In a broad conversation with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, the exiled Steve Bannon said that Republicans had an easy path to dominance in November…but that they were not currently executing the strategy that would help them retain control of Congress. Bannon warned that if the GOP continues to campaign for the midterms in small, locally-concentrated ways, they risked giving the House back to Democrats, potentially setting the stage for Trump’s impeachment.
The Republican Party’s strategy, for now, appears to be to make the midterm elections a series of local contests focusing on the tax cut and the healthy economy. Bannon views this as fundamentally misguided. “You have to nationalize the election,” he said. Bannon understands that voters are moved from the gut more than through a wonky analysis of taxes. “This is going to be an emotional [election] — you’re either with [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi or you’re with Donald Trump. . . . Trump’s second presidential race will be on Nov. 6 of this year.”
Bannon is most focused on the issue of immigration because it hits both the heart and the head. “Immigration is about not just sovereignty, it’s about jobs.” He believes that the Trump coalition can attract up to a third of Sanders supporters who see trade and immigration as having created unfair competition for jobs, particularly for working-class blacks and Hispanics. He advocates appealing directly to those voters, saying, “You’re not going to be able to take the Hispanic and black community from the STEM system in grammar school to our best engineering schools . . . to the great jobs in Silicon Valley, unless you start to limit these H-1B visas and this unfair competition . . . from East Asia and South Asia.”
It’s not surprising that Bannon would see the election in these terms; this is, after all, the bread and butter of Trump’s campaign and exactly what allowed him to vault over 16 other, more experienced Republicans. The only problem? Very few others within the party are on the same page. Bannon is essentially telling globalists to go run against the idea of globalism. He’s asking semi-open-border enthusiasts to campaign for the wall. He’s telling free trade conservatives to go out there and trumpet Trump’s tariffs. It’s never going to happen.
Unfortunately, this leaves the door wide open for Democrats to win in November and immediately begin impeachment proceedings against the president. If you think this country is divided now, just wait until that starts. Putin will be laughing all the way to the bank.