The Trump era revolution – done without Trump

Summary: One of the rare big changes in the US government has occurred during Trump’s term. It was not done by Trump, but by his enemies. America will never be the same. You might not have noticed because the news media did not tell you.

“When the plot is ripe it remains no longer secret.”
— Said by Gandolf in The Two Towers, part two of The Lord of the Rings.

Deep State

The always insightful James Howard Kunstler gives an apt summary of Trump.

“My sense of {Trump} hasn’t changed: he remains the Golden Golem of Greatness, a kind of mystical and mystifying comic figure himself, but not of the 1930s slapstick sort, more like a character drawn from the neo-gothic Joker phase of American history – and he really did spring full-blown on the scene from our real-life Gotham City. I was impressed, during his Thursday post-acquittal White House gala, at the stunning incoherence of his remarks, his facility for leaving absolutely every thought hanging unfinished in mid-sentence as he turned to the next uncompleted thought. I can’t say for sure that this makes him an ineffective manager of the nation’s affairs, but it does leave you kind of wondering.”

Nonetheless, Trump’s years in office saw one of the big changes in America’s government. Not because of anything Trump has done, most of which have been standard Republican deeds – tax cuts for the rich, more money for defense vendors, bigger deficits, attacking unions, slash spending on citizens, etc. The real significant event is that the Deep State has revealed itself.

In the years B.T. (Before Trump), the great and wise said that only conspiracy theory nuts believed there was a Deep State. For example, Rory Cooper, one of the Daily Beast’s cadre of leftists, wrote on 6 September 2018 that the “‘Deep State’ Fantasy Is Just as Dangerous as the ‘Fake News’ Myth.” Quite a pitiful screed, since the day before the Deep State went public with an op-ed in the NYT by a “senior official in the Trump administration” – “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.“

“I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations. …This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.”

For more about this, see this post. Hilariously, Wikipedia (guardian of Leftist dogma), still describes the Deep State as a “conspiracy theory.” Others, more awake than Wikipedia’s contributors, drew the obvious conclusions from the NYT op-ed.

Angelo Codevilla is a professor emeritus of international relations at Boston U. He explained how the Deep State has formed its alliances and gone public.

“For the past month, the Democratic Party and the media (excuse the redundancy) have demanded that the American people be shocked (shocked!) by stories of multiple bureaucrats who express (choose your weapon) “concern,” “dismay,” “abhorrence,” etc. at the mode and substance of President Trump’s communication with Ukraine’s president. The substance of what they had to say about those communications has been by far the lesser part of the story. As each bureaucrat has “come forward,” the Democrats and the media largely have dropped attempts to explain what, exactly, may have been bad about Trump’s communications, and found the officials’ disgust with the president to be sufficient cause for impeaching him.”

Their alliances are the Deep State’s power. Now that they have emerged into the daylight, much of the establishment tells us that the Deep State is our natural leaders. Of course, members of the team speak the loudest. Such as Former Deputy Director and Acting CIA Director John McLaughlin., speaking with former CIA Director John Brennan, former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

“Thank God for the deep state. …Everyone here has seen this progression of diplomats and intelligence officers and White House people trooping up to Capitol Hill right now and saying these are doing their duty and responding to a higher call.” (See the video at the Daily Caller.)

Their allies echo the Deep State’s rightness to rule, such as in this by Michelle Cottle, a member of the NYT’s editorial board: “They Are Not the Resistance. They Are Not a Cabal” (Oct 20).

“They Are Public Servants. Let us now praise these not-silent heroes.”

“President Trump is right: The deep state is alive and well. But it is not the sinister, antidemocratic cabal of his fever dreams. It is, rather, a collection of patriotic public servants – career diplomats, scientists, intelligence officers and others – who, from within the bowels of this corrupt and corrupting administration, have somehow remembered that their duty is to protect the interests, not of a particular leader, but of the American people.”

By now, even the NYT must acknowledge the obvious: that there is a Deep State. But Cottle tells us that bureaucrats ruling our most senior elected officials is a good thing! Even better, in November she read the NYT’s glowing descriptions of these bureaucrats and wrote that they are “sexy,” with an “old-school steadiness and Walter Cronkite voice” and an “adorable bow tie“, plus having “fierce dignity.” She said, “Rarely have career public servants inspired such passion.” Wait until they attack a Democratic president! Then Cottle will show real passion.

James Bowman explains what this means (red emphasis added).

“To believe Ms Cottle’s disclaimers you would have firmly to close your eyes to the abundant evidence, which none of them even attempted to hide, that these State Department careerists thought not just that they ought to be running American foreign policy instead of the President but that they were entitled to run it, if not by the Constitution (which gives that responsibility to the elected chief executive) then by their own superior intelligence and the moral standing they imagined it conferred upon them.

“Lieutenant Colonel (as he demanded the ranking member of the committee address him) Alexander Vindman gave the game away when he kept referring to “the Interagency” – something which has no constitutional or even administrative existence but seems to mean nothing more than the bureaucratic consensus of the day – as the ultimate authority to which even the President was expected, by implication, to submit himself.”

In October, James B. Stewart published Deep State: Trump, the FBI, and the Rule of Law. All those elections are secondary. To overturn the 2016 election, the Deep State spent three years concoting the RussiaGate hoax. When that failed, they whipped up UkraineGate. They understand that the Democrats will bail on their long-held principles to get Trump, and justify whatever Deep State officials do. Stewart explains on NBC’s “Today” show.

“You meet these characters in my book, and the fact is, in a sense, he {Trump} is right. There is a Deep State, there is a bureaucracy in our country who has pledged to respect the Constitution, respect the rule of law. …What Trump calls the Deep State in the United States is protecting the American people and protecting the Constitution. It’s a positive thing in this sense.”

Some of the defenses are absurd, as in a team of NYT reporters’ story “Trump’s War on the ‘Deep State’ Turns Against Him.” The opening gives their weird theory: “The impeachment inquiry is in some ways the culmination of a battle between the president and the government institutions he distrusted and disparaged.” James Bowman debunks this.

“In short, by imagining a non-existent conspiracy against him, the President actually conjured a real conspiracy against him into existence. Apart from the obviously disingenuous and self-serving nature of such a claim, it implied that civil servants, though not their boss, were or ought to have been immune from criticism, and that such criticism from an elected superior amounted to a justification for the latter’s removal from office. How far adrift such speculation is from factual reporting is something that, like the substantive Constitution, is of no interest to the narrative-pushers of The New York Times, nor can their narrative explain away the plain fact that “Mr Trump and his circle” were right all along about the deep state, even if proleptically.”

Conclusions

America’s governing regime has had undergone many radical changes. In 1803, the Supreme Court’s ruling in Marbury v. Madison gave it vast powers unmentioned in the Constitution. Now every small act by the Executive Branch can be vetoed by the subjective opinions of judges.

But the big story has been the growing power of the executive branch. During the Civil War, it gained new powers. From 1917 to 1945, it gained even more power. Its power grew more from 1964 to 1974 during LBJ’s Great Society and its follow-up under that great liberal president, Richard Nixon.

Now the bureaucracy that wields all that power seeks to gain independence from elected officials. For tactical reasons, the Democratic Party supports this little revolution. The precedents have been created. No punishment, or even pushback, seems likely. The US government has changed again, not only without public approval – but without the public’s knowledge.

The likely effect of this will be to politicize the senior levels of the Executive branch. No future president will repeat Trump’s foolishness, allowing potential opponents to remain in office. Wise Presidents will purge the bureaucracy. Senior civil servants with uncertain loyalty cannot be fired, but can be transferred or sidelined. Keeping experts of uncertain loyalty will be folly.

The US government will become even less effective, more powerful, and less democratic. The Democrats will have brought this about and did not even get Trump in exchange.

“Every nation has the government it deserves.”
— By Joseph de Maistre (lawyer, diplomat, philosopher). From Letter 76 dated 13 August 1811, published in Lettres et Opuscules.

For More Information

Ideas! For shopping ideas see my recommended books and films at Amazon. Also, see a story about our future: Ultra Violence: Tales from Venus.

Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information see all posts about RussiaGate, about the Deep State, and about ways to reform America’s politics, and especially these…

  1. Democrats betray their principles & embrace the Deep State.
  2. William Lind: the Deep State reveals itself.
  3. In 2018 the Deep State went public & the Dems betrayed us.
  4. Reviewing “Ball of Collusion”, the big book of 2019 about RussiaGate.
  5. The Deep State emerges. This will change America forever.
  6. A terrifying revelation about the Deep State.
  7. America is old. Something new will rise from its pyre.

Books revealing the Deep State

Some have warned us about the rising reach and growth of the Deep State. We should listen.

Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World by Tom Englehardt (2014). See the stream of insightful articles he publishes at TomDispatch.

The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government by Mike Lofgren, Republican political operative (2016). See the Forward to it. See my review of it.

The American Deep State: Big Money, Big Oil, and the Struggle for U.S. Democracy by Peter Dale Scott, former Canadian diplomat and professor emeritus at Berkeley (2017). See his website.

The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government
Available at Amazon.
The American Deep State: Big Money, Big Oil, and the Struggle for U.S. Democracy
Available at Amazon.

 

15 thoughts on “The Trump era revolution – done without Trump”

    1. Frank,

      “Being part of the Deep State pays very well.”

      That’s not really true. The Deep State refers to senior people with power. 99% of those people earning over $100k are just regular white collar workers. The “income gap” is just the usual right-wing claptrap. The govt needs more professionals more than blue collar workers.

      The number of people earning over $100k reflects the growth and size of the government, not that it pays well. More importantly, it reflects the concentration of the Federal government in one city. I wrote about this eleven years ago: America reaches a tipping point as Washington becomes its heart and soul.

      1. Larry,

        I have thought that it would be a good-government initiative to move some of the Federal government departments’ main offices to other parts of the country, or at least, many of the major operations. You’d probably save money and it would be a great way to revitalize some of those regions. Of course, I can’t see a constituency for it.

      2. SF,

        I totally agree. But all the department leaders want to be close to the seats of power!

        Also note how arts and science institutions are clustering near Washington. It’s an ugly trend.

        For most of our history, Washington was a town or small city. Best kept that way.

  1. sidelines: sidelineD Today’s nitpick in the 5th paragraph of conclusions.

    Of historical note: in the late 60’s conservative Republican’s warned of the “Deep State” not just the State Department. They referred to it, IIRC, as the unelected bureaucracy, and warned of its usurping of powers from the constitutional powers. They traced its roots back Franklin Roosevelt.

  2. Larry:
    “No future president will repeat Trump’s foolishness, allowing potential opponents to remain in office. Wise Presidents will purge the bureaucracy.”

    I had a few problems following your logic until I modified it to the following:
    “No future president will repeat Trump’s foolishness, allowing potential opponents to remain in office. Wise Presidents will purge the bureaucracy just after they take the oath of office.”

    SF: “I have thought that it would be a good-government initiative to move some of the Federal government departments’ main offices to other parts of the country, or at least, many of the major operations.”

    Mostly true given the rise of telecommuting, persuading/forcing all those bureaucrats to move would be difficult at best.

  3. Is a 100k really that much to live in DC? I dont know about DC but in Boston 70k means you have roommates. 80k is need to rent a shit hole apt and still be poor.

  4. In regards to comments about Trump’s rambling speeches, which I speak about as someone who’s listened to and read some.

    I don’t see insanity, low intelligence, or incoherence. He strikes me as someone who speaks off the cuff, ad libs instead of preparing proper speeches.

    That to me is consistent with a business mogul surrounded by yes men who applaud everything he says.

    But that isnt necessarily a disadvantage. This is entirely personal opinion and anecdotal evidence from talking to “deplorables”… but the core of voters who won the election for him are not bothered by this trait. Quite the opposite. Ad lobbing speeches makes them inconsistent in quality, but sound far more genuine than the robotic speeches given by, for example, Hillary and Warren. THAT is a trait people appreciate, especially when they feel politicians hate them, they finally have a candidate (now president) who at least makes the gesture that he is thinking about them (whether or not words become action).

    The media has a heart attack when he bashes people on Twitter. His supporters LOVE it. They LOVE seeing Trump belittle and humiliate elites that the “little people” despise.

    Our political and social elite dont even pretend to hide how much they hate and despise the working class. How are they surprised that people cheer when Trump humiliates elites and calls them names?

    The Democrats might beat him in the election, but if he wins… the reason he won will be because the Democrats refused to take a logical look at the true reasons he has support. Dismissing his supporters as racist Nazis is silly and doesnt win elections.

      1. I think Sanders comes across as genuine, and he IS genuine… which is easy to prove because his talking points match up with his record going back 30-40 years.

        Bernie’s problem is that he is too nice and capitulates too easily. He backed Hillary last election instead of running as an independent (both Trump AND Hillary were so weak, he might have had a chance of winning… which might be a first in all of American history.).

        Further compounding that problem is that he backpedaled on issues that used to be the core of his beliefs. He used to be pro gun and pro border security. Now he supports the opposite. my guess is that he was scared to not toe the line.

        Watch the video of Warren personally attacking him and claiming he was a sexist. That shows his problem right there. If Warren had tried that with Trump he would have bullied and made fun of her for saying something so dumb. His supporters would find it funny, and Warren would look weak and stupid.

        That’s why I think Bernie will lose. Warren went for the jugular. She tried to destroy him with a bald faced lie that doesnt even make sense, and he played Mr. Nice Guy responding to her. That doesn’t get you far in politics. Trump would have laughed at her. You can’t be nice to women who make accusations like that. You have to go on the offensive and break them down.

      2. Ian,

        That’s an interesting perspective about the election. How might a Mayor Pete vs. Grandpa Bernie cage fight play out?

        Also, there is the power of weakness. I wonder if Trump viciously attacking old Grandpa Bernie will look good to the crowd.

        None of this bodes well for any kind of rational election. But we should not expect that in ClownWorld.

      3. Larry, I have watched several of Trump’s rally speeches. He is a master at giving, and feeding from, feedback from the audiences. Not surprising, he is a populist figure. He does get applause for half finished sentences where the punch line is obvious. And he has running jokes that makes the faithful part of the process, that he does not have to finish. IMO, they believe that he is in the sandbox with them. He is a lot like a late night comedian or talk show host with a beloved audience.

        As pointed out, his opponents typically have what sound like canned speeches. Perhaps you should do what I did. Watch a good Trump rally and then go watch one of Hillary’s policy rally speech.

    1. Great analysis Ian–In particular, your perception that Trump supporters “LOVE seeing Trump humiliate elites and call them names.” (As do many Bernie supporters)).

      My guess is that when the contempt of these same elites toward “deplorables” becomes so overwhelming (as it is now) we begin to move towards a more intense level of political conflict.

      What do you see as the possible origins of Trump’s own sense of ressentment–since by the usual economic and social criteria he is supposedly a part of these same elites?

  5. I’m not artistically inclined but in my mind I have this picture of a political cartoon. On one side, half the country is pointing at the other half saying “You only have yourselves to blame for what is happening in Washington, DC and the rest of the country.” On the other side, the other half of the country is giving a fist pump saying, “YES!!!”

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