It’s the turtle versus the tumor, and the turtle is winning.

For those who didn’t immediately get the reference, I’m talking about the battle for Washington supremacy that launched at the beginning of the Trump presidency (maybe even before) between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s so-called GOP establishment (read: swamp) class, and then-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s vision of populist nationalism.

Bannon rode the wave of anti-everything-not-Trump that swept Trump into the White House, with his control of Trump’s campaign counting as his biggest, most sure victory.

He weaponized Breitbart News to run propaganda for the man Breitbart’s founder, Andrew Breitbart warned was no conservative.

Way to spit on Andrew’s grave.

He was the canker sore in the president’s ear, whipping up dissent to any Republican that attempted to put any sort of bridle on Trump’s reckless, bull-in-a-china-shop entrance into political office.

After being ousted by John Kelly, Bannon saw a single victory over the “establishment” candidate, Luther Strange, in Alabama.

He won the battle, but ultimately, lost the war, when his candidate, Roy Moore, was beaten in the election.

And now the GOP tax bill has made it through, with none of Bannon’s fingerprints involved.

In fact, Trump heralded the great partnership with McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Bannon is pretty much a non-factor, now. All he seems to be good for is boosting candidates that can’t win anything past the primary phase.

McConnell is experienced and far more savvy than his turtle-like appearance would lead anyone to believe.

He certainly had Bannon fooled.

In fact, McConnell is scoffing at any notion of Bannon being a deciding force in how things go for Republicans in 2018. His influence has been routed.

“I don’t have anything to say about him at all,” McConnell said when pressed about Bannon Thursday morning at an event hosted by Axios. “I don’t have any observations about him at all.”

That’s probably about the most devastating thing he could say to or about Steve Bannon. The man lives for self-promotion, which is how he was able to relate to and gain influence over Donald Trump. He understands him. To have an adversary basically pronounce him inconsequential is bad. Real bad.

“No, there are others,” McConnell said, declining to name others he doesn’t have an opinion about. He also expanded on why he doesn’t concern himself with Bannon, the former White House chief strategist and current head of Breitbart News.

“It’s not a factor in my life. It has no impact on our ability to function in the Senate, nor will it have any impact on the campaigns,” McConnell said. “Look, the key thing if you want to win a campaign, you have to have a candidate who can win. It’s not complicated.


“The kind of people you’re talking about — that element — just managed to blow a Senate race in the reddest state in America,” McConnell said. “That is not a formula for victory. So to the extent that there are people running in primaries around the country who have no chance of winning the election, we will oppose them. We did that successfully in ’14. We did it successfully in ’16 and kept the Senate. We were more passive about primaries in 2010 and 2012, and we threw away races in Delaware and Nevada and Missouri and Indiana. We’re not doing that anymore.”

Straight for the jugular, eh, Mitch?

It would seem the turtle is more Gamera than Yertle.

Fans of Godzilla movies and Dr. Seuss will get those references.