In today’s current debate. The term Deep State is often presented as a sinister force in American Politics! While it is accurate to report that bureaucracies often do not perform what the Chief Executive commands or directs it is not necessarily a conspiracy! Article II of the Constitution does say that Executive Power is vested in a President of the United States of America.
The Constitution, however is more complicated. It also is a Separation of Powers System which give Congress the power to create bureaucracies, provide their jurisdiction, allocate resources, and provide oversight. The Senate is given the power to approve Executive appointments. In addition, The Judiciary can rule on the Constitutionality of their behavior. In addition, Federalism further divides power between national and state powers. Each Representative and Senators is elected locally and realizes that they must satisfy local constituencies if they want to maintain electoral viability. Hence the expression is “All politics is local.” Representatives and Senators are willing to defy their Political Party leaders on local issues. In addition, The Party leaders and the President are willing to accept this defiance when the issues are vital to their members re-election. The Leaders know their power is reflected in large part by how members of their party are elected in each house. It therefore is a delicate balance!
In this system, that was outline by James Madison with a heavy debt to Montesquieu, Bureaus must obtain support from a variety of sources. If they were totally in submission to the President, they would be in serious jeopardy for their political survival along with the potential loss on budget and jurisdiction. And it should come to no one’s surprise that Bureaus have interests that do not always coincide with the current President or future Presidents These interests involve their mission, resources, independence and prestige! The conclusion that should be drawn is that Bureaus will often defy the President when these interests are imperiled! We will explore the powers available to Bureaus for them to survive and thrive in the jungle of the American Political System!