Steve Bannon is officially out of the White House, promptly taking over the news cycle on an already crazy Friday.
Bannon was seen by most pundits as the alt-right madman of Donald Trump, egging him on to tweet whatever is on his mind and curry favor with white nationalists.
It may appear with the former Breitbart chief gone that there might be more stability and a more reasonable president — to the establishment, that is. But considering how Trump behaved this week, that hope seems to be pretty far-fetched.
But even more importantly, Bannon was often the most sane voice in the administration, in spite of his crazy “white supremacist” reputation.
This began at the start of the administration. Bannon wanted Trump to first take on passing an infrastructure package that could potentially earn bipartisan support and approval from the general public. Instead, Trump followed the advice of House Speaker Paul Ryan and took up health care as his first target for legislative victory.
The results of that strategy have been disastrous for both the administration and the GOP. No bill has been passed, large portions of the American public have opposed Republican proposals to change the health care system and the failure of the effort has emboldened Democrats.
Going with health care first has effectively stalled Trump’s legislative agenda, while passing an infrastructure bill could have launched the administration on a positive footing to get more done.
Then comes the issue of what has turned out to be the decision that has most hurt the Trump White House: firing James Comey as FBI director. Bannon was one of the few advisers urging the president not to dismiss Comey over the potential for a major backlash.
His warnings were ignored, and Trump fired Comey.
The president gained nothing from it except for a powerful enemy with a grudge. Several damaging leaks have come from Comey world in the wake of his firing, and the blowback from the termination pushed the White House to appoint Bob Mueller as special counsel.
Mueller is currently the biggest threat to Trump and has already expanded his investigation beyond the stated purpose of looking into Russian meddling into the 2016 election.
If Bannon had been listened to, the Russia story may have died months ago. Instead, it still dominates Trump coverage and threatens his future as president.
On another personnel move, Bannon’s opinion also proved to be right. The White House chief strategist strongly opposed Anthony Scaramucci becoming communications director, but the administration hired him anyway.
Scaramucci’s one major accomplishment as comms director was telling a reporter Bannon sucks his own cock and that then-chief of staff Reince Priebus is “a fucking paranoid schizophrenic.” Mooch lasted only lasted 10 days.
Besides infrastructure, Bannon had other policy proposals that were more sensible than what other White House staffers and GOP leaders favored.
On taxes, the Breitbart alum proposed a tax increase on those who make more than $5 million a year. Polling shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans support raising the tax rate for millionaires. However, congressional Republicans dismissed the idea of raising taxes on the group of people most likely to support globalism.
With foreign policy, Bannon was a prominent voice of restraint. He opposed the April missile strike against the Assad regime and has opposed further involvement in that country’s civil war. He has urged drawing down troop levels in Afghanistan and handing off duties to private contractors. (RELATED: With Bannon Gone, Trump Loses Key Anti-War Aide)
He has also publicly stated that there was no credible military solution to the North Korea crisis and argued that a diplomatic resolution was the only way to handle the nuclear state.
These positions contradict the image of Bannon as a bloodthirsty madman and show that he was one of the last remaining, if not the last, dove in the White House.
With him gone, the White House is now missing that voice. What the future holds for the administration depends entirely on the man at the top. But the men and women who now surround the commander-in-chief are very different from the aide once considered the shadow president.