by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
For most of the last three years, Donald Trump’s critics have scoffed at supposed “conspiracy theories” that claimed a “deep state” of bureaucrats were aborting the Trump presidency. We have been told the word “coup” is hyperbole that reveals the paranoid minds of Trump supporters.
Yet oddly, many people brag that they are proud members of a deep state and occasionally boast about the idea of a coup.
Recently, former acting CIA chief John McLaughlin proclaimed in a public forum, “Thank God for the deep state.” Former CIA director John Brennan agreed and praised the “deep state people” for their opposition to Trump.
Far from denying the danger of an unelected careerist bureaucracy that seeks to overturn presidential policies, New York Times columnists have praised its efforts to nullify the Trump agenda.
On the first day of the impeachment inquiry, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff called his initial two witnesses, career State Department diplomats William Taylor Jr. and George Kent. Far from providing damning evidence of criminal presidential behavior, Taylor and Kent mostly confined themselves to three topics: their own sterling résumés, their lack of any firsthand knowledge of incriminating Trump action, and their poorly hidden disgust with the manner and substance of Trump’s foreign policy.
Oddly, both had little clue that their demeanor and thinly disguised self-importance were a perfect example of why Trump got elected — to come up with new ideas antithetical to the conventional wisdom of unelected career bureaucrats.