One year ago, Stephen Kevin Bannon was on top of the world. He’d parlayed his position as executive chairman at Breitbart.com into a spot in the White House. (He would end up leaving several spots on the furniture.) Finally, he found himself exactly where a man of his vision and brilliance belonged. He could tell America what to do, and we’d all have to do it. He was the power behind the throne, the brain controlling Trump’s brawn. It was time to rule the world.
As of today, Bannon has now been kicked out of the White House, fired from Breitbart, and even bumped from his radio show on SiriusXM. He’s been branded “Sloppy Steve” by the man he thought was his puppet, and it looks like the nickname will stick.
Former Breitbart employees are lining up to point and laugh at him. People on both sides of the aisle are putting aside their differences to gloat at his downfall. The underlings who’ve been afraid of him for years are now giddy with relief. And the rest of us are just enjoying the show.
It’s a bad time to be Sloppy Steve Bannon.
I’m sure he’ll land on his feet, or some other appendage. As he oozes back under his damp rock to plot his revenge against the world that spurned him, I thought I’d list a few of the things I’ll miss most about him. Drum roll, please:
- I’ll miss… um… his gentle smile?
- And then there’s the way he… uh…
- Er, that is to say…
Okay, I thought I’d be able to come up with something I’ll miss about Bannon. No such luck. Sorry, Steve.
You know who I do miss, though? Andrew. Y’know, the guy Breitbart.com is named after. The man whose legacy has been ruined by Bannon, maybe forever.
I miss the happy warrior who strapped on rollerblades and invited a bunch of lefty protesters to join him at Applebee’s. (Some of them did!) I miss the fearless truth-teller who took command of Anthony Weiner’s press conference to scold the press who falsely accused him of hacking Weiner’s Twitter account:
That guy I miss.
I regret that I never got the chance to meet Andrew in person. We knew each other online a bit, and he was nice enough to call me after I was struck and injured by a State Department vehicle in 2010. (Long story.) I don’t remember much about that phone call through the haze of the painkillers I was on at the time, but I know I barely got a word in edgewise and his kids were running around yelling and screaming in the background. It was wonderfully chaotic and pleasantly exasperating. I’m glad I got to talk to him, or at least be talked at by him, even just that once.
Maybe things would be different now if Andrew were still with us. Some NeverTrumpers point to Andrew’s strong criticisms of Trump, but he said those things long before anybody imagined Trump could actually win. Hell, Ann Coulter went from “Trump is a clown” to “In Trump We Trust,” and now she’s leaning back toward “clown.” People change their minds for all sorts of reasons.
There’s no way to know what Andrew would think of all this. He’d probably be glad Hillary isn’t president. (I am.) And maybe he’d be able to put aside his misgivings and jump on the Trump Train. (I can’t.) But it’s hard to imagine we’d be worse off right now if Andrew had lived and nobody had ever heard of Steve Bannon.
I don’t know what’s next for Breitbart.com, either. Presumably Bannon will be airbrushed out of all the pictures, and they’ll realign their reality to conform with the present circumstances. But if nothing else, Andrew Breitbart has taught us all one important lesson:
Never name your website after yourself. After you die, some jerk might take over and turn it to crap.