Let's just begin with this: Steve Bannon does not care one whit about ethics rules and possibly even about the law. Steve Bannon lives a life where chaos and darkness are his friends, along with his white supremacist cabal of supporters.
Now let's see if we can educate POLITICO about that. In what can only be described as hopelessly optimistic, they have an article published about why Bannon can't have any contact with Breitbart while he serves in the White House.
It's almost as if they believe the usual ethics rules will apply to him!
President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, would be prohibited from communicating with the alt-right website he used to run, Breitbart News, while serving in the White House, according to ethics rules currently in place.
Bannon’s appointment stoked fear among liberals and conservatives alike that he would utilize the fiery Breitbart.com — a site that regularly attacks House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans, as well as liberal Democrats — as a semi-official house organ to promote Trump’s policies and attack his critics.
A couple of corrections to that first paragraph. First, it's not "alt-right." It's white supremacist fascism. Second, does anyone seriously think Trump or his pal Bannon give a fig about current White House ethics rules?
Silly wabbit, ethics are for liberals! We are now in a world where truth, ethics, appropriate behavior and all the rest do not matter.
The article goes on:
As president, Trump could waive that rule. But Bannon would still be subject to a law that bans officials from doing anything that would benefit their former employers, if they have any financial interests or an agreement to return.
Bannon was the company’s chairman until he took a leave oversee Trump's campaign in August. He later indicated that he planned to return.
You should assume that any law limiting or restricting Bannon would be disregarded and ignored. And who would prosecute him, in any event? Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III? Oh no, no. They're pals. Buddies. Have been for a long time. Sessions was the Senate go-to for Bannon; Darrell Issa was the House toady.
Norm Eisen, a White House ethics lawyer for President Barack Obama, told POLITICO that Bannon must recuse himself from contact with Breitbart for two years, under existing White House rules. He also called on Bannon to reveal whether he has any financial ties to Breitbart.
Bannon must do so within 30 days of taking office, but Eisen said he should make the declaration as soon as possible, given the concerns about Breitbart's connections to the Trump White House.
“He’s putting himself, the president that he will serve, and the administration at risk,” Eisen said.
As if they're going to care what anyone in the Obama administration has to say. I keep saying this and I will keep saying it: All of the norms are shattered now. All of them. There is absolutely no reason to expect Trump or his gang to adhere to the law, the regulations, any code of ethics, or much else.
POLITICO should start reading Adele Stan over at The American Prospect, who has Bannon pegged.
The joke had long been that if Donald Trump won the presidency, the White House would be reappointed with the gold-plated kitsch so prevalent in his real-estate holdings. A better choice, it seems, would be wicker, for if there ever was a basket of deplorables, it’s taking shape in the West Wing.
As further evidence of this, I offer up David Corn's newest article this morning, where it has been discovered that Steve Bannon is a member of a Facebook group dedicated to posting memes calling for President Obama's assassination, along with other racist and extreme material.
But Mother Jones has uncovered another clue about Bannon's political personality: Bannon joined a conservative Facebook group that has featured racist and extreme material. This material includes posts urging a military coup against President Barack Obama, featuring an image of the president dressed as an SS officer, celebrating the Confederate flag, highlighting a photoshopped picture of Obama with watermelons, praising a police officer who called Obama a "F*cking Nigger," and calling for Obama to be "executed as a traitor."
This Facebook group is for an outfit called Vigilant Patriots, which claims its goals are defending and upholding the Constitution and preserving "our history and culture." As of Friday morning, it listed nearly 3,600 members, including Stephen Bannon, who apparently joined the group seven years ago.
It's cute for publications like POLITICO to pretend Trump is just like any normal Republican, doing Republican things while at least pretending to follow the rules. But that is not what we have here. We have something far darker and more dangerous. It's time for these high-traffic online outlets like POLITICO to get a clue and start reporting facts rather than wishful thinking.