Donald Trump has long believed that he can give the entirety of mainstream America the middle finger and still survive in office, so long as he keeps his own base happy. That’s not truly the case, and it serves to demonstrate just how simplistic of a misunderstanding of national politics Trump suffers from. But now, for the first time, he’s in real trouble with his own base thanks to his attacks on racist stalwart Jeff Sessions.
Breitbart, the ultra-racist “alt right” political propaganda site that helped run Donald Trump’s campaign and has consistently championed him during his time in office, is now openly attacking Trump. Considering how much influence Breitbart has over the racist demographic of Trump’s base, this spells severe trouble. It’s a stunning development, but it perhaps shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Jeff Sessions has long been a hero to racists around the nation in general, and in his native South in particular. Trump’s attacks on Sessions are, by default, an attack on his own racist base. Moreover, Breitbart is controlled by Steve Bannon, who has been close to Sessions for far longer than he’s been close to Trump. So it’s not necessarily surprising to see Breitbart (and Bannon by proxy) siding with Sessions, while slamming Trump for having dared to attack Sessions.
And yet, when you see Breitbart using words like “weak” and “hypocrisy” to describe Donald Trump, you see that there’s a real problem here within Donald Trump’s base (as per policy we won’t link to Breitbart, but you can google the article if you so desire). If Trump does end up outright firing Jeff Sessions, it could permanently fracture his own base, costing him a chunk of his supporters in the process. Considering how fragile Trump’s approval rating is to begin with, this is worth continuing to watch closely.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report