Trump and Bannon: Buccaneer Brothers

Donald Trump is the hero in a fable of his own making.  In the beginning, he may not have been a true believer himself, but he was smart enough to recognize that Republicans were fed up with the Bush dynasty and business as usual on the right.

Cluelessness on the left was even more manifest.  The New York Times, the Washington Post, public broadcasting, and the major commercial networks were all slapped by a Trump Twitter account.  Print and broadcast media have yet to adjust to the reality of mainstream menopause.   

Smug progressives and their press allies were at first contemptuous of a populist candidate, then confused, and now hysterical.  Over time, Trump exposed Fourth Estate shills as blatant partisans, makers and fakers, not reporters of the news.  He used social media to talk past the establishment, the conventional wisdom, and most of the news spinners.  With ribald irony, Donald Trump hoisted press and broadcast mavens with their own petards.

In colloquial French, a "petard" is a fart.

Media outlets did their damnedest to cook the numbers during the primaries and during the election.  None of the usual hustles, including voting fraud, worked.  Pollsters are now poking their navels for exculpatory explanations.  Alas, as Trump says, hate, bias, and shams are still the most obvious culprits.

Now that the public square is littered with donkey scat, the explanation for civic chaos is clearly a plague of jackasses.  Liberal globalists, the Democratic Party, infantile Millennials, and an American media, with precious little credibility left, were the big losers in the 2016 election.

Nevertheless, professional laptops and teleprompters are doubling down on the same stupidity, incitement to violence, and vicious mendacity that lost the Congress, the Courts, and the White House in 2016.  Absent any reliable touchstone for truth, Donald Trump is thus empowered to create a new political reality by communicating directly with his insurgents.  

Wishful thinking among Trump haters is yet a political meme, a global if not social disease.  No cure in sight.  Like federal civil servants and federal contractors, alas, media failures seldom get fired.  The same pundits who ridiculed candidate Donald now conspire with urban street losers to unseat President Trump.  Coup plots and conspirators abound.

The haters still don't get it.  Serial failure is the absence of humility and reflection.  Excess on the American right and left makes Trump look like a good choice.  If Trump is a sympathetic figure, he can thank his enemies.

American media sold out for ratings while the American left sold out to "pussy" politics.  In contrast, Trump, warts and all, came to represent values that sensible folks care about: pride, common sense, national security, and economic safety.

Trump was able to breach the blue wall of political correctness because he understood cardinal virtues of good strategy: offense and common sense.  Good offense makes defense unnecessary.  When one tactic doesn't work, common sense says try another.

The haters are incapable of seeing beyond Trump hyperbole and bombast to the stratagems behind every issue.  Trump chums political waters for chumps, creating daily feeding frenzies.  Partisan fish rise to the bait, and public humiliation, every time.

Trump may have taken a page out of Rush Limbaugh's book.  About twice a day, Limbaugh will say something inflammatory or provocative on air only to use anticipated media hysteria as material for subsequent shows.  Some  journalist naïf will take that bait every time.

A news cycle corrupted by bias is the gift that keeps on giving.  Trump's, Limbaugh's, and even Breitbart's numbers are a function mainstream incontinence.  Outliers, right and left, fail to see that Trump rules the way he ran.  He does not bring a knife to a gun fight.  Hit Trump with a low blow, and he will probably bloody your nose with a tweet.

When Trump says the press is the enemy or fake news, he is correct.  After only two weeks, all manner of trash is being laid at Trump's feet: the Muslim migrant crisis, the European implosion, and the so-called Russian "menace."  

In fact, Islam has been a sectarian cesspool for 1,400 years.  Appeasements and open borders of late have merely allowed longstanding religious toxins to poison and assault Western culture, if not sovereignty.  None of this is Trump's doing.

In fact, the European Union was doomed long before Donald Trump came along.  The E.U., like all previous Utopian fantasies, is dying from globalist overreach and internal contradictions, all of which are orchestrated by smug quislings.  Muslim jihad in Europe is a case study in poetic justice.  None of this is Trump's fault.

In fact, a coherent response to the Soviet collapse has been wanting for 25 years.  Instead, E.U. and NATO chauvinists have tried to turn former Soviet client states into 21st-century cannon fodder.  The second Cold War was going hot long before Trump ran for office.  For three decades, no one in Brussels or Washington seemed to believe that E.U. expansion or NATO imperialism was a bad idea.

The Russian scapegoat might be the worst and most dangerous hoax of the 21st century, serving only venal economic and venal political masters in Brussels and Washington.

The hot, steaming mess that is domestic and global politics today is not Donald's fault, not any of Trump's doing.

Western media, more than any political party, are the body guard of contemporary lies, spin, bigotry, tropes, memes, shibboleths, and utopian fairy tales that make responsible citizens want to hurl – or re-elect Trump.

Regime change, for example, is not a rose, jasmine, or springtime at the mosque.  A sponsored coup is usually a naïve imperialist pedaling a dirty rag, often the burka of  false hope.

If the truth be told, there are few media sissies or limp arguments that are a match for Trump's candor on these matters.  A man who has everything has little to lose.  If legacy is the prize, he has that, too.  With one campaign, Trump has undone a troika of weak sisters: the Bush, Obama, and Clinton regimes.

What followed was sour grapes.  Trump, or anyone like him, might have been a winner the day he sought the nomination.

By disposition, Trump is neither diplomat nor politician.  He might be a pirate, though.  Indeed, he commandeered a ship of state – not just any ship, but the global flagship.  Like any buccaneer, Trump's measure will be taken now by the cut of his crew.  Great men are not necessarily good men.  Yet survival is still a team sport.

First Mate Stephen Kevin Bannon is a recruiting poster for buccaneers: successful, pugnacious, brutally candid, and ready to brawl.  Unshaven, uncoiffed, and rumpled, Bannon looks like an unmade bed or a refugee from an Irish kegger.  He is as unkempt as Trump is well groomed.  Still, the two are shipmates.  Neither has any illusions about real enemies, and neither backs away from a street fight.


Trump, Flynn, and Bannon.

Nobody should confuse buccaneers with lawyers, journalists, or professional politicians.  Trump hired Bannon as first mate because the ship of state needs a fighter to repel borders and a brawler to lead shore parties as necessary.

As strategic adviser, Bannon will be a strong hand, along with Mike Flynn, on domestic and foreign policy.  For the moment, the DOD and the director of national intelligence are excluded from regular national security meetings.  Good moves both.  Draining the Beltway swamp begins with an unambiguous message to entrenched national security poseurs.

The DOD has forgotten how to win, becoming a dollar sieve for contractors, while the intelligence community has become a haven for apology abroad and sedition at home.  If institutional demotions get their attention, reform might be possible at DOD and the I.C.

Team Trump has told State and Justice Department apparatchiks to get on board or get gone.  That same signal is now a standing order for Defense and intelligence.

Sedition and mutiny are a clear and present danger to the Trump administration.  For the moment, Washington, D.C. is still the nexus for the arrogance, the intransigence, and all the incitement to mayhem that are the American left.

If you had to pick a single failing, beyond serial stupidity, that characterizes Trump-haters, naysayers, and poor losers, it would have to be poor judgment.  A mature strategist should know not to underestimate an opponent or an enemy.  Trump has been the beneficiary of low expectations from the very beginning.

Clueless opposition makes victory possible.

An estimate on the high side is simply a prudent hedge.  Underestimates are fatal flaws for all losers.  If pundits have learned nothing from 2016, they should know that guys like Trump and Bannon thrive on thumping the purveyors of low expectations, hate, propaganda, and violence.                

The only thing more satisfying than being correct is winning.

G. Murphy Donovan is a former intelligence officer who writes about the politics of national security. 

Donald Trump is the hero in a fable of his own making.  In the beginning, he may not have been a true believer himself, but he was smart enough to recognize that Republicans were fed up with the Bush dynasty and business as usual on the right.

Cluelessness on the left was even more manifest.  The New York Times, the Washington Post, public broadcasting, and the major commercial networks were all slapped by a Trump Twitter account.  Print and broadcast media have yet to adjust to the reality of mainstream menopause.   

Smug progressives and their press allies were at first contemptuous of a populist candidate, then confused, and now hysterical.  Over time, Trump exposed Fourth Estate shills as blatant partisans, makers and fakers, not reporters of the news.  He used social media to talk past the establishment, the conventional wisdom, and most of the news spinners.  With ribald irony, Donald Trump hoisted press and broadcast mavens with their own petards.

In colloquial French, a "petard" is a fart.

Media outlets did their damnedest to cook the numbers during the primaries and during the election.  None of the usual hustles, including voting fraud, worked.  Pollsters are now poking their navels for exculpatory explanations.  Alas, as Trump says, hate, bias, and shams are still the most obvious culprits.

Now that the public square is littered with donkey scat, the explanation for civic chaos is clearly a plague of jackasses.  Liberal globalists, the Democratic Party, infantile Millennials, and an American media, with precious little credibility left, were the big losers in the 2016 election.

Nevertheless, professional laptops and teleprompters are doubling down on the same stupidity, incitement to violence, and vicious mendacity that lost the Congress, the Courts, and the White House in 2016.  Absent any reliable touchstone for truth, Donald Trump is thus empowered to create a new political reality by communicating directly with his insurgents.  

Wishful thinking among Trump haters is yet a political meme, a global if not social disease.  No cure in sight.  Like federal civil servants and federal contractors, alas, media failures seldom get fired.  The same pundits who ridiculed candidate Donald now conspire with urban street losers to unseat President Trump.  Coup plots and conspirators abound.

The haters still don't get it.  Serial failure is the absence of humility and reflection.  Excess on the American right and left makes Trump look like a good choice.  If Trump is a sympathetic figure, he can thank his enemies.

American media sold out for ratings while the American left sold out to "pussy" politics.  In contrast, Trump, warts and all, came to represent values that sensible folks care about: pride, common sense, national security, and economic safety.

Trump was able to breach the blue wall of political correctness because he understood cardinal virtues of good strategy: offense and common sense.  Good offense makes defense unnecessary.  When one tactic doesn't work, common sense says try another.

The haters are incapable of seeing beyond Trump hyperbole and bombast to the stratagems behind every issue.  Trump chums political waters for chumps, creating daily feeding frenzies.  Partisan fish rise to the bait, and public humiliation, every time.

Trump may have taken a page out of Rush Limbaugh's book.  About twice a day, Limbaugh will say something inflammatory or provocative on air only to use anticipated media hysteria as material for subsequent shows.  Some  journalist naïf will take that bait every time.

A news cycle corrupted by bias is the gift that keeps on giving.  Trump's, Limbaugh's, and even Breitbart's numbers are a function mainstream incontinence.  Outliers, right and left, fail to see that Trump rules the way he ran.  He does not bring a knife to a gun fight.  Hit Trump with a low blow, and he will probably bloody your nose with a tweet.

When Trump says the press is the enemy or fake news, he is correct.  After only two weeks, all manner of trash is being laid at Trump's feet: the Muslim migrant crisis, the European implosion, and the so-called Russian "menace."  

In fact, Islam has been a sectarian cesspool for 1,400 years.  Appeasements and open borders of late have merely allowed longstanding religious toxins to poison and assault Western culture, if not sovereignty.  None of this is Trump's doing.

In fact, the European Union was doomed long before Donald Trump came along.  The E.U., like all previous Utopian fantasies, is dying from globalist overreach and internal contradictions, all of which are orchestrated by smug quislings.  Muslim jihad in Europe is a case study in poetic justice.  None of this is Trump's fault.

In fact, a coherent response to the Soviet collapse has been wanting for 25 years.  Instead, E.U. and NATO chauvinists have tried to turn former Soviet client states into 21st-century cannon fodder.  The second Cold War was going hot long before Trump ran for office.  For three decades, no one in Brussels or Washington seemed to believe that E.U. expansion or NATO imperialism was a bad idea.

The Russian scapegoat might be the worst and most dangerous hoax of the 21st century, serving only venal economic and venal political masters in Brussels and Washington.

The hot, steaming mess that is domestic and global politics today is not Donald's fault, not any of Trump's doing.

Western media, more than any political party, are the body guard of contemporary lies, spin, bigotry, tropes, memes, shibboleths, and utopian fairy tales that make responsible citizens want to hurl – or re-elect Trump.

Regime change, for example, is not a rose, jasmine, or springtime at the mosque.  A sponsored coup is usually a naïve imperialist pedaling a dirty rag, often the burka of  false hope.

If the truth be told, there are few media sissies or limp arguments that are a match for Trump's candor on these matters.  A man who has everything has little to lose.  If legacy is the prize, he has that, too.  With one campaign, Trump has undone a troika of weak sisters: the Bush, Obama, and Clinton regimes.

What followed was sour grapes.  Trump, or anyone like him, might have been a winner the day he sought the nomination.

By disposition, Trump is neither diplomat nor politician.  He might be a pirate, though.  Indeed, he commandeered a ship of state – not just any ship, but the global flagship.  Like any buccaneer, Trump's measure will be taken now by the cut of his crew.  Great men are not necessarily good men.  Yet survival is still a team sport.

First Mate Stephen Kevin Bannon is a recruiting poster for buccaneers: successful, pugnacious, brutally candid, and ready to brawl.  Unshaven, uncoiffed, and rumpled, Bannon looks like an unmade bed or a refugee from an Irish kegger.  He is as unkempt as Trump is well groomed.  Still, the two are shipmates.  Neither has any illusions about real enemies, and neither backs away from a street fight.


Trump, Flynn, and Bannon.

Nobody should confuse buccaneers with lawyers, journalists, or professional politicians.  Trump hired Bannon as first mate because the ship of state needs a fighter to repel borders and a brawler to lead shore parties as necessary.

As strategic adviser, Bannon will be a strong hand, along with Mike Flynn, on domestic and foreign policy.  For the moment, the DOD and the director of national intelligence are excluded from regular national security meetings.  Good moves both.  Draining the Beltway swamp begins with an unambiguous message to entrenched national security poseurs.

The DOD has forgotten how to win, becoming a dollar sieve for contractors, while the intelligence community has become a haven for apology abroad and sedition at home.  If institutional demotions get their attention, reform might be possible at DOD and the I.C.

Team Trump has told State and Justice Department apparatchiks to get on board or get gone.  That same signal is now a standing order for Defense and intelligence.

Sedition and mutiny are a clear and present danger to the Trump administration.  For the moment, Washington, D.C. is still the nexus for the arrogance, the intransigence, and all the incitement to mayhem that are the American left.

If you had to pick a single failing, beyond serial stupidity, that characterizes Trump-haters, naysayers, and poor losers, it would have to be poor judgment.  A mature strategist should know not to underestimate an opponent or an enemy.  Trump has been the beneficiary of low expectations from the very beginning.

Clueless opposition makes victory possible.

An estimate on the high side is simply a prudent hedge.  Underestimates are fatal flaws for all losers.  If pundits have learned nothing from 2016, they should know that guys like Trump and Bannon thrive on thumping the purveyors of low expectations, hate, propaganda, and violence.                

The only thing more satisfying than being correct is winning.

G. Murphy Donovan is a former intelligence officer who writes about the politics of national security. 

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