The Real Deep State Is Our System of Checks and Balances

2017-06-19 – They say that it is difficult to change the course of a big ship. The vessel has inertia. It tends to stay on course until someone tugs on the rudder long enough and strong enough to cause a turn.

Those of us who are appalled by the presidency of Donald Trump are happy for inertia. As long as Trump can’t figure out how to turn the rudder, inertia will keep us going. That doesn’t mean there are no shoals ahead where we might run aground. It just means that it will take a lot to turn the ship of state in an entirely new direction.

Republicans don’t believe in science. They believe in magic. And inertia is science, so they don’t believe in it. If the ship of state isn’t turning, it must be the “deep ship” that has taken control. The hull and the keel are conspiring against the bridge.

They call it the “deep state.” This is apparently some secret bureaucracy that runs the government against the will of elected officials. If Trump fails, they are ready to blame the deep state conspiracy.

There is a deep state, of course. It’s not secret. It is part of the Constitution. The framers of the constitution didn’t want the new country to be buffeted by gales and storms, so they built a great deal of stability into the government by dispersing power to a wide variety of institutions and away from the president.

The deep state is found in checks and balances. It is found in Congress (God help us). It is found in the courts. It is found in the laws and it I found in the courage of the thousands of people entrusted with enforcing those laws. It is found in the sovereign rights of the 50 states. And it is found in the sovereign rights of voters.

If a tyrant wants to change the course of this ship of state, he’s going to have to get most the real deep state to agree with him.

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