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The Deep State 2.0


#1

The Deep State 2.0

Mike Lofgren

The prospect of four years of Donald J. Trump’s nonstop rants about imaginary conspiracies against his daughter, wholesale slander against the judicial branch and attacks on the press as enemies of the people has caused some Americans to slip into a comforting form of denial. He will be a blip in our history, they say, because our formal institutions, and the American people, will ultimately prevail against a rogue disruptor.


#2

Interesting article but I think it is a bit overwrought. I'm going with Trump's Razor on this one: Trump cares only about what is good for Trump. That's why he's blaming President Obama for wire tapping Trump Tower without doing any of the basic things all other modern president's do to show his policies are about the country and not about himself, like release his tax returns, put his businesses in blind trusts, and fill out his financial disclosure forms for real. It's better for him to obfuscate, hide, and blame others. No deep state--what is that anyway, the soon-to-be desk clerk at Interior?--or other conspiracies are needed.


#3

I would argue that the 1% have, since the dawn of the 21st century, saturated their interest in the luxury items that Lofgren says they will pursue (in paragraph 9) as a result of the Trump tax cuts..

I have never had a problem with the 1% buying all the real estate, goods and services they want, the real problem is that ever since their tax rates dropped during Saint Ron's revolution they have been able to afford to buy all the media and politicians they want to, their propaganda hence monopolizing media and making our votes worth little or nothing.


#4

I actually think Trump would be for raising taxes if he found it was good for his own bottom line. I don't think the man cares about much, except for that and his hair.


#5

Despite serially blaming everything that goes wrong during the next 4 or 8 years on the Clintons and Obamas, Trump should realize that sooner or later at least some of his working class (and poor) base will be perceptive enough to realize they have been duped. At that point he will need his 1% cronies to be his friends. Tax cuts are a sure way to that end.

Raising taxes on the "urban elites" for sure, and very likely on blue collar workers, but never on the 1%.

Just as Saint Ron ran up more debt than all of his 38 predecessors COMBINED while being branded a small gubmit fiscal conservative to this day, Trump doesn't care what the gubmit's balance sheet looks like today or ever.


#6

The Trump State is bad enough without having to invoke ANY Deep State explanation. It represents a further acceleration to the bottom for many millions of Americans and I doubt there will be much intellectualizing on their part as to whether it was Trump or someone else pulling his strings. Trump and the Republicans are the shock wave assault on the poor and working class that will further destabilize American society in short order. "Let them eat cake" is back in style.


#7

Just as Trump successfully tested the waters of deceit by leading the totally bogus birther movement for years, he will serially blame the Clintons, Obamas and (everybody else who is not GOP) for everything that goes wrong during his term(s). The GOP has successfully created facts by repeating the same lies so often that their base will blame everybody and everything except the GOP when the feces hits the fan.

Facts, logic, "itellectualizing" and connecting the dots are some of the many enemies that Trump created to add to his ever growing list of enemies that only Trump can protect his base from. Pure Goebbels.


#8

It would be fantastic if the Deep State, Deep Sixes the 'Donald' to obscurity.

Soon.


#9

Trump is not a futurist. He wants what he wants and he wants it all now. Trump is, however, a jump right in and take charge sort of corporate raider who thinks nothing of maintaining tradition nor preserving institutions such as democracy and representative government. The problem is that we citizens do not want to face the fact that he doesn't respect us. Trump has jumped in with both feet and wants to recreate a new version of America that appeals to the elite.

Trying to calculate whether his tax cuts are fiscally feasible is absurd. Trump wants to create what he believes will be the end result of such tax cuts which is part and parcel of his neo-robber baron vision for America. So Trump will impose such tax cuts and gamble that they will work as he hopes. Reckless is not just a word for this gambler.

Lastly... despite bellicose appearances towards Iran, Trump's shadowed frowning is focused on China. We hardly need a twelfth carrier task force for Iran. One can 'understand' the ultra right's desire to have a twelfth elsewhere.

Trump is in a hurry isn't he? It is like he piling things on one after the other at such a rapid pace that people can hardly encompass the changes involved. Not enough time to catch our breath much less discuss things adequately.

Worriesome that.


#10

You paint a picture of Trump being in charge and in control that doesn't quite comport with observed reality. The presidency is a stage to him. As for programmatically changing the country, he is far more tool than master.


#11

You concern yourself with appearances. Trump is not 'doing this' ... the Trump regime is doing this. Trump is the delegator in chief who thinks like a king and appoints his ministers and governors to 'make things happen' for him the way he wants them. If you think Trump is some genius just because he is rich then you are sadly mistaken. He has always paid people to be smarter than he is.


#12

Here is Glenn Greenwald's take on the danger of that: Empowering the "Deep State" to undermine Trump is Prescription for Destroying Democracy


#13

I think everyone is aware of what Greenwald is saying, the problem is the head-in-the-sand element to it. We have a president who has done absolutely nothing for us to invest any positive credence to his actions or those of his administration. As I've posted several times, he could take some positive steps now to show us his preferred policies are about the country and not about himself, like release his tax returns, put his businesses in blind trusts, and fill out his financial disclosure forms for real. His last set of disclosure forms were a joke, he basically flaunted them that way too.

Maybe he is just an honest guy trying to pursue detente of some sort with the Russians or foreign interests, but his behaviors sure don't build any credibility with the public towards doing that. This is especially the case when his past unscrupulous business dealings are a matter of record, his lack of transparency is a matter of record, and his need for foreign investment to stay afloat--not bad in-and-of itself--has been reported on for many years. The guy claims he's worth $10 billion but filed for a New York State tax credit for people who earn $500,000 or less for multiple years and did so again in 2016 even after the press found out about it!

We are at the point where a reasonable person could say it's almost safer to assume something untoward happened given the president's own odd behaviors.


#14

I think Mr. Lofgren has just made a very astute and accurate analysis here. The people have been played for fools. Heads they win, tails we lose!


#15

I don't think this article implies Trump is purposely complicit with the Deep State, just that his administration is serving their interests. Thus, it would not be correct to say Trump and the Deep State are at odds, which is the premise of a popular conspiracy theory that this article is debunking. Whether there really is a Deep State is, of course, as much a matter of perspective rather than a yes/no question. One imagines, though, that power and money often walk together behind closed doors in society.


#16

I personally don't see any head in the sand element to Greenwald's analysis. If you listen, at minute 39, he specifically says that there needs to be a thorough, impartial investigation into Trump's dealings/interests/affairs-- but that to allow secret, unaccountable agencies which have a record of abominable actions worldwide, to determine the fate of Trump, is a quick way to destroy the democratic process. I think he has a valid point. Until I listened to Greenwald on this, I, like PonyBoy, was wishing that the 'deep state' would deep-six Trump, but Greenwald has pointed out how dangerous that would be, and I find myself in agreement.


#17

I don't think this is fake populism. The populism looks very real. It basically consisted of millions of angry people who are predominately white and Christian, and who predominately live in rural areas or the exburbs rebelling about what has taken place over the last 60 years, ever since the civil rights movement became publicized nationally. Go back 60 years and in a typical white family the man could earn a wage that supported the whole family and often had a secure job through retirement at one company. Blacks in the South still lived under segregation and in the north were often living in poverty as the jobs they had in the big cities disappeared. Nobody could have suspected what was coming. The Vietnam War and anti-war protests. The hippies and hallucinogenic drugs. Feminism. The Black Power movement. The assassination of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King, the latter touching off riots in many cities. A couple of decades later China began to take off economically and millions jobs were transferred there and other developing countries. And then computing power took off replace many workers with robots. And globalization accelerated and many jobs were transferred to people in other countries who now had the internet available. And there was also a large influx of people from Mexico and other Latin American countries entering the US without papers and often taking low paying jobs. Recently there have been reports that in few decades white people will no longer be in the majority in the US. And Protestants have probably lost their place as the majority. And a large percentage of young people do not identify with any religion. Most people think the US is a great country but for this populist right wing movement the US that was great was destroyed by liberals resulting in a secular country with a mix of cultures from all over the world, with foreign languages often spoken and immorality and hedonism everywhere, including on TV. Trump, who apparently used to be a Democrat and gave a large sum of money to Hillary Clinton for campaigning as recently as 2008, seems to have found the movement to present an opportunity to gain power and money and here we are.


#18

I read Greenwald's comments and I feel like he's throwing that in there because the more we find out, the more it does seem he's burying his head. I'm skeptical of the deep state thesis to begin with having worked in government for so many years anyway. You'd think I was surrounded by union-loving budget busting zealots to read the press, but instead a good portion of the people I worked with were Republican, some pretty ardent in their views.

What I think is happening is that our intelligence agencies suspect their sources in Russia were lost when Putin purged his tech intelligence staff because of people on the Trump team. Do I know this? No. But notice that Greenwald dismisses it out of hand. More notably, he's asking for "evidence" which, as we all know, can't be had publicly for obvious reasons, especially if some intelligence was based on information from sources in the Russian government. Putin arrested several people on the digital intelligence side after our election. He obviously did this for a reason. More to the point, most European journalists familiar with Russian politics think that there was Russian interference--Russia's done it in other elections, just like we have. Journalists I trust, like Josh Marshall, sure seem to indicate folks they know in intelligence think something untoward happened.

Bigger than all of this though, is that our president has done nothing whatsoever to give us any faith that he's seeking detente with Russia, or anything really, for anything other than self-motivated terms. This assumes he's even pursuing detente to begin with. He could clear a lot up by releasing his tax returns, updating his financial disclosure forms, and putting his businesses in a blind trust, like other modern presidents have done. He's done the opposite though.


#19

Exactly. "Trumps razor" is a perfect expression for simply taking the vile Trump at his word rather than attaching all kind of unnecessary conspiratorial appendages to events surrounding him.

This talk of this amorphous nebulous "deep state" opposed to Trump will need to become far more specific - names and specific events - before I am going to give it any credence. It just seems to be the latest manifestation of the pseudo-left/alt-left refusing to admit the catastrophe of their "never Hillary "strategy" (I'm calling it a "strategy" very charitably - a better description is an infantile emotional outburst in place of strategy) while they continue to promote their absurd concept of Trumpism as some kind form of popular uprising against the power of the wealthy. As I posted earlier, Wall Street has made it very clear every non-holiday weekday since Jan 20 what the this would-be "deep state" opposition of wealthy elites think of Trump. Opposition my ass, they love him.


#20

Personally, you are being more charitable to Greenwald than I would be. This article and his other recent stuff such as his recent Democracy Now appearance read more like a lurid Robert Ludlum plot outline than anything connected to reality. This "deep state" of conspiring Wall Street/intelligence elites does not oppose Trump - assuming it exists at all - and this support on the left for them assuming they do exist is a total straw man. There is only the expected opposition from the (admittedly compromised) Democratic party.

Greenwald's descent from admired journalist to fool has been very steep.