White House Chief of Staff John Kelly fired Bannon on Friday, presumably to give the beleaguered consigliere more free time to ominously mill in the background of somebody else’s ethno-nationlist meetings. Sup, Breitbart.
On the left the response has ranged between sweet sighs of relief to exuberant schadenfreude—both of which are appropriate responses if you view Trump as a mere vessel and Bannon as the Rasputin behind the throne. But the sad reality is that Trump had done tons of racist stuff long before Bannon ever got hold of him. The fact that Trump hired Bannon is itself evidence of this, not to mention Trump’s vile stance against the Central Park Five, the two times he was sued for not renting to black people, the time he refused to disavow former KKK grand wizard David Duke, or the fact that he pretty much started the whole birther conspiracy.
Bannon’s departure is certainly a good thing. The fewer white nationalists in the halls of power the better. But make no mistake, those same views will enjoy the world’s loudest bullhorn as long as Donald Trump is the president of the United States.