The Power behind the Throne

Having already demonstrated on countless occasions his inability to put two sentences together coherently (unless, perhaps, in praise of his own grandeur, e.g. “I am very intelligent …” etc.) I assume we shouldn’t be all that surprised to learn that US President Trump’s inauguration speech* was written by two of the president’s closest aides, chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior advisor Stephen Miller, and not by Trump himself – as he had claimed earlier – as reported by the Wall Street Journal on January 21st.

On the other hand, I wonder if Americans have figured out yet that, while Trump is now in the  US President’s seat doing his thing,  this might not be  quite his own thing as there is a puppet master in the White House, pulling the strings he needs to pull to have Donald do his bidding for him and his paranoid anti-Islam ideology.

I’m referring of course to alt-right-wing  and rabid-Islamophobe Stephen K. Bannon who in 2015 was described by a Bloomberg Newsweek article about him, “The Most Dangerous Political Operative in America”, and more recently referred to by the Guardian as “The man who once imagined a ‘global war’ between ‘the Judeo-Christian west’ and ‘jihadist Islamic fascism’. This man is now Trump’s top adviser.

Bannon & Trump

And so I’m wondering what if Trump might not be quite his own man because it’s not the Russians that have the goods on dear Donald, but Steve Bannon does, having dug up some highly compromising information on Dear Donald through his Breitbart News dirt-mining research team known as the Government Accountability Institute, or  GAI.

Earlier, Bannon, in his capacity as executive chair of Breitbart News LLC, had hired discredited author Peter Schweizer, the president of  GAI,  after being very much impressed by his best-selling publication of Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.

Schweizer, who began his career as a researcher at the conservative Hoover Institution, digging through Soviet archives, led the conservative GAI group that is said to have close ties to the Mercer family – called in 2015 by the Washington Post one of the ten most influential billionaires in politics – as well receiving substantial support from other right-wing sources such as  Charles and David Koch.  In conducting its “fact-based” research the GAI team  has access to resources that include an “after-hours” deal to use European internet infrastructure equipment worth 1.3 billion to comb the internet including the secretive Deep Web for information (read “dirt”). And if it is true that Bannon through the GAI has found some real dirt on Trump,  it would not be inconceivable that he and his alt-right cronies are able to put this to some good use by advancing their own ideological ends.

I’m not sure how else to explain the fact that there is a NON-ELECTED individual talking into the ear of the president all day, as well as why Trump is allowing Bannon as a regular attendee to the National Security Council ′s Principals Committee, a Cabinet-level senior inter-agency forum for considering national security issues. This move has been  severely criticized by several members of previous administrations and was called “stone cold crazy” by Susan E. Rice, Barack Obama’s last national security adviser.

But regardless of what Bannon and the GAI may or may not have on Trump, it remains to be seen how the latter – as a person with NPD** – is able to tolerate the presence of Bannon without being able to control him, especially now, when more and more attention appears to be focused on Bannon’s role in running the country. Having to share the limelight with another human being is not something Trump is capable of, so stand back and wait for this situation to come to a head.

(*) Described at the time by George Bush as “some weird shit …”

(**) Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a form of pathological narcissism, first diagnosed by the psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut, in 1968. A rigid pattern of behaviour that drives a lifelong quest for self-gratification, NPD is characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, an insatiable need for attention and a chronic lack of empathy.