FLYNN: The Great Puppeteer Counter-revolt of 2017

john brennan
AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Last year, the marionettes rebelled. Naturally, the Great Puppeteer Counter-revolt of 2017 followed.

“I think it’s the obligation of some executive branch officials to refuse to carry that out,” former CIA director John Brennan said of the possibility of Donald Trump firing special counsel Robert Mueller. “I would just hope that this is not going to be a partisan issue. That Republicans, Democrats are going to see that the future of this government is at stake and something needs to be done for the good of the future.”

Leaving aside the imprudence of the president firing the man investigating his campaign’s alleged ties to Russian interference in the 2016 election, Trump certainly possesses the right to dismiss Mueller. Unelected people who work for the man elected president do not possess the right to thwart the legal directives of their boss.

The American people, after all, elected Trump. Rod Rosenstein elected Mueller.

A fine line exists between anonymous, unelected, unaccountable government officials undermining the president’s legal directives and such people working to overturn the results of last year’s election. One might argue the two as one in the same differing only in degree.

Did the Russians meddle in our electoral process in 2016 or do entrenched bureaucrats do so on a constant basis? How one answers that question dictates one’s response to this current controversy.

November’s results, one might think, would have sparked epiphanies. Americans voted for a populist outsider to, in his words, “drain the swamp.” Brennan’s words indicate that the swamp thrives six months after inauguration. The election neither hastened the drain nor chastened the creatures from the swamp. As the late, great Stan Evans oft reflected, people go to Washington imagining it a swamp only to soon regard it as a hot tub. Who wants to vacate a hot tub?

A self-flattering interpretation by the puppeteers imagines Trump voters as Pap Finns resentful of the mere existence of the edumacated elites. Cultural tics surely explain part of this divide. But more so do frustrations with votes repeatedly resulting in policies unwanted by voters. Brennan encouraging employees of the executive branch to subvert the executive comes off as too analogous to the unelected continually sabotaging the will of the electorate that directly caused Trump’s election. Trump’s supporters certainly see it this way. This fight is an extension of the overall fight that colored the presidential election.

Consider any massive change in America over the last half century or so. The demographic sea change in the United States occurred in large part in spite, not because, of U.S. immigration laws. Courts, not the people, determined the legal status of abortion, gay marriage, school prayer, and much else. On important questions regarding the environment, the internet, and health care unelected bureaucrats make the rules under which we live. Such policy change exposes the metachange of process change that allows unelected people to impose their will on massive numbers of people. Tolerating the hijacking of policy soon leads to empowered hijackers thinking they can hijack the presidency.

The Constitution decrees, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.” Do the deep-state puppeteers imagine that this principle does not apply to Washington?

Donald Trump attempts to bring down the curtain on the long-running Puppet Show on the Potomac. Naturally, Charlie McCarthy finds this more liberating than Edgar Bergen.


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