The whole theory behind a successful Trump presidency was that he could unite conservative populists with mainstream, business-oriented Republicans, somehow managing to make the worst aspects of each group cancel each other out. The populists would check the greedy self-dealing of the business types, and the desire for respectability would prevent the populists from acting on their darkest animosities. This was always a pipe dream. It would have been impossible even if the man at the top was a political genius of great cunning and self-control. Instead, we have Trump, and almost the opposite case obtains: Our head of state is trying to micromanage the social opprobrium falling on neo-Nazis and all Republicans can think to do with their power on the Hill is cut taxes and social benefits.
Canning Bannon will hurt Trump. There’s a distinct possibility that he would return to his career of internet pamphleteering and maneuver his battleship of populist media against the president. Having turned against Bannon after turning on Jeff Sessions and Reince Priebus, Trump would be inclined to stick with kith and kin. My friend John Zmirak fears that “Trump minus Bannon equals Jeb!” and says, correctly, that “Jeb!” is not what people voted for. But seeing the results of Trump plus Bannon makes me wonder: Maybe people should have voted for Jeb instead.