War Room: Impeachment is hosted by Stephen K. Bannon (yes, that Steve Bannon) along with 2016 Trump campaign messaging czar Jason Miller and former Breitbart London editor Raheem Kassam. If you want to know tomorrow’s talking points today, this is the place to be. It’s the closest thing to hanging out with Trump himself in your bathrobe.
Bannon’s well-cultivated sense of the dramatic is on display as he frames impeachment as an existential event for the man he helped elect president three years ago and who sees this effort to remove Trump from office (or at least discredit his historical presidency) as a rebuke of Bannon’s own America-First foreign policy beliefs.
In a daily 45-minute dispatch from the basement of the “Breitbart Embassy” in Washington, D.C., (which also airs live on some radio network I’d never heard of but I have to bet is broadcast into a lot of red districts across the United States), the hosts bring a sharp understanding of impeachment packaged in a rollicking radio format. The president did nothing wrong, and process arguments are losers. This is a fierce political fight, and the Republicans need its most virulent attack dogs, such as Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz, to be part of impeachment and pushback on the “master class in political disinformation warfare” by Nancy Pelosi.
The highest praise Ezra Klein can offer Pelosi is that she’s good at counting the number of votes she has, which, you know, is a lot less fun than Bannon and company’s bluster.
Beyond sheer entertainment value, one can see Bannon pulling every string possible and amplifying others in stoking Trump’s grassroots support against the impeachment effort. A regular feature of War Room is “Make ’em Famous,” a segment spotlighting freshman Democratic congresspeople who won in districts that voted for Trump in 2016 and targeting them for particular pressure in the impeachment fight. He wants to ruin their political careers if they dare vote to impeach Trump. It’s a far more visceral effort at civic activism than what Rubicon musters, and it may prove to be more effective, too.
In just three weeks, they have been consistently ahead of the curve in seeing not just where impeachment is headed but in shaping that future. On Friday, Rudy Guiliani appeared on the show saying that Adam Schiff, who will be running the hearings this week, should be called to testify before his own hearing for orchestrating this sham proceeding to begin with. On Saturday, Trump called for not only Schiff but also Pelosi and former VP Joe Biden to be witnesses in the inquiry.
It’s exactly the kind of “No, you’re fake news,” through-the-looking-glass mind bender that can make a rational person go bonkers in 2019. But as Bannon put it, the real impeachment jurors are the American people, not the senators.
So better to hear it unfiltered and figure out an effective response than be fooled and outmatched again.