The Corner

The Steve Bannon Hire Is Trump Being Trump

I don’t know why anyone is shocked or even the least bit surprised either that Trump put Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus essentially side-by-side next to the seat of power. When you talked to establishment GOP Trump supporters, they were sure that Trump would ultimately welcome them into the fold and work with them, not the alt-right or Breitbart. He’d “grow” in office and be far more responsible than his opponents feared.

But when you talked to Trump’s ardent anti-establishment fans, he wasn’t conforming to the establishment, he was co-opting it. They weren’t concerned by establishment GOP support or an establishment presence in the campaign because they knew Trump was leading and Trump was with them.

Both of these competing visions were ultimately faith-based. His establishment and anti-establishment fans believed the favorable things Trump said or did and disregarded or discounted the contradictory evidence. And he always gave each side just enough crumbs to keep them satisfied.

And so it is now, as he puts Mr. Establishment next to Mr. Breitbart, and Mr. Establishment ends up compromising, effusively praising an alt-right hero. Who is using whom? Trump is using both.