The Wall Street Journal has unearthed 2013 footage of Donald Trump’s new white-nationalist-baiting campaign chair, Breitbart head honcho Steve Bannon, complaining, “We don’t really believe there is a functional conservative party in this country, and we certainly don’t think the Republican Party is that.”
On the one hand, the fact that the Republican Party isn’t a functional conservative party was trivially true at the time, and has only become more blindingly so in the years since. But by effectively capturing the GOP, Bannon has fulfilled his own prophecy. There’s an old aphorism in U.S. politics that Republicans insist government doesn’t work, then get elected and prove it. Bannon is—perhaps unwittingly or subconsciously, but possibly with complete awareness and malign intent—running the same play, against the GOP instead of the government. This election looks more and more like divine retribution for decades of conservative bad faith.