Using some more of Robert and Rebekah Mercer's money, Steve Bannon extends his "Pay Attention to Me!" U.S. tour:
Anaheim, California (CNN) Steve Bannon delivered a withering attack on George W. Bush Friday night....
"There has not been a more destructive presidency than George Bush's," Bannon said during his dinnertime address at the convention banquet of the California Republican Party.
Really? That's the conventional wisdom among the Bannon/Mercer Republicans? That Bush's presidency was more destructive than Obummer's or Klintooon's? That's going to require a significant rewrite of the official wingnut histories if it catches on.
... Bannon ... [said] Bush “didn’t understand anything he was talking about” in a speech the day before that was widely seen as a rebuke of Donald Trump’s presidency.
“He embarrassed himself,” Bannon said in a dinnertime address at the convention banquet of the California Republican Party. “The speechwriter wrote a highfalutin speech. It’s clear he didn’t understand anything he was talking about. ... He has no earthly idea whether he’s coming or going, just like it was when he was president of the United States.”
Dude, you used to work for Donald Trump.
Bannon also attacked big business, including the tech industry:
... Bannon railed Friday against dangerous “global elites” and the Silicon Valley “lords of technology” whom he said are robbing U.S. citizens of jobs, wealth and opportunity.
“They want all the benefits of a free society...all the benefits of this rules-based international order,” including lucrative trade deals and capital markets, he said, while “we the citizens of the United States...underwrite the whole thing.”
Yup, Steve, and the president you claim to support is endorsing that approach with every tax proposal.
Answering Bannon's call (although Bannon has yet to endorse him) is this guy:
... Tim Donnelly, a former state assemblyman and co-founder of the Minutemen ... last week became the first California candidate to seize on Bannon’s call for “war,” and launched a challenge against GOP Rep. Paul Cook, charging that he alone will “have President Trump’s back” on key issues. Donnelly met with Bannon prior to the speech -- but the Breitbart executive has yet to endorse any candidates in California races.
Donnelly was a Minuteman a decade ago, in the years before he entered politics. He was given to making apocalyptic statements about the dangers of undocumented immigrants:
He posted this on a conservative website:
"The facts are incontrovertible that allowing an illegal invasion of the United States will destroy the American Southwest, and very probably wipe out the freedoms we American Christians enjoy, as Muslim Extremists blend in with the so-called 'innocent' illegal aliens, and eventually proselytize them. It is not a stretch to picture a revolt in Los Angeles, whose population is comprised of over 50 percent illegal aliens. At the rate of influx and births, it will be 80 percent illegal alien within a decade. ... None of this bodes well for the citizens who live in Southern California now, nor will it improve the life of the poor alien, but it is well on its way to wiping out everything that was once good in Southern California."
He would go to the border heavily armed:
Tim Donnelly took two handguns on his first tour with the Minutemen, back in '05. His Colt .45 was photogenic, like that of an Old West gunslinger. But before heading to the Mexico border, Donnelly took it to the range and couldn't hit the target. So he bought a Model 1911c — a semiautomatic that would shoot straight, if it came to that.
But he wasn't particularly effective. Here's a Colbert Report segment in which he and some allies string a whopping 400 yards of low fence across the Mexican border. Donnelly boasts that the fencing will make a significant difference, while a colleague acknowledges that it's an exercise in futility.
But he could talk tough. He joined up with the Tea Party, ran for the California State Assembly, and said things like this:
"I am going there to reach across the aisle to the enemies of freedom and annihilate them and pound them into the ground and take back our power. . . . We don't stop until Americans are back in power."
He served two terms in the Assembly, becoming known mostly for angry rhetoric:
Legislators want to "kneel and worship the environment," he says. A Sacramento newspaper is "one of the most Communist papers on the face of the earth." Cap-and-trade programs intended to reduce pollution will allow liberal financier George Soros to "play poker with our jobs" by gaming the market.
He was caught carrying a loaded handgun through airport security, for which he received three years' probation and a fine. I'm sure that impressed his voters.
Oh, and he tried and failed to overturn California's mandatory vaccine law. (He promises to fight mandatory vaccination if elected to Congress.)
Donnelly stepped down from his Assembly seat to run for governor in 2014 and finished third in the non-partisan primary, well behind incumbent Jerry Brown, but only 200,000 votes short of the other candidate to make the runoff, Republican Neel Kashkari. Donnelly won 643,236 votes. In 2016, he came less than 1,500 votes short of making the runoff in a race to unseat Paul Cook, the congressman he's running against now.
Donnelly says he will "have President Trump's back" if elected, implying that Cook doesn't. In fact, according to FiveThirtyEight, Cook has voted with Trump 97.9% of the time, parting ways with him only to back Russia sanctions.
But Bannonism and Donnellyism have a lot in common. Here's a moment from Bannon's speech:
... Bannon’s attacks on establishment politicians were generally well received. When he mentioned Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain — the former POW whose name was met with boos — someone in the audience yelled, “Hang him!”
And here's a recent Donnelly tweet:
Seems like a match made in heaven.
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog