Deep state coups and other matters February 24, 2017Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
If the chaos in the Trump White House seems problematic, then reading various commentators thoughts on same across the weekend it is clear that it is near unprecedented. Sure, one or two Republicans were talking the good talk about it being like Clinton in the early 1990s with his first administration, but somehow the gap between rhetoric and reality appears wider this time around – not least because Trump himself simply cannot stay quiet. This interview on Slate.com between Isaac Chotiner and foreign affairs journalist James Mann is fascinating:
Does the extent of the leaks worry you? People are using phrases like deep-state coup.
I find those fears overblown. This is a unique case in which someone at the level of the national security adviser was saying things that were not true about his conversations with the government of one of the United States’ two leading adversaries in the world. The fact that people within the bureaucracy wanted to come out—I don’t see that as all that worrisome. I certainly don’t see it as something like a deep-state coup, in your words.
How likely is it that Trump will make a major effort to staff multiple levels of the bureaucracy with allies, and how possible is that for him to pull off?
I think he is going to try. I think that is possible, if he is willing to find people who are willing to deal with Congress and the press and other governments in something other than an angry and conspiratorial way. Anything lower down requires experience with policy areas, whether it’s a country or region or an area like proliferation or counterterrorism. Most of the people in those policy areas have a body of knowledge, which Trump seems to mistrust. If there is a resentment of all expertise, then it is hard to get experts.
Why can’t he staff these positions with Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon types?
The problem is that those nonexperts are going to have trouble winning support from the congressional committees, which know a little bit about the areas they are working on; from foreign governments that may know about the Middle East or Asia a little more; from journalists who cover particular areas. You won’t have a policy if you don’t have people who can draw up a policy.
Let’s hope so.
And I like this exchange:
Maybe things will start running more smoothly.
It could hardly run less smoothly.