If you squint at the Bannon vision, you can almost imagine it. His professed nationalism, with its promise of infrastructure projects and antitrust actions and maybe even tax hikes on the rich, is potentially more popular than the Tea Party vision — an easier sell to swing voters than a stringent libertarianism or a zombie Reaganism, a more plausible response to the new political landscape that the stale agenda currently on offer on a Republican-controlled Capitol Hill.
But this imaginative exercise collapses when you look at Bannon’s own record and the candidates he’s recruiting.
The record features big talk about populism and political realignment, plus a dismissal of the white identitarians and racists drawn to his flame as just incidental idiots … but it never seems to cash out in anything except a return to empty, race-baiting culture war.
At the White House, Bannon did not manage to inject much heterodoxy into any part of the same old, same old Republican agenda. But he did encourage the president to pick racialized fights at every chance. On…