I'm not even sure what I'm typing anymore, but here goes: Steve Bannon, the guy who'll spend the next four-to-eight years whispering sweet hate-mongering nothings into President-elect Donald Trump's ear, is apparently pretty aware he's becoming the villain in our history books, but no matter! "Darkness is good," he told the Hollywood Reporter in a profile published today. "Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power." GREAT.
There are a lot of deeply frightening takeaways from the Hollywood Reporter piece. He doesn't consider himself a "white nationalist," for instance, even if other white nationalists do, but rather an "economic nationalist," which, sure. He also considers Trump "probably the greatest orator since William Jennings Bryan," because of how well he connects to the audiences at his rallies. Bannon himself is "Thomas Cromwell in the court of the Tudors," which is at least comforting, since Thomas Cromwell was beheaded and eventually the Tudors produced Queen Elizabeth I. She was was a dope ruler. Maybe there's hope for Arabella Rose.
Then, of course, there's this:
“Darkness is good,” says Bannon, who amid the suits surrounding him at Trump Tower, looks like a graduate student in his T-shirt, open button-down and tatty blue blazer — albeit a 62-year-old graduate student. “Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they—“ I believe by “they” he means liberals and the media, already promoting calls for his ouster “—get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.”
It is nice to see Dick Cheney's name appropriately located next to Darth Vader's and Satan's, but it appears Bannon actually wants to be the bad guy. It makes sense, considering Bannon's past statements and his history of running what the Times describes as "a hate site steeped in misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, white nationalism and anti-Semitism."
The profile also digs into Trump's massive $1 trillion infrastructure plan that, in Bannon's words, "will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution — conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement." The vast proposal has been flaunted before and Democrats have already agreed to work with his administration in it, but there are some who believe Trump's plan is naught but a cover to boost his own fiscal interests.
Freshman U.S. Representative Ruben Gallego from Arizona has begged Democrats in Congress to block the infrastructure plan, calling it "a privatization scheme, rife with graft and corruption, whose real purpose is to enrich the Trump family and his supporters." As Gallego testified:
Under ordinary circumstances, we would welcome a plan to invest in infrastructure — even if that plan came from the other side of the aisle. Especially if it came from the other side of the aisle!
But Donald Trump is not an ordinary politician. He is a con-artist. He has refused to give the American people reason to believe that he is not in this to enrich himself. In fact, he has bucked tradition by maintaining his family’s interest in a private corporation.
So, we've got both Darth Vader and Bernie Madoff in the White House, and if that's not a dynamic duo ripe for walking us into the wilderness and starting a brush fire, who is? Everyone in the bunker with Michael Shannon.