POSTPAR­TI­SAN What is Ban­non’s plan?

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION - — Ed Rogers Ex­cerpted from wash­ing­ton­­ti­san

At the an­nual Con­ser­va­tive Po­lit­i­cal Ac­tion Con­fer­ence on Thurs­day, chief White House strate­gist Stephen K. Ban­non spoke about Pres­i­dent Trump’s plans for the econ­omy, al­lud­ing to the “de­con­struc­tion of the ad­min­is­tra­tive state” as the frame­work for how Trump wants to ap­proach tax re­form, reg­u­la­tory re­form and trade. Hav­ing been a swamp-dweller for quite a while, I’m not sure I un­der­stand what “de­con­struc­tion” really means in that con­text. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe Ban­non, as a one­time movie pro­ducer, knows how to ef­fec­tively blur the lines be­tween what’s real and what isn’t.

Ban­non also com­mented on the Trump cam­paign and the early days of the Trump pres­i­dency. He said that just like so many naysay­ers “were dead wrong on the chaos of the cam­paign and just like they were dead wrong on the chaos of the tran­si­tion, they are ab­so­lutely dead wrong about what’s go­ing on to­day be­cause we have a team that’s just grind­ing it through on [what] Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump promised the Amer­i­can peo­ple.” It’s hard to ar­gue with his logic. There was a con­stant drum­beat of “Trump can’t win, and there is chaos in the cam­paign” be­fore he won — some of which was pro­mul­gated by yours truly — and a lot of those same blowhards haven’t learned and con­tinue to say, “Trump can’t gov­ern, and there is chaos in the White House.” Maybe they will ul­ti­mately be proved wrong once and for all. But we won’t know that for quite a while.

Any­way, what is Ban­non’s plan? That seems to be one of the more fre­quently asked ques­tions in Wash­ing­ton to­day. He has been aloof and dis­mis­sive of the me­dia in Wash­ing­ton — and, oddly, this is some­thing the Wash­ing­ton me­dia al­ways finds ir­re­sistibly al­lur­ing. Ban­non is said to be the in­tel­lec­tual force be­hind Trump, so what does he think?

I am not sure he shed too much light on any of the answers to those ques­tions at CPAC. But you can bet that em­bassies, foreign min­istries, trade as­so­ci­a­tions, cor­po­rate of­fices, the me­dia and the usual cadre of ex­perts and lob­by­ists will put Ban­non’s ev­ery ut­ter­ance un­der a mi­cro­scope in an at­tempt to fig­ure out what it all means. I sus­pect Ban­non prob­a­bly knows this and is hav­ing some fun with it.

Stay tuned for more from Ban­non and the Trump team. It re­mains to be seen if a mas­ter­piece pro­duc­tion is com­ing to­gether — or if this movie will flop.

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