There is a general tendency among conservative Republicans to focus their ire on people who are not the real problem. People who run for office, or who work for the government, even violent Antifa, and others who make a lot of noise, are not the real problem, because they are pawns in a game played by others.
James O'Keefe has begun releasing undercover videos that purport to expose “the deep state.” In fact, that is not what he is doing. Instead he is exposing holdovers from the Obama Administration who do not agree with what President Trump is trying to accomplish. We already knew that those people were there, and they are not the deep state, properly speaking.
The term DEEP STATE does not properly refer to people in the government. Peter Dale Scott imported the term from Turkey, where it referred to a criminal syndicate that effectively controlled the elected government of Turkey. It refers to entities outside of the government that are sufficiently powerful to control the government. In the American context, Peter Dale Scott specifically refers to Wall Street as part of the deep state.
I am inclined to make the meaning of “deep state” within the American context even more specific, to point out that the deep state has a particular ethnic coloration. One can see, for example, that the largest political donors are overwhelmingly Jewish billionaires (many of them connected to Wall Street). Mass-media in the United States also have been dominated by Jews since broadcasting began. It is clear that enormous extra-governmental power is in the hands of Jews. Peter Dale Scott however does not venture that degree of clarity. In fact “deep state” seems to be essentially a way to avoid talking explicitly about Jews.
Nonetheless, even as Scott uses the term, it has some usefulness. It means the powers that be, fundamentally outside of the government but penetrating and controlling the government.
It was probably through Peter Dale Scott's appearances on Infowars that the term gained some currency.
When Reagan cultists like Rush Limbaugh got hold of the term, however, they tried to make it fit their preconceived notion about where the source of trouble must always be. Since Ronald Reagan said, “Government is the problem,” it was more comfortable to assume that the deep state meant people within the government.
Limbaugh really should know better. The concept represented by the term deep state is not entirely new to him. In November 2014 Limbaugh noticed and admitted that wealthy people outside of the government -- “the donor class” -- were in fact the real problem, at least in regard to the push for illegal immigrant amnesty. This observation posed a great problem for Limbaugh's ideology, which is disposed to regard billionaires as benevolent “job-creators” who help the country, rather than as greedy monsters who will destroy the country if not curbed. More recently, Limbaugh has also come to regard mass-media as a malevolent power unto itself.* These observations are entirely corrosive to the “classical liberal” ideology that Limbaugh has been espousing since the late 1980s, but he still has not embraced the anti-liberal implications. He continues, hypocritically, to spout the old Reaganite cant.
Consequently, when Rush Limbaugh heard “deep state,” he seems to have fallen into his old ruts and assumed that it meant people entrenched within the government -- which is fundamentally not what it means.
James O’Keefe follows the example of Rush Limbaugh in misapplying the term DEEP STATE to refer only to people in government.
Now I hear that a Jew named Jason Chaffetz has opportunistically written a book called The Deep State, which perpetuates and reinforces the already prevalent error, calling the deep state “an army of bureaucrats.”
With their incorrect use of the term deep state, O’Keefe and Limbaugh and the Jew Chaffetz are letting the important culprits off the hook. Of course, some of this could be intentional.
The image above represents the allegory of the cave, from Plato's Republic. It represents the fact that most people are unaware of the real powers behind events. They are focused on shadows on the wall, which could represent the public actions of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and are unaware of the puppetmasters behind them that manipulate those shadows. James O'Keefe by invoking the term deep state pretends to be exposing the puppetmasters, when in fact he is still focused on the shadows on the cave's wall, and also keeping others focused there.
Whenever you hear somebody using this term deep state to mean entrenched bureaucrats, you should point out that, according to Peter Dale Scott who introduced the term, this is not what it means; that it refers to the real power, which is outside of the government.
* “You know, I still chuckle when I see stories talking about how, ‘The media, following the lead of Democrat Party leaders…’ Give me a break. It’s the other way around.” -- Rush Limbaugh, 2 July 2018