It has been almost three years now that Democrats and senior federal government officials have been ridiculing the suspicion that a deep state exists – a shadow government, if you will – working behind the scenes to enact its own agenda, protected from public scrutiny. Many conservatives and especially loyal supporters of President Donald Trump have accused this cabal of working to undermine or even destroy the 45th president.
Only somewhat recently has the narrative begun to change. Rather than refusing, with a roll of the eyes and a sardonic smile, to acknowledge the existence of the deep state, the president’s political enemies are beginning to quietly admit that it exists. Not that these people are conceding to the right: Rather, they now suggest that influential people are quietly toiling away to protect the nation and the Constitution itself from the assaults and abuses of a rogue president.
Why the Deep State Hates Trump
Love Trump or hate him, there is no denying that his presence in the White House has turned Washington on its head. Politicians and unelected bureaucrats alike had a good thing going until January 2016. Lobbyists were buying legislation, vice presidents were setting up their otherwise useless kids with sweetheart business deals, the FBI was spying on whomever it wished – particularly those whose politics it didn’t care for – and everyone was growing fat on taxpayer dollars. The deep state was already there and its job was to preserve this status quo.
Then the 2016 election was won by a billionaire businessman who could not be bought off because he already had more money than any DC crony. Though it is only fair to point out that Trump hasn’t put a stop to all the shenanigans of the Washington elites, he wasted no time in giving them all the finger, and they despise him for that.
The FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence operation – the one that later evolved into a special counsel investigation – was seen as the ultimate deep state play aimed at undoing Trump’s election victory. Democrats and even the very FBI officials who ran Crossfire Hurricane insisted that such an idea was nonsense. The evidence against them, though, has continued to pile up.
When one is guilty of some transgression, the obvious temptation is to lie and deny one’s way out of it. Once that transgression becomes undeniable, it is human nature to change course and admit to the deed but hastily add that the wrongdoing was, in fact, justified because [insert explanation here].
In truth, the admission of deep state maneuvering against this president has been very slowly emerging for quite some time. Obama-era intelligence community officials such as James Clapper, John Brennan, and James Comey have, since they lost their jobs, been claiming that something had to – and must still – be done about Trump’s alleged law-breaking and Constitution-shredding.
Deep State as Uber-Patriots
Acknowledging that there is a conspiracy within the political and bureaucratic classes to bring down Trump is becoming more acceptable now, it appears. James B. Stewart, a columnist with The New York Times, is currently promoting his book, Deep State: Trump, the FBI, and the Rule of Law, in which he argues, essentially, that Americans should thank their lucky stars that the previously fictitious deep state is, in fact, alive and well and fighting to save America from Trump and from those in government who previously spared no effort, apparently, to prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming president.
When NBC’s Savannah Guthrie recently asked Stewart about the president’s belief that deep state officials were working against him, the columnist responded: “[T]he fact is, in a sense, he’s 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.”
Another recent example of how Trump’s opponents are shifting the narrative from “there is no deep state” to “OK, there is a deep state but we need it because Trump” came from former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Currently, McCabe is on the road pushing his own book and trying to salvage his reputation – in addition to raising money for a potential legal defense, no doubt.
Fired from the FBI for lying to investigators – something for which others have gone to prison – McCabe, at an October 3 event hosted by Carl Berstein, spoke about the origins of the Bureau’s Russia operation. He all but admitted that the counterintelligence probe was not predicated upon any solid evidence.
“We open the case,” James Comey’s former deputy explained, “and then we think, ‘OK, now who are we actually going to investigate? Who do we know who is associated with the campaign who has known, significant ties to Russian intelligence?’”
McCabe has also recently admitted that the so-called Steele dossier could not be corroborated and that the author of the dossier himself told the FBI that he could not vouch for the salacious allegations it contained.
Here, then, we have the second-highest-ranking FBI official now finally admitting that the Bureau opened an investigation in order to find a crime, rather than to investigate an already known crime. Like Stewart, McCabe is trying to argue that it is acceptable for laws, rules, and procedures to be circumvented, should the deep state deem the threat sufficiently serious.
The larger and more disturbing lesson, here, is that the left honestly believes that when the American people fall short in exercising their democratic rights – by electing someone the federal bureaucracy finds politically unacceptable – it is the duty of those unelected officials to take action to rectify the voters’ “mistake.”