Friday, August 10, 2018

David Lane on the "Deep State" conspiracy theory

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
That's David Lane (left) of American Renewal Project bashing LGBT people while laying hands on then North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory
David Lane is a creepy Republican operative and Christian Supremacist. Lane is also a rabid bigot when it comes to LGBT people. The objective of his group (American Renewal Project) is to foist a literalist Christian theocracy on America by training conservative evangelical Christian pastors to run for public office. Lane's finances are very murky. American Family Association, an anti-LGBT hate group, has washed contributions to Lanes group in order to obfuscate the fact that Lane's enterprise is political.

Lane is also a cynical conspiracy theorist. Friday he writes: Yes, There Really Is a Deep State. Lane may very well believe his own BS.

The Deep State™ is a conspiracy theory which holds that career federal employees are undermining President Trump. Aside from the fact that there is no evidence in support of the theory, every government department is headed by a Trump appointee.

There is an old adage that tyranny will be wrapped in a flag carrying a cross (Sinclair Lewis is not the source). In an attempt to make his point, Lane begins with a treatise on our founding fathers worthy of pseudo-historian and Christian nationalist David Barton (a buddy of Mr. Lane).

Ironically, our founding fathers would not have approved of David Lane's endeavors. They would have been appalled at the prospect of our country being a theocracy. We are, and always have been, a secular society. Freedom is depicted in part by the fact that our citizens are free to believe and they are free not to believe.

That aside (and in the interest of brevity on my part), Lane ends his pseudo-patriotic introduction by mis-characterizing our founding fathers:
Biblically literate, they recognized that natural man cannot act contrary to his corrupted nature. Without God as the source of standards for governance, freedom becomes precarious.
Funny thing is that the word God does not appear in our Constitution. Religion doesn't make an appearance until the First Amendment where Free Exercise is carefully balanced by Madison with the Establishment Clause.

There is no evidence to support Lane's claim of our framers dependence upon a deity. Lane is also asserting that man is predisposed to corruption (the depravity doctrine). This is Calvinistic and it is not accepted by Jews, Catholics and most Protestant sects (Lane cannot help himself).

The suggestion that our founding fathers were depravity doctrine adherents is utterly preposterous. Like most of Lane's assertions, it lacks evidence. It is also free of common sense.

Eventually we will get to the supposed deep state but first we still need more pomposity:
The Founding Fathers placed a premium on biblical education among youth. They doubtlessly understood that natural man acting against his corrupted nature is just as improbable as water flowing uphill, to paraphrase A.W. Pink.
I have no idea where that comes from other than more depravity doctrine. Pink, by the way, was a 19th century Calvinist teacher.
Secularists deny the fact that America's founders established the Bible as the "principal text" in public education. Fisher Ames, author of the first amendment and formulator of the Bill of Rights, warned in 1789: "We have a dangerous trend beginning to take place in our education. We're starting to put more and more textbooks into our schools. …”
False. Ames did not write the First Amendment. That was Madison. Ames was a leader of the Federalist Party. His acceptance (not authorship) of the Bill of Rights was crucial to ratification by Massachusetts. If Lane's quote is correct it reflects an 18th century fear by Christian conservatives that text books were replacing the Bible. Not much has changed in over 200 years.

Lane goes on and on with biblical bullshit for a number of paragraphs. He has worn me out with his utter disregard for historical truths. Eventually, we get to Deep State Theory (sort of).
"There is really a deep state," says former Speaker Newt Gingrich. "That deep state at the Justice Department gave 97 percent of its donations in 2016 to Hillary Clinton. ... It's clear that you have an attitude at senior levels, not down at the local case worker, not down at the level of local offices, but in the Washington headquarters, both in the Justice Department and in the FBI ... [where] the senior figures, by any plausible standard, are corrupt."
Gingrich tried to get Trump to fire Sessions, if necessary, in order to terminate Mueller. What he seems to have told Trump is that there is a “deep bias.” The 97% comes from an article in The Hill. While federal employees who made contributions  overwhelmingly preferred Clinton over Trump there is no evidence to support the notion that they are corrupt or even biased in their actions.

And away we go …
Although Trump won the presidency, formidable opposing forces still need to be overcome. What has emerged since President Trump's Inauguration "should remind us all how closely we came to losing the country. [Between Obama and Hillary], a total disregard for the truth, lying about Benghazi, Bin Laden and Russians."
Lane doesn't identify what those lies are. Who is the “we” who came close to losing the country? Americans honored the electoral college and Trump was sworn in despite Russia's meddling in the election.
Obama alone presents a case study in chicanery and duplicity. Running as a moderate Democrat in 2008, he renounced homosexual marriage, promised to heal racial tensions, to tackle illegal immigration, and so on. "We will try to do more," he declared, "to speed [up] the deportation of illegal aliens who are arrested for crimes, to better identify illegal aliens in the workplace. We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws."
President Obama's administration deported more people than George Bush's administration. In 2008, President Obama was for some sort of legal recognition short of same-sex marriage. Critical thinkers change their minds about things. Furthermore, marriage equality was won in the courts: United States v. Windsor (2013) and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015). The sky has not fallen and about two-thirds of our citizenry support same-sex marriage (including the Obamas).

President Obama was overwhelmingly honest with the American people. The guy who Lane supports is a pathological liar. According to the Washington Post:
It turns out that’s when [during July] the president decided to turn on the spigots of false and misleading claims. As of day 558, he’s made 4,229 Trumpian claims — an increase of 978 in just two months.

That’s an overall average of nearly 7.6 claims a day.
Saying one thing and doing the opposite is called deceit. Obama weaponized the IRS [in order to badger conservative and Christian groups], the FBI, the NSC, the CIA and the State Department. He redefined the deep state as if it were Congress, but with the ability to simultaneously make and enforce laws. Whereas he vowed to "work across the aisle", to be a "bridge builder", to remedy racial animosity and restore America's prestige abroad, he did exactly the opposite. "Hope and Change" turned into "You didn't build that!"
It seems impossible to complain about presidential deceit without noticing that Trump tells more lies than truths.

President Obama is not responsible for the career employees at the IRS. The truth is that Tea Party groups were seeking recognition as 501(c)3 entities which would have made political contributions tax deductible. In fact these groups were political organizations which should have been either 501(c)4s or 527s. This created the infamous BOLO (be on the lookout) list of names associated with Tea Party groups. I have no clue what nefarious deeds President Obama allegedly did that “weaponized” any of those federal agencies to persecute,… someone. The CIA?

The corruption that exists is Lane's version of history. Obama, to a fault, tried to work across the aisle with Republicans but if Obama was for something, they were against it. They crafted this strategy before President Obama's ass hit the seat in the Oval Office in order to deny the president a second term. I cannot recall the specifics but in at least two cases, Obama changed his opinion to agree with Republicans. They then changed their position in order to continue to be at odds with the president. “America First” became a joke.
In light of this, it will be easy to see why Newt Gingrich before the Inauguration expressed the hope that "Trump wouldn't lose his nerve."

Now, God be thanked, Gideons and Rahabs are beginning to stand.
It's worth noting that Rahab was a traitor to her people.

So where is this supposed deep state? Lane has not offered a single piece of evidence in a very bloated polemic. More importantly, what has this supposed conspiracy done that Lane does not like? Lane is unspecific. Where and how, exactly, has any government agency demonstrated either corruption or bias?

For his part, Mr. Lane is shrewd and energetic but he is not terribly smart. He might very well believe Trump's idiotic tweets without requiring evidence to support them. Lane is not a critical thinker. Shocking, I know. Lane is bleating about a conspiracy theory when, in fact, he has been involved in a real felonious conspiracy to deceive the Internal Revenue Service.

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