Wednesday, November 20, 2019

If Any Deep State

Steve M. made the most important, but not the only, point about Republicans when he commented on this juvenile post by Liz Shield at the "American Greatness" website:

On yesterday’s marathon episode of Impeachment TV, we were introduced to prissy little princess Lt. Col. Vindman on the NSC....

Vindman testified that he was upset and thought Trump’s July call with the new Ukrainian president was “wrong” so he went outside his chain of command to the NSC lawyers like a little snitch. He also made it clear he was butt-hurt that the president, who he has never spoken to directly, did not follow Vindman’s idea of proper protocol with his INTERAGENCY CONSENSUS talking points.

"Butt-hurt" substitutes for what fifty or so years ago, boys would refer to "girly boys" or more bluntly, the word the English use for "cigarettes." Though he should have omitted "in particular," SM recognizes

Right-wingers, in particular, have long preferred performative toughness to the real thing. They loved it when World War II noncombatant Ronald Reagan saluted his military guards (a practice he invented and that had no basis in American tradition). They loved Vietnam noncombatant George W. Bush's flight suit stunt just after the fall of Baghdad in 2003. They love Trump's flashes of militarism (and overlook his plans for ceding global power to Russia and China).

They despise not only Democrat John Kerry, a Purple Heart winner, but John McCain, who spent years in a brutal POW camp. They're indifferent to the military service of George Bush the Elder and Bob Dole -- Reagan and Trump not only are much bigger Republican heroes but are regarded as far tougher and braver, as was Bush the Younger throughout his first term.

When Shield criticized Vindaman for allegedly having gone "outside his chain of command to the NSC lawyers like a little snitch," she included "little' to portray the Colonel as smaller than the Reagan or Trump she perceives as big and strong. Her claim that Vindaman went outside the chain of command is disingenuous because

A key House impeachment inquiry witness followed a White House lawyer’s instructions and went to him with concerns about Donald Trump’s actions. For Republican impeachment inquisitors, that was a sign of insubordination.

The witness, the National Security Council Ukraine director Alexander Vindman, had been told by the NSC’s top lawyer to go directly to him with any concerns about President Donald Trump’s actions.

I suspect this is what a lot of conservatives actually mean when they cite a "deep state." Significantly, they never specifically say it is a bad thing. It's merely left to the rest of us to assume- because, possessing reasonably sound values, we think it would be malevolent- that the GOP believes it is an evil. Nonetheless, they do not; to the extent there is a "deep state," it's governmental officials and other employees keeping knowledge of nefarious activities amongst themselves.

That is one of the things gnawing at many Republicans through the impeachment inquiry. They expected, or at least hoped, that that the good ol' boy network would operate as usual, that no one would break the code of silence that keeps wrongdoing from being exposed.

Then along came the whistleblower (video below from late September), and their cover was blown, and they want him exposed. These conservatives are, predictably, trying to cover it up and still probably will be able to prevent the removal of their criminal hero in the White House.  However, when someone like Lt. Colonel Vindaman comes along, it threatens the nod and a wink status quo. He and others who revile treacherous or even illegal acts must be stopped, through ridicule and threat, lest the real Deep State- the one Liz Shield and other right-wingers love and revere- is undermined by facts and truth.

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