On Monday, Breitbart News executive chairman and former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon saw a populist victory in the war against the political establishment as the travel ban he helped craft was nearly fully reinstated by the United States Supreme Court.
Last May, the award-winning PBS series Frontline broadcast a documentary titled “Bannon’s War” detailing Bannon’s role in the creation and execution of the Trump administration’s travel ban and the subsequent political and judicial battles that the ban sparked.
“Bannon had engineered a sweeping executive order aimed at fulfilling a campaign promise to restrict Muslims from entering the United States,” a PBS narrator said.
“Bannon and the new president had sent a message ─ change had come,” the narrator said of the travel ban.
Soon after the travel ban was rolled out, however, left-wing circuit courts and a Hawaii judge barred the executive order from taking effect. The latest announcement by the Supreme Court, though, has put the order back into place.
The plan Bannon helped engineer halts travel and immigration to the U.S. from a number of terrorist-sanctioned countries – such as Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia – in an effort to keep foreign terrorists and their relatives from resettling in the U.S., as has happened across Western Europe.
Bannon, with assistance from Trump’s Senior Adviser Stephen Miller, was the lead architect of the travel ban that originally jolted liberal, open borders activists, Democrats, the Republican establishment, and the mainstream media into a nationwide hysteria.
The mainstream media, in particular, falsely claimed that the travel ban crafted by Bannon would be his and the Trump administration’s demise.
Wrong predictions came from, among others, POLITICO:
Where did Bannon go wrong? His first order of business had nothing to with jobs, let alone bridging racial divisions. He played a singular role in engineering the travel ban targeting Muslim-majority countries, cutting Cabinet agencies out of the loop and purposefully dropping it without warning on a Friday to stoke maximum weekend street protest from the left. Courts balked, and Republican members of Congress complained about the shoddy process. It was Trump’s first political defeat as president, a humiliating own-goal that sowed early doubts about the administration’s basic competence. [Emphasis added]
The New Yorker:
But on economic policy, such as trade, and his recent attempt to push Republicans to raise taxes on the super-wealthy, Bannon made no progress to win allies in Congress. He failed to secure Trump’s repeal of Obamacare, and the nationalist trade agenda, including Bannon’s effort to pull out of nafta, has been stymied. The travel ban is still tied up in the courts. Trump’s recent attacks on the Republican senators Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Jeff Flake, and Lindsey Graham have made the Senate more hostile to any Presidential proposals and more interested in driving its own traditional Republican agenda. Trump’s remarks on Charlottesville further eroded any influence he has, both in Congress and with Americans outside his shrunken base. [Emphasis added]
The New York Times:
In his West Wing office, Stephen K. Bannon kept a chart listing trade actions — on China, steel and autos — that the Trump White House planned to roll out, week by week, through the fall. Now that Mr. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, has been pushed out, the question is whether his agenda will be erased along with him. [Emphasis added]
MTV News’s Ezekiel Kweku:
The travel ban was Mr. Bannon’s first high-profile defeat. The hastily written and sloppily executed executive order, intended to halt immigration and travel from seven Middle Eastern countries, was immediately met by widespread protests. Mr. Bannon attempted to spin this as a feature, not a bug, an attempt to provoke opposition from the right set of enemies, but even nominal allies recoiled from the ban’s capriciousness. Worse, the executive order was quickly halted by the courts, and even a revised version has not yet been able to pass muster with the judiciary.
Not only is the reinstatement of Trump’s travel ban an embarrassing defeat for the mainstream media, but also the neoconservative, interventionist national security establishment, which vehemently denounced the moratorium and Bannon’s populist insurgency in Republican politics.
In a letter to Trump, the national security establishment from the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations denounced the travel ban, claiming it would harm the U.S.
At the time the national security establishment sent the letter to the Trump administration, the mainstream media touted it and the old-guard bureaucrats as “experts,” including Vox, NBC News, Newsweek and The Hill.
Trump’s travel ban is a key tenet to not only his pro-American immigration agenda but also Bannon’s populist insurgency, which has disrupted the Republican Party establishment on issues like immigration, trade, and foreign policy.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.