Tag Archives: deep state

What in the world is this ‘Deep State’?

Get ready for it.

The term “Deep State” is about to take its place near center stage in about a week. That is when the U.S. House Intelligence Committee convenes public hearings that will reveal to Americans what they have heard in private.

What have committee members — Democratic and Republican — heard? They have heard evidence that Donald Trump sought a quid pro quo from Ukrainians; he asked them for a political favor in exchange for releasing weapons they want to use to right Russian-backed rebels in Ukraine.

That is a crime, ladies and gents.

Oh, the Deep State? That is the canard we hear from right-wing backers of Trump who say all this impeachment talk is a product of the Deep State.

I have looked it up. I had to find what they mean by the Deep State. I found this on — where else? — Google: The idea of a deep state in the United States is a conspiracy theory whose adherents assert that there exists a coordinated effort by career government employees to influence state policy without regard for democratically elected leadership.

Doesn’t that sound nefarious? Evil? Conspiratorial?

Sure it does. It’s also phony and fraudulent.

I have long adhered to the notion — quaint as it might sound — that “career government employees” work in public service to do good for the country. They wear military uniforms; they serve to protect us; they manage huge bureaucratic agencies; they work in the foreign service as diplomats and embassy staffers; they seek to provide our children with good educations; they want to clean our air and water; they provide affordable health care.

This idiocy we hear from the far right about a Deep State conspiring to undermine the government and, oh yes, impeach the president of the United States would be laughable if it weren’t so damn dangerous.

The House Intelligence Committee is going to trot out career diplomats, some of whom have fought on battlefields against our enemies. They will ask them to repeat what they said in private. Some of their testimony is going to damning in the extreme.

However, their testimony is going to prompt some peanut gallery epithets — perhaps even from members of Congress who subscribe to this Deep State nonsense.

The term “Deep State” is meant to frighten Americans into believing that a constitutional action being taken by Democratic members of the House of Representatives is an evil act.

It is nothing of the sort. It is serious. It is grave. The impeachment inquiry is legal and it is in keeping with the U.S. Constitution.

I am looking forward to hearing what these career government employees have to say about how our president has conducted himself while holding our nation’s most exalted public office.

Deep State? What in the world is it?

I want to tell you about an encounter I had this morning with a stranger. He lives near my wife and me in North Texas.

He is a nice enough fellow. I didn’t get his name. I suspect I’ll see him again. We chatted this morning for a few minutes. He is politically astute and apparently is concerned about the deep divisions that exist in our great country.

Then he tossed out the term du jour, the current bogeyman of the right and far right: Yep, I’m talking about the Deep State.

I recently looked it up. It is meant to define institutions and people immune from voters’ wishes and whims. The fellow I met this morning says the Deep State exists. It’s real and its a profound threat … he said.

The Deep State — whatever it is — has taken form in the eyes of many Americans. I cannot confirm this, but it seems that those who believe in the Deep State threat appear to entertain a lot of conspiracy theories.

They find conspiracies at every turn. They don’t believe historians’ accounts of certain monumental events: political assassinations, huge terror attacks, mind-blowing technological and scientific achievements.

My neighbor didn’t get into too much detail about the Deep State or how he believes it is manipulating current events. He said the Deep State “has always existed.” He referred to big-money movers and shakers, huge financial institutions. Those are historical Deep State activists who have pulled the strings that dictate how our elected leaders should act.

A member of Congress is under investigation for allegedly looking the other way while a college sports doctor sexually abused athletes; he blames the Deep State for concocting this controversy. Donald Trump’s allies say all the attention being paid to allegations that his presidential campaign “colluded” with Russians spooks are part of the Deep State conspiracy.

The Deep State, whatever the hell it is, has become a throwaway term. It has become the term of art that some Americans want to blame for everything that is going wrong these days.

I am not wired that way. I don’t consider myself to be naive. I’m closing in on 70 years of life on this good Earth. I’ve been able to travel around the world. I had a modestly successful career in journalism. I managed to keep my eyes and ears wide open as I pursued by craft.

The Deep State is not entirely a figment of right-wing conspiracy goofballs’ imagination. Nor is it, in my view, a mysterious monster lurking in the shadows.

The Deep State is getting far too much “credit” than it deserves.

‘Deep State’ emerges as villain

I was waiting for this to occur.

A member of Congress, a Republican and a founder of something called the Freedom Caucus, has now accused the “Deep State” of conspiring to get him tossed out of Congress.

Several former Ohio State University wrestlers say they were sexually abused by a team doctor and that Jim Jordan — an assistant coach at the time — looked the other way. They say he did nothing to stop it.

Gordon says the Deep State is working to conspire against him.

Who or what is the Deep State? I understand it is supposed to mean those in power who are immune from voters’ wishes. Wikipedia describes it thusly: It is a term used “within political science to describe influential decision-making bodies believed to be within government who are relatively permanent and whose policies and long-term plans are unaffected by changing administrations.”

So, it’s the Deep State at work against Jordan, a champion of the little guy. Right along with Donald J. Trump, the billionaire who became president after spending his entire professional life engaged exclusively in self-enrichment, self-glorification, self-aggrandizement and self-adoration.

The Deep State has now become a throwaway term. It’s right up there with the “mainstream media” and the “Washington elite.”

Deep State is fairly new to the American political vernacular, even to those who spend a good bit of time studying politics and the people who practice it.

However, like most conspiracy theories, any Deep State notion presumes that its members — whoever the hell they are — are able to concoct some plot, execute it and then keep it all secret.

This notion is as nutty as the conspiracies that linger over the murder of President Kennedy, that President Bush masterminded the 9/11 attack or that President Obama was born in Africa.

Deep State? It’s fake news, man!

What’s with the GOP war against the FBI?

Up is down, black is white and Republicans who used to revere the FBI have declared war on the agency.

What in the world has become of us, of our political dynamic and of the natural order of things?

The conservative media are sounding the battle cry against the FBI, referring to something called a “secret society,” not to mention the “deep state.”

Here’s the genesis, as I understand it.

Conservative media personalities are so enamored of Donald J. Trump that they simply cannot tolerate the idea that the FBI and other agencies would be examining such things as “collusion with Russians,” or “money laundering” or any conduct that might be construed as “treasonous.”

So, to protect the president’s flank, these media types are attacking the FBI, a once-sacred agency in the eyes of the Republican Party.

The command and control of this attack appears to be inside the Fox News Channel, with its bevy of conservative media personalities. The New York Times reported this week that Trump actually ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller, but backed off when White House counsel Donald McGahn threatened to quit; other media outlets have corroborated the Times’ account.

Fox News blowhard Sean Hannity is dismissing the report out of hand. He just won’t accept what reputable professional journalists are reporting.

Politico reports that there’s something even wider going on: But Hannity’s coverage was just part of a wider trend, observers say. For the past week, Fox News opinion hosts have seized on claims by some Republican lawmakers about a “secret society” at the FBI and “deep state actors” to fashion unproven narratives designed to protect Trump and delegitimize Mueller.

Secret society and deep state actors? What in the world is that all about?

I am afraid to admit that even some of my very own Republican friends have bought into that “deep state” crap. One of them told me this week that the FBI has been “crooked” for far longer than anyone has known.

I am happy to tell you that not all GOP operatives have swallowed the Fox News swill. Again, according to Politico: “The network is increasingly engaged in a misinformation campaign aimed directly at the American people for the purposes of sowing confusing and spinning a web of protective armor around the president, who is being investigated,” said Steve Schmidt, the Republican political strategist who ran John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

What is normal has become abnormal in just about any context imaginable.

I’ll just posit the notion that this is a consequence of electing Donald Trump as president of the United States. A man who thrives on chaos and who revels in being the center of controversy — if not outright scandal — is fomenting this hysteria among his most fervent supporters.

He isn’t “telling it like it is.” He is stoking, in the words of conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, a “whole new level of crazy.”