WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is setting his sights on Establishment Republicans.
In a Fox News interview Monday, the chairman of Breitbart News told Sean Hannity he intends to target incumbent, anti-Trump Republicans for their ongoing failure to support the president's reforms.
Bannon indicted the majority of congressional Republicans as obstructionist politicians beholden only to financial interests. In failing to defund Planned Parenthood, to repeal and replace Obamacare, to pass tax cuts, to reform the tax code and to pass an infrastructure bill, he said, they have stymied President Trump's agenda and must be removed from office.
The members of the "Establishment, globalist clique on Capitol Hill," Bannon declared, "have to go."
Bannon announced he will work to defeat the current crop of Republican politicians by backing their opponents in the 2018 primary elections, just as he did in Alabama, where his support helped propel Judge Roy Moore through the party run-off to the U.S. Senate election in December despite massive opposition by the Republican Party Establishment.
Denouncing Washington Republicans' "total contempt for the forgotten man," their "total contempt for the base," Bannon pointed to Moore's against-all-odds victory as an example of the disconnect between establishment Republicans and their increasingly alienated voter base.
"That's what you saw in Alabama," he said, "where they came in with Luther Strange with $32 million to destroy Judge Moore — you saw what the base thought of them ... the base totally rejected them. These people have no respect for the working men and women in the United States."
Hannity voiced his own frustration at the party, describing congressional Republicans as "weak and pathetic" and warning that "the forgotten men and women that voted in this election are being let down."
Bannon affirmed Hannity's analysis. "They have to understand, there's a basic agenda that President Trump ran on and won. He carried states that Republicans haven't carried in living memory — Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania. This agenda works. The American people voted for it."
Having chosen politics over principle, Bannon warned, incumbent congressional Republicans are being marked for defeat in 2018.
"We're going to go after them," he vowed. "There's a coalition coming together that's going to challenge every Republican incumbent except Ted Cruz."
Career Republicans have been quick to attack Bannon's approach. Newt Gingrich, architect of the 1994 Republican revolution, derided it as "stunningly stupid," arguing the former Trump advisor should focus on unseating Democrats rather than Republicans.
But during his Hannity interview, Bannon underscored that plans for an incumbent purge are merely the first step. In every state, a new band of Republican leaders is emerging to challenge party incumbents, he said, "and they're going to take on the Democrats after that."
"We are declaring war on the Republican Establishment. ... It's a new game in town. We're going to cut off the oxygen to [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell. ... We're going after these guys tooth and nail."
When asked by Hannity how long it might take to "drain the swamp" within his own party, Bannon responded candidly, "To take your country back, it's not going to happen in just any one election. This is something you're going to have to grind out day in and day out for the next five, ten, 15, 20 years. It took us a long time to get here."
"There's no magic wand we can wave and drain the swamp. There's no magic wand we can wave and blow up this establishment," he said soberly. "We're going to have to work."
But, he affirmed, owing to "the grit, determination and courage of the American working men and women, we're going to win."