Friday, March 16, 2018

From A Small Balcony In Rome

“Sloppy” Steve Bannon, who was unceremoniously swept out of the White House after his incendiary quotes about Donald Trump, Jr. appeared in Michael Wolfe’s book “Fire and Fury”, is currently traveling throughout Europe “lending a hand to the populist forces now on the rise.”
You’ll recall Bannon called Donald Jr.’s meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 with Russian individuals “treasonous” and said Special Counsel Robert Mueller would “crack Don Jr. like an egg on national TV.”
A recent interview published by the British magazine, The Spectator, has quoted Bannon praising Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. "He was clearly loved by women. He was a guy’s guy. He has all that virility. He also had amazing fashion sense, right, that whole thing with the uniforms. I’m fascinated by Mussolini."
Holy hell.
Bannon’s defenders say he is a brilliant man.  I vehemently beg to differ.  When stupid things fall out of Bannon’s mouth like the bullshit in The Spectator interview, the left pounces on it.  They eat it up.
In August of 2016, The Atlantic’s Ruth Ben-Ghiat noted, “Fascism has been back in the news with Donald Trump’s candidacy for the American presidency…Trump is not a Fascist. He does not aim to establish a one-party state. Yet he has created a one-man-led political movement that does not map onto traditional U.S. party structures or behave in traditional ways. This is how Fascism began as well.”
Ghait concludes her diatribe writing, “There’s no need to see a trajectory to dictatorship to recognize that Trump is testing American decency and the strength of U.S. democracy. The history of Mussolini’s rise coincides with the fall of what had been Italy’s version of a Grand Old Party: the liberal factions that had ruled Italy from Unification onward. They never recovered from their acquiescence to Il Duce. Of the many lessons the GOP can take from its experience with Trump so far, this might be the most valuable.”
Later in Nicholas Farrell’s Spectator interview he asks, “Can the West live with Islam?”  Bannon answered, “Yes. Islam not only will survive, it can have a place in the West and there is nothing about banning Muslims. Now the radical jihadist part — the supremacist Islam part — is a different deal, but no, we can live with Islam, we’ve got to live with Islam.”
I am convinced “Sloppy” Steve is a dangerous man.  I note the steady stream of leaks emanating from the White House while he was in the West Wing have slowed to a trickle.  His brash comments and his strategy to dominate White House policy did severe damage to President Trump’s first year in office.
Mussolini used a small balcony overlooking the Piazza Venezia in Rome to deliver his megalomaniac, fascist ideology to starving, impoverished Italians.  The arrogant dictator who fancied himself the second coming of Julius Caesar would be shot by communist partisans somewhere along the Italian countryside and his corpse hung in the same plaza from which he preached his misguided imperial dreams.
Bannon, who I believe is suffering from delusions of grandeur, was ill-advised to crow about Mussolini.  Doing so has only made those who hate this President question his prior association with this bizarre nut job. 

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