people pay taxes" how much more obvious can it be. They will keep on supporting Trump because he's the corrupt gift that keeps giving.
Joe (NY NY)
It's time to put Rebekah Mercer and that entire Mercer family in the spotlight- Trump's big financial backer. Let's give these oligarchs more publicity, and tear them down, as we will do with Trump. Plan Plan Plan
Scrumper (Savannah)
All of those in the original Trump Administration fawning over Trump such as Bannon have discovered what we all knew that Trump's only loyalty is to himself and when the adulation stops he will skewer you.
Harry (Oceanside, NY)
Bannon once said in paraphrase form " the populists are going to control the political agenda of the country going forward, and it could be a rightward populism or a leftward populism, we'll see which one prevails" Why is there not a leftward populism movement akin to FDR's Great Society (equality, progressiveness, universal healthcare, expanding social security and Medicaire, fairness, decency etc.) amidst this ghastly oligarchic push toward complete control of our (political) society? Where are the Obama's the Clinton's the Biden's the Schumer's and Pelosi's to ignite this movement and give it air to combat this ugliness that is Trump, the Republican Congressional establishment and the Donor class, that is waging war on the vast majority of the American people and our Democratic System?
RLW (Chicago)
It's too bad Bannon's timing is so bad. Before release of this book he could have really had a massive impact on Republican primaries in 2018, throwing the general elections in many Republican districts to the Democrats. Now his influence may be diminished.
ES (San Diego, CA)
As always, the GOP leads the way while Democrats struggle with identity issues. As divergent as their ultimate goals and current ideals are, the Mercers can cohere with the McConnells of the party to squeeze out any threat to their dominance. Meanwhile, the Democrats are squabbling (how many reading this continue to read attacks against Clinton from Berniebots on Facebook???) and ousting their best proponents without due process. Democrats had better get their act together, unite and stand together before November.
Bashh (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Democrats have paved the way for Michelle Bachmant to, as she describes it, "bring her message to the Senate" by getting rid of Franken. Senator Bachman's message will undoubtedly be as false and garbled as that of Rep. Bachman. The Purity Party makes it easy for those in the GOP to grope your wallets.
Deus (Toronto)
I think it is pretty obvious why the "movers and shakers" are abandoning Bannon in favor of Trump. Trump has the power and Bannon doesn't. Trump is giving them everything they want, hence, they see Bannon as someone trying to throw a "monkey wrench" into their plans of creating the "Ultimate Oligarchy" in America.
Kalidan (NY)
The notion that republicans are rejecting Bannon because they found a conscience - deserves explicit rejection. Bannon is a commodity, a means to a valued republican end (win by divide and conquer). Bannon was a sound investment between 2015 and 2017. But, like a poorly run firm, he overspent his capital, used his cash injudiciously, talked too much, and made some bad investments (Moore in Alabama, among one). None of these errors are irreversible. His stock price has bottomed; making him very attractive to the bottom feeders, and the "long shots" with some (if not a lot) of money to spend. Bannon has fairly undiminished power over white christian tribes all across America - who dominate all of the south and nearly all rural zip codes. And unlike democratic constituencies, they are coming out to vote driven by hate, loathing, and fear. Bannon's currency and value remains, even if temporarily tarnished. His recent public contrition and mea culpa are signs that he is learning, and working to increase his worth. The market of the right wing will forgive him shortly, and conduct a re-valuation that favors him. Republicans forgive anyone for anything as long as he is one of them. See Roger Stone; with a rich history of personal and professional tawdriness, moral failings, and rich display of sleaze - now forgiven and reinstalled as a demigod by the right wing media. Or Lee Atwater. Bannon will return as a kingmaker in due course. So hold the chortling. Kalidan
omartraore (Heppner, OR)
Step away and this all looks like the spread of a virus or bacterial infection in the body politic. Trump's support has actually increased over a period that is arguably one of his worst stretches (but we know how he's capable of lowering the bar). Fox's headlines today: Clinton Foundation, Comey, Biden, Stephanopolous, some more obscure junk food fare, and at the bottom--Trump's take on Wolff's book. The Roberts Court crippled any notion of democratic process with Citizens United, and that horrendous decision created the opening billionaires needed to sway national electoral politics. Until the corrupting influence of money is addressed, or Trump supporters wake up one morning and conclude that facts matter, we may one day look back upon the Trump era with the kind of nostalgic fondness some of us are feeling for the Cheney/Bush years. It isn't exactly, democracy, though, when public buffoonery is the only check against consolidating power and concentrating wealth.
JK (San Francisco)
Oh Please! The voters that supported Trump were reacting to the 'siren song' of Mr. Bannon. His tactics of division and hatred will continue whether he is part of Trump's camp or not. All he needs is one small minded backer and Bannon is back in business!
Johannes van der Sluijs (E.U.)
Economic nationalism and a trillion stimulus through infrastructure spending are, predictably, within a year, down, together with its clown. So now what's left is superrich enrichment and the fabricated illusion of trickle down, with some lousy pieces of red meat for the hungry base in the form of flimsy and temporary middle and lower class tax cuts preceding massive cost and premium hikes and blasting losses of coverage, services and benefits. The 21st century is so far the century of the GOP donors gone mad in wealth grabbing running amok and wreaking havoc with stubborn, unrelenting global warming and ecocidal pesticide pollution. The only meaningful change the brief in-between pro-forma reign of a Democratic Deporter in Chief has been able to implement is a flawed GOP healthcare plan, that's now torn up to pieces. Obama was crippled and strangled all the way by all the lobbyists, half the deep state, and 6/8th of the way by the strangulation limits the GOP Congress put on his budget and on his ability to fulfill his necessary task of finetuning and adjusting existing law over private profit greed and time challenging it. Trump just falls completely in line with this, as does the mass abandonment of Bannon by his donors after his clash with their most useful puppet. "Change has come to America" was probably spoken some twenty years too early. One thing though, ultrawealthy, ultracriminal Russian Republican robber barons: change is coming to your ownership of America.
Jsbliv (San Diego)
The nonsensical support of the Moore campaign made Bannon look even more unhinged than previously believed. Also, praising a man who calls you crazy doesn’t help. Just follow the money and it all comes clear where the ‘me first’ evangelical bent of these political times comes from, and where the coming splits on party lines will be. The Founders had good reason to separate church and state, and we are now fighting a battle they tried to avoid.
mancuroc (rochester)
Rats deserting a sinking rat.
Rita (California)
Bannon’s importance as the strategic thinker behind Trump’s campaign shouldn’t be underestimated. After all, if he didn’t invent the term “Deep State”, he certainly popularized it. Without Bannon, the rich backers like the Mercers and Adelsons just become rich donors looking for more government welfare in the form of subsidies and loopholes. Bannon gave them a quasi-philosophical figleaf to cover their naked greed. Just as the Tea Party gave the Koch Family the figleaf to cover its naked greed. Bannon convinced The Deplorables to make common cause with the super wealthy in order to pressure the Old Guard Republican Elite in Congress to swing even further towards the Deep Wealth State. But Bannon is as disposable as one of the Deep Wealth State’s McMansions. There is no loyalty. Never fear, the super wealthy will find some other media darling to wield the figleaf.
Robert (Out West)
"Strategic thinker." When are we gonna get it through out thick skulls that we weren't conned into this disaster.
monicer (canada)
And believe it or not, Lou Dobbs was being considered as the frontman for the Mercer backed puppet president, til someone pointed out Trump had star reality TV appeal. Fertile fairground for US political candidates.! Step right up folks.
B Windrip (MO)
Crazy people are a potential threat to their family and their community. Thanks to the right-wing majority on the Supreme Court crazy billionaires are now an existential threat to our democracy and our nation.
Maggie (NC)
This makes it perfectly clear who controls the agenda and the candidates of the Republican Party. A small set of uber-wealthy donors who fund media outlets and primary candidates, no matter how radical, obscure or unpopular, to run against any more traditional candidate who defies their agenda. Average citizens are either to cynical to bother to vote, disenfranchised from voting, or in many cases, so ill-informed by such sensationalist media that they pick disingenuous candidates who least represent their interests. We hear that many Republicans in office decry this corrupt system “off the record” yet if they weren’t hypocrites they could vote with Democrats to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision and change this system for the good of the country. We know what works because we had it before - keep special interest money out of politics and have a fairness in media doctrine with equal time provisions so voter get a fuller and more honest range of views and information.
Mellon (Texas)
As this cartoon regime changes loyalty and the story every 12 hours, does anyone realize what it means? That the idiots in the revolving door have had Clearance?
The HouseDog (Seattle)
money makes people do things they don't want to do, unless you're the mercers and then you can say and believe whatever you want. the view that america is getting on how and what the 1% think and do and believe is amazing. why there is not a revolution to remove these people from society is the real crime.
Douglas Lowenthal (Reno, NV)
Trump’s coming through with the big money to the big money people. What does Bannon have to offer? Red meat for the alt-right.
r mackinnon (concord, ma)
Bannon is a bag of hot, foul air. He and trump were made for each other. We can't look away from the schoolyard fistfight between them. And in the meantime we don't focus on the long term effects of the reverse Robin hood tax scam that was just rammed down our collective throat by a bought and paid for Congress.
4therecord (Petersburg)
Been gone for a while, but I have a rare day off because of the weather. Anyway, it seems as if it is on and popping. I am observing with amusement and clarity the sequence of events that are unfolding. I do not think the president is an idiot as many would have us believe. I am convinced that he is a pathological liar who will say whatever is necessary to achieve his goals. He is the consummate politician who plays to his base quite well. In this conflict with Mr. Bannon I see nothing that will change anything one whit from what it was before the conflict. As Mr. Shakespeare observed, "...it is sound and fury, signifying nothing." However, the idiot telling the tale is not the president or Mr. Bannon, but people who hunger so much for their defeat that they can be led about by the nose with every negative story that is told. The only significant stories that are being told are the local, state, and national elections, the legislative decisions of Congress, the Supreme Court Decisions, and the actions of the Mr. Mueller. Everything else can be fixed in 2018 and 2020. But these stories are quite entertaining.
Joseph Huben (Upstate New York)
Of paramount importance is Mercer and other Bannon sponsors who are looking for a new fascist figure to represent their fascist racist greedy priorities. No one can imagine that these subversive anti democracy oligarchs have found Jesus after the Bannon collapse. Mercer cannot be trusted to behave as an American citizen. He and his friends are intent in overthrowing our government in favor of oligarchy.
Mari (Camano Island, WA)
Bannon, is now backing-off calling Donald a "great man!" What a joke! Bannon, spoke truth and now it's not going so well! He's not as smart as he likes us to believe, because he actually believed that his supporters would stick around! Hey Bannon! You lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas! Hope the GOP is proud of what's become of their party!
bb (berkeley)
Both of these men are cut from the same cloth. Perhaps they should put on gloves and get into the ring to settle their differences as thugs would do.
Alk (Maryland)
Let me get this straight. The Mercers knew about Trump ties to organized crime in US and Russia, kept it quiet and went on to back him? Our government will never be fully functional unless we get money from families like these out of it.
TM (Los Angeles)
Lots of heat and smoke from Bannon and his ilk, but not much light. If you start to think through his worldview, it is paranoid and ill-informed. He will always attract a small cadre of conspiracy-theory types, but his departure from the mainstream discussion was inevitable. (No doubt he is right about the Trump family.)
Yeah (Chicago)
Donald Trump's base is the 0.01% and voters craving an autocrat that would be the symbol and leader of their tribe, for better or worse. The thing about an autocrat is, there can only be one at a time, and for whatever reason, it ended up being Trump. Probably because he was the only volunteer running, and the one least inhibited by morals or American values, but whatever: it's him. That's why his base doesn't care that he lied like crazy about the populist issues, or anything else: the fact he gets away with it burnishes his image as an autocrat. Bannon seems to have bought his own hype about there being some sort of populist movement about something other than wanting to swear fealty to an autocrat. He was wrong. There is no Trumpism, just Trump.
Independent Voter (USA)
If Trump seeks reelection in 2020 , I'll give Trump a pass, however Bannon is probably spot on . Trump enjoyed running for President, never was interested in actually being President. Hillary Clinton loses to a guy who didn't want the job, and she still lost.
Mark (Cheyenne, WY)
This article points out the obvious, which is that money buys influence and elections. But don't expect our prostitute congress members to do anything about it.
um (midwest)
I wish I had faith that the Mercers, the Kochs and their ilk would face consequences for manipulating our political system for their personal ends. But the money they invest to protect their interests also insulates them from those consequences. Hence Trump and Bannon and the do-nothing Congress and a right wing Supreme Court -- the best government an oligarch can buy.
R. Littlejohn (Texas)
The Trump cabal has no scruples, backstabbing is to be expected. One would think this is just the beginning. Trump and his people are vindictive people, nothing new.
prj (DC)
I always thought Bannon and his influence were overrated. He's a fanatic and gasbag who happened to catch the ear of Donald Trump for a while. Tell Trump that he's wonderful and brilliant and handsome and the best President EVER, and he'll put you in a position of authority, no matter how undeserving you are; Bannon, like many others, proves this fact.
Independent (the South)
My interpretation is the Bannon said these things to the author just speaking the truth but never thinking his words would come out in print.
PSmith (WI)
If Bannon spent a lot of time speaking to a writer-on the record-into a recorder/smartphone-how can anyone believe he did not cooperate with the writing of the book. It seems everyone else in the white house gleefully participated in getting their opinions heard as well.
kilika (Chicago)
Who really cares about these two sick people in America? I wish the Times & WaPo would have more coverage of what US citizens are struggling with and hold their (GOP) to the fire. Nov. 2018 can't come soon enough to rectify the severe damage being done by this monster in the White House and GOP lemmings going along with his agenda without a breath morality. It's a very sick time in the US history.
NFC (Cambridge MA)
After a two and a half year slumber, Karma seems to be waking up. Roll, Karma, Roll! ...schadenfreude follows close on your heels...
Democracy in USA is "all the power in the hands of billionaire political donors". Bannon is zero without the Mercers, the political billionaire king maker a big time Trump supporter and the family who provides bread and butter for Bannon. Bannon has been a helium balloon flying high created by Trump and Mercers. Now he is out of white house and Trump punctured him . He is flat on the floor and will be kicked by his friends( right wing talk radio and the FOX news) and his foes (liberal media and the late night TV comedy shows) . The poor Bannon! But he damaged his clown boss so much that it will be hard to recover from.
S B Lewis (Lewis Family Farm, Essex, N. Y.)
What does anyone know about Renaissance?
D Price (Wayne, NJ)
Trump (and his family), Bannon, the Mercers, McConnell, the Adelsons, Ryan, the Kochs, Breitbart, the entire U.S. Cabinet, Fox "news"... what a loathsome aggregation of money and power mutually using each other. All of them beneath contempt. May this in-fighting be the first salvo in a conflict that leaves all casualties and no survivors.
poslug (Cambridge)
Cambridge Analytica needs to be investigated for any ties to Putin and his minions. And the Mercers need to be included in that investigation. There need to be new laws defining treason in the digital age.
D.A.Oh (Middle America)
Not ALL of them. 4chan is still loyal to Bannon, so losing the white supremacist and militia vote will reduce Trump's base dramatically.
su (ny)
Look. Bannon is not a very influential person, He was riding the wind, he went berserk with the absolute lunatics. I do not think that If you open a full frontal warfare with GOP, you will win??? The problem of his own credibility is Why you were with Trump? These people are lunatic.
PSmith (WI)
You don't believe that if there is a "full frontal election" against the GOP the other party-the Democrats-will win. That would be a real problem.
Bian (Arizona)
Bannon is shown to be operating in his own world, but just what does that mean when it was Trump that in many way ways relied on him. Many would say that one is just as bad as the other. And, one of them remains president, with a button on his desk.
L.E. (Central Texas)
Stephen Bannon has served his purpose in getting a great many disaffected people into Trump's voter base. The Mercers and other big donors have no further use for him. They never had any intention of blowing up the GOP in the way that Bannon promised followers he and Trump would do. They have what they wanted in a GOP government (as evidenced by the big tax cut bill for the wealthy). Any guess as to who they will get rid of next?
Chris (Berkeley)
Citizens United has allowed the concentration of power in the hands of a few who have very specific interests. To restore balance, we must untangle this atrocity that’s strangling our nation.
Mike McDonough (NYC Area)
Bannon saying "The President of the United States is a great man" doesn't exactly align with his also saying “They're going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.” The American people proved their willingness to disregard factual inconsistencies when they elected Trump as President and accepted Bannon as his close advisor. But in the face of growing revelations of incontrovertible White House chaos, even the most strident of Trump's loyalists, including Congress, now need to deeply rethink whether they can, in good conscience, continue to buy into and support this nonsense.
Jennene Colky (Montana)
Well, if nothing else, at least now we know who's really in charge of our government -- Rebekah and Robert Mercer. But, somehow, I don't recall electing either of them.
Deus (Toronto)
The Mercers, however, along with others of their ilk like the Koch Bros. don't have to get elected, they can just BUY those whom will ultimately set the agenda to serve strictly their interests at the expense of everyone else.
amalendu chatterjee (north carolina)
He came as a blip and will be leaving as blip. The situation with Mr. Trump may be similar.
[email protected] (New York City)
Trump has the unique ability to make you feel a little sorry for sorry characters he "fires." Why is the crackpot Bannon now out? Not his politics. And why was he in to begin with? He's the SA's Ernst Rohm of the age vying with Our Leader for power.
sandra (Cleveland)
So, at the end of the day our democracy has been bought and paid for by the wealthy oligarchs in THIS country.
Todge (seattle)
As the old saying goes; "He got to be too big for his boots". Let us hope his paranoid apocalyptic views of fourth turnings and inevitable wars are laid to rest apart from in the fantasy books from whence they come. Unfortunately we're not out of the woods yet. The Donors and their incumbent are still alive and they are still kicking.
EW (Glen Cove, NY)
So the party that believes in selfishness and greed is coming apart because of selfishness and greed. What took so long??
Harris Silver (NYC)
What this article lays bare is that Trump's and Bannon agenda is driven by billionaires. Think about that. This is not a populist movement. Populism is merely a strategy for the rich that exploits the notions of populism to satisfy their agenda. The same can be said also for many liberal causes.
MaryKayklassen (Mountain Lake, Minnesota)
This shows how having a failed marriage, a strong military ethic, and a father whose lifetime earnings in the stock market that was affected by the financial downturn, will drive a person, and not all of it necessarily for the better.
Mike Edwards (Providence, RI)
Repubs starting to put together a winning team. Bannon's on the out - but no big deal, as his supporters will vote Trump and Republican. Where are they going to go? Repubs circle the wagon around a less extreme coalition of, say, Trump, Ryan, McConnell and Romney. The combined factions will present formidable opposition to the Dems later this year. Particularly if the swollen balances in the middle class' 401k accounts hold. One final thought - Steve "Columbo" Bannon or John Kelly? I have the feeling I know where I stand with he of the rumpled appearance who lets one know exactly what's on his mind.
PSmith (WI)
No you do not know what is on his-Bannon's- mind. He knows what to say to appeal to you. The motivation of this man is his own self-interest-if the destruction of American values is a popular theme-go for it.
Mike Edwards (Providence, RI)
> PSmith OK - I guess I got him wrong. Having said, there's nothing in what Bannon says that appeals to me. I pretty much abhor everything that both he and John Kelly say. Just wanted to humbly remind folks that Bannon is not the only one we have to watch out for.
Parker (NY)
I’ve spent an uncomfortable year reading about various billionaire donors and their Silicon Valley masters of the universe brethren. The old saying about being able to avoid everything but death & taxes needs updating. They actively plan to beat both.
chick (washington dc)
It's hard to believe the Supreme Court's decision on Citizens United and corporate money does not corrupt things and this story, unless the money thing also has been involved with the appointments to the Supreme Court. The book Dark Money seems to be correct.
magicisnotreal (earth)
"But building and sustaining costly infrastructure is difficult, especially for antiestablishment crusades like the one envisioned by Mr. Bannon, who in a speech at a September rally for Roy S. Moore, the Alabama Senate candidate, warned the Republican establishment and its donors that “your day of reckoning is coming.” Here's the thing; If what he had to say to accomplish these things were true or factual there would be no need for "infrastructure" to support it since it would support itself being truth and fact. There lies the intrinsic defect with everything "conservative" and republican for over 40 years. Without an organized group constantly preaching a mantra to keep people focused on the things they have invented or spun from reality, that focus is lost and the false reality it creates collapses.
Ira Cohen (San Francisco)
A competition between Trump and Bannon, who is the most deplorable. I'm for a tie on this one, and definitely both need to retire and give us some peace. There is nothing good in either one of them that will truly keep our country great, in fact, they are both doing plenty to weaken us. Yes, Trump is president, but we can at least cauterize him in 2018 when we vote the GOP out of congress.
JAM (Florida)
Bannon's idea of taking over the Republican Party with outliers and reprobates is truly a fantasy and only gives the Democrats an even greater advantage in the upcoming elections. You can't beat somebody with nobody. Bannon obviously has not learned the basic political lesson that you need a person of stature to win a major election against another person of stature. The Dems will have no problem this year acquiring candidates of real talent & ability to challenge GOP incumbents. In politics, a presumptive winning election attracts winning candidates. All Bannon is doing is trying to replace able Republican candidates with outsiders who have no political chance to win a general election. So, the Dems prevail and do to Trump, what he has done to Obama, destroy his legacy, or even better, impeach & remove him from office.
WFGersen (Etna, NH)
"The influence of even the most influential political strategists is inextricably linked to the donors behind them and the politicians in front of them." This is a chilling but accurate description of our "democracy" today.... and the article describes the lengths the oligarchs will go to make certain they operate behind the scenes so that voters believe the "politicians in front of them" are working for them and not the billionaire class. Good strategists protect the anonymity of the "donors behind them" and make certain that the donor's agendas are carried out by the "politicians in front of them". By that measure, Mr. Bannon was a terrible strategist.
Donald Coureas (Virginia Beach, VA)
The Mercers, the Adelsens and the rest of their rich crowd, unduly influence American elections with their money. The rule of law is One Man, One Vote, and these oligarchs have betrayed that democratic rule with their dirty money. Why should these people, simply because of their money, be able to have such influence? What do we know about the Mercers and what they stand for? What do we know about Adelsen and what he stands for? These people can be totally unAmerican and only give their money to candidates who ensure that it comes back to them in some form of economic benefit.The fact that the Mercers supported Ted Cruz in the primary and financed a research dossier on Trump's ties with organized-crime-linked figures in the US and Russia, which they shopped to multiple media outlets, then they turned and supported Trump, after Cruz lost, speaks volumes about how they distribute their money to politicians. These people and their money have to be taken out of politics by reversing the Supreme Court decision of Citizens United. That decision has made it possible for these oligarchs to run our government and defeat our democracy.
Bruce Olson (Houston)
This article describes the true reality of what America really is rather than what we all want to think it is: proof positive confirmation that America is, above all else A PLUTOCRACY. Maybe that will be the only redeeming legacy of the Trump era. The very idea that there is any shred of democracy involved here is now laughable. The plurality of willingly blind people who voted for this mess were truly conned, whether by Russian plutocrats or our own home grown plutocrats, it makes no difference: they were conned by a system that has been hijacked and molded to permit it. The ongoing result; Tax cuts to concentrate the wealth in the hands of the plutocrats. Deregulation across the board to enhance profit at the clear expense of the health of the citizenry, the air we all breathe, the water we drink and the equality of opportunity our Constitution was established to guarantee. Our Constitution would be much more honest if the opening phrase were changed from "We the People,..." to "We the Plutocrats in order to form a more perfect plutocracy..." More than any previous administration in recent history, Trump has made it painfully obvious what America is all about and it clearly is not about promoting the concept of We the People,... except as serfs to serve and worship the plutocrats among us.
amrcitizen16 (AZ)
No loyalty among criminals. This was to be expected. The Pretend King Trump should take notice, his turn is coming. The Mercers believe so long as they are backing the powerful they will be protected from any prosecution. Well let these supporters keep thinking that way. In the real world not this delusional world these people live in there is always a price to pay.
D.A.Oh (Middle America)
I heard a "conservative" talking head on NPR this morning trying to convince listeners that they are not interested in the behind the scenes stuff found in Wolff's book, which had just been reported as the #1Bestseller on Amazon before it's pending release.
mh12345 (NYC)
So the rats scatter when the light is turned on Bannon -- but they scatter towards Trump? And this is a good result? The money just goes from one crazy to another. We're never going to be rid of these charlatans until we reverse Citizens United.
JoanC (Trenton, NJ)
Pride, and hubris, goeth before a fall...
Bob Burns (Oregon's Willamette valley)
This development should disabuse anyone who thinks all these mega-donors are operating out of political beliefs. People like the Mercers and all their well monied pals are simply taking care of business. They place their money where it'll do the most good to get them even more money. Bannon offers no such assurance now that he's out on the street. The comical thing is that Bannon actually thought his (ex) benefactors actually think like he does. Naiveté much?
Giovanni Ciriani (West Hartford, CT)
These events highlight how the citizen-united opinion of the Supreme Court damaged the American system of check and balances. Allowing money from few individuals affect the political system made the dysfunctional election of an unqualified individual possible. Many fault the electoral college for our current situation. However, the manipulation of the choice of the less discerning portion of the electorate could have gone even further, allowing Trump to win even the popular vote. In that case what would we be left to complain with? No electoral college to blame! Instead the electoral college should be made even more independent from the mandates of the individual states. That, and obviously prevent wealth from interfering with the principle of one person one vote.
John David James (Calgary)
Given a choice between a president pig and a pig, the choice appears obvious. But smart folks know that isn’t the only choice.
FunkyIrishman (member of the resistance)
Perhaps the press could ( they should have done before the election ) take a page from what is happening to this guy and do the same for the President. Deprive them of oxygen and they asphyxiate all on their own.
Trevor (Diaz)
Now Steve Bannon need to go Vatican and work for POPE. He is an IRISH CATHOLIC by birth. Or may be go to Ireland and unseat that Indian Irish Prime Minister.
FunkyIrishman (member of the resistance)
Perhaps the press could ( they should have done before the election ) take a page from what is happening to this guy and do the same for the President. Deprive them of oxygen and they asphyxiate all on their own.
Robert FL (Palmetto, FL.)
White Nationalists have gone too far for the far right oligarchs, discretion is required! It does not help the smooth ascendancy of oligarchy in America if the likes of Bannon keep bringing national attention to it.
Robert (Out West)
Given how fast they're heaving this slob off the back of the sled, about all one can say is gee, I'm sure glad that I wasn't with these guys in a Donner Party or a crashed plane full of soccer players in the Andes. Oh, by the way: yes, loyalty is important. Like I dunno, loyalty to the Constitution. So I ask the Trumpists and Bannonites flailing around and trying to defend them: You really think that guys with this little honor, or decency, or loyalty, should be running the country? You really think they have the eensiest sense that they owe YOU anything? Cause if you do, I advise keeping a sharp eye out, next time they ask you to climb up and check the back of the sled.
Ana Luisa (Belgium)
So ... according to Bannon, Trump committed treason AND is "a great man". That's quite similar to Trump supporting Flynn even after he knew that he lied to the FBI and his own vice-president. Apparently, the "greatness" that all these White Nationalists had in mind when they were designing their campaign slogan, was based on a pretty low standard ... And then there's the fact that apparently the Mercers KNEW about Trump's messing around with the Russians, but decided to support him anyhow. It's only when Bannon openly admits that the emperor has no clothes and basically repeats publicly what the Mercers knew more than a year ago already (even though Breitbart rejected the idea of collusion on a daily basis), that all of a sudden they feel an urge to distance themselves from Breitbart and Bannon ... By the way, what will Trump now tweet about Mnuchin and McMaster and all the others working for him and who, according to Wolff's book, called him an "idiot"? They've all lost their minds too ... ? They never ever had anything to do with him either ... ? Even though he's supposed to know how to hire "the best people"? And then we're not even talking yet about the fact that it's precisely Breitbart that has been constantly attacking Mnuchin and McMasters, claiming that they are "globalists" who, just like Ivanka and Kushner, undermine the MAGA's nationalist agenda. What a mess. How much of its greatness will America have lost after four years of this ... ?
B Windrip (MO)
The real "deplorables" in this country are the Mercer's and their ilk. It appears that they would be perfectly happy to live in a dystopian nightmare as long as they are on the top of the heap. They are beyond disgusting.
Kit (US)
My comment isn't particularly brilliant or provocative, nor even nuanced, but I wonder why media, including NYT, continue to keep Bannon alive? Let him get swept away to the dustbin of history!
proffexpert (Los Angeles)
....along with Trump.
EAP (Bozeman, MT)
No words can truly describe how I feel about the spectacle of Steve Bannon- however he is the only person as of yet to call a spade a spade- Traitor! Yes!
Mellon (Texas)
This stuff by Mercer etcetera is a Trump-led diversion. Fact: Trump anointed Bannon as his #1 officer, both before and after the elections. Trump owns Bannon's words and acts. Trump kept getting advice (sharing secrets??) with Bannon, even after the fake-firing that came after the Comey Affair. Fact: Bannon is and was Trump's man, and vice-versa.
A.A.F. (New York)
Amazing how birds of a feather flock together (Bannon, Mercers, Trump and myriad of their cronies including the GOP) when things go according to their agendas. However, when things heat up they quickly disperse, attack, chastise, criticize and alienate one another. As far as I am concerned, they all deserve one another and should all take a dip in the swampy pool they help create. By the way…..”Fire and Fury’ the new book about Trump and the White House in which Bannon was a primary source to the author portrays Trump as a “volatile and ill-equipped chief executive”. The author and Bannon gave Trump way too much credit…..he’s much worse than that.
Cryptolog (AZ)
Whatever you might think of Bannon -- from slovenly web troller to radical political philosopher (or both), this leader of the alt-right forgot that Trumpism (the alt-white) works unabashedly with alt-facts, as demonstrated daily by the lies of the president, his spokespersons, and WH advisers from family members to K. Conway...and possibly even some of Trump's lawyers. Bannon (as the Mercers still do) mistook Trump's sociopathic narcissism as far-right political instincts. But Trump's politics will always reflect his narcissism, and alt-facts are the bridge between them.
itsmildeyes (philadelphia)
Kind of sick of people like this Rebekah Mercer. Did a quick online search to see if there was anything I could quit buying in order to decrease her wealth by a few bucks. It looks like the Mercers are a financial force of nature - data mining, etc. There doesn't appear to be anything one can boycott to nudge Ms. Mercer toward clipping coupons. Her father was financially involved with Nigel Farage and the whole Brexit business. How does that work? How do the Brits feel about this U.S. citizen getting a virtual vote in their affairs? Then, Mr. Farage 'endorsed' Roy Moor in Alabama? Say what?? Who are these people? What the heck? I'm a lot more worried about the Mercer Family Foundation than the Clinton Foundation. The radical right-wing talks about the Deep State. Something's definitely deep - just not sure it's the state. OK, Citizen’s United has got to go. The average person is not part of their citizen demographic. I would urge the New York Times to redirect the zeitgeist to investigation and exposure of this small cadre of uber-wealthy individuals and their co-option of freedom of speech. I thought it was sick; I suspected it was scary. This is the stuff of domestic terrorism. No wonder they’re so anxious to impugn the U.S. security apparatuses and discredit legitimate journalism. And, my fellow Americans, you who support this crew because you think they’ve got God on their side and they’re going to get rid of legal abortion for you? God’s got nothing to do with it.
hey nineteen (chicago)
When are we getting back to this government by the people, for the people and of the people we're supposed to have in America? Anyone who is not a billionaire and continues to vote republican should consider that their children will live as slaves. Wake up!!
Jim (Virginia)
He needs a bigger button.
coale johnson (5000 horseshoe meadow road)
steve bantou is a dangerous nut job just like his former boss. the donors that support this are playing with fire. if it wasn't so scary it would be comical hearing grown men and women pledging their support for our naked president.
Cliff Cowles (California via Connecticut)
Bannon ran out of people, parties, and ideas to insult and denigrate. Thus, losing relevance.
Steve (Long Island)
Trump fired Bannon last time I checked. In fact he fired everyone (Comey, Lynch, Spicer, Mooch, Amorosa, et al) who deserved to get fired. That is called courage and leadership, something Trump has more of in his left pinky finger nail that Obama had in his entire body.
DR (New England)
Ouch! I laughed so hard I pulled a stomach muscle. I find it fascinating that you fail to realize that Trump also hired each of these people claiming that he would only hire the best. The courage comment is too stupid to even address.
Gustav Landauer (Wien)
"Deason and Eberhart both said that the passage of tax overhaul legislation by the Republican Congress made them less likely to support Republican primary challenges like those Mr. Bannon has championed." There it is, USians -- your mafia-family political system. Work yourselves into breakdowns over a dynamic that plagues every state: the rich -- liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican -- use ideas and people as accessories to maintaining their wealth. That's reality, not a reality show. If that angers you, it's because it goes against the character arc you're LARPing under. If you'd concentrated your energies on reaching out to the Trump underclass, and treating them as human beings rather than as jokes for social media, you'd have an actual street-based resistance with an aim more ambitious than merely impeaching a politician. But it's easier to destroy than create, isn't it? (The Mercers know this, too.) While you play with your Russia chew-toy as distraction -- a story manufactured by national security, NGO, and PR chickenhawks in DC, Cambridge, and Moscow -- the rich will hoover up the last of your wealth. Your "resistance" will be tolerated until the wrestling heel Trump is gone, the curtain is removed, and you are staring at a bleak, indebted, empty arena. Try protesting that. You are as obsessed with Trump as his supporters. You're all locked in the same cage. "Providence protects fools, drunkards, and the United States," the saying went. No longer.
Lee Downie (Henrico, NC)
Bannon-- still the rattiest, greasiest looking occupant of a desk in the West Wing.
A. Stanton (Dallas, TX)
Who has been the worst of Trump’s accomplices in crime this past year? Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Steve Bannon, Betsy Devos, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Steve Mnuchin, Stephen Miller, Judge Roy Moore, Mike Pence, Tom Price, Scott Pruitt, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Jeff Sessions, Roger Stone? It’s been a close contest, but my vote goes to Kellyanne Conway. I once took a class in comparative anatomy and ever since that time I’ve been inordinately fond of lampreys. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamprey#/media/File:Boca_de_lamprea.1_-_Aq...
FunkyIrishman (member of the resistance)
Perhaps the press could ( they should have done before the election ) take a page from what is happening to this guy and do the same for the President. Deprive them of oxygen and they asphyxiate all on their own.
David Sachar (NJ)
Some despise Bannon for supporting Trump. Some despise him for bashing Trump. We despise him for being Bannon.
Demosthenes (Chicago)
If enough Trump allies abandon Bannon, will Mueller be able to use him to take down the Trump cabal?
KC (Okla)
Hold on h ere just a minute. Are you trying to tell us Bannon spoke the truth to the GOP donor class? Is that smoke coming out the windows at Fox News? Is that Hannity spinning around on his high chair babbling incoherently? Is that a rush of 70+ year olds swamping the emergency rooms complaining of head implosions? Would someone, anyone, please tell me when we will start exiting the "twilight zone"?
Jason (Norway)
It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.
FunkyIrishman (member of the resistance)
Perhaps the press could ( they should have done before the election ) take a page from what is happening to this guy and do the same for the President. Deprive them of oxygen and they asphyxiate all on their own.
ThatJulieMiller (Seattle)
Whatever comes of Bannon's crackpot schemes to harness populist angst in the service of his Will to Power, at least- when Humpty-Trumpty falls- "Sloppy Steve" will be able to claim he broke with Putin's Puppet, and denounced the treasonous courtiers.
Nelson (California)
He ain't gonna die. His trumpers may have abandoned him but those who despise the brainless pathological liar will, most likely, come to his rescue by maintaining his financial support. It is in their interest to maintain his brand of yellow journalism in business. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
ASD32 (CA)
One down, orange to go...
Ann (Dallas)
Horrible people stop supporting a horrible person out of support for an equally horrible person.
Jack Spann (NYC)
Mercer and Bannon are both knuckleheads. It's hard to believe that anyone even takes Breitbart seriously, it's such a lousy website. I only read visit the site to read what it's thousands of trolls post about the stories, which are every bit as stupid and disgusting (and sometimes unintentionally fascinating) as you can imagine. And although Mercer invented a beautiful algorithm, his strange support of white supremacist groups, and of men who grope women, is not going to grow the Republican party.
Jean (NC)
Am I the only one who thought Bannon was being sarcastic when he said Trump was a great man?
DBA (Liberty, MO)
This tells me as much about the Mercers as it does about Bannon. You can have all the money in the world and still not be able to think.
Jacob K (Montreal)
Bannon and Donald J. Trump are masters at self promotion and conditioning techniques. This entire blow-out over Bannon's sharp criticisms along with the contrived feud between Bannon and Trump are great, reality TV style teasers to push the sales of the book upwards. I am convinced the book with Mr. Wolff's name as the public face was conceived by Bannon and he, along with Trump, will benefit handsomely from its publication.
Carol (Chicago)
Yep. It's baked in the cake.
jjg (Cooperstown NY)
Just another example of rats leaving a s(t)inking ship.
JCMcP (New York, New York)
Shame on the Mercers for supporting a white supremacist in the first place. They need more press scrutiny.
Kim (NYC)
Jeepers, can we get our democracy back from these monsters?
Independent (the South)
I imagine that most of the Republican donors and most of the Republican politicians already know that Trump is buffoon and a conman before these quotes from the book have come out. It is amazing to me how they stand behind such an idiot.
PSmith (WI)
These donors and politicians (and Trump voters) saw their opportunity to benefit from the conman's political policies.
Dr. Scotch (New York)
We will see if Bannon's Beer Hall Putsch failed tactics against the establishment GOP have taught him a lesson or he will end up, where he should, a neighbor of David Duke.
R4L (NY)
This is hilarious. All the Trump sycophants were singing his praises last year. Remember the CPAC conference last year after the inauguration? Bannon walked on water. Saint Bannon!!! Now it's: "oh he was irrelevant" "he did do anything" etc etc etc. Trump, allies et al are FRAUDS!!!!! Thank you MIchael Wolffe
JM (San Francisco, CA)
So thrilled that Trump gave these poor Mercer folks a big fat tax cut worth MILLIONS $$$ so they can buy off more of our politicians. Democracy....isn't it grand?
Bella S. (New York, NY)
I am completely mystified by the continued support of this presidency. It has actually prompted a deep self-analysis within me: what am I not getting about the policies and actions of this administration, given the deep and steadfast loyalty of the Trump adherents? Where is the silver lining in all of this turmoil? I think it was the New York Times that said something that particularly resonated with me: that both sides of the divide are saying a hard "no" to each other. As much as I turn all of the pieces over & over in my mind, at my heart, I cannot accept the blatant misogyny, the hazy alignment with white supremacists, the blatantly elitist gaze of a consortium of wealthy men who cannot or will not extend their consciousness to an understanding of what it means to be minority/ lgbt/ female/ poor/ sick. As those on the other side of the divide do their best to make "liberal" a curse word, I cannot release my hold on compassion. The more access to information and education there is, the more people choose the path of the medieval, who accept with alacrity the word as preached by those on top. I see disaster ahead, and I hate that there is nothing I can do about it.
Terry Malouf (Boulder, CO)
Any analysis of the Mercer family, in particular, and their relationship to Bannon begins and ends with their Ayn Rand Libertarianism: A person's worth is based solely on how much money he/she has. Bannon is--and always has been--a pawn to be played to their advantage. Now that they have huge tax cuts (worth millions of dollars per year to the family) the Wolff revelations make it an easy step to throw Bannon overboard. Robert Mercer once said that nuclear war on US soil "wouldn't be all that bad" for most Americans. I guess that's easy for someone with no soul to profess, especially when they'll be watching the conflagration from some South Pacific island. That's how much these people care about YOU. The only way to fight back is to get out the vote in 2018 and 2020. It really is a matter of survival for all of us in the "lower 99.9%."
Ian (Singapore)
Funny how an unelected person had so much influence in the first place...US style Democracy? Thanks but no thanks. Its all about money and influence peddling.
Kay Johnson (Colorado)
Bannon: the accidental patriot, exposing the Trumps. The Mercers are out in the open with their manipulation of our system.
Do you want to know more about the Deep State? Look no further than the Kochs, Mercers, Murdochs and Adelman. Think they have the interests of the "ordinary middle-class American" at heart? The list of "strategic policy advisors" .. Atwater, Rove, Bannon et al working for 41, 43, and 45 will Make America Great Again.
Mike W (CA)
For all that thought DJT was draining the swamp, here is proof otherwise. It's getting deeper, wider and more toxic.
The Hawk (Arizona)
Really, this is news now, in 2018? Rumors about how the allies of some guy called Bannon who resigned from the WH are abandoning him? That is supposed to be important to us? I had the pleasure of spending the holidays out of the country where I was blissfully unaware of Trump's and his circle's every move. In contrast to what you might think, very little attention is paid on this sort of stuff abroad. Instead, they all think that Trump is a moron and absolutely not worth the attention. My boss always says that it's better to be hated than to be ignored. America will learn that lesson now because nobody and I mean nobody takes the country seriously after Trump was elected. Trump is a collective failure. Not only a failure of the Republicans but a collective failure. If nobody had tuned in to watch the 24/7 coverage that the mainstream media companies gave him for free in 2015-2016, he would never have been elected. The lesson from this: Please, NYT, no more articles on reality TV palace intrigue. Real news are happening around the world that does not orbit around Trump or America.
Bruce Quinn (Los Angeles)
Testing the maxim that "There's no bad publicity as long as they spell your name right" (i this case, the President says you've lost you're mind.)
Deanalfred (Mi)
Wait, wait, I have to catch my breath,be still my heart,,,, Bannon has an ally? "Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar !"
James Murphy (Providence Forge, Virginia)
The truth always hurts.
Robert (sun diego)
Bannon's use by date has expired. And his former BFF, his president, is on a slow humiliating glide path to a historic, disgraceful, self inflicted, expulsion from office, and the world is watching. Trump speaks, and tweets, and wonders where the bullets aimed at is own feet are coming from. Congressional republicans are culpable.
jay (Lake Charles, La.)
Mr Trump made a CHOICE in collaborating with Bannon and his ideology, making him a principal player in WH, and informing his early policies. Mr Trump, by hiring and firing so many people in very important positions in such a short period of time, has shown a remarkable lack of judgment. He has shown that he is a lousy CEO, un-inspiring and an in-effective leader. He is blaming Mr Bannon and severely criticizing him ONLY after the excerpts from the book were brought to his notice. The rich people mentioned in the article may abandon Mr Bannon now but they did support his destructive vision and policies. Their problem with Mr Bannon is his ego and not his ideology -- that is the scary fact here. I will be surprised if Mr Bannon becomes insignificant. On the contrary, he will go into the annals of history as one of the few who nailed the coffin of Mr Trump's presidency. It is a stark and a sad example of deviousness begetting deviousness. Republicans have a difficult choice -- being patriots and doing the right thing or face downfall of their party from the forces within. This cannot be blamed on Obama or Hillary.
burf (boulder co)
Citizens United was a manipulation of politics by GOP political trickle down. Trump's party is the party of self-serving capitalists.
Susan Fitzwater (Ambler, PA)
Interesting photo! Mr. Robert Mercer. Never heard of him. Ms. Rebekah Mercer. Never heard of her. And MONEY. Oh so much MONEY. Now money I've heard of. LOTS and LOTS of money. WAY TOO MUCH MONEY. President Obama was right. MONEY--tons and tons of MONEY--flowing from this or that all-but-anonymous plutocrat--channeled into the pockets of this or that political candidate--usually right wing. . . .. . . .all that MONEY is corrupting and vitiating and degrading the political process of America. Make no mistake! No tears trickle down THESE weathered cheeks as I contemplate the political demise of Steve Bannon. But it's not as if he'd been repudiated at the polls. By us. The American people. Who elect people. And in Alabama--he WASN'T. Mr. Moore came within a whisker's breadth of winning. Mr. Bannon all but pulled it off. No. The demise comes (it seems) when those all-but-anonymous plutocrats--those rich people no one ever heard of--tie up their purse strings. Shut off the golden guineas. "No more, Mr. Bannon! No more!" It makes me sick. It should be stopped. You hear me? You justices on the Supreme Court. Maybe--eventually--they will.
msd (NJ)
Live by the sword, die by the sword. And there's no honor among thieves.
Mitey (Nantucket MA)
The insurrection in the Republican Party has lost some of its mojo with the passing of the tax overhaul. The donor class is laying back, smoking a cigarette. There’s more work to be done......but a bomb thrower like Bannon mostly served his purpose by bringing the ‘aggrieved’ to the base of Mt. Trump vía Breitbart. This black comedy can’t end soon enough.
MarkMcK (Brooklyn NY)
It's hard to understand how an experienced, successful human like Bannon can spew negativity, cynicism, arrogance, self-importance, anger, bigotry and bile into media and politics and expect to brew an enlightening elixir of cooperation and change. When you begin where he did--tearing down other races, fostering the alternate reality of the alt-right, dripping with contempt for those who did not endorse his ilk, vomiting conspiracy theories and lies--it's virtually and karmically impossible to arrive at national camaraderie. He was, is, simply attempting to replace the imposition of one misguided, regressive, unsettling ideology with another, or worse. With him as one of the gatekeepers, deciding who is worthy. There is a reason that human history does not document a positive and lasting result to nasty bombast or a pathology of self-righteous contempt for others: there has never been one. Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan. McCarthy and Nixon are two, in U.S. history, but they are tame fellows in comparison to the genocidal maniacs that Bannon or his fans find notable. Mr. Bannon is like Icarus, as painted by Warhol. He's flown close to the Oval Office sun, but he's had his 15 minutes. He may well get his wish to replace Mitch McConnell. Indeed, while it's unlikely, a Democrat majority leader would be a very welcome tonic to the bilge of Bannon's garbled, toxic ulterior motives.
Elena Marcusi (NY)
It is so frightening to be reminded that these billionaires, like the Mercers and the Addlesteins, are pulling the strings and being so decisive in choosing who gets to run our government. Thank you Supreme Court for shifting that power from the COMMON people to the MONEY people. Bannon and his hordes being dismissed will make it harder for the Democrats to win in November---the fight will be more difficult---but it can be won. WE MUST GET OUT AND VOTE THEM OUT AND TAKE BACK AMERICA AGAIN! VOTE EVERYONE OF THOSE DESTRUCTIVE REPUBLICANS OUT OF OFFICE---THE CHOICE IS YOURS---VOTE!!!
David Henry (Concord)
This sociopath family is only pretending to expel Bannon. This family agrees with everything Bannon and Trump want to do. This is phony public relations only. Let's not be naive.
Martha (Northfeild, MA)
It's discouraging that the biggest news as we start the new year is more high drama from the Trump empire inner circle and more analysis of Trump's stupid and endless tweets. Where is this going to end? I can only hope that the Mueller investigations really will be the unravelling of this dismal presidency. The most tragic thing is that there so many people devoid of morals working in and around our government who choose loyalty to King Trump over loyalty the country. And banished Steve Bannon, who is so opportunistic and hoping to gain favor and fame however he can, is still sputtering that "The President of the United States is great man." Seems the poor man is rather confused.
WmC (Lowertown, MN)
Despicable though he may be, Steve Bannon’s characterization of the participants in the Trump Tower meeting as “unpatriotic” and “treasonous” is apt.
Christine (OH)
Well the Mercers just showed who they are. If Steve Bannon ever said one true thing it was that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to distribute stolen goods. This bit of decency on his part was, apparently, beyond the pale. For the Trumps and Mercers of this world, theft is property.
WeHadAllBetterPayAttentionNow (Southwest)
If we survive Trump, it will make us stronger. I never had a clue who Bannon, or the Mercers, or the rest of the GOP donor class who would sell the US out to Russia for a tax cut were. Now I do. I never had a picture of the glue that holds together evangelicals and NAZIs, now I do. If Clinton had won, Trump's dream of his own political propaganda network would probably have come true. Instead, Trump's victory lifts the rock and reveals the scary creatures underneath. They have been there for three decades, but I didn't pay attention until Trump came along to threaten our survival.
B Windrip (MO)
You are so right. These threats have been festering for decades and now we must face them head-on. Unfortunately, it is no sure thing that we can defeat them or even temporarily beat them back. They have support in every branch of government as well as in the media. Determined, focused and aggressive citizen involvement seems to me to be the only solution.
Allison (Austin, TX)
I wonder if Justice Roberts is rethinking his quaint little notion that Citizens United would not have much effect on American politics. Because to most of us it really looks like big money -- in the form of the Mercers, the Kochs, Adelson, et al -- is doing plenty of kingmaking and unmaking these days. What will it take to overturn Citizens United? Americans did not vote for the Mercers, the Kochs, the Adelsons, the DeVoses, or any of the other billionaires who think they own this country, and Americans are going to take it back from them, one way or another. I hope Justice Roberts will think long and hard about what has happened to the people of this country since he allowed Citizens United to prevail, and that he will soon be presented with an opportunity to reverse the SCOTUS decision.
poslug (Cambridge)
Add selling out the country aka treason to that list. There are no citizen voters in Citizens United.
Hrao (NY)
Money runs everything in the US and leads to private individuals like the Mercers controlling important parts of the US Govt. Bernie Sanders needs to do more to expose the Mercers and others who corrupt the system - recent example being the tax law. His presidential ambitions will not change the system as long as the Mercers etc. run the country via their surrogates.
dbb (usa)
People know where their bread is buttered. Tax laws favorable to the wealthy and corporations have been enacted. Bannon didn’t do it. trump did. Wealthy donors act in thei own best interests and will flock to the appropriate side.
brownpelican28 (Angleton, Texas)
Advanced political theory: Money drives politics!
loveman0 (sf)
And carried interest for these billionaires is still on the books along with a substantial tax cut, while the structural deficit remains and is being increased. If there is any success to the Resistance, the reversal of F.E.C. vs United should be the first order of business. In the face of this many Democrats have been me-too milk toast in their district elections. And global warming is hardly even mentioned as an issue, as the billionaires continue to successfully push social wedge issues.
Peggysmom (Ny)
I asked my father why his brothers and he came to the US and settled in Dallas (for all of you Texas haters I would say that my large family is overwhelmingly moderate to Progressive and that Hillary won Dallas, Houston, Austin and I believe El Paso) and he said "because it is the greatest country in the world". This latest event has proven him right. Now if only we could go more to the center for both parties I would be a very happy person.
Jim (Placitas)
Bannon's hubris is typical of a man wearing the political equivalent of short pants... he's going to change the world, take down Mitch McConnell, destroy the Republican establishment. And then, after lunch... Trump has this same penchant for boasting about what he's going to do, without a clue about how the larger apparatus actually works. The Mercer's are nothing if not political opportunists, ala the Koch Brothers. These people have no real moral conscience, it's all a calculus based on what's in it for them. As long as the Trump/Bannon alliance was good for business, they were all on board with the Master Plan To Rule The World. Now that Bannon has soiled the bed, not so much. The same will happen to Trump. Sooner or later he'll take a cheap Twitter shot at the wrong people and he'll discover that Mueller's investigation is nothing compared to the wrath of a billionaire supporter scorned. When the same big money donors who told Congress to pass the tax cuts --- or else --- make that same phone call about the president's tenure, it won't matter whether he was playing tonsil hockey with Putin or not.
Bronwyn (Montpelier, VT)
the Citizens United ruling must be overturned. period.
Alden (Kansas)
Sympathy for Bannon was not something I ever thought I would experience. Trump and Bannon used each other as long as they could. Marriages based on political calculations will last only as long as their interests align. Bannon got too big for his britches in Trump’s world, and was forced to hit the road. In a way, a very small way, I feel sorry for the man.
Victor Melenko (Portland)
Now Trump is calling what may have been his best friend and advisor Sloppy Steve. Reminded me of an old Spanish proverb that says “to reply to an insult with another insult is like trying to clean off dirt with mud”. And one from Proverbs: “the bread of deceit is sweet to a man, but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel”.
Mary B Sheetz (Framingham MA)
Is it truly criticism to point to Don Jr & co behavior and state it is unpatriotic and treasonous?? IMO this is like pointing to the person next to you - declaring that their eyes are brown.
Thomas F. Youkel (Kensington MD)
The comeuppance of Bannon is very politically short sighted. He was one of the seeds to a Democrat resurgence in 2018. I’m sure there will be someone to fill his role but probably that person may not be so easily mocked. I am not rejoicing yet.
Ronny (Dublin, CA)
Trump abandoned the Trump populists and is showering corporate America with Trillions of dollars in tax cuts. Of course corporate America is going to back Trump; but, what about all those poor people who thought Trump was going to Washington to help them? Who are they going to turn to now?
Iver Thompson (Pasadena, CA)
Before Trump got elected I had never even heard of Steve Bannon, now it’s all I hear about. This guy must be really something special. If I were young and impressionable I’d probably be drawn to whatever star shone brightest in the sky too, even dull ones that only look bright due to all the spotlights on them.
Dan Elson (London)
Attention seeking people with grand ideas based on a superficial understanding of the world around them are easily turned into puppets by smarter people. What Bannon eventually will discover is that there is no political "establishment" that there is no dark conspiracy hidden behind a facade of democracy. What there is though is a non emotional business world that runs across ideology and party lines. As often said at dinner events here in the City of London "let's hope the general public will come to an understanding of how the wheels are spinning, but not just yet". Bannon was only of use to his puppet masters as long as he was in a position to increase and speed up their revenue cycle no one was interested in his ideology.
Kelly (Salt Lake)
The 1% money involved in the entire election process in this country, Democrats and Republicans, is terrifying. There is no more "by the people, for the people." It is time for SERIOUS change. I wonder if it is possible.
UltimateConsumer (NorthernKY)
For all his brilliance, he's still a puppeteer for the elite donor class, now without donors.
Dwight.in.DC (Washington DC)
Bannon may lose political influence among some billionaire reactionaries, but he will never be irrelevant as long as he remains a viable witness to President Trump's campaign and early presidency.
AhPui (MA)
Bannon may have helped honed the "drain the swamp" slogan for Trump, but once in the swamp, Trump feels right at home, and throws Bannon out, probably at the urgings of other more established swamp creatures. After all, Trump is the last one to drain the swamp when he is the apparent head of the swamp. The "donors"? Trump represents the best candidate: do their biddings with no moral (real or otherwise) compunction whatsoever. Who needs a politicians who worry about appearing prim and proper in the public's eyes when you have Trump?
McGloin (Brooklyn)
This is what happens when the mega rich leaders of the establishment pretend they are anti-establishment "populists." The Mercers, Trumps, and other billionaires are trying to use the voters' anger at the establishment politicians to their advantage. But it is their policies that fuel that anger. Look at the temporary tax cut for workers that (due to the switch to the chained CPI) becomes a permanent tax increase when their cuts expire, or the bigger picture, where the economy is being starved of demand because they suck all of the cash out of it. Trump ran as an outsider who was supposed to help the people. But Bannon is out and Goldman Sachs is in. Trump is signing whatever the establishment Ryan and McConnell get passed, including permanent tax cuts for global corporations, and more incentives to offshore jobs and patents. The billionaires and their lobbyists, lawyers, and politicians are the deep state, not the government employees hired under the constitution. Political appointees overrode the career intelligence officers to create a war in Iraq based on lies for their own profit. They are trying to tear down the constitution because it gets in the way of profit taking. Everything Trump is doing is to make the rich richer. The elite of the elite, the richest people in the world are the establishment, and they are the cabinet. The anti-establishment right has been hoodwinked. Will they figure that out before they help destroy our constitution and our republic?
katalina (austin)
When we look at Steve Bannon, it's very hard not to see what we would state fairly unequivocally is a drunk, a doper, a man in the throes of some sort of disheveled state from some trauma. His rhetoric has been florid and dangerous for a long time, spoken as he does with anger and arrogance as though that willconvince those who doubt his words or his appearance; this does not belie concern, rather it increases it. When some of us wonder how Trump got where he is, we can take a look at the characters beginning with Roy Cohn, on to Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, and certainly, Steve Bannon. It has been quite a year: Flynn, Preibus, Spicer, Tom Price(?secy.hhs), characters on the edge/fringe all part of this vaudeville presidency.
Marge Keller (Midwest)
I just read that a D.C. bookstore sold out all copies of "Fire and Fury" in only 20 minutes. Unbelievable. So glad I no longer work at a bookstore. I wouldn't know what section this book belongs in - Fantasy? Science Fiction? Horror? or True Crime? Such a waste of time and money - reading about stuff the country already knows.
lhurney (Wrightwood Ca)
It was almost comical to the point of falling off one's chair listening to Gingrich claim that Bannon has an outsized sense of self importance. Both Gingrich and Bannon suffer from delusions of adequacy.
gmg22 (VT)
Somebody could write a great modern-day Greek tragedy about Bannon's hubristic rise and fall. David Mamet, get on it.
Winston Smith (USA)
Bannon spoke the truth about Don Jr. and his traitorous meeting with Russian officials. It's becoming all too clear there exists a swamp of global plutocrats, from Kansas to Moscow, who are using their vast fortunes to get richer and more powerful in a pursuit to undermine the press, the law, the courts, science, the truth and democracy itself. Jean Le Carre pointed this out in an interview on Fresh Air from September.
A (On This Crazy Planet)
If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. And this cast of characters has a lot of fleas.
Bruce1253 (San Diego)
Something is ringing very hollow here. The administration has known that a book was being written for almost a year. Various people in the administration talked to the author, they must have had permission to do so (this is basic, basic stuff). Did no one ask the people "So, how did your interview go? What did he ask you? What did you say?" Did the administration not ask for a pre-publication draft as part of the deal for granting access? To be "Shocked and Dismayed" at this point seems disingenuous to me. If none of this happened, then it confirms one of the allegations in the book, these folks aren't too bright. All Trump's thrashing about now is doing is guaranteeing that the book will be a best seller, and making the publisher and author very rich. Again, not too bright.
dukesphere (san francisco)
Bannon likely thought he could peel away Trump's "deplorables," his political linchpin. Looking at the effect on the billionaires, while important, isn't the only thing to watch for.
SaveTheArctic (New England Countryside)
Maybe we should get money out of politics? By money, I mean people like Rebekkah and Robert Mercer and Sheldon Adelson. I somehow get the feeling they don’t have the best interests of the average American at heart when they donate. Amirite?
SteveZodiac (New York)
The "donor class". They own the government, the media, and YOU, folks. The only way to turn this around is a revolt at the polls - and I mean a BIG one. Anything else and things will continue to slide off a cliff.
jb (colorado)
The lesson of the day, again and again: Don't bring a rabid dog into the pack since you cannot cure it and it will surely turn against you at the first opportunity. The big money folks seem to be marvels at overlooking this simple fact. They believe that since they have the big bucks the Bannons and and Cruzes of the world will behave as they want, forgetting that overblown egos and delusions of grandeur always triumph reason. While the Mercers and Adelsons throw their money at the lunatic fringe, the rest of us pay for it in the loss of security and the erosion of the U.S. in the world
Otto Gruendig (Miami)
Aren’t the Mercers complicit in all this, they and their company enabled the election, and Trump, and are they not accomplices to the crimes, just as guilty, if not more so. Perhaps they are the Oz wizard behind the curtain?
JMT (Minneapolis MN)
Today's story headline "Key Allies Abandon Bannon in Wake of Trump Comments" will someday be replaced by "Key Allies Abandon Trump in Wake of Mueller Charges." The majority of the American people are waiting and watching. What will his Republican collaborators in Congress do?
Nicholas (Outlander)
The Trumps, Mercers, Kochs and the likes of Bannons with their armies of orcs will become the evil characters and future monsters in the American mythos...
Hooj (London)
Are they abandoning Bannon because he attacked Trump. Or are they abandoning Bannon because he said doing deals with Russia is treason? Bannon and Trump have fallen out before and nobody abandoned him then. But saying working with Russia for profit / against America is treason ... well there's an awful lot of right wingers exceptionally eager to block any investigation of links with Russia. One wonders why, and if calling it treason is Bannon's real crime in their eyes.
SW (Los Angeles)
Please may all abandon Trump next.... The tax bill passed, it's ok to dump him now before he completes his destruction of what once a great country...how blind are these people.
Marc Krawitz (Birmingham, AL)
Bannon's pay day has arrived as a result of his "strategy" of running Roy Moore in the Alabama senate race. Losing a coveted senate seat in Alabama is a failure that won't be soon forgotten. As Alabama resident and supporter of Doug Jones it was my pleasure to help defeat both Moore and Bannon. Good riddance to both of them.
DR (New England)
The Mercers really know how to pick a winner don't they? I'll enjoy seeing them waste their money as first Bannon and then Trump goes down in flames. I also take some comfort in the incredibly unhealthy appearance of both Bannon and Trump, fat old men who are sick inside and out, neither of them will last much longer.
I.M. Salmon (Bethlehem, PA)
For the Deep State — the unelected real power in our country — the Bannon/Trump rift is all good. Bannon’s self-immolation is a plus and if he takes Trump with him, the more reliable Pence assumes the presidency. The Democratic establishment and its liberal enablers are equally servile before the plutocratic class and only crave returning to power. They fear that Trump will depart too soon, depriving them of their only campaign slogan for 2018: “We’re not Trump.” For the rest of us, only a grass-roots movement mobilized around a third party and people williing to engage in massive civil disobedience will suffice. Anything less is just more magical thinking.
Christy (Blaine, WA)
I hope those who consigned Bannon to the dustbin of history keep the lid on it. The last thing we need in our political spectrum is an alt-right nihilist who wants to "deconstruct the administrative state" -- apparently with no sensible idea of what to replace it with. Nor do we need reclusive billionaires with whacky ideas using their money to dictate government policy, usually for their own benefit at our expense. It may not be soon enough but I'm still hoping Scotus will finally recognize the folly of Citizens United and help us stop the Mercers, Kochs and Adelmans from meddling in our democracy.
Sandra (Candera)
Don't count on the Supreme Court stacked with Gorsuch and the inept Thomas who parroted Scalia and now will do the same with Gor. Thomas sexually harassed and stalked Anita Hill but the congressional committe chose to believe a black man they thought they were helping, and they did help, for all the wrong reasons, instead of believing a black woman who spoke truthfully, and had to change jobs to get away from Thomas, but still he changed jobs also, to follow her. He needs to be removed because there is no justice in his remaining in the position he never should have had.
Bruce Rozenblit (Kansas City, MO)
This could be Trump's undoing. Bannon knows a lot. He has been at the epicenter of insanity. If Bannon is ostracized to the point of severe decline and insignificance, he may turn on Trump and spill the beans to the FBI and Mueller. Bannon is like Trump. He wants to be at the center of attention. Take that away and he may bite back and bite hard. One could only hope.
Karin (Long Island)
And unlike his counterparts Steve Bannon is smart enough not to have gone to that meeting. I bet Bannon didn't break any laws but kept a log with dates and times and locations of those who did.
Charles (Clifton, NJ)
It's hilarious. The Mercers have bankrolled Breitbart that makes its living promoting outré, fake information; but when Bannon employs the same tactic in his book, the Mercers recoil. Doug Deason's comment about Bannon is ironic: “They were attracted to him because he’s so brilliant and he’s had some great ideas, but the problem is that he’s got this huge, huge ego — bigger than Donald Trump — and it gets in the way of his success.” Trump's ego doesn't get in the way of his success? Bannon and Trump are a matched set. It's what living political life on the edge is like. We need to have responsible people in our politics. Wealthy Republicans need to find decent people to run for office, not the likes of Trump and Bannon.
JHC Wynnewood PA (Wynnewood)
In reply to @ Charles Clifton, NJ And we need to publicly finance elections and get people like the Mercer’s out of our politics.
paula (new york)
Dear Mercer Family, The controversy surrounding your family's name is only just beginning. Just as the Koch name has become familiar to most Americans, so will yours. And we will remember your role in empowering the far right while looking after your own bottom line. Mr. Mercer will be remembered as someone who regards human beings only by their wealth. You may have disconnected yourself from Bannon, but you'll be known as the enabler of Trump and his whole family -- traitorous, greedy criminals who are also not very bright. Not a nice family legacy.
Liberty hound (Washington)
Dear Paula, You may feel like the Madam Defarge,of your village, but remember ... the tactics you unleash will set precedents that can and will be used against causes and people dear to you. So, try a little civility and see how that works.
V (LA)
The Mercers and Kochs and Murdochs have single-handleledy tried to destroy our democracy with unfettered money being poured into their agendas to buy their tax cuts, get rid of regulations and suppress voters that don't align with their interests. And they all support Trump. What a blight on our country these people are.
Sherr29 (New Jersey)
De Vos belongs in there too as does Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross -- greedy money grubbers one and all.
Majortrout (Montreal)
Scary, how trump is aiming at total control over the USA. 1. Birth control and abortions-control over women and their bodies 2. Recent talk about controlling states regarding marijuana, making federal control take over state control. 3. Bannon's allies are disappearing, making him persona-non-grata These are just a few examples. What will he and the Republicans want to control next?
Nancy (Great Neck)
This donor class is obviously comprised of quite a number of really scary folks.
Nancy (Great Neck)
I read a few lines, realize this is beyond my understanding and turn away. Quite the political class we have...
Michael Engel (Ludlow MA)
Trump's corporate fans are sticking with him because they have deluded themselves into thinking the economic merry-go-round will never stop. Ten years into a limpid "recovery" without a downturn is a long time for a capitalist economy. The business cycle hasn't disappeared, it's just waiting for its resurgence, as Paul Krugman asserted in a recent column. It will be interesting to see what happens then. Wolff's book isn't going to bring Trump down, maybe not even Russia. No, "it's the economy, stupid".
McGloin (Brooklyn)
Unfortunately the last time the global banks popped the bubble and took their profits, causing a global great recession, the Republicans were able to blame the Democrats (who did their best to take the blame, by protecting banker bonuses instead of people's homes). Neither the Republicans nor the global billionaires had to take any responsibility for the disaster that they created, so they have no reason not to do it again. Who will hold them accountable this time?
TimToomey (Iowa City)
The tax cuts will create a bubble in the stock market and bubbles pop. The biggest danger is the next recession when a stimulous is called for. A stimulous has two forms; a tax cut or government spending. How can you cut taxes when they are already cut to the bone?
JEG (New York, New York)
Stephen Bannon is unlikely to face political irrelevance so long as Donald Trump is president. Trump's lies are obvious and legion, as is his manifest unfitness for the presidency. Bannon will find a ready and hungry audience among people who would enjoy hearing him take down the president, and the Republican leaders who refuse to acknowledge Trump's degradation of our national discourse, values, and institutions. If Bannon is truly interested in attention, it is his for the taking.
dbb (usa)
People are sticking with where their bread is buttered. Tax cuts are done. Political donors will back whomever has their interests at the forefront. That’s the whole point.
Craig Mason (Spokane, WA)
The "Bannon side" of Trump that got Trump elected was economic populism - something Democrats long ago abandoned, except for Sanders. This was the side of Trump that I knew the Republican majority in Congress would suppress, and, indeed, Trump betrayed his supporters on health care, then betrayed them on the tax cut, and Trump will now attack them as crocodile tears emerge about the deficit expansion (during boomtimes!) that the tax cut will create. Bannon was "pushed out" long ago, as Trump was simply mouthing a new bunch of lies (as the Republican mainstream had no new lies left) to win an elector support from a Republican "base" who had finally realized that the mainstream Republicans were economically destroying the very basis of their own existence. In short, Trump was able to overthrow the Republican "elite" because the economic pain of the people in the Fox-Limbaugh universe had finally overwhelmed them, and were ready to revolt. Bannon saw this and mobilized them for Trump. After the election, mainstream Republicans fought back, and Bannon was "pushed out" in effect the moment Trump sided with Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell in trying destroying health care, etc., and, as noted, in the tax cut. Bannon served his purpose for the kleptocracy, but he has been slow to realize just how far "out" he has been pushed. Trump has been brought under control by the kleptocracy, and the status quo has been preserved.
Sherry Jones (Washington)
I think this analysis is exactly right Craig.
Glen (Texas)
The election that takes place just over 10 months from today will likely be every bit as, if not more than, consequential as the one 14 months ago has been. Turnout will, as always, be key to whether America continues its backward march to the Gilded Age or do an about face, halting that regressive course until the election of 2020 when truth replaces the unending flow of lies that we have been and continue to be subjected to. The stock market rocket ride will probably not last much longer. History tells us that. If this does indeed become the case, Bannon, Trump, and their benefactors will lose the election and billions upon billions of dollars, but they will still be fabulously rich. The rest of us, including, yes, Trump voters, will be back where we were at the end of 2008...if we are even that lucky.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
The election is coming fast, but I don't hear the Democrats giving anyone something to vote FOR. What will Democrats do for working people? If the answer remains, we would love to pay for healthcare, education and infrastructure, "but there is no money," you will lose again. You rejected Bernie because he was "pie in the sky," even though he called for tax increases on the rich to pay for it, while Trump ran on the same thing plus tax cuts, and won. Republicans continuously play the Democrats for suckers and the Democrats keep believing Lucy is going to hold the ball for Charlie Brown. The lesser evil thing doesn't work. Republicans are not going to vote for Democrats. Fight for workers to grow the base and force compromise from a position of strength.
Bob812 (Reston, Va.)
The irony of entanglements people get involved in never ceases to amaze. The fear and anxiety brought on by the donald and steve partnership, that their association could lead to a burgeoning dictatorship was palpable and feared. Two outsized egos looking to be top dog. Their loyalty was not to each other but to use the other for their own selfish purposes. Selfishness quickly turned this association into a gutter, back alley dog fight enveloping the nation. The irony that a swamp was to be drained, instead was converted into a cesspool, where the stench will linger long into the future.
Restore Human Sanity (Manhattan)
The house that the his ego-ness from Fifth avenue built is tumbling down. So many of his hires are now fires. PT Bannon being the Thomas fire of His Hair. How much longer can he last, even with the full power of the republican congress eagerly standing right behind him, singing his praises. We can never forget their putting our citizens and country second to their personal power agendas. Let us provide the ground of reason and dignity, let's vote out all the republican congress people we can in 2018!
Karin (Long Island)
The idea that the wealthy Republican establishment or Donald Trump (who are far from the same thing) is in control of the base wishful thinking. Trump and the establishment backed Strange. Bannon backed Moore -- without the Mercers money - and Moore won the primary. The base of the Republican party does what Brietbart tells them to do. And Bannon can start another Breitbart website in 15 minutes with a couple thousand dollars and a tweet if he gets fired and probably 75% of the readership goes with him. He can call out (or slander) any elected Republican as an arm of the elites establishment and primary them out of a job in the push of a button. If they people they claim Steve Bannon needs were in charge of the Republican base then Donald Trump wouldn't be the president. And Donald Trump wouldn't be the president without Steve Bannon. Rich white guys wanted a tax cut and deregulation at any costs. Now they are getting the bill.
Bannon should have considered what the repercussions could have been. Now when most if not all those quoted in the book have said they never said the things they have been alleged to say leaves Bannon out on a limb by himself. He should have vetted the books author more carefully.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
Don't be so sure this book is not part of the plan to distract and disrupt, while the constitution and the institutions that it created are gutted. They are talking about a "purge" of the FBI and the justice department. The more chaos swirls the more they get away with. Most of the reporting about this book centers on Trumps toothbrush and offshore calling him stupid. So what else is new? Tilerson called Trump a moron and is still there. Trump ordered Sessions to resign and he's still there. Bannon was fired, but he's still there. It's all for show. Follow the money. That is where the story is, because that is all these people care about. Even the Neo-Confederates, Neo-Nazis, Neo-Soviets, and Same-Old-KKK are being used to make billionaires richer. This is the Shock Doctrine in its biggest moment. Wear the people out with chaos while a massive looting of the republic is barely reported.
Strange. Yesterday I listened to an interview where the reporter Janice Min who was a guest at a small dinner party hosted by Michael Wolff (only six people) maintains everything reported on that particular dinner with Roger Ailes and his wife, Wolff & partner and Bannon was true. Michael Wolff maintains he also has tapes and kept meticulous notes. These seem to be more than allegations when they are confirmed. The deniers seem to be those caught denigrating the president and now face his wrath. http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2018/01/05/michael-wolff-book-ailes-b....
Panthiest (U.S.)
If Bannon was the one who had the power to cut their taxes and create other legal ways for them to enrich themselves, the Mercers would have thrown Trump under the bus. The only loyalty among these people is to their bank accounts.
T (Ontario, Canada)
And Trump wonders why he can't get any "loyalty"? This is further proof that the GOP and those who support them are in it for themselves....the moment one of their own is wounded, they abandon or attack them - even when they know full well they share the same views.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
You have to give loyalty to get loyalty. Most American "business people" gave up on loyalty decades ago. Ask their loyal employees.
Otto Gruendig (Miami)
People ask why Mr. Bannon did this? It may be that he recovered his heart and soul and patriotism and did it because for the future good of the country, and that it was the right thing to do.
LOL !! And I may win the Powerball jackpot by myself tomorrow, too.
Jack Toner (Oakland, CA)
And I just saw a pig fly by.
Boston Judy (Boston, MA)
Which of these two political dunderheads wins this particular political brawl is of no interest to any thinking person. The truth is that both of them will be irrelevant in a few years. Trump, because his presidency cannot last, and Bannon, because his beliefs lack credibility and moral value. The story here is that Trumps allies are jumping ship in droves, like rats left on a sinking ship. In a short time, there will be nobody left because they will all be hiding under rocks claiming that they never really thought he could do this job.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
Trump is more than capable of starting a war, declaring martial law, and canceling elections. Half of Republicans told USA Today that they would support postponing elections. This is the most dangerous period for our republic since the Civil War. Take their threat very seriously. The constitution says that government should tax and regulate trade to provide for the common welfare, and that church and state should be separate. The Republicans oppose all of that. Roy Moore almost won Alabama precisely because opposes the separation of church and state, and opposes the last 37 Amendments to the constitution, including those that created the women's vote, and ended slavery. Most Republicans seem to have sided with Trump's base of Neo-Confederates, Neo-Nazis, Neo-Soviets, Same-Old-KKK, and other vanquished enemies of the USA, because they reject the scientific method and its application to policy making, history, and understanding the modern world, because belief is easier than truth seeking. They are true believers that reject the teachings of Christ, while using his name to enrich the money changers, and attack the constitution. All of the progress that we the people have made against the 1% over 500 years since the Magna Carta are at risk. They want to replace the educated elite with the moneyed elite, and the constitution with strongman rule. That is why they like Putin and Trump. Don't count on that to implode. Those of us that believe in the constitution must fight for it
Mark (NY)
It is incredible that Trump has managed to amass a political ameboid cult around him while doing horrible things, any one of which would have sunk ANY other politician. Trump is not just a sinking ship, he's a rat-infested, plague-ridden, black-mold-covered ship that he himself has shot massive holes in (with perhaps a screen door on the bottom for good measure) yet his political lackeys in the House and Senate and his hard-core third of the voters are frantically swimming beside that rotten boat to try to keep it afloat and convince us that it is the poshest ocean liner on the Seven Seas. I don't get it.
Wimsy (CapeCod)
The Republican Party is rotten, through and through -- as proven by their willingness to default on our debt, shut down government, risk economic ruin, throw millions off healthcare, hogtie the Supreme Court for an entire year, and shift responsibility for paying the bills from the ultra-wealthy to the marginal. They need to be thrown out of office, lock, stock and barrel.
Fran Sampson (Oak Park, IL)
I belive it was Grover Norquist who longed for just such a person as Trump, essentially an idiot, that had just enough intelligence, and no more, to sign any bill that champions of the 1% put in front of him. That's Trump. He doesn't read any legislation or reports or understand a single aspect of governance. He is starving the beast by creating massive deficits that only benefit the 1%. Ryan and McConnell have been served well by Trump's distractions and dissembling. Trump is a boon for the Mercers of our world, hence they side with Trump over Bannon.
m (PHL)
Trump has the ear of 30% of the American population which can vote out any constituent. Although Trump's power locally is weakening and probably over estimated (see roy jones effect - trump backed the loser twice) politicians fear his wrath.
[email protected] (Los Angeles )
an old New England radio commercisl said it best: "money talks, nobody walks."
Girish Kotwal (Louisville, KY)
Bannonism died after the defeat of a Republican candidate, Roy Moore promoted by Bannon to be the nominee of the Republican party to run for the senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions was defeated in the deep red state of Alabama. Bannon's depiction by Saturday night live of Bannon an evil dark figure was accurate and the Bannon allies started abandoning him from then. He now has new allies now. Those who dislike the president find it music to their ears what is revealed in the book that supposedly Bannon said but has not denied that he said. Bannon has shown that he is a vindictive person who never should have been allowed to set into the white house as an adviser so close to the president. Bannon is full of himself possibly thinking he is God and in his mind he probably thinks that he was the single most important factor in the Trump victory and deserved to remain in the white house pushing Bannonism. Brietbard is supposedly trying to push him out. Wonder what he is future is. But like any extremist in the political spectrum, Bannon should have no place in the center of future political discourse.
LS (Maine)
Just money going to power, as usual.
ChristineMcM (Massachussetts)
this sordid tale of Bannon's rapid fall bothers me not at all. What I find more sordid than Bannon with his whacky, paranoid worldview is the ability of "reclusive" billionaires to fund him. We didn't vote for the Mercers and their far rightwing agenda. Of course in reality we did because of Citizens United. So today we feel the effects of big money from the Mercers, Kochs and others to dictate policies that affect every single American, often for the worse. Unless we get rid of money in politics, we will see continued eradication of our democratic norms and values, and of course the will of all the people.
B Windrip (MO)
The real problem is an ignorant easily manipulated segment of the electorate. How do we get rid of that?
Wimsy (CapeCod)
Start by getting right-wing ideologs off the Supreme Court..... oops, wait -- we just added another one. So we can look forward to more ridiculous rulings like Citizens United and the Second Amendment cases -- both ridiculous misreadings of the clear meaning of our Constitution.
Charlie (NJ)
I agree Christine but let's not suggest big money only comes from the right. George Soros has lot's of company.
Zoned (NC)
Didn't Justice Roberts in Citizens United, say that money won't influence politics just as he said that voter protections could be pulled back? Is SCOTUS dealing with the world as it is or the world as Roberts wants it to be? Somewhere there is a disconnect.
Sherr29 (New Jersey)
Roberts is just one of the "owned" lackeys of the rightwing wealthy. He has no morality along with the other rightwingers on the Supreme Court.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
The 1% has used the Supreme Court to make money speech and corporations people for over a hundred years. Citizens United is only one decision out of hundreds and most perks don't even remember McCutcheon, which came after. Only an amendment to the constitution can make clear to the court that: Corporations are Not Persons and Money is Not Speech. MoveToAmend.org
Prant (NY)
No, there is no disconnect. Roberts, also cast the deciding vote on the ACA going ahead, giving all the Democrats in the country enough rope to hang themselves in the 2016 elections. Roberts, certainly voted at the behest of the powers that be. The Republicans are playing chess and the Democrats are playing checkers.
ca (St LOUIS.)
The same, and worse, will happen to DJT. It's a matter of time. I can only hope that the consequences of his tenure will be rectified and that I will live to see that day.
Tom J (Berwyn, IL)
The one thing they have in common is that they are millionaires, or billionaires, that they will do anything and everything to protect that, and that these ridiculous public squabbles provide just another distraction to their greed. Trump is still listening to Bannon, his words and actions demonstrate that. In another month, they will all be one happy, greedy family again.
Norman Canter, M.D. (N.Y.C.)
Not likely.
Jeff Lee (Creston, B.C.)
It's fascinating reading the reams of material about what Bannon does or doesn't do, about whether he's shot himself in the foot or has managed to shoot someone else's political ambitions. But my first thought when I read this article, seeming to proclaim Bannon mortally wounded, was this: snakes are most dangerous when they are cornered. Don't count this guy out yet.
Eve Waterhouse (Vermont)
Keep an eye on Bannon. He has plenty of support, make no mistake, and he's not stupid, even if his politics and his morals are, yes, deplorable. He's dangerous.
Mike Livingston (Cheltenham PA)
Bannon is going to learn what people who try to challenge any autocrat learn. Only one person isn't expendable, and maybe not even him.
Cameron Skene (Montreal CA)
Aside from the completely reasonable urge to gloat over Bannon's "loss of political capital", it strikes me that there's a sad side point to the article: withdrawn funding=political irrelevance. The opposite is also true: political power=secured funding. That either is up to the whim of an individual family or group of oligarchs is a very sad statement on the current state of democratic institutions, as well as being too unstable for so powerful a country.
Tantele (RochesterNY )
it's fun to read about Trump's ineptitude and his pernicious enablers in Washington. It's easy to blame the white working class for electing him. Please report more on the invisible hedge fund billionaires who seem to want to keep Trump in power at any cost to America (Mercers?)
L'historien (Northern california)
See Jane Mayer's book, dark money. A great read on the very rich dark forces using their money to make American in their view.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
Unfortunately these same billionaires own 75% of the shares in corporate mass media, which conveniently ignores their crimes.
Steve Beck (Middlebury, VT)
I bought the book and it has been on my shelf. I guess I should start reading. I have found myself reading more fiction, as an escape I guess, but the title keeps popping up.
B Windrip (MO)
Bannon's "fiery Republican revolution" was never going to happen. It was useful in bringing the "deplorables" into the Trump camp but once Trump managed to win Bannon became a liability to the right wing billionaire class. In short, Bannon the genius was duped along with his followers. It now appears that Bannon has known this for a while and has been planning his revenge.
Bill Camarda (Ramsey, NJ)
Make no mistake, the right's billionaires are unifying behind Trump. They have their tax cuts, they're getting their right-wing justices, and they are about to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into their PACs. We are moving into the Empire Strikes Back stage of the Resistance, and will have to fight even harder.
stever (NH)
The Koch's,Mercers, etc are smart. They will realize they have picked the low hanging fruit for now and back of rather then appear to greedy then come back for more later. My guess.
mt (Portland OR)
"Empire Strikes Back". What a great slogan.
Garrett Clay (San Carlos, CA)
How and when this all ends is what I want to understand. The threads are starting to unravel. And I want to see a statue of a scouring Huckabee-Sanders at the podium commissioned for the Capitol rotunda, so future generations cannot forget. And a way to remove a president and those that surround him by way of a new election, not passing power to a flunky.
seaperl (New York NY)
She's a small fry, an "annoying woman". How about a scouring statue of Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell? Or ...how about the whole Republican party, a tableau vivant on the Washington DC campus as a reminder of how un-patriotic it can get.
MadasHelinVA (Beltway of DC)
“The president of the United States is a great man,” Mr. Bannon told one caller. What a turnaround! How can Bannon voice this drivel after all the things he is said to have stated in the new book? And what exactly is 'great' about Trump that apparently the majority of Americans have not seen? The only great thing most of us have seen about the 'man' Trump is he has to be the greatest liar ever heard/seen in public. No other traits come near the definition of great.
James (NYC)
Reporter: "Considering the big role that Mr. Bannon played for the Trump campaign, what are your thoughts on his current positions?" Trump: "Who's that? I have never heard of that man before."
Cmary (Chicago)
Brannon's place in history, such as it is, would be better served by his doubling down on his new role as whistle-blower instead of now groveling to get back into Trump's good graces, Bannon should embrace his helping to having blown the lid off the corrupt, incompetent Trump presidency. So what if the Mercers shut off his money spigot? Bannon apparently has a sufficient amount of personal resources to live comfortably for the rest of his days. And running against the Republican establishment's addiction to corruption was bound to be a fool's errand, anyway. No, whether he fully intended to or not, Bannon stumbled into the more heroic position of having drawn open the curtains on the horror show of everything Trump is and is doing. Better for Bannon to sit back and take pleasure in the most inadvertently honorable thing he has ever done in his life.
Mary Melcher (Arizona)
Some are surprised that the Trumpites and Bannonites are at odds but I don't know why. Nastiness and expediency are the hallmarks of both groups. They'd have their grandmothers thrown to wild dogs if there was either money or power in it for them.
Cinquecento (cambridge,ma)
It would appear that the Mercers are Jewish, and yet they financed the rise of Breitbart, which goes to show that the rich play by very different ethical rules.
bill (maryland)
It was always about money. The donors got their plutocratic tax cuts, they no longer needed Bannon.
wysiwyg (USA)
To a certain extent, the brouhaha about the "Fire and Fury" book will no more likely change the political landscape in which we have been enmeshed for a long time now. Withdrawal of funding from the Bannon camp by the Mercers, Adelson, Ricketts, Eberhart, Marcus, and others may have a small impact on the professed "deconstruction" of government that Bannon champions. However, so long as these billionaire donors continue to buy/own their GOP minions (Trump and GOP Congressional members included), nothing will change significantly. Bannon got what was coming to him - no more and no less. For someone whose personal "style" parallels or exceeds that of Trump in terms of malignant narcissism and political ambition, the publication of this book may help somewhat. Nevertheless, the much larger issue is whether these billionaires will continue to rule what has effectively become a political oligarchy, thanks in large part to the Citizens United decision. As voters, we must exercise our sacred right this coming November to "throw the bums out," and elect a majority in Congress to pass laws which can override Presidential vetos in order to reverse the SCOTUS decision that put us in this precarious position in the first place.
Cindy L (Modesto CA)
For all of our faults, this country is remarkably tolerant of those who would "burn it all down" and remarkably tolerant of hate groups. Perhaps we have a deep and abiding faith in our institutions...or perhaps we see groups that divide society so often that we consider them normal. Whatever the reason, we have reached a point where the path to the future is not at all clear. Will we atomize as a society--the trend of the recent decades--and destroy the institutions and norms that have kept the country together, however tenuously, or will there be a sharp rebound with the country developing a more coherent society that is structured to be more inclusive and civilly engaged? The people involved in this dangerous undemocratic melodrama would destroy the country and bend it to their own venal purposes. We must decide if this is the future we want.
Ken L (Atlanta)
I wouldn't read too much into supporters choosing Trump over Bannon. First, it's a choice of the lesser of two evils. More importantly, it's a self-serving choice for the supporters like Mercer. They're not choosing to support Trump based on substance. They're choosing him over Bannon because Trump is in power and Bannon is not. They want their money and relationships to be close to power. Trump has proven to be inept at pushing any particular policies. But they don't dare stop supporting him while he holds the office.
RioConcho (Everett)
And they abandon him only because he has told the truth, which is embarrassing for Trump.
Sujay (Columbus)
The contents of "Fire and Fury" and the drama surrounding it could be one big business ploy by Trump and Bannon to sell more books. I would never trust these people even for a second. Winning is everything for them. It doesn't matter what trail of destruction they leave behind on their path to victory.
Marge Keller (Midwest)
If there's one unusual and new precedent this presidency has set it’s open season to publically attack, embarrass and call out members of one's own administration. Granted, this kind of rude, unprofessional and just plain mean behavior started with the Commander in Chief. When the top guy shows no respect, restraint or regard towards his own staff and individuals who he picked because they were "the brightest of the bright", then why would he expect or demand one iota of respect or loyalty in return? Any time someone in Bannon’s position dresses down the president, there will be fall out. However, when the attacks become personal and are aimed directly at the president’s children, regardless of their age or their ability, there is a high degree of possibility that Bannon will not recover from running his mouth this time. I have never been a fan of Bannon or of the President, but publically spouting rude, mean and hurtful criticisms of Ivanka Trump, especially in print, crosses a line in my book. He went too far and there will be dire consequences from his own inner circle of friends, allies and supporters. Like the saying goes, "what goes around, comes around."
Fed Up (POB)
Jarvanka crosses the line when they willfully decided to take positions in the WH even though they know they have no experience and are woefully unprepared for any job in government. They are free game.
Ian (Sweden)
"The influence of even the most influential political strategists is inextricably linked to the donors behind them" As a European, I find it difficult to understand the American democratic process being so deeply entwined with wealth. It surely weakens, in practise, the idea of one vote per citizen and that all votes are equal. It must lead to an inertia in the system which is closer to less democratic systems in the world.
Thank the US Supreme Court for holding that a corporation is a person in Citizen's United. Now billions of dollars have further corrupted and bought our elections.
Joe B. (Center City)
So our constitution sez free speech for all persons. Our backward looking high court "interpreted" that 230 years later such that "person" included corporations and that "speech" included money. Divine jurisprudence you might say. We say "hogwash".
Ronny (Dublin, CA)
When Ben Franklin emerged from the Constitutional Convention and was asked what kind of government we had, he announced that America had a Republic, as long as we could hold onto it. He was referring to us losing it to political corruption by the wealthy. Citizens United hastened the demise of our Republic.
Ted (Portland)
This article and its title confirm the old adage, “ with friends like this who needs enemies”. None of this should come as a surprise, people such as those mentioned in the article use other people like tissue paper, discarding them when they are no longer useful; the real story here is the fact that these enormously powerful people are allowed to run our nation as their personal fiefdom. There can not possibly be a return to Democratically elected officials until big money is removed from politics and in as much as our elections are determined by thirty second sound bytes and control of the media, both requiring huge sums of money, our future doesn’t look good: oh I forgot Bernie Sanders ran just such a campaign, accepting only small sums from millions of people, had he not been crushed by Wasserman Schulz and the D.N.C. in their attempt to propel to victory the candidate of powerful special interests, just as those discussed in this article, we would not be having this conversation, Democracy would have been allowed to succeed. Draining the swamp is more important than ever, allow the young people and the hundreds of millions of citizens without influence to have a say in their futures, as things are the system is broken for all but the wealthiest of the world.
Sally (South Carolina)
Seems to me this may be a made up feud to distract the public. I have a hard time believing anything that these people do or say. The machinations are crazy and their intentions evil. Put out a book filled with anonymous sources and half-truths and then refute it as “fake news” to cover the destructive legislation they are working on. This dark money just goes underground to do its damage and we aren’t aware until another piece of our world collapses. We now have government sanctioned pollution of air, water and land for oil/natural gas/manufacturing companies that will sicken and kill millions. Corporations getting major tax breaks with no responsibility for infrastructure that they use and destroy. No wage increase mandates. Next up the cutting of Medicaid and Social Security. So much winning for corporate America/global capitalism. Not much winning for Americans.
Paul Wortman (East Setauket, NY)
In banishing Bannon does Donald Trump also risk being seen for what he actually is, an establishment Republican, who has abandoned the Bannon America First populist white nationalist agenda? That is his "so-called" base and it may be harder for Trump to keep up the charade with Bannon bashing him from Breitbart News. While I welcome Bannon's "political irrelevance," it may also speed up the much more welcome "political irrelevance" of Donald Trump and his Congressional political allies.
Ron Cowie (Rhode Island)
I wouldn't count him out of the game just yet.
Charlie D (Norfolk, VA)
And when Robert Mercer dies, how many hundred million dollars will not be going into the public good (through taxation of the transfer) but rather going to more intrigue over senatorial and presidential control? That's my take-away from this article.
Pat Boice (Idaho Falls, ID)
Bannon and Trump, separately, are both dangerous men, and together were really, really dangerous for our country. Trump dumping Bannon is the only smart thing he's done.
Potter (Boylston, MA)
Money goes to power, power to money. This is about the reshuffling of power and money centers but corruption ultimately and taking from the people, not tending to the people's business. This split may blossom to more than a side show. Bannon is not gone yet.
fact or friction (maryland)
The primary reason Bannon became prominent in the first place is because news organizations, including the NYT, breathlessly reported about him constantly for well over a year. Other than being relevant in the same way a recurring sewer backup would be, he should never have been considered anything more than the minor, and repugnant, 25 cent circus side show that he actually is.
silver (Virginia)
The would-be leader of the revolt to remake the Republican party is getting his comeuppance. First the Roy Moore debacle and now his Benedict Arnold act with the president. Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer are smiling and high-fiving big time!
CSW (New York City)
I had no specific interest in buying this book because I already abhor the cast of characters in this retrograde episode in our countyr's history. In fact I hold Mr. Trump somewhat less accountable than I do all of his enablers in Congress, on Wall Street, on Main Street and in the Media. But as soon as our usurper president and his lawyers tried to ban the book by issuing a cease and desist order, I plucked my money down and purchased a copy. Who is Trump to tell me what I can and cannot read, Putin's mini-me?
pealass (toronto)
If Bannon on his way to obscurity then "that book" has served the country well. I suspect he is also writing his own book, out sooner rather than later, perhaps...
Ed M (Michigan)
Pride pride comes before the fall. Always has been so, always will be. Bannon’s arrogance and ego led him to believe in his invincibility.
susan (nyc)
"threw their support...to Mr. Trump and eventually urged him to hire Mr. Bannon." _________________________ Buyers' remorse. Surely these people should have known better....same can be said about Trump voters.
cwt (canada)
Trump is good at something.Picking people with inflated views of themselves and out for number 1..Just like himself.
Ricky Barnacle (Seaside )
"Stephen K. Bannon is confronting political irrelevance" Really? You're just discovering this? It's always been beyond weird that the Times and Huff Post are absolutely fascinated with this jabroni, publishing daily articles about him, along with his unshaven half-a-bag-on persona. Meanwhile, no one else knows who he is or cares. Enough already with the Bannon articles -- the guy has been totally irrelevant since, well, since forever.
Erik Rensberger (Maryland)
Trump would like you to believe Bannon was never important, despite having been chief executive of his campaign, senior advisor in the White House, and seated in the National Security Council.
Ronny (Dublin, CA)
Except for all the support he drummed up for Trump from the White Nationalists. Of course Trump seems well suited to keep them on his team even without the backing of Bannon and Breitbart.
Steve (Wayne, PA)
Folks like Bannon always end up getting what they deserve...just need to be patient.
Byron Jones (Memphis)
In short, time wounds all heels.
Cameron Skene (Montreal CA)
That's completely correct. However, I would add that we have no time: the executive is too important to have unstable provocateurs in any post for any length of time.
BWMN (North America)
I agree, but I also think it is too early to write him off. His beliefs haven't changed and he probably isn't going away. He is still a threat to democracy.
Confused (Atlanta)
The press is now exonerated in its long term criticism od Bannon.
Bill (Ridgewood)
Isn’t the issue what is actually said in the book? And what these backersa think about those things?
Jasr (NH)
"Isn’t the issue what is actually said in the book? And what these backers think about those things?" I wager that the wealthy backers who expend billions to elect Republicans, subvert state governments, gerrymander districts, and expand voter suppression, care not a whit how dysfunctional the Trump administration is, since the dysfunction devolves more power to the Republican congress... Witness the only legislative achievement of 2017...