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Moulitsas: Bannon’s influence is a threat

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It is clear the nation’s real president, white supremacist Stephen Bannon, is a serious threat to the nation.

His Breitbart is a proud bastion of the “alt-right” — codeword for the racist, white nationalist wing of the Republican Party. Articles on the site regularly rail against “full integration” of racial groups, saying things like, “The alt-right believe that some degree of separation between peoples is necessary for a culture to be preserved.”

So of course Bannon’s fingerprints would be all over President Trump’s regime’s first effort to stem any integration: this weekend’s unconscionable Muslim travel ban. To the delight of the Nazi-KKK crowd at Stormfront and other white nationalist cesspools, the policy was implemented as cruelly as possible — splitting up families, denying entry to Iraqi interpreters for U.S. forces in Iraq, blocking people who had valid visas and green cards, harassing U.S. passport holders and even handcuffing grandmothers and toddlers. Befuddled security agencies tried to implement the policy given zero advance notice. And, when the courts rightfully put a stop to the insanity, Customs and Border Patrol agents at several airports bizarrely refused to comply. Tyrants have no use for checks and balances.

{mosads}And yes, Bannon certainly fancies himself a tyrant. “I’m a Leninist,” he told reporter Ronald Radosh. “Lenin … wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Mass resistance to Trump’s creeping totalitarianism might be a national imperative, but the mass public upheaval also plays into Bannon’s destructive fantasies. He is a comic book villain, breeding chaos because he wants chaos.

And he’s pulling Trump’s puppet strings, so much so that he’s even purged the National Security Council — the top interagency group for discussing national security issues with the president — of any officials who might offer Trump unvarnished insight into the real world. Imagine how Republicans and the media would react if any other president ousted the nation’s top Pentagon and top intelligence officials from the NSC in favor of a political hack. Neither Karl Rove (George W. Bush) nor David Axelrod (Barack Obama) would dare pull such a move. Bannon doesn’t care. He now has full control over Trump’s sources of information, able to easily manipulate the weak-willed nominal president.

And of course, “white nationalism” brings with it Nazi-style anti-semitism. Over the weekend, as protests raged across the nation, Bannon’s team released a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day purposefully omitting any mention of Jewish victims. A Trump spokesperson claimed they were “an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered.” Trump Chief of Staff Reince Priebus tripled down on the statement Sunday morning: “I don’t regret the words. Everyone’s suffering [in] the Holocaust, including obviously all of the Jewish people affected.” Shameful.

“Many Holocaust deniers acknowledge, ‘Oh, yeah, people were killed, but it was a lot of innocent people. Jews weren’t targeted,’ ” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). “The fact that they did that and imposed this religious test against Muslims in the executive orders on the same day — this is not a coincidence.” The outrage wasn’t partisan. This shocking anti-semitism in our nation’s highest office was criticized by, among others, Israel and two Republican Jewish groups.

The warning signs were always there. Bannon’s Trump won riding a wave of racism, xenophobia and anti-semitism. No one should be surprised to see that bigotry emerge in this regime’s first week. And yet, this is America. We still are.

Moulitsas is the founder and publisher of Daily Kos.

The views of contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.

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