- The Washington Times - Monday, September 11, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Steve Bannon, in an interview with Charlie Rose on “60 Minutes” on CBS, said elites in the Republican Party have been steadily working to “nullify” the results of the 2016 election, and cast President Donald Trump to the side.

It doesn’t get any clearer — or more honest — than that.

“They do not want Donald Trump’s populist, economic nationalist agenda to be implemented,” Bannon said, The Hill noted. “It’s very obvious.”

Yes, it is. The biggest example: For seven years, American conservatives heard nothing but repeal Obamacare, reform Obamacare, replace Obamacare. But now that they have a chance to actually do it — now that there’s a president in the White House who would actually sign a repeal bill?

Nada. Nothing.

Nothing but an occasional “drain the swamp” mention in a media report or two.

This is why the whole “drain the swamp” mantra resonated with conservative Americans in the first place: We all knew that Washington, D.C., was filled with RINOs. That Trump was vowing to give them the boot was, in the minds of Republicans, the most pragmatic Step One approach to dealing with the problem of a stymied and stalled GOP agenda. After all, what’s the point of bringing a legislative and policy goal to D.C. if it was just going to be drowned by swamp creatures, right?

“Mitch McConnell, when we first met him,” Bannon said, citing an example of how the establishment has long-sought a docile, pliable Trump, “as we were wrapping up, he basically says, ‘I don’t want to hear any more of this “drain the swamp” talk.’ “

Why not?

“He says, ‘I can’t — I can’t hire any smart people,’ because everybody’s all over him for reporting requirements and — and the pay, et cetera, and the scrutiny,” Bannon said.

Bannon also said Trump’s been a bit more complicit with the crumbling of his agenda than let on.

“In the 48 hours after we won, there’s a fundamental decision that was made,” he said. “You might call it the original sin of the administration. We embraced the establishment. I mean, we totally embraced the establishment.”

So what’s up with the Trump agenda, the one that promised to tear down Obamacare, build the wall, tighten national borders, put Americans first, and so forth and so on? Largely, they’re in limbo.

As Bannon’s remarks to Rose suggest: The swamp creatures seem to be winning right now.

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