In theater, farce uses improbable, highly exaggerated situations to entertain. It is characterized by absurdity, nonsense, stylized performances and physical humor. The stage set often features several doors through which actors enter and depart at unexpected times. Occasionally, a farce script will include one character who lurks in the background who seems above it all, oblivious to the madness around him or her.
In the midst of the White House’s farcical madness of opening and closing doors, meet Stephen Bannon, the president’s chief strategist. Ask yourself whether this president needs a chief strategist.
Steve Bannon is former executive chairman of Breitbart News, the web site for the alt-right. He once told an interviewer, “The views of the alt-right are widely seen as anti-Semitic and white supremacist.” The site promotes racist, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant ideas. He hates the news media, calling them the opposition party. “The media has [sic] zero integrity, zero intelligence and no hard work,” he said.
Amidst the self-inflicted chaos of the Trump White House, we are told that Bannon is the embodiment of steadiness, a well-organized planner, calmly strategizing and advising the president.
As the west Wing’s carpeted corridors pile up with the bodies of the president’s former insiders, (speaking figuratively, of course), we read in today’s New York Times Elizabeth Williamson’s suggestion that even calm and steady Steve Bannon’s job security might be in jeopardy. She describes Bannon as a wily operator who thus far has managed to dodge Trump’s tantrums, but, she adds, “Given Mr. Trump’s weakness, vanity and plain incompetence, there are limits to how much Mr. Bannon, who helped to birth this dysfunctional presidency, can do to fix it.”
If Bannon goes, who will then advise our president? We will have Jared and Ivanka. Are their jobs safe? Are we?