The White House’s Fall from Grace Could Have Been a Firestorm

Abcarian: Steve Bannon discovers the hard way that defying Congress is no joke

On Monday, White House adviser Steve Bannon was forced to resign from a conservative think tank that had long been aligned with his personal political ambitions.

The move, coming after a long string of controversies, was bound to spark a firestorm of commentary about Bannon’s unorthodox relationship with the House Republican caucus. But it may have created a firestorm of a different kind.

After all, Bannon was not the first president to find himself in an uncomfortable corner where his personal beliefs were in conflict with the views of the very people who would have to hold him accountable for his words and actions. And the situation might not have even been as surprising as many observers assume.

“I used to tell colleagues that there was going to be a battle, and they would be like, ‘Is it going to be a fight with the president, or is it a fight with the voters?’” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said in an interview with The Daily Beast on Tuesday. “I was like, ‘No, it’s going to be a fight with the president.’”

Bannon’s fall from grace began on May 15, when the president of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) revealed that Bannon had made disparaging statements about the congressman Steve King (R-Iowa)—a fellow member of the House Freedom Caucus—and the organization that bears his name. One of the main reasons the president of the NRCC was making such a move was to send a message to the right wing of the party that he was not going to tolerate such behavior.

“It’s fair to say that Bannon is a divisive force within the Republican Party, and there is no doubt that he’s brought the party to a new low,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) tweeted on May 15.

Bannon, who did not respond to a request for a comment for this story, had made several remarks earlier that May 15 that appeared to be out of line with the views of

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