There may be no greater transgression in MAGA-land than refusing to engage in maximal corruption on Donald Trump’s behalf, which is why Trump has now endorsed former senator David Perdue, who is challenging Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
Trump has not bothered to conceal his reason for doing this: In backing Perdue, Trump derided Kemp as a sellout on “Election Integrity” who can’t win the “MAGA base.” In essence, Trump is urging his voters to reject Kemp for refusing to steal the election on Trump’s behalf.
Yet Trump is facing dissent on this from, of all people, his former adviser Stephen K. Bannon, who is raging that even Trump’s choice is too much of a squish to wage the long war from the right that Bannon is trying to summon into being.
Which signals the direction that the far right in this country, in the hands of the likes of Bannon, is likely to take: toward full-blown insurgency.
Bannon’s podcast features an endless barrage of ludicrous and lurid lies about Trump’s loss, as Daniel Dale details, and Bannon himself expressly declares that his goal is to reduce public faith in the “legitimacy” of President Biden’s “regime.”
Bannon reportedly helped plot Trump’s effort to overturn the election, and now that this failed, he hails the Jan. 6 rioters as “political prisoners.” He is transforming himself into a hero over his indictment for refusing a lawful subpoena from the select committee investigating the effort to overthrow U.S. democracy through corrupt legal manipulation and mob violence.
All of which says a good deal about the future direction of this sort of right-wing politics.
Nicole Hemmer, a scholar who specializes in conservative media, notes that in attacking Trump’s chosen candidate, Bannon is occupying a space different from other right-wing media figures, such as those on Fox News whose propaganda remains faithful to Trump.
Bannon has long seen Trump as more of a “vessel” for his “insurgency,” said Hemmer, the author of “Messengers of the Right.”
“Bannon sees Trump as one of many tools to achieve this broader vision that he has of nationalist politics, both in the United States and abroad,” Hemmer continued, describing his vision as “anti-democratic,” “anti-liberal,” and “authoritarian.”