Matt Taibbi's Dire Dilemma: Is Trump Worse Than the Deep State?

Matt Taibbi's Dire Dilemma: Is Trump Worse Than the Deep State?
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Political observers across the spectrum read with considerable interest Rolling Stone Magazine contributing editor Matt Taibbi’s recent “Deep State scarier than Trump” piece, “We’re in a permanent coup.”

Here’s Taibbi, no fan of the president, in his own words:

My discomfort in the last few years, first with Russiagate and now with Ukrainegate and impeachment, stems from the belief that the people pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal are more dangerous than Trump. Many Americans don’t see this because they’re not used to waking up in a country where you’re not sure who the president will be by nightfall. They don’t understand that this predicament is worse than having a bad president.

Actually, Taibbi is way beyond being no fan of President Trump. He has mustered his considerable journalistic talents to assail and castigate the current Oval Office occupant since Trump came down the escalator. As recent as August, Taibbi characterized the president as a “Mad King.”

Taibbi deploys his way with words to go beyond mere political critique; a case is easily made that he loathes the president:

History will judge us sharply for this, and will look with particular venom at Trump’s political opponents in both parties, who over the years were unable to win popularity contests against a man most people would not leave alone with a decent wristwatch, let alone their children.

In spite of this profound disparagement, Taibbi apparently believes that the Deep State is worse than being ruled by a Mad King that you would not leave your children with. It’s quite a predicament.

On behalf of uncounted thousands of readers who dumped Rolling Stone when Jann Wenner’s periodical became more interested in promoting Blue State hegemony than covering Blue Oyster Cult, we can only say that Taibbi is half-right, which is 50% more correct than most leftists.

 Trump is a great president, and, the Deep State as manifested since he took office should concern everyone.

Rolling Stone Magazine has amounted to little more than birdcage liner for right-leaning Americans for decades—since way before they enshrined their guiding principles by putting the immigrant psychopath Boston bomber on a Tiger Beat-style cover. It’s not as if conservatives looking to gauge the opposition’s punditry can’t find Trump-deranged content across the media landscape. Why have to stomach glimpses of sick individuals like R. Kelly and Kathy Griffin in the bargain?

In fairness, reviewing some of Taibbi’s work, it is clear that while loathing Trump he has had substantive reservations about the Russia probe. Reading Taibbi’s published ruminations it’s as if he’s suspected that Russiagate was a corrupt hoax from its inception until the day it crashed and burned with Robert Mueller on the stand.

Everybody knows by now that Trump supporters never believed the lies behind the attempted takedown.

Using a phrase that millions of former RS readers may be familiar with, let’s get down to the real nitty-gritty. What Taibbi is worried about, after years of remorselessly excoriating the president, is that what has happened and is happening to President Trump may someday happen to another president, even, (hello?) a Democrat president.

Given the Dems’ crop of 2020 candidates, it is near impossible to imagine a Democrat Party administration any time soon. But it could happen, someday. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that a populist, charismatic, America-first, Democrat disrupter is somehow elected to the highest office in the land. A future Tulsi Gabbard-type, for example, who believes in national sovereignty, strong border enforcement, and nonintervention in endless foreign wars.

We’ve seen what happened to the present-day Gabbard when she dared question a foreign policy predicated on war-mongering globalism and immigrant invasion—Hillary Clinton called her a Russian asset. The day of the patriot Democrat is not on any distant horizon. But if that day ever comes, what’s to stop the Deep State from targeting the “wrong” kind of Democrat? Taibbi is currently grappling with that nitty-gritty.

Is it fair to juxtapose two out-of-context quotes from two different pieces to illustrate the quandary the journalist and writer finds himself in? It is, because they are perfectly representative of his positions on President Trump and the Deep State.

His cumulative misgivings have metastasized into the perception of a “permanent state of coup.” Taibbi grasps that if such a coup is allowed to remove a president from the body politic with a national election on the near horizon, a dangerous precedent will be set in terms of how far and how unchallenged a Deep State–especially if aligned with the party out of power–might go, both clandestinely and overtly, to drive a duly elected president from office.

Mr. Taibbi is going to take some flack for being half-right about the state of Donald Trump’s presidency. For him and others who share a low regard for Trump, and yet who fear that the Deep State is the more existential threat, the moral and ideological dilemma is real.

Should Trump Nation draw back the shade and extend a bit of credit to this despiser of a president that 63 million-plus good Americans continue to support in the face of every evil? No. Too many of us have known all along that what was being done to the man we voted for was evil.

But acknowledging a deep-thinker and Trump-hater who’s honest enough to admit that there are worse things under the sun than his worst presidential nightmare might be indicated.