HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Shadows of the Evening

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 06:25 PM

Shadows of the Evening

Warning: The following quote is from a whack-job, and in no sense is intended to endorse his thinking. Rather, I am using this quote for two reasons which are addressed below.

“But quite frankly there is an outside source which we refer to as the 'deep state' or the 'shadow government'. There is a lot of influence by people which are actually more powerful than our government itself, our president.” – Ron Paul; November, 2016

During the 2016 general election campaign, Donald Trump frequently expressed his opinion that the contest would be stolen from him. He did so for two reasons: first, as an excuse for his expected defeat, and second, as part of the Russian-inspired attempt to discredit our system of elections.

It was only during the transition phase and early presidency that he began to rant about the “deep state.” I cannot say for sure that this thought was implanted in Trump's reptilian brain by Ron Paul, for he was surrounded by many whack-jobs and assorted dick-drippings. It wasn't just Ivanka and Jared …..Jared seems so similar to Don, Jr. in every way, that I question if he is Trump's son …...but included the likes of Steve Bannon.

We all remember when, in early 2017, when Trump was aware that the FBI was investigating Flynn, he tweeted that President Obama had Trump's “wires tapped” at Trump Tower. In time, this paranoid thinking resulted in President Obama's tasking the job to British intelligence. It was a conspiracy that required the shallow intellect of Devin Nunes to fully expose.

The second part is that, not surprisingly, Ron Paul was incorrect in saying that the “deep state” equals the “shadow government.” While both of these entities tend to conjure up images of paranoid alt-right fantasies, the terms actual refer to real things. There is some degree of overlap in terms of individuals and corporations, and both are fluid. But they are not mysterious.

The “deep state” simple refers to non-elected officials working in the bureaucracy of the federal government, and those who are retired from these positions. That bureaucracy is enormous, and includes the military, the various departments in the executive branch, both houses of Congress, and the like. Some are Democrats, some republicans, and independents.

There is a smaller “deep state” in all fifty states, and a smaller one in every county and city in the land. And every person who has worked somewhere that a new boss has come in and said, “Things are going to be different now,” knows how any sized “deep state” can keep going pretty much how it had been. This can have negative consequences, of course, as in the example of J. Edgar Hoover. Think of how many presidents he served under, and kept his sick system intact.

It also has a positive potential. Let's say that people in positions of power learn that a candidate for president is running a campaign that welcomes Russian influence. We would hope – and rightfully so – that the individuals in the government would attempt to use every legal means to investigate the situation. If the early evidence indicated there was a need for a counter-intelligence investigation, we'd want that.

Remember, the original investigation was of Russia and the campaign, not just of Trump. And there was a heck of a lot that demanded investigating. That some of the individuals in the FBI said some harsh things about Trump is hardly surprising. Yet there is no evidence their dislike of Trump influenced their investigation.

It wasn't until after first telling Mr. Comey to let up on Flynn, and then firing Comey, that Trump's actions became a central focus of the investigation. Usually, those who attempt to obstruct an investigation have something to hide. And Trump has many things to hide.

Along with the official investigation, the media began to examine the campaign closely. Some journalists benefited from having sources working in the government – including in the White House. And numerous retired government workers have contracted with media such as CNN and MSNBC. They tend to believe that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian military intelligence during the campaign, and that Trump poses a threat to our national security.

Trump accuses them of treason, and attempts to abuse the powers of the government to punish them. They view him as a dangerous combination of a drunken Joe McCarthy and a disorganized J. Edgar Hoover.

The idea of a “shadow government” is actually closely tied to what is known as the national “continuity of government” plan. There were some basic plans going back to the beginning of the nation, but they became much more comprehensive, first under Truman, and even more so under Eisenhower. Obviously, these were closely related to the fears of the atomic bomb.

The plans remained pretty much the same until Reagan took office. Under him, VP Bush the Elder and Oliver North made some changes that included suspending the Constitution, excluding the legislative and judicial branches, and more formally including the heads of some large industries to be directly involved in running the country. More, the National Security Council would exercise greater powers than the State Department. What could possibly wrong?

One could speculate without risk of error that the Iran-Contra business was the shadow government at play. But it would not officially be declared active until VP Dick Cheney did so on 9/11. This too often overlooked part of our history is documented, among other places, in Senator Robert C. Byrd's book, “Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency” (W.W. Norton & Co; 2004; pages 78-79).

An important feature of those within the shadow government is that some bounce in between serving in government and private business. One need not be a conspiracy theorist, for example, to suspect the possibility – however slight – that Dick Cheney's experience as chairman of the board and chief executive of Halliburton influenced his thinking and actions as vice president, when he led and lied the country into the war in Iraq.

George Bush the Elder was connected to the oil industry, before his political career took off. He was also the head of the CIA. The connections between the energy industries, intelligence, and the military are central to the make up of the shadow government.

Not all of these people are 100% horrible, though Cheney is. James Baker III was only about 85% bad. And some, like David Gergen, are actually decent people, who seem to improve with age.

Now, why is any of this important? Is this boring essay merely proof that I am bored? Or is there another reason I'm writing this? Could it be both?

I often use the model of a mobile hanging over an infant's crib to illustrate the nature of a system. In this essay, I prefer to view “systems” as organisms, made up of many people. Years ago, John Lennon spoke of watching the crowd while the Beatles played one of their last concerts. The LSD that John took before the show influenced the way he viewed the audience. For example, when he moved the neck of the guitar in any direction, there was a moving wave within the audience-organism.

Watching a Trump rally – and I do not endorse taking LSD before viewing one – it is clear that the audience is an organism. And, I dare say, a dangerous one at that.

The “deep state” and the “shadow government” are also organisms. But there are differences that we need to be fully aware of as we approach the numerous election contests in 2020. The “deep state,” as we have seen, can influence the public's perception by way of leaks to the media, and by being part of the media. This is neither “good” nor “bad” in and of itself, but instead has the potential for either.

The “shadow government” plays, among other things, a different role, in that businesses make significant financial contributions that come into play in elections. This isn't just direct contributions to an individual politician's campaign, of course. But it is generally in ways that create at the very least the perception of a debt.

That is distinct from a current or retired government employee making an individual contribution to a politician they support. And, within the Democratic Party, at various levels, a growing number of people prefer candidates that finance their campaigns from individual, grass roots' contributions. The only “debt” that creates is to represent the best interests of common people.

In closing, I'll say this: a significant number of government employees have come out against the clear threat that Donald Trump poses to our nation. But those powerful corporations haven't. That is because the Trump tax cuts, and the gross reduction in environmental protections, are making their profit margins larger. Thus, we can be sure that republican candidates in 2020 will not be running campaigns financed by small, grass roots donations.

21 replies, 1527 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Shadows of the Evening (Original post)
H2O Man Jul 11 OP
5X Jul 11 #1
H2O Man Jul 12 #6
malaise Jul 11 #2
H2O Man Jul 12 #7
Arkansas Granny Jul 11 #3
H2O Man Jul 13 #14
NBachers Jul 11 #4
H2O Man Jul 12 #8
coeur_de_lion Jul 11 #5
H2O Man Jul 12 #9
Hekate Jul 12 #10
H2O Man Jul 12 #11
argyl Jul 13 #12
H2O Man Jul 13 #13
lunatica Jul 13 #15
H2O Man Jul 13 #16
Turin_C3PO Jul 13 #17
H2O Man Jul 13 #18
rlegro Jul 14 #19
H2O Man Jul 14 #20
Jeffersons Ghost Jul 14 #21

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 06:49 PM

1. Well done as always.

As an aside:

I read that McArthy was actually addicted to opiates, suppled by
Anslinger, the director of the FBN, to become DEA.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 5X (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 12:19 PM

6. Thank you!

Old Joe definitely suffered from the "Irish flu." It wouldn't be surprising if he had related addiction issues.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 06:59 PM

2. But those powerful corporations haven't.

THIS

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to malaise (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 12:21 PM

7. Thanks!

Those primarily concerned with the sequence of digits in their accounts don't seem so concerned with the threats to democracy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 08:02 PM

3. K & R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 09:47 AM

14. Thank you!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 08:09 PM

4. And that's one reason I'm not going to condemn Democrats who accept large corporate donations.

Your mention of Cheney on 9/11 made me refer back to Alexander Haig's failed attempt to take over the government on the day Reagan was shot.

"Constitutionally, gentlemen, we have the President, the Vice President, and the Secretary of State. I am in charge here."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NBachers (Reply #4)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 12:42 PM

8. Thank you!

I've never been a fan of Al Haig. I remember his greasy, wild-eyed press statement very well. It was not reassuring!

However, to be fair to him, it's important to include the full second sentence you quote from his infamous quote, as cutting it off in the middle changes its meaning. Let's look at the full statement:

"Constitutionally, gentlemen, you have the president, the vice president, and the secretary of state in that order, and should the president decide he wants to transfer the helm to the vice president, he will do so. He has not done that. As of now, I am in control here, in the White House, pending return of the vice president and in close touch with him. If something came up, I would check with him, of course."

Now, for fuller context .....deputy press secretary Larry Speaks had flubbed a response to Leslie Stahl's question about who was in charge at the White Hous, since VP Bush was in flight. Speaks responded that he couldn't answer that question. This did not calm the American public.

At the same time, defense secretary Weinberger had, on his own, placed the US military on a higher alert status, and Haig was aware that the Soviet Union's military had done the same. In a semi-cabinet meeting, it was decided that Haig -- the highest-ranking administration in DC at the moment -- woul talk to the press, to present "normalcy," and calm the waters.

Yikes! His words, in and of themselves, were awkward but accurate. But his appearance made it appear he was attempting something of a coup, which he was not.

Did he require medication? (grin) Perhaps. Yet I do not view this strange episode as proof positive that our candidates and/or party should accept campaign contributions from Big Pharma. Indeed, significant segments of that industry have been engaging in chemical warfare against the American people. Just my opinion, of course.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 08:48 PM

5. K & R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 12:42 PM

9. Thank you!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 04:08 PM

10. KnR

Gotta read it later.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hekate (Reply #10)

Fri Jul 12, 2019, 07:09 PM

11. Thank you!

I'd suggest reading it on a night when it's hard to fall asleep!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 02:07 AM

12. I feel as if I've just attended a grad. level Poli Sci seminar.

This is so well written. It's given me a lot to ponder. And it's far from boring.

And I'd most definitely say no to dropping LSD at a Trump rally. Talk about your brown acid nightmare. Now if John were still with us I'd seriously consider dropping acid one more time for that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to argyl (Reply #12)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 09:45 AM

13. Thank you!

The OP was a little longer than is popular reading on DU these days, but it is a complicated topic. And I keep in mind that my family tells me that the vast majority of things I find fascinating, most people find tedious. So I appreciate that you enjoyed it!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 02:39 PM

15. Kick.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lunatica (Reply #15)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 03:04 PM

16. Thank you!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 03:12 PM

17. Very well written and interesting.

Give me a lot to think about...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Turin_C3PO (Reply #17)

Sat Jul 13, 2019, 03:16 PM

18. Thank you!

When I was writing it, I was thinking of how important it is that we win the White House and Senate in 2020, and keep the House of Representatives.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2019, 01:54 PM

19. Just for clarity...

There's another meaning for "shadow government," although not limited to the federal government. It sometimes is used to refer to non-government entities who pull the strings. For example, recurring private contractors who hold great sway because of their expertise in areas where government employees turn over at a faster rate. Influence peddlers who make things happen with cash or implied threats, including unscrupulous lobbyists. "Think tanks" that ply lawmakers with cookie-cutter draft legislation, such as ALEC. Private consultants who are used to supplement or replace government workers and who in some places (I am thinking of my own state, which turned red in 2010 after decades as a progressive paradise) are indistinguishable from civil servants, sharing government office space and resources. And, finally, governments within governments, such as Dick Cheney's abruptly created intelligence unit that drove the Iraq and Afghan wars, bypassing the intelligence agencies or forcing them to come along.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rlegro (Reply #19)

Sun Jul 14, 2019, 06:21 PM

20. Right.

I thought I made that clear.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2019, 07:37 PM

21. K&R nice closing paragraph; and eerily true

Enough lies, in a massive number of election commercials, convince voters.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread