The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Deep State

I have, for the better part of the Trump presidency, referred to parts of the federal bureaucracy as "the deep state." Originally, the implication was simply that the deep state is a collection unelected federal bureaucrats (and in some cases, senior members of the military) who are in many ways more powerful than elected members of Congress. They often define policy and regulations, spend copious amounts of tax money on things that are often designed to increase their organizational and bureaucratic power, and have cozy relationships with major corporations and sometimes do their bidding.

Today, however, far too many members of the deep state are much more, according to Stephen Miller, a senior policy advisor in the Trump administration. They are not heroes of the 'resistance,' but rather a "very grave threat" to our democracy. Miller's comments are reported by The Washington Examiner:
Anonymous efforts by anti-Trump federal bureaucrats to thwart the White House agenda through leaks and complaints to friendly reporters and congressional allies are a “mortal threat” to democracy and the 2016 election results, according to a top administration official.

“This is a mortal threat to the American system of government,” said Stephen Miller, the senior adviser for policy.

In 2016, President Trump ran against Washington’s “deep state” and “permanent bureaucracy,” said Miller, and they remain so angry that they are lying, leaking, and attacking the administration’s agenda.

The latest example is the planned book written by an anonymous inside critic and that follows efforts by bureaucrats to thwart Trump policies with leaks to liberal media and Democrats on Capitol Hill.

In an interview, Miller called inside attacks a “very grave threat,” and he explained it this way:

“It is best understood as career federal employees that believe they are under no obligation to honor, respect, or abide by the results of a democratic election. Their view is, ‘If I agree with what voters choose, then I’ll do what they choose. If I disagree with what voters choose, then I won’t, and I’ll continue doing my own thing. So basically it’s heads I win, tails you lose.

“‘If you elect Hillary Clinton, then I’ll implement all of her policies very faithfully, and if I see massive evidence of corruption on Hillary Clinton’s part, then I’ll keep it all a secret. If you elect a candidate I disagree with, then I’ll lie, I’ll leak, I’ll cheat, I’ll smear, I’ll attack, I’ll persecute, and I will refuse to implement, and I will obstruct at every single step of the way.’”
We're seeing this right now as the Democrats, via the inveterate liar, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who heads their secret impeachment "investigation," trots members of the deep state through his committee in the hope that they will provide sound bites that he can then illegally leak to his trained hamsters in the media. It's a travesty, and like the Russian collusion narrative—a hoax. But some partisan members of the deep state are willing to help the Dems promote the hoax.

There's also a certain irony to the criticism levied by past and present members of the deep state on foreign policy decision's made by the Trump administration. Again from the same article:
The top aide [Miller], interviewed in his second-floor West Wing office, also mocked insider critics who have been responsible for failed policies, especially in the intelligence, foreign policy, and defense arenas.

“The same people who made wrong judgment calls in Iraq, with respect to strategy in Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, too … the people who made all these decisions now are so utterly convinced that they alone know what the right policy is,” Miller said.
It would seem that when you're a member of the deep state and your foreign policy decisions have proven incorrect over multiple decades, your strategies have repeatedly failed, and your prevailing wisdom for hard problems is to kick the can down the road, you'd have the humility to embrace a different approach.

Heh. Not a chance.