Deep State

1933 Classic

The Deep State may be behind attacks on Donald Trump’s presidency. The phrase has a seductive ring to it, suggestive of Deep Blue, Deep Purple, deep anything, really. But when I look at leering Maxine, clucking Chuckie and cucking Ryan, I have a hard time seeing anything deep. My sense is that the Deep State is a romantic metaphor for something much more banal, the entrenched government bureaucracy. The only thing deep is its unfathomable size.

In fact, forget metaphors: this is like Hydra. Every enemy begets two more. If Trump attacks the military, schoolteachers and the homosexuals rise against him. If he attacks the race industry, the intelligence agencies and the trial lawyers turn on him. Trump’s enemies multiply like a Mandelbrot set. They make no sense. Their fear and loathing of Trump is so impulsive that they spin with a moral compass like Mlodinow’s drunkard’s walk, presenting like a swarm of frightened weasels nipping at the flesh of some great beast. They appear to have nothing in common but their hatred of Trump.

Oh, but they do. Underlying them all is one great thing in common. They rely in some way or other on the federal government for their money.

It is not always direct — teachers’ unions are paid by the states, but they know that it’s federal block grants, rights laws and education policy that drive their funding. Trial lawyers get money in state courts from private companies, but they know that it’s federal policies and federal judges that fuel their causes of action. Identity groups don’t get paid by anyone, yet somehow they get paid by everyone: only federal programs could cause this.

Even shorn of these “effects,” our central government spends trillions of dollars. Now, all that glitters is not gold: a lot of that is debt. But it is a hell of a lot of glitter. And a hell of a lot of takers.

Let us pause for a moment to consider how difficult Trump’s task is before we jump on the bandwagons to complain that he hasn’t done enough fast enough. He didn’t start the wall, but he also didn’t shut down the government, and he’s engineered a remarkable economic boom alongside a dramatic reduction in illegal immigration. Remember, under Bush-Obama we were told that the only way to stop immigration was to crash our economy worse than Mexico’s.

And Trump didn’t keep us out of Middle East bombing campaigns. But it’s hard to fight against the generals. Obama was bombing seven or eight countries at a time, and before that Baby Bush was empire-building. You want to stop all that on a dime? So do I. But damned if I know how to tell the largest military on Earth to go cold turkey.

I’m just saying: don’t underestimate the difficulty of beating the Middle East addiction. Not too long ago people wondered if AIPAC ran Washington D.C. They don’t, of course, but they’re still heavy hitters. Just like the MSM.

The federal bureaucracy is an evil and corroding thread; the fabric of our existence is shot through with it. Every business, education and family decision we make is influenced by federal policy. Our central government is just like every other central government — it’s a beast that demands to be fed. Amazingly, the beast is furious even though Trump hasn’t taken its food away. He only threatened to.

So let’s not glorify the inertia of entrenched greed by calling it “Deep State.” Call it what it is: rot. Always remember that the D.C. establishment, both parties, hated Trump from the start. Nobody should be surprised that the swamp is fighting back with everything it has — quicksand, mosquitoes and vipers.

Those are apt metaphors.

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