Archive for the ‘Obama’s Post-Presidency’ category

Virgil: The Beltway Assures Us the Deep State Doesn’t Exist

March 13, 2017

Virgil: The Beltway Assures Us the Deep State Doesn’t Exist, BreitbartVirgil, March 13, 2017

(Please see also, The Trouble with Barry.  — DM)

BNN Edit

In parts one and two of our guided tour of the Deep State, we looked at two anchors of the Federal Triangle in downtown DC, the Department of Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency.  And while Virgil looks forward to continuing his tour of the Triangle and other nodes of the Deep State, sometimes breaking news breaks in, and so we should pause to consider the latest.

On March 10, from his podium at the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, President Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, was asked about the Deep State.  The question:

Does the White House believe in a “Deep State” that is actively working to undermine the president?

And here’s Spicer’s answer:

I think that there’s no question when you have eight years of one party in office, there are people who stay in government—and continue to espouse the agenda of the previous administration.  So I don’t think it should come as any surprise there are people that burrowed into government during eight years of the last administration and may have believed in that agenda and want to continue to seek it.  I don’t think that should come as a surprise.

In other words, Spicer’s answer to the answer to the question was “Yes.”  So now there can be no doubt that the concept of the Deep State will be discussed for a long time to come.  And yet if Virgil might be permitted to quibble with Spicer, he would say that the Deep State is a lot deeper than just the past eight years—we’ll come back to that point.

But first, let’s hear from other voices on the issue of whether or not there’s a Deep State.  As we can see, it’s gaining a critical mass of recognition, at least on the right.  And that’s good, because, as they say, forewarned is forearmed.

On March 5, former House speaker Newt Gingrich made himself clear—as he always does:

There is an active Deep State opposition to a populist disruptive reformer.  Many [in the government] believe it is their duty to break the law and lie.  For Trump to succeed, there will have to be profound overhaul of the bureaucracy.

A few days later, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) didn’t use the actual words “Deep State,” but his point was the same when he described the situation in Powertown: “The same people were there, and they don’t think the new owners or the new managers should be running the ship.”  And then Kelly added this point about former president Barack Obama:

He’s only there for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to run a shadow government that is totally going to upset the new agenda.

So is the 44th president setting up a permanent campaign against the 45th president?  Obama denies any such intention; he says that he and his family are remaining in Washington so that his youngest daughter, Sasha, can finish high school.  Of course, that explanation doesn’t quite tell us why former White House consigliere Valerie Jarrett has moved into the Obamas’ 8200-square-foot home in the swanky Kalorama neighborhood, just a couple miles north of the White House.

In fact, the real goal of the relocation, according to The Daily Mail, is to “oust Trump from the presidency either by forcing his resignation or through his impeachment.”

Meanwhile, others in Congress, too, are eyeing closely the shadowy armada arrayed against the new administration.  In the words of Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), “I think it’s really the Deep State vs. the president, the duly elected president.”

And on March 9, Fox News’ Sean Hannity, was even more direct:

Deep State Obama holdovers embedded like barnacles in the federal bureaucracy are hell-bent on destroying President Trump.  It’s time for the Trump administration to purge these saboteurs.

Interestingly, by coincidence, or perhaps not, the very next day President Trump’s Justice Department ordered the firing of 46 US Attorneys, all Obama holdovers.  

Still, some in the Main Stream Media, even now, choose to deny that there is any such thing as a Deep State.  One such is David Ignatius, veteran columnist for The Washington Post, who wrote on March 7 that what we’re seeing is simply the collision of President Trump and the properly established legal system:

Some [Trump] supporters claim he’s facing a secret coup from an intelligence and foreign policy establishment that constitutes a despotic “deep state.” But really, Trump is confronting the orderly process we call the “rule of law.”

Virgil thinks that it’s rich, indeed, for Ignatius to insist that there’s nothing going on except the proper rule of law.  Why?  Because it was Ignatius’ own reporting, back on January 12, that demonstrated the extra-legal power of the Deep State.  That was the report that revealed that on December 29, Michael Flynn, named as Trump’s national security adviser in the new administration, had been intercepted talking on the phone to the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.  And from that first report, events tumbled, and as we all know, Flynn resigned from his White House post on February 13.

And yet a few days after that Ignatius story ran on January 12, Virgil wondered aloud how he got the information about a private phone call: “Now how did Ignatius know that?”  That is, how did Ignatius learn about the Flynn-Kislyak conversation?  Continuing, Virgil wrote back then, “The Postman won’t say, other than that he got his information from a ‘senior US government official.’”  Virgil then pointed out that even if was legal to record the call—yes, it’s smart to surveil Russians—it’s not legal to leak such information to the media, especially if it involves an American citizen.  “Such disclosures aren’t legal,” Virgil added with a sigh, “but once again, nobody in Washington, DC, seems to care.”

So we can see: In the Flynn case, the power of the Deep State wasn’t at all about the “rule of law.”  It was about just the opposite.

Others, too, take the Ignatius line—even if their denials are weirdly weak and self-contradicting.  Here, for example is a March 9 headline in Politico, the bible of the Beltway: “The Deep State Is a Figment of Steve Bannon’s Imagination.” The author, Loren DeJonge Schulman, starts out by firing both barrels at Bannon and anyone else who might have suspicions about the Deep State:

Here’s a handy rule for assessing the credibility of what you’re reading about national security in the Trump era: If somebody uses the term “Deep State,” you can be pretty sure they have no idea what they’re talking about.

Got that?  Nothing to see here: So if you hear Spicer, Gingrich, Kelly, Massie, Hannity—or, of course, ol’ Virgil—nattering on about the Deep State, well, have a dunce cap handy.

So who’s the author of this don’t-worry-about-a-thing piece?  We can see from her bio that Loren DeJonge Schulman, who now works at a Democratic-aligned think-tank in DC, has an extensive background in the politics of the Democratic Party and the Deep State, both.

So maybe it’s not so surprising that Schulman wouldn’t want anyone nosing around too much in Deep State matters.   After all, nobody likes being snooped on, right?   In fact, Virgil is reminded of the 1999 Brad Pitt movie, Fight Club, featuring these oft-repeated lines:

Welcome to Fight Club.  The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club.  The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club!

That was Hollywood’s way of expressing the most basic wisdom of any secret enterprise: Keep it secret!

So Virgil was surprised to see how Schulman chose to end her denial piece.  After nearly 2000 words of mercilessly mocking the idea that there was any such thing as a Deep State, Schulman closed by . . . outing herself as a Deep Stater:

So the next time you hear someone using the term Deep State, send them a copy of this article.  Ask them to stop using it.  Tell them the term betrays their ignorance, and obscures and misleads far more than it illuminates.  And if that doesn’t work, well, we Deep Staters will take matters into our own hands. [emphasis added]

One supposes that Schulman would say that her final words were just her way of being funny: What an arch sense of humor she has!  And no doubt she got some yuks from her pals in Cleveland Park, Crystal City, and Chevy Chase.  Meanwhile, other Americans, curious about how they are being governed, might wonder what’s so funny about being threatened by a well-connected Beltway apparatchik.

Yes, an attempt at humor, however ominous, is one possible explanation for Schulman’s close.  Another possibility is that she is, in fact, proud to be a Deep Stater, and that her pride shines right through her feigned irony.  That is, she is eager to signal to her friends and colleagues in the Deep State that she is truly one of them, even as she laughs it off.

Was her Politico piece a successful stratagem?  Did Schulman succeed in playing her double game?  That is, proving that she is one of the cool kids, even as she convinced readers that only dopes and paranoids worry about the Deep State?  Virgil reports, you decide.  

The Trouble With Barry

March 13, 2017

The Trouble With Barry, PJ MediaDavid Solway, March 13, 2017

Former President Barack Obama leaves the National Gallery of Art in Washington, Sunday, March 5, 2017. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

There is now a President and an Anti-President. A government and a shadow government. The anti-President controls more of the government through his shadow government than the real President.

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Alfred Hitchcock’s black comedy The Trouble with Harry bombed at the box office when it was first released in 1955; it has now achieved the status of a classic. Today, a bizarre melodrama playing in all the major political theaters, which might be called The Trouble with Barry, has become an overnight smash hit. Starring Barack Obama, a prodigy of the art of surveillance and Teflon-like resilience, it will eventually run its course. However the plot may develop, one thing is certain: it will not be regarded as a classic.

The trouble with Barry, like Hitchcock’s moribund Harry, is that he never seems to go away, constantly emerging at the most inopportune moments. Unlike every other president in American history, Obama has dedicated himself to the practice of what the Washington Examiner has described as “post-presidential meddling.”

He has thrown himself fully into Alinsky-style “community organizing,” stirring up resistance to the Trump administration in every way conceivable: installing, according to the New York Post, a “shadow government,” dubbed Organizing for Action, comprising more than 30,000 agitators and 250 chapters across the U.S., in order “to sabotage the incoming administration”; renting a dwelling and setting up command headquarters around the corner from the White House; cooking up the Russian hacking fable; and most recently, allegedly wiretapping Trump Tower, which seems disturbingly probable following the salient remarks of Ret. Army Intelligence Officer Tony Shaffer on Fox and the revelations from Breitbart News. Mark Levin’s accusation that Obama is orchestrating a “silent coup” against Trump rings true. As Daniel Greenfield points out:

There is now a President and an Anti-President. A government and a shadow government. The anti-President controls more of the government through his shadow government than the real President.

Obama and his Deep State have engaged in “a criminal conspiracy of unprecedented scope.”

And yet, even today, few media outlets are willing to investigate the innumerable instances of lying, lawbreaking, corruption, broken promises and cronyism for which Obama is clearly answerable. That he is likely involved in a wiretapping operation against a political opponent should not come as a surprise to anyone who has observed or researched the man. As Matthew Vadum comments in FrontPage Magazine, “It might be said that every day of his presidency he committed at least one impeachable offense” — whether abusing executive powers, bypassing Congress, leaking classified information, misrepresenting Obamacare, being ultimately responsible for the Fast and Furious and Benghazi infamies, and more.

The wiretapping affair is only the latest in a vast and ongoing sequence of misdemeanors, scandals and illegalities — a list compiled by Doug Ross runs into hundreds of such instances of impropriety and malpractice. No matter. The list will only grow. The editor of a prestigious conservative site wrote me calling this latest outrage a “game changer.” That remains to be seen. I would have thought, for example, that Obama’s first Executive Order (13489) on January 21, 2009 sealing his vital records would have been the game changer we were waiting for, but Barry sailed on unscathed.

There have been weak presidents, deluded presidents, and harmful presidents before him, but never has there been anyone as sinister or questionable as Obama, not excluding even the malefic Jimmy Carter or the sleazy Bill Clinton. What J. R. Dunn writing in American Thinker has said of Hillary, “the most repellent and corrupt American presidential candidate since Aaron Burr,” is equally true, in my estimation, of Barack Obama. Meanwhile, it is Trump who faces a barrage of threats, calls for impeachment and acts of disobedience that would have been more explicable if levied against Obama for his historic deceptions and malfeasances. Under the pestilential reign of Obama, and indeed years of Democratic incumbency, the shining city on the hill has become a murky city in the swamp.

The trouble with Barry is not only that he refuses to go away, materializing like Harry where he has no business being, or that he enjoys, à la Hitchcock, making cameo appearances in whatever political film he happens to be directing at the moment. All this would be perfectly acceptable, even agreeable, were he a benign presence or if he had Hitchcock’s talent for deadpan humor and high entertainment rather than a penchant for malice and misconduct.

The trouble with Barry is, quite simply, that he is Barry, a “Third World man,” to cite Phyllis Chesler’s psychological analysis of Obama, trying to become the father he never really had, an anti-white, anti-colonialist, anti-capitalist, anti-Zionist, anti-American, Marxist revolutionary. Why then, would he not use any means at his disposal, legitimate or illegitimate, including those that reek of “police state tactics,” to achieve his ends? Was this not predictable from the beginning? He will keep popping up working his characteristic mischief wherever he possibly can. This is what the man does and will continue doing. If he is not finally indicted for his multiple derelictions, there will be other “game changers” to come, all to no effect. A fall guy will inevitably be found to take the rap. We need to realize that what has been called “Obamagate” is nothing out of the ordinary. Obama is Obama. What did we expect?

Hitchcock’s film ends decisively with the legend: “The Trouble with Harry Is Over.” Unfortunately, the trouble with Barry isn’t.

Tapped Out: Surveillance Nation

March 9, 2017

Tapped Out: Surveillance Nation, Bill Whittle Channel via YouTube, March 9, 2017