Bannon didn’t resemble a honey badger so much as a dead horse after losing his job as chief White House strategist in August, then his job at Breitbart on Tuesday. And people across the political spectrum, regardless of ideology, seemed delighted to kick.
“No personality in modern political history has so completely squandered an opportunity to be an influential force in American life, particularly in so short a period of time,” wrote Jonah Goldberg in the National Review, an old-school conservative magazine that Bannon delighted in attacking when he led Breitbart.
“While I can almost feel sympathy for a man so thoroughly defenestrated by former friends and allies, that sympathy is tempered by the fact that he brought it all entirely on himself,” Goldberg wrote, probably referring to reports that Bannon angered Trump by taking credit for his election win, and reportedly accusing the president’s son of treason.
“I hope he finds peace in his well-deserved exile,” Goldberg concluded.
Bannon will find little on the Internet, where his fall was celebrated across the conservative spectrum.
“Lots of people talked themselves into believing that Bannon’s combination of nationalism and reform conservatism was, more or less, what defined ‘Trumpism.’ Not that Trump actually believed in Trumpism,” wrote Jonathan V. Last in the Weekly Standard. “So the Republican establishment was able to separate the ideas of Trumpism from the vessel of Trump — and they chose Trump. Not surprising.”
Bannon was mocked by never-Trump conservatives such as GOP strategist Rick Wilson:
He was disowned by Trump loyalists like Anthony Scaramucci, who despite also being ousted from the White House last year, still defends the president on cable news.
“Why would I give the president credit for bringing Steve Bannon in close to the seat of power?” an incredulous CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked Scaramucci on Tuesday.
“We’re now looking at this in hindsight,” he replied. “And the president would now say it’s a bad choice.”
Bannon was smart and talented, Scaramucci said — but like the honey badger, he had no regard for others. “He just didn’t want to play inside the sandbox with the other people.”
And now other people seem to have the run of the place.
Bannon, who had direct access to the Oval Office only a few months ago, not only lost his Breitbart chairmanship on Tuesday, but also his job as a radio host for SiriusXM, the Hill reported.
And a Fox News Channel spokesperson told the outlet that the network won’t be hiring him as a talking head.
Not everyone reveled in Bannon’s fall. Infowars, a hoax-peddling website whose influence has risen under Trump’s presidency, gave him a respectful enough epitaph.
“Steps down from Breitbart. A valued part of the site’s legacy,” Infowars wrote — next to “TACO BELL INVOKES ILLUMINATI” on the homepage.
But that was an exception. The Drudge Report, which pioneered fiery right-wing digital journalism before Breitbart News existed, essentially humiliated its fallen rival.
“TRUMP BROKE BANNON,” read Drudge’s headline, which by Wednesday morning was buried halfway down the front page, directly beneath “Pole-dancing droids go head to head with strippers.”
And if that’s how Bannon’s nominal ideological allies memorialized him, you can imagine what the left had to say.
Mostly, it just laughed: