Deep State, Shallow Discourse

So says The Nation:

Until recently, the phrase “deep state” had been mostly consigned to the bowels of the conspiratorial deep web, but over the past few weeks, since Donald Trump decided to take his fight with the intelligence community public, it has witnessed a remarkable florescence. The “deep state” apparently has Trump in its sights, at least according to former NSA intelligence analyst John Schindler, who tweeted that a friend in the “intelligence community” told him that Trump “will die in jail.”

What is the “deep state”? The New York Times has given us an explainer on the concept, which doesn’t explain much. Things are bad, but not as bad as Turkey or Egypt, the Times says, which really do have deep states; and besides, leaks from the deep state will save us from the deep state.

What is the so-called “deep state”?  After doing a lot of reading on the subject I’m still not really sure.  It’s got something to do with the people in government whose names and faces we don’t know, who have lots of power and influence and knowledge but less accountability, etc. etc.  I know those kinds of people exist, but I’m skeptical that these shadowy figures are working in unison.  Why should they be any more organized than the public figures we elect?  What makes the deep state a convenient talking piece, is that it’s an amorphous idea — it can be whatever you need it to be.  A boogie man for modern government.

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