Anatomy of the Deep State

There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power.

During the last five years, the news media has been flooded with pundits decrying the broken politics of Washington. The conventional wisdom has it that partisan gridlock and dysfunction have become the new normal. That is certainly the case, and I have been among the harshest critics of this development. But it is also imperative to acknowledge the limits of this critique as it applies to the American governmental system. On one level, the critique is self-evident: In the domain that the public can see, Congress is hopelessly deadlocked in the worst manner since the 1850s, the violently rancorous decade preceding the Civil War.

Read more by Mike Lofgren at BillMoyers.com

Why conservatives should hate the Confederate flag

The tragic massacre at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., has re-ignited the debate over the legacy and meaning of the Confederate battle flag, which still flies on the grounds of the state capitol.

I’ll shelve the separate discussion over the relevance of the flag to the motivations of Dylann Roof, the prime suspect in the fatal mass shooting, and focus on a different point: why conservatives should hate the Confederate flag.

The standard argument about the flag goes like this: Critics of the flag say that the flag is a symbol of racism, hatred, violence, treason and slavery, while defenders see it as a harmless symbol of Southern pride, courage, and valor.

I count myself among the critics on this one, but as an advocate of a constitutionally limited federal government that derives power from the states and its people, I have an additional reason to despise the Confederate flag and all it stands for.

Read more by Philip Klein at WashingtonExaminer.com

Anatomy of the Deep State

There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power.

During the last five years, the news media has been flooded with pundits decrying the broken politics of Washington. The conventional wisdom has it that partisan gridlock and dysfunction have become the new normal. That is certainly the case, and I have been among the harshest critics of this development. But it is also imperative to acknowledge the limits of this critique as it applies to the American governmental system. On one level, the critique is self-evident: In the domain that the public can see, Congress is hopelessly deadlocked in the worst manner since the 1850s, the violently rancorous decade preceding the Civil War.

Read more by Mike Lofgren at BillMoyers.com

A Libertarian Defense of Lincoln

In libertarian circles, Abraham Lincoln isn’t a president that gets a whole lot of respect. There are a few reasons for this, including:

1. Lincoln illegally suspended habeas corpus, barricaded cities and stretched the limits of executive power well-beyond any measure, even with generous interpretation, that could be granted by the Constitution

2. The Union that emerged from the Civil War was one of much more centralized power and, in many respects, anathema to the vision of the Founders

3. . . .

Read more by Jonathan Blanks at blanksslate.blogspot.com