For the last few days, a twitter account called @RoguePOTUSStaff has been painting a picture of the Trump Administration that gives dystopian dramas like House of Cards and Scandal a run for their money. If these authors are legitimate, Trump is every bit of the vindictive, narcissistic, insecure, and clueless tantrum-throwing toddler that we feared. But it’s not the man behind the Resolute Desk who should be giving you nightmares. It’s the man at his side, Stephen Bannon.
“Bannon is evil.”
It goes a lot deeper than what we know of from mainstream media. Yes, he is an ultra-right-wing white nationalist. Yes he has a long history of racist, sexist, and homophobic statements. Yes, he lashed out telling the media to “keep its mouth shut,” branding the press as “the opposition party.” That list goes on and on, but we knew it all already.
If we take the Rogue POTUS Staff at their word, Bannon’s work behind the scenes is far more sinister.
“Suspicion that Bannon urging POTUS to egg on protests, then use National Guard to disperse, as a demonstration of power.”
Consider this allegation, made after protests broke out all across the nation in response to Trump’s Muslim ban.
Barring the questions of whether the President can mobilize or federalize the national guard, we had a moment where the President may have been instructed by his advisor to sew chaos among, and then take up arms against, the people he works for.
What kind of leader would even feel the need to assert their power to their own people through military might? If your answer is President of the United States, you need to retake 8th grade civics.
Of course, it didn’t stop there. Shortly thereafter, we learned “under early-morning advice from Bannon, POTUS to push Spicer to accuse #MuslimBan protesters of compromising national security.”
“Bannon jokes that he has mixed feelings about SCOTUS pick. Says that a white man shouldn’t have to serve coffee to a Hispanic woman.”
Over the weekend, rumors flew about who Trump would announce as his pick to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Trump reportedly flip flopped a great deal, and at one point say the Rogue POTUS Staff, Bannon suggested that Trump choose the man who said he’d uphold the Muslim ban.
We should thank Mike Pence (who was behind the rumored Executive Order to allow anti-LGBT legislation, by the way) for making it clear to Trump that this was an idea he shouldn’t touch with a 20-foot pole.
Once Trump made up his mind, we learned that Bannon’s racism was alive and well and living in the Weet Wing. Please remember, Stephen Bannon is a political appointee who has been subject to none of the checks and balances on which our government was founded. No one elected him. He was not subject to Congressional hearings and approval. He wasn’t publicly vetted.
We respect Bannon’s right to be a closet Nazi, and say all the obscene things he wants, in public even. That’s par for the course in our democracy. But that doesn’t mean the Founding Fathers wanted him him sitting in the Oval Office, exerting unfettered influence over a huge range of issues on the President. Because the truly terrifying part of this whole narrative is why Trump has Bannon on board in the first place.
“POTUS needs UnholyTrinity to govern, but needs Bannon to not lose power.”
The Rogue POTUS Staffers often answer questions, and one in particular made us need to write this piece. The Unholy Trinity, by the way, is their name for Cheif of Staff Reince Priebus, V.P. Mike Pence, and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
We know who should be pulling the strings in the Oval Office: the one with the title POTUS. But Trump has shown us that he’s a slave to his overwhelming need to feel powerful, popular, and potent. For example, he backed down at the 11th hour from an Executive Order legalizing anti-LGBT discrimination, not because it would have been a despicable act, but because it would have made him unpopular. So he’s an easy victim for Bannon, who can readily prey on all of Trump’s weaknesses with a few well-chosen words. He’s the man quietly lurking, amassing nearly boundless influence and control to make his own shadow government.
And that’s exactly what we’ve seen already. A desperate Trump relying on “his guy” so heavily that he demoted the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Director of National Intelligence to place Bannon on the National Security Council. That’s a group reserved for experts in national security. Bannon’s take on national security, as we saw, was to label peaceful protesters a clear and present danger.
Quite honestly, it has strange echoes of the Star Wars saga, when the vile Chancellor Palpatine places Annakin Skywalker on the Jedi Council. What happened next? Emporer Palpatine. Life loves to imitate art.
Remember when Trump promised that “the people have now officially taken back their country”? Technically he was right: he and Bannon make two people. That’s just not what the rest of us had in mind.
Featured image via flickr.com.