Since January 8, 2021, when YouTube kicked Steve Bannon's podcast off the channel for spreading the Big Lie, "viewing War Room," Jennifer Senior in her American Rasputin essay in The Atlantic wrote "has become harder to do. It’s still available in the far-right online ecosphere, and it’s streamable on various TV platforms, including Channel 240 of Pluto TV, but that seems like its own sad metaphor-- War Room as a small, demoted planetoid, available mainly in the icier regions of the broadcast cosmos. The whole operation has an amusing shoestring quality to it. The audio occasionally cuts out or sounds like it’s bubbling through a fish tank; two of Bannon’s phones buzz throughout the show; the segment openers aren’t always ready when he needs them. It’s a bit like Father Coughlin stumbled into Wayne and Garth’s basement."
The show, she wrote, is "a guided tour through Bannon’s gallery of obsessions: the stolen election, the Biden-family syndicate, the invaders at the southern border, the evil Chinese Communist Party, the stolen election, draconian COVID mandates, the folly of Modern Monetary Theory, the stolen election-- in other words, the MAGA spectrum of Trump's messaging. And Bannon isn't just a hobbyist broadcaster. Senior wrote that "He’s a televangelist, an Iago, a canny political operative with activist machinations. With almost every episode, he hopes to transform his audience into an army of the righteous-- one that will undo the 'illegitimate Biden regime' and replace the current GOP infrastructure, still riddled with institutionalist RINO pushovers, with adamantine Trumpists who believe that 2020 rightfully belonged to them."
Yesterday, New Yorker reporter Steve Call asked How Will Trump's Primary Messages Affect The Midterms, basically those where grievance messages Bannon is broadcasting on his podcast. Trump's ranting and raving on Truth Social to his 3 million MAGA die-hards, far fewer than the 89 million followers he had on Twitter before being kicked off for proving violence. Call gave an example: "Our Elections are Rigged, Inflation is rampant, gas prices and food costs are 'through the roof,' our Military 'Leadership' is Woke, our Country is going to hell."
Trump’s grip on Trumpism may be loosening a little, but the malignancy he has seeded in American politics cannot be eradicated anytime soon. His talking points about corrupt elections resound daily across right-wing media. Republican leaders and candidates embrace his isolationism and his mobilization of white-grievance politics. If Mastriano is elected, or if like-minded allies take control of election machinery in other swing states, the stage could be set for another constitutional crisis around voting results in 2024, whether Trump is the Republican Presidential nominee or not.
Trump apparently feels no compunction, as a former President, about questioning the legitimacy of the nation’s courts or the rule of law. “Our Legal System is corrupt, our Judges (and Justices!) are highly partisan, compromised or just plain scared,” he recently wrote on Truth Social. His new platform may look like a cynical way to make money-- the regulatory filing warned investors of many potential hazards, citing the examples of Trump Plaza and Trump Castle, among other past failures. But Trump’s abuse of Truth as a business brand is trivial compared with his ongoing vandalism in the public square. In November, his name won’t be on ballots, but voters will have to decide once more whether to endorse his hold on our faltering democracy.
Despite this straw poll from over the weekend at a MAGA conclave in Colorado:
There is still this (today):