How "alpha males" like Bannon and Gorka lost the White House - 2017-09-02
The macho men came into Washington, D.C., like the Rough Riders of lore, ready to tear down this town-upon-a-swamp, then set it ablaze with the fury of their nationalist convictions. Eight months later, they're slinking away with a collective whine, reminding Americans once again of the vast gap between rhetoric and action, between tough words and tough choices.
It was supposed to be so glorious, this new Washington high on Republican testosterone. "The alpha males are back," declared Sebastian Gorka back in December on Fox News. The reference was to himself and, presumably, the many other members of the incoming Trump administration who would give no succor to terrorists abroad, or to seditionists at home, in particular those employed by The New York Times and CNN.
The alpha males didn't last long on Capitol Hill. First went Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser departed in February, after his extensive ties to Russia came to light; March brought the demise of Boris Epshteyn, a boorish media representative who once assaulted a man in a Scottsdale, Arizona, bar; spymaster manqué Ezra Cohen-Watnick got the heave-ho from the National Security Council in early August, following close behind unhinged colleague Rich Higgins; days later, the most alpha male of all, chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, was fired by new chief of staff Gen. John F. Kelly; Gorka is gone too, reportedly axed in the midst of a two-week vacation that he surely devoted to some exceedingly alpha pursuit such as hunting killer whales with his bare hands or reading the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated.