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Tom Rinaldo

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Member since: Mon Oct 20, 2003, 05:39 PM
Number of posts: 22,209

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Before it was called "The Deep State" it was known as Civil Service

Sane people still know that's what it is, career professionals in service to their nation and beholden to its Constitution. Before the United States enacted Civil Service laws starting in 1871 our government was organized in a different manner. It was widely called "the spoils system" as in "to the winner goes the spoils". Quoting Wiki here:

In the early 19th century, government jobs were held at the pleasure of the president a person could be fired at any time. The spoils system meant that jobs were used to support the political parties. This was changed in slow stages by the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883 and subsequent laws. By 1909, almost two thirds of the U.S. federal work force was appointed based on merit, that is, qualifications measured by tests.Certain senior civil service positions, including some heads of diplomatic missions and executive agencies, are filled by political appointees.


Enactment of the Civil Service system was one of the preeminent political reforms in American history. It drained the patronage driven swamp. It rewarded expertise and experience over loyalty and money. It curbed the excesses of "pay to play", though it did not eliminate them entirely. For example Linda McMahon, owner of McMahon Ventures and co-founder of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) empire, donated over $6 million to getting Trump elected. Much of that was donated to Trump-aligned super PACs, such as Future45 and Rebuilding America Now. McMahon was then appointed administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

But it is in the Pentagon, the Intelligence Community, and the State Department where right wing conspiracy hawks typically see the "Deep State" lurking behind every briefing memo. If one defines "The Deep State" as representing the true interests of the American people over the narrow partisan interests of a political leader or party seeking to consolidate their power, they may well have a point. The American people are well served when people who advise our leaders on consequential courses pf action actually know what they are talking about.

In regards to the State Department in particular, where "some heads of diplomatic missions" are "filled by political appointees" one need look no further than at Gordon Sondland, a Portland hotelier appointed ambassador to the European Union after donating $1 million to Trump's inauguration. By the most charitable reading possible, Sondland's inexperience at high stakes diplomacy allowed him to be duped into pursuing Trump's political objective's over the national security interests of the United States in Ukraine. Either that or Sondland was a willing and compliant tool. Neither option speaks well for the eradication of "The Deep State" so that political appointees can singlehandedly oversee Americas interests on the world stage

The forces that rail against "The Deep State" today are the rightful heirs of Boss Tweed, Tammany Hal, and every partisan political machine in America that rewards party loyalty with government jobs. America experimented with patronage driven government, and America rejected it. America opted for a Civil Service system instead, and it helped us become a great nation. Now it seems the President wants to Make America Corrupt Again.
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