Thinking over the Friday “revelations” about how the big intel agencies (CIA, FBI, NSA) are agreed that Russia hacked the election to favor the President-elect (Or P-E), I’m recalling that African proverb about how when elephants fight, it’s the grass & the mice that get trampled.
And I’m taking a mouse-eyed view of what just happened.
Here’s how I think it looks from there: those with eyes to see witnessed an opening round in what could be a death struggle between the Deep State and the Dupe State.
“Deep State” is a term borrowed from Turkish politics. It was applied to the American body politic by Mike Lofgren, a longtime congressional staffer, in his book, The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government. (A good summary is here. )
In Washington terms it refers to an unofficial but abiding coalition of the bigger intel agencies, some think tanks & major corporations, which he believes quietly but irresistibly keep US government policy in line with their values and agenda, regardless of the shifting party lineup in Congress & the White House. The idea makes a lot of sense to me.
The Deep State is not quite a conspiracy — but it’s not quite NOT a conspiracy either.
On the other side is the team being assembled by & under the president-elect, the P-E. And it is not mere partisan sneering to call this group the Dupe State.
Numerous reports by some of the most credible (but widely ignored) journalistic giants of our day had solidly established, well before the election and the recent hacking revelations, that Trump’s “empire” has recently been largely kept afloat via connections & money from Russian oligarchs & mobsters, who are often the same people. (More on this here.)
(That’s in addition to a long, long history of ties to U. S. Mobsters as well.)
Summing up this record, columnist Kathleen Parker, despite describing herself as “conservative-leaning,” put it very bluntly in the Washington Post today, Jan. 7th, 2017:
“Trump would rather make common cause with our fiercest geopolitical adversary [Putin’s Russia] . . . than take the word of our best people. Moreover, he has said he won’t receive daily security briefings and reportedly plans to reduce our security agencies.
Pray tell, whose side is this man on? When was the last time you had to ask that question about a president-elect?
In sum, when the president-elect persists in a state of denial, siding with the enemy against his own country’s best interests, one is forced to consider that Trump himself poses a threat to national security.
In Russia, they’d just call it treason.”
(Actually, I suspect in Russia today they’re calling it a bigly great “win-win-win,” and the P-E a hugely “useful idiot”; but that’s just me.)
And Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo says it this way:
“Set aside all Donald Trump’s nonsense about disbelieving the intelligence agencies and insisting there’s no evidence against Russia. Set aside his amazingly public spat with those agencies. Set aside just why Russia did this. There’s the simple fact that just two weeks before a new President is sworn into office, the country’s intelligence agencies are publicly releasing a report claiming that the United States’ great 20th century rival, Russia, conspired to assist in that new President’s election. Step back and just absorb that. That is simply mind-boggling. Who could have imagined such a thing, such a confluence of events – – would ever happen.”
(Speaking of the Big Three’s mind-boggling Russian election-rigging report, you can read it here.)
Yeah, what’s coming is a Dupe State. And it’s facing off against the Deep State.
Josh is right: who could have imagined?
And how could such a struggle turn out?
I’m not making predictions here. But let’s note that undermining & overthrowing unwanted governments is basic to the skill set of the key, more shadowy sectors of the Deep State. The trail goes back to the late 1940s, and it’s strewn with fallen bodies as well as fallen regimes. Besides, their success rate is better at knocking stuff down than replacing it with something better. (See Tim Wiener’s searching dissection, aptly titled, “A Legacy of Ashes.” )
As for those behind the Dupe State? It’s easy to romanticize & overestimate their capabilities. But clearly they do subversion with skill, and their efforts seem to be spreading across Europe and gaining momentum. Big tests of their prowess will come in both German and French elections later this year.
But what about this side of the Atlantic? If the Dupes & the Deeps really get down to it, what’s to happen to us mice, caught in the grass between the wall (err, fence, or whatever) along the Mexican border, and the even more effective Winter Curtain maintained by those canny Canadians?
I admit that from day to day, my main worry is about the early grass-level fallout of the changes to come starting January 20: the shredding of the safety net, which will make life much harder down here in Mouse Country, not only for the poor, the nonwhite, the sick and many other unfortunates, but also for me, myself, your humble blogger.
This is followed closely by anxiety over Islamo- and homophobic crusades, which many on the new team seem eager to unleash. And various new wars the Dupe in Chief has been threatening.
(So much anxiety; so little time.)
But what if all this is but secondary, lower-lever stuff, even a kind of sideshow to a monster main event? (After all, the CIA-FBI-NSA report didn’t have much to say about, you know, Social Security or Medicare; it didn’t even mention defunding Planned Parenthood.)
Furthermore, if this global pachydermic conflict breaks out in full thunder, I’m not even sure who to root for. I’ve been protesting Deep State coups for a long time, and their wreckage is still in plain view in many places. But then — Russia!
Any anyway, what’s a mouse to do? Write indignant letters to Congress? Sign Facebook petitions? (Says the cynic: start learning Russian?)
Deep State vs Dupe State. I don’t think there’s any help for the grass. But does anybody know some good nearby holes?
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