Steve Bannon is off the National Security Council by the order of Donald J. Trump. This move will delight Bannon's enemies and ease the fears of those who believe the former Breitbart chief did not deserve such a sensitive security position. Since the right wing ideologue is still the closest thing the President has to an alter ego, the celebration may be short-lived. If Nancy Reagan could influence Ronald, Steve Bannon can probably have all the influence he wants without special security access.

A lead story

The online New York Times gives lead status to today's reshuffle.

To call the President's purpose removal is probably too strong but that is the substance of the Times headline. The president's action was proposed some time ago by the man who succeeded Michael Flynn as the President's national security adviser. That would be Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. The move reshuffles the council and restores some who were inadvertently downgraded. New additions are the energy secretary, CIA director, and UN ambassador.

A slight change

Because Bannon was on the principal's committee of the council, he had maximum access and voice on matters not intended to reach the level of the president. That seems to be the main thing he might miss being off the council. As one might expect, the White House painted the change in positive colors.

Bannon is fine with it. The council is fine. The President is just getting his house in order.

How much influence does the NSC have?

It would be pertinent to wonder whether the National Security Council has much (if any) influence on the President's actual security-related moves.

The president appears to enjoy making foreign policy in reaction to the New York Times rather than the NSC. Just this morning, the Times called him for realpolitik and criticized his acceptance of Assad of Syria. This afternoon the internet is emblazoned with indications that Trump has changed his attitude toward Assad and is considering unilateral action against Syria. Trump is just perverse enough to make foreign policy in this way, in which case he could be controlled by the very media he professes to hate.