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Why Mitch McConnell can't beat Bannon

Story highlights
  • Kurt Bardella: Allies of Mitch McConnell plan to attack Steve Bannon personally
  • He says this is comical; a poll says GOP voters want McConnell out

Editor's Note: (Kurt Bardella (@KurtBardella) is a political commentator. He is also the former spokesman for Breitbart News; The Daily Caller; Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California; Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine; and Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-California. The views expressed in this commentary are solely his.)

(CNN) When most "normal" people are attacked, they experience emotions of fear, uncertainty and apprehension. They don't like it. In the two years I worked with Donald Trump's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, as Breitbart's media consultant, I never once saw him react to an attack with those emotions.

In fact, it was the complete opposite: For Bannon, attacks are the equivalent of relevance -- they show that he and Breitbart have traction.

Kurt Bardella

It's important to realize this in light of some recent news. This week The Washington Post reported that allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have declared war against Bannon, and are preparing to activate a super PAC aligned with the Senate Republican leader to "attack Bannon personally as it works to protect GOP incumbents facing uphill primary fights."

This would almost be comical if it weren't so sad.

Bannon's own war against the GOP began a long time ago. And he is already winning.

After all, it was more than a year ago that he declared, "I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today's establishment."

If the Republican establishment wanted to prevent this war from raining down upon them, they should've stopped Trump and Bannon back then. Instead, Republican "leaders" hid behind silence.

It's too late now. But that is apparently not stopping the Republican establishment from going back to the same playbook hoping it will save them one more time.

It will likely instead provide instant validation for Bannon that will only strengthen his public persona and grow his name identification amongst the Republican electorate.

No question, it's inspiring to see McConnell and his allies finally getting into the game. But they have a problem: According to a Harvard-Harris Poll that was released this week, the majority (56%) of Republican voters want McConnell to resign as majority leader. He has an anemic 16% job approval rating. That same poll found only 29% of Republicans approve of the job Republicans in Congress are doing.

Given this, does anybody really think the Republican electorate is going to find Mitch McConnell and his super PAC to be credible messengers when attacking Bannon? It is delusional to think they will. In fact, I would bet that upon hearing the news that McConnell plans to unleash an expensive ad blitz aimed at him, Steve laughed his head off.

You would think that after the last election, Republicans in Congress would understand that the electorate in this country is straight-up furious at Washington. Year after year, they have heard the same rhetoric, the same promises and have seen almost no results. And the lack of any legislative accomplishments from the current Republican-controlled Congress has only exacerbated the Republican base's rage.

If anything, Bannon could emerge even stronger and more powerful from this McConnell and Co. push against him.

Remember: Steve Bannon doesn't give a damn about retaining a Republican majority; in fact, he'd rather destroy it.

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