Self-styled reactionary Steve Bannon brandished a compliment he received from Ezra Klein during his Monday broadcast, exulting in praise from the sincere, liberal New York Times commentator.
“The New York Times has now come all in, and the tip of the spear was on Sunday,” Bannon said. “Ezra Klein … he gets into the numbers and analytics — he had an opinion piece saying, ‘maybe Steve Bannon’s on to something.'”
Bannon was referring to a Sunday column that Klein published, which was, in fact, titled “Steve Bannon Is On to Something.”
In the piece, Klein argued that Bannon’s focus on organizing MAGA diehards to take over election infrastructure and the Republican Party may be an effective way to take power, and one that, in Klein’s view, progressives should consider.
Bannon has applied a patina of American civics to his approach, which appears to call for people who believe the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen to take over running the country’s election infrastructure and administration at the local and state level.
The result has been a wave of Trump dead-enders commandeering both local GOP posts and jobs managing how elections are run.
Bannon read from Klein’s column on the podcast, and poured over Klein’s Twitter feed. He asked his guest Dan Schultz, an Arizona GOP precinct committeeman who has appeared on Bannon’s show to preach the gospel of election takeover, to read excerpts.
“His Twitter feed is amazing,” Bannon gushed, before paraphrasing from the piece. “He said, the right understands the sources of power in the American system.”
“This is why we’re not here to waste the audience’s time,” Bannon added. “This is all three of these things,” he said of the strategy Klein had described. The same approach — getting die-hards in key positions and working from the ground up — applied for taking over school boards, for taking over election offices, or for the “precinct strategy to take over the Republican party.”
From there, Bannon moved on to a commercial break. First, he read out an advertisement for a company that offered investments in solid gold, and then hawked Mike Lindell’s MyPillow.
“If you want to be energized, you gotta get a good nights sleep,” Bannon said, referring both to the pillow company and to his vision for political action.
After returning to the show, Bannon continued, stuttering with excitement.
“Ezra Klein, this guy is a big-time thinker, and he really drilled down on this,” he said. “Of course he called all of our followers and all of our audience fascists, but leave that as it may.”