Book Review: The Deep State (Chaffetz)

The Deep State:  How An Army Of Bureaucrats Protected Barack Obama And Is Working To Destroy The Trump Agenda, by Jason Chaffetz

To be sure, Congress is not the most sympathetic of our national institutions, and the author speaks as one of the people involved in the Republican-led House from 2010-2016 who sought to hold Obama’s corrupt administration to standards and bring to light what bureaucrats were seeking to hide.  As far as readers go, I am probably part of the target audience that this author is aiming at, given a high degree of interest in transparency and a low tolerance for those who would seek to hide what the government is doing under the idea that unelected and unaccountable elites know better than I do about what is good for me.  A book like this not only demonstrates the existence of the Deep State but also points out why it has become such a problem in the contemporary world and the level of effort it takes to fight against it, through bringing to light its behavior and forcing it out of the shadows into the open.  By and large this is a book I can wholeheartedly endorse, although it does say some rather unpleasant things about the state of the executive branch and the bureaucracy in contemporary America.

This book is a bit more than 100 pages long and is divided into 13 chapters.  The author begins with an introduction and then a discussion of Elizabeth Warren’s dream for an unaccountable government bureaucracy in the CFPB (1).  He then asks what it is that the bureaucrats do not want Congress (and thus the American people) to see (2) before tackling the problems of money and sex in the EPA (3) and the struggle of the deep state to fight back against people like the author who want to bring its dark deeds into the light (4).  The author discusses the deep state war on whistleblowers (5), their contempt of (6), and lies to (7) Congress, as well as the author’s face-to-face experiences with denizens of the deep state (8).  After this the author discusses the mistaken belief by the Deep State that people cannot handle the truth (9) as well as their flouting of subpoenas with impunity (10).  Finally, the author closes with a discussion of the nightmare of the Deep State (11), some thoughts on the wall (12), and a look at how the deep state can be tamed (13), after which there is an epilogue, acknowledgements, and an index.

There are those people who will see a book like this and pooh pooh the idea that the deep state exists at all.  Yet over the course of the last few years it has become increasingly obvious that not only does such a thing exist but that it wants very much for its deeds not to be brought to the light.  Indeed, we can see the roots of the Deep State going back to the desire for a civil service that was no longer accountable to political leaders and to the growth of public sector unions seeking to solidify the claim of corrupt bureaucrats to hold their positions regardless of the wicked things that they do that would never be tolerated in private companies.  The author has the receipts on the sort of corrupt behavior that has been done in government in the protection of pornographers and those who sexually harass and abuse their coworkers and conspire to keep Americans unsafe in foreign countries who happen to be working in dangerous places.  The author appears to have used his power for the good in drawing attention to things that would otherwise be ignored, and if I do not tend to like Congress, I think this book gives us a reason to appreciate the author’s attempts to wrestle with the Deep State and its contempt for oversight.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in American History, Book Reviews, History and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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