(Tom Toles/The Washington Post)

Just when you thought you’d heard of all the bogeymen plotting against you, all of a sudden now there’s the “deep state” Here’s where that one came from.

When President Trump and his gang of miscreants woke up to discover they had actually won the White House, they looked around to see what else they had won. Lo and behold, the Senate was still in GOP hands, and the House as well. The nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court was suddenly voided, and what did all this mean?

First of all, it meant that they had all the power there was to be had. And of course that left them with one significant problem. There was nobody left to blame!

The Republicans had kept their flame of indignation burning during the Obama years on the fuel of aspersions. Obama wasn’t a citizen, Obama was a Muslim, Obamacare was no good because it had been proposed by a Muslim who wasn’t born in the United States. Suddenly there was no Obama, and very few Democrats. Now what? There must some culprits somewhere.

All that remained were some civil servants and the media. Pause for a three-count. Voila! The enemy! All they needed was a name! Deep state!

Another characteristic of what they were calling the deep state was it was literally the last obstacle to doing whatever they wanted. If the last impediment of regulators and data compilers and institutional memory could be eradicated or neutralized, Trumpco could do whatever they wanted. And if the independent press could be sufficiently discredited, Trumpco wouldn’t really need to shift accountability anymore, because the news would always be favorable!

Is there in fact a deep state? Well, there are civil servants. And there are think tanks, although many of those seem to be corporate-funded and corporate-friendly. And occasionally the free press will still report accurately and unfawningly about the menacing Trump brigade. But that’s not really what “deep state” has meant historically, or what it actually is in the United States.

“Deep state” is a term that has meant a military-civilian power base in authoritarian countries that works against democracy. In the U.S. context, that could more accurately describe an alliance between the actually powerful military-industrial complex and Trump Incorporated.

And once again, the Trump administration turns terminology and facts on their heads. War is peace, freedom is slavery, and your ignorance, above all, is their strength.