Corey Robin in The Guardian:
Buckley and his allies opposed the “well-fed right” and the Eisenhower administration and favored the more radical and revanchist elements orbiting around McCarthyism and the burgeoning conservative movement. Then, 25 years later, well into maturity and middle age, the movement Buckley helped birth sent Ronald Reagan to the White House.
The proverbial ink on Bannon’s resignation was barely dry when the media began reporting his plans to mount an insurrection against the “Republican establishment” in Congress and the “globalists” in the White House.
Bannon has now decamped to Breitbart to wage “war” – his words – on the forces in Washington that have prevented Trump from turning the Republican party into a populist movement of economic nationalism, and even on Trump if he strays from the path. A source close to Bannon analogized the coming struggle to the French Revolution.
Since Charlottesville, pundits and historians have wondered whether we’re headed for a civil war. With Bannon’s exit, it’s clear that we are. Only it won’t be between North and South or right and left. It will be within the Republican party itself.
The question is: will it be like the war Buckley launched, a purgative struggle as a prelude to a new era of conservative power and rule? Or will it mark the end of the Reagan regime, unveiling a conservative movement in terminal crisis as it strives to reconcile the irreconcilable?