‘A fascistic MAGA cosplay’ — Steve Bannon’s thirst for insurrection is worse than ever: conservative

‘A fascistic MAGA cosplay’ — Steve Bannon’s thirst for insurrection is worse than ever: conservative
Steve Bannon in May 2019, Wikimedia Commons

At MSNBC and CNN, coverage of the one-year anniversary of the January 6, 2021 insurrection had a consistently dark tone. That day was portrayed as one of the most disturbing in U.S. history and a full-fledged assault on liberal democracy. But on Steve Bannon’s far-right “War Room” podcast, the mood was totally different; the former White House chief strategist, Never Trump conservative Tim Miller stresses in The Bulwark, was celebrating violent insurrection, not speaking out against it.

“In the week leading up to the first anniversary of January 6, I dove into ‘the War Room’ to see how the OG ‘Stop the Stealers’ were processing the fallout from their botched putsch,” Miller explains in an article published by The Bulwark on January 11. “What I found was that their effort to overthrow the government has been undeterred by the initial setback of Joe Biden being inaugurated. While Republican elites try to minimize the events of January 6, ‘the War Room’ and their minions have continued to take the coup both literally and seriously.”

Miller continues, “In their view, the Biden ‘regime’ is illegitimate, and the regime’s medical establishment has covered up nearly a half a million deaths from the COVID ‘vaccines.’ In 2022, they aim to put so many of their people in positions of power throughout state and local governments that next time, there will be nothing anyone can do to stop their quest for power. And this crusade is infused with an unmistakable religious fervor and appeal to a quasi-Christian nationalism that calls its devotees into action. As crazy as their show may sound on its face — and let me tell you, it seems very crazy — anyone who cares about American democracy should take that prospect very seriously indeed.”

During Bannon’s January 3-6 shows, Miller observes, his guests included a who’s-who of MAGA extremists — including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, former Donald Trump adviser Peter Navarro and Trump lawyer/former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Miller warns that while Bannon’s show comes across as a theater of the absurd, that doesn’t make it any less dangerous.

“If it weren’t for the domestic terrorism and the threat to democracy,” Miller writes, “the whole thing would be an over-the-top laugh riot…. Put it all together, and what you have is a show that offers Trump supporters a fascistic MAGA cosplay where they are the main characters, and the aggrieved victims, and also the all-powerful heroes…. From this vantage, the uprising that led to the January 6 riot is not a thing of the past, but an exercise to be learned from in their ongoing effort to ensure that they gain enough power so that next time the Democrats, and the establishment Republicans, and the Never Trumpers won’t be able to deny them total victory — and it’s part and parcel with their broader effort to tear down not just the government, but any American institution that might threaten their ability to control the levers of power.”

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