The deconstruction of the administrative state is a ruse.

As I’ve written before, what we’re really seeing is an attempt at a new kind of concentrated power in the executive branch, one which is eerily reminiscent of the rise of fascism in the 1930’s Germany.

The main impediment to the White House’s thirst for administrative power are the rank and file bureaucrats in the United States government. It’s these people that keep the government functioning in spite of pendular shifts in executive power that come with transitions from one administration to the other.  And, it’s these people that have been singled out by Bannon and Trump—for no other reason than that they are actually doing their jobs—as the “deep state“.

Since Bannon’s and Trump’s “deep state” rhetoric is proving to be ineffectual, they’ve resorted to yet another tactic borrowed from the playbook of Nazi Germany and Cold-War Soviet Union: They are installing what are tantamount to spies in U.S. federal agencies and offices.

The White House has installed a group of “senior aides” in key offices and agencies who are tasked with monitoring loyalty, along with the degree to which officials are staying true to the White House’s message, regardless of how incoherent that message may be.  If you are bureaucrat or an appointee, and you cross the White House, there will be consequences.

This is not normal, and it is an attack on the democratic norms and values upon which the United States was founded.

It’s Tuesday, the 21st of March, 2017.

Follow me on Twitter at @DecisionLab.