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November 13, 2016

A Blow for the Barrel and a Blow for the Ring: Trump Announces Steve Bannon as Senior Counsilor to the President, Reince Priebus for Chief of Staff

Putting out the two names at once makes strategic sense; Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff is an offering to the establishment/DC wing of the party, and he of course knows the players in Washington.

Offering Steve Bannon as the (one assumes) Big Picture guy appeases those who might be disappointed with the Priebus choice.

I don't have much of a problem here. Reince Priebus has never bothered me, and achieved the near-impossible by remaining pretty neutral throughout the primaries in a year that split the GOP down the belly with divisiveness. That kind of political tact and equipose will be useful as a Chief of Staff.

Bannon was much more behind the scenes than Kellyanne Conaway, so I don't know what he did in the campaign. I do know, though, that Trump was starting to show some serious RINO clawback with his long-anticipated Pivot to the Left under Paul Manafort's guidance (or, who knows, maybe it was just Manafort and his guys putting out the signals that they didn't believe any of that "Wall" nonsense). But a few days after Bannon came aboard, Trump announced a firm re-statement of his position on the Wall and amnesty.

I'm assuming Bannon had something to do with that.

One of my main objections to the Establishment wasn't its politics, per se. It was its high-handedness. The Establishment has interests; I don't begrudge them fighting for those interests, as every other faction in the party does.

What I resented was the My Way or the Highway approach, with Mitch McConnell vowing to "squash" Tea Party insurgents in 2014.

That is declaring war on your allies-- and you cannot declare war on your allies, as you'll turn them into (as the Establishment found out) your enemies.

Even if you hate an ally, you still have to reach a mutually-agreeable understanding with that ally. One for you and one for me.

The Establishment's demands became, as I believe Michael Brendon Dougherty put it, "immodest." They wanted it all. All for us; you'll get nothing and like it.

So I'm not pulling my hair out of my skull that Trump is making gestures towards appeasing the Establishment Wing. This is precisely what I've been urging for three years -- the factions have to agree to give each other something. I don't think the populist wing would be any more successful with an Everything For Us, You'll Get Nothing and Like It strategy than the Establishment was or would be.

I never wanted to actually destroy the Establishment, per se. There will always be an Establishment. If you destroy "the" Establishment, you'll just have The Next Establishment forming in three years.

I just wanted them dethroned. Not executed -- just booted off the throne and made to wait in the foyer for a while.

They can come to the party, but they won't sit at the head of the table, and damnit, they do not always get to be first served.

BTW, the headline is supposed to contain an English translation of an Italian expression, meaning one for this faction and one for this other faction, but I may be misrembering it. Google doesn't pull up any hits for this expression. I thought it contained the world "colpo" (blow) and meant something like "one for the military (the barrel) and one for the Vatican (the ring)."

Anyone remember an Italian expression about blows to rings and barrels or something like that?

Roger Stone: Populists May Revolt if Reince Priebus is Appointed Chief of Staff. Well, maybe some. Personally, on a strictly selfish personal emotional-wellness level, I'm kinda over all the draaaamaa and am willing to be a little bit pliable for a little bit of time.

Honestly, Priebus never actually pissed me off, when I was anti-Trump or when I was pro-Trump. At worst, I thought he was a bit weak for not doing more to stop Trump, but he never made the top 100 slots on the enemy list.* After Trump was nominated, he did what he could to get the nominee elected; I can't fault him for that at all.

* Actually, I thought he was right to not oppose Trump as many Never Trumpers or partisans for other candidates demanded. I didn't think it was his job to oppose, or support, anybody. That wasn't his job. His job was to execute the will of the GOP, not to declare what the will of the GOP was.


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posted by Ace at 04:59 PM

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