Deconstruction is underway

Way back in February of this year, then-White House political strategist Steve Bannon said he foresaw the major goal of the Trump agenda as “the deconstruction of the administrative state.”

A Washington Post story from that month saw Bannon vowing that President Donald Trump would not moderate his policies nor seek political consensus. The article seemed to limit this “deconstruction” to taxes, regulations, multilateral agreements and trade deals Trump inherited.

Indeed, Trump has dumped the Trans Pacific Partnership, pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, tried to institute a travel ban and eased environmental and business regulations.

One other part, though, that appears to be part of this deconstruction is the dismantling of the establishment wing of the Republican Party. While one would hardly think of a political party (particularly one as conservative as the GOP) as part of the administrative state, the president bristles at the attempts of the establishment to rein him in.

Bannon describes himself as Trump’s “wing man,” now that he is outside the White House. He has vowed to find primary opponents for Republican senators who do not blindly back the president. He seems to have Trump’s approval in this quest. That is unprecedented for a president to back primary opponents of incumbents in his own party.

One could say that Bannon is already succeeding. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee has ripped the president as unfit for office and referred to the White House staff as members of an Adult Day Care Center. But, he is not going to run for re-election next year.

Sen. Jeff Flake took to the floor of the Senate Tuesday to announce that he could not sit quietly by and watch Trump disgrace the office of president — then he announced that he, too, will retire rather than run for re-election next year.

In the end, one can only look at the score as Trump-Bannon 2, GOP Establishment 0.

The deconstruction of the Republican Party is in full swing.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.