POSTPARTISAN What is Bannon’s plan?
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.