However, much like al-Qaeda, Bannon will not be deterred by defeat. He will look for another opportunity to demonstrate strength. He will try and preserve his position of influence with Trump by catering to his worst instincts and to cast Roy Moore in the sympathetic light of a victim of the “fake news” media — an argument that may resonate with Trump. As the Russia investigation bears down on Trump, he will grow even more unpredictable and desperate, qualities that Bannon preys on.

Whether Bannon gets a third or fourth act really depends on Trump and the Republican Party.

Bannon’s ascension was enabled in part by the weakness of Republicans in Congress. With few exceptions (notably Sens. Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, Cory Gardner and Richard Shelby), they stayed silent and hid from Roy Moore. After he defeated Luther Strange in the primary and well before The Washington Post revealed credible allegations of sexual misconduct against him, most in the GOP endorsed Moore. They knowingly supported someone who had a long history making racist, homophobic, xenophobic and sexist remarks. It’s the embrace of these dangerous and backward attitudes that has left the Republican Party morally bankrupt and vulnerable to Bannon’s brand of toxicity.