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Leninist named to National Security Council

No, it’s not some sort of conservative fever dream about a Democratic administration. It’s not the wishful thinking of the Socialist Workers Party. It really happened.

[T]he defining moment for [Stephen K.] Bannon came Saturday night in the form of an executive order giving the rumpled right-wing agitator a full seat on the “principals committee” of the National Security Council — while downgrading the roles of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence, who will now attend only when the council is considering issues in their direct areas of responsibilities. It is a startling elevation of a political adviser, to a status alongside the secretaries of state and defense, and over the president’s top military and intelligence advisers.

In theory, the move put Mr. Bannon, a former Navy surface warfare officer, admiral’s aide, investment banker, Hollywood producer and Breitbart News firebrand, on the same level as his friend, Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser, a former Pentagon intelligence chief who was Mr. Trump’s top adviser on national security issues before a series of missteps reduced his influence.

Why do I call Bannon a Leninist? Because that’s what he called himself.

At The Daily Beast last August, Ronald Radosh wrote about a conversation with Bannon in 2013:

[W]e had a long talk about his approach to politics. He never called himself a “populist” or an “American nationalist,” as so many think of him today. “I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed.

Shocked, I asked him what he meant.

“Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Bannon was employing Lenin’s strategy for Tea Party populist goals. He included in that group the Republican and Democratic Parties, as well as the traditional conservative press.

I emailed Bannon last week recalling our conversation, telling him that I planned to write about it and asking him if he wanted to comment on or correct my account of it. He responded:

“I don’t remember meeting you and don’t remember the conversation. And as u can tell from the past few days I am not doing media.”

Of course Bannon didn’t deny it. Of course he said it. Radosh is a former Communist and former New Leftist who renounced Communism and the New Left, and became a favorite of conservatives. What reason would he have for fabricating this?