Is There a “Deep State”?

You hear it nearly daily from Fox News, Infowars, Breitbart and other rightwing outlets as well as certain elected Republican officials, “the ‘Deep State’ is trying to destroy the Trump presidency”. They imply a conspiracy of government employees (focusing now on the FBI) who despise Trump so much they’re abusing power to try to end his presidency for political reasons. Interesting conspiracy theory but is there any merit to it? Let’s try to step back and examine who they are referring to as “Deep State”.

In our two party system of governance, whether it be federal, state or local control of that government often switches from one party to the other. This has been going on in this country since nearly the beginning. However, when there is a change in the party that controls the executive or legislative branches of government they don’t bring in their own group of new government employees to staff government offices. True, they appoint department heads that are members of the party in control, but the rank and file of government employees rarely change. These are career government employees who upon accepting a position swear an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, the laws of the land and policies and procedures of the government agency for which they are a part of. I myself was a government employee in Maricopa County for over 30 years. In all that time I was never asked what my party affiliation was (it was Republican by the way) nor was I ever asked to curry favor to those of one party or the other depending on which party ran the State of Arizona or Maricopa County.

I served as a Probation Officer, later a Supervisor for Adult Probation under both Republican and Democratic Governors as well as Republican and Democratic Chief Probation Officers. Now there was a rule on the job that is Standard Operational Procedures in most if not all government offices, do not allow personal views or political leanings impact the performance of your job duties. On several occasions as a Supervisor I would reprimand staff for openly expressing their hatred of President Obama and his policies. Prior to him I would reprimand staff for openly expressing their hatred of President Bush and his policies. We were there to do a job for the tax payers of Maricopa County and the State of Arizona. We were there as our oaths required to uphold and defend the Constitutions of the United States and State of Arizona and the duly enacted laws of the State of Arizona. We were there to abide by our policies and procedures developed over the years by professionals utilizing evidence based practices to ensure we met our Mission Statement.

Career government officials are essentially all the same. These are professionals doing their jobs based on the law, policy and procedures and evidence based practices developed over the years by other professionals in the field. This applies to where I worked, other State and County government offices and Federal Offices. This especially applies to Law Enforcement and Court oversight. I could go into what was going on with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office under Joe Arpiao since I saw it first hand, but that’s another rant. Let’s focus shall we on those in the barrel as it were today, the FBI and Justice Department.

Since the creation of the FBI under Frankly Roosevelt, it has been led by conservative administrators and filled by conservative rank and file agents. In fact when you really look at it, nearly all law enforcement agencies are manned by conservatives, mostly Republican men and women. Law enforcement tends to entice conservatives to join. That’s a fact. Another fact is that the FBI as well as other Law Enforcement agencies are required by their oaths, policies and procedures and evidence based practices to investigate crimes that fall under their jurisdiction regardless of the political leanings of the suspect. Though ran and staffed by mostly Republicans, the fact that Hillary Clinton was a Democrat didn’t influence the tenor of the FBI investigation into the alleged email case. Despite what elected Republicans and rightwing media would have you believe, they did investigate her, found problems but nothing that made a prima facie case against her that would hold up in Court and get her convicted. They looked at the alleged activities, investigated if any real crimes were committed and if a case could be made. They could make a case so no charges were filed. There were mistakes made by the FBI at the time, not the least of which being the violation of policy in acknowledging she was under investigation. They did however abide by their policy in not acknowledging that one Donald J. Trump and his campaign were under investigation prior and post his election by their counter intelligence agents.

Career staff at the FBI are doing what they are paid by the tax payers to do, investigate events that fall under their jurisdiction to see if actual crimes were committed, who were involved and if a case can be made. Attaching the ominous moniker of “Deep State” is a political distraction by elected Republicans and rightwing media to throw smoke at what the FBI is uncovering about Trump and his campaign by career criminal justice employees doing their jobs, upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States and the laws as enacted by our Congress and signed by various Presidents of both parties over the generations. If no crime can be found, if no prima facie case can be made against Donald J. Trump then like Hillary Clinton, he won’t be charged. To attack them now before a final report is made tends to indicate that those making the attack know more than they’re admitting about the activities of the Trump campaign, especially Devin Nunes.

Elected political officials tend to follow the edicts of their party leadership and those who fund their campaigns. This is true for both Republicans and Democrats. Sadly since most of the Republican campaign donors are billionaire oligarchs we know where their leaning are. Now career government employees follow the Constitution and aren’t sway by political contributions from billionaires. They get paid by the taxpayers of this country, nobody else.

So if by Deep State you mean career government employees doing their jobs as spelled out in the law and policy and procedures and paid for by tax dollars then yes, there is a Deep State and there’s nothing nefarious about what they’re doing investigating Trump. There is something nefarious though about those who insult them and are paid by those like the Koch Brothers, Robert Mercer and other “dark money sources” to include dare I say Russia.

Bottom line, there really isn’t a Deep State, there are career law enforcement officials in the FBI and Justice Department doing their jobs. If someone is accused of wrongdoing they have nothing to fear if they did nothing wrong. To attack career government law enforcement officials before a final report is made tends to indicate that these people fear the outcome and are not upholding the Constitution, the law and earning the wages paid them by the taxpayers, but more their campaign contributors. That’s the common sense reality in this “Deep State” debate.