Does Steve Bannon Have Something to Offer?

Does Steve Bannon Have Something to Offer? by Peggy Noonan.

They say he’s rough and tough, and there’s no reason to doubt it. They say he leaks like a sieve and disparages his rivals, and this can be assumed to be correct: They all do that in this White House. He is accused of saying incendiary things and that is true. … When I said a while back that some of the president’s aides are outlandish, and confuse strength with aggression, he was in mind.

But there’s something low, unseemly and ugly in the efforts to take him out so publicly and humiliatingly, to turn him into a human oil spot on the tarmac — this not only from his putative colleagues but now even the president. “I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Mr. Trump purred to the New York Post’s Michael Goodwin. …

What will take its place if [Bannon] leaves the White House or recedes as a figure? What worldview will prevail, to the extent Mr. Trump does worldviews? Policy changes accompanying Mr. Bannon’s diminishment this week included the president’s speaking approvingly of the Export-Import Bank and NATO, declaring that China isn’t a currency manipulator after all, suggesting the dollar may be too strong, and hitting Syria and Afghanistan.

None of that sounds like Candidate Trump.

It is possible what we are seeing is simply the rise of a more moderate or conciliatory or establishment Trump White House. But it also looks like the rise of the Wall Street Mr. Bannon painted as tending to see people as commodities. Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, is said to be Mr. Bannon’s most effective internal foe. He is the new rising figure. There are many Wall Street folk — some from Messrs. Bannon and Cohn’s old stomping ground, Goldman Sachs — in influential administration posts. …

Will all these changes, in policy and perhaps personnel, hurt Mr. Trump? Probably a little. But nothing dramatic right now, because his supporters knew they were making an unusual choice in making him president, and they will give him time.

hat-tip Stephen Neil