Many Missourians will remember Dana Loesch from her days in St. Louis. A former “mom” blogger for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, she moved into conservative political radio and rode the St. Louis Tea Party bandwagon into minor rightwing media celebrity with a short stint as a commentator on CNN. Loesch worked for Breitbart.com before the death of Andrew Breitbart and continued there for a year under the leadership of Steve Bannon, Breitbart’s successor, the head of Donald Trump’s campaign and, most recently, his newly appointed chief strategist. She knows the guy up close and personal.
Loesch really despises Bannon. She sued to break her contract with Breitbart.com after Bannon took over, alleging “basic ideological conflicts” and an “increasingly hostile” workplace. She describes the year she worked under his leadership as “one of the worst, most hellacious years of my entire life.”
Just to give you some context, Loesch is a far rightwing conservative and her salvos are usually aggressively mean and snarky, usually couched in an “I’m just to cute for words” style. Civility is not her forte – she’s the character who, on the topic of soldiers urinating on dead Taliban fighters, announced that she’d like “to drop trou and do it too.” A natural Trumpette, in other words.
But Loesch’s mean-minded wit doesn’t mean that she approves of the new enabler of Trump’s id. In August she reacted to Bannon’s role in the Trump campaign hyperbolically exclaiming that “one of the worst people on God’s green earth was just instituted as the chairman and CEO of the Trump campaign.” Her reaction to Bannon’s appointment as Trump’s chief strategist was equally horrified:
“Steve Bannon puts himself above everything,” she continued. “And I’ve worked with Steve, and I just don’t think this is a good fit for the country. Maybe it is for Steve Bannon, but it’s not a good fit for the country.”
Dana went on to explain that this position is a position of service to the voters and to the country, and because of this, is not a good place for a man like Bannon to be.
“You cannot go into this position with vengeance in your heart,” says Dana. “You cannot go into this position with pettiness in your heart, and that therein would disqualify Steve Bannon.”
So why is Loesch so hostile? Could it be Bannon’s cultivation of the racist alt-right? Maybe. I paid attention to Loesch when she was in St. Louis, frequently writing about her latest antics, and, Tea Party doyenne though she was, she never struck me as a person who condoned personal racism.
Loesch has mentioned ideological differences. Her recent comments about Bannon’s vindictiveness and egoism align with comments made by another disillusioned former Breitbart.com staffer, Ben Shapiro, who paints a dispiriting – and well-worth reading – discussion of Bannon’s modus and motives.
Loesch may be a hectoring ideologue, but she is not a stupid person and this time she is almost certainly correct. Bannon is a danger to the country. Like Bush with Carl Rove, the dim-witted Trump may have found himself a brain. But Bush’s brain was simply corrupt, Trump’s is likely diseased.