In the wake of the Jan. 6 storming of the US capitol, the nascent Biden administration has ample reason to look at the security state with more scrutiny and to repress extremists at home.
Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen told CNN “The [National] Guard is 90 some-odd percent male, and only about 20 percent of white males voted for Biden … there are probably not more than 25% of the people they’re protecting us [at the inauguration] that voted for Biden.”
Many arrests have already been made, including one republican politician: Derrick Evans, a republican lawmaker from West Virginia.
After the fever dream of Trumpian politics and conspiracy theories, we may be seeing the dawn of a new, more militant liberalism.
A couple of historical comparisons may come to mind. The 13 of Vendémiaire, a milestone in Napoleon’s career where he gave royalists rebels, the “QAnon” of his day, a “whiff of grapeshot”, preserving the revolutionary government.
Alternatively, the “radical reconstruction” phase of reconstruction where the Radical Republicans were in control of the US government and the South was under military rule. The possibility of reprisal against the right wing is in the air.
It would not be out of character for Biden to take aggressive measures. He was a vocal supporter of the Patriot Act, and according to the Wall Street Journal he plans to pass another law against domestic terrorism. The Patriot Act has been widely criticized as an encroachment on civil liberties.
In a bit of historical irony, “anti-terrorism” techniques used on non-white or non-christian people, such as torture methods used at Guantanamo, may be turned on white, Christian Americans. This is the so called “Foucault’s Boomerang”, where the techniques used on colonial subjects make their way home.
A core focus of the Trump administration was stacking the Judiciary with conservative judges. It may be tempting for the Biden administration to “purge” the military and secret service of elements sympathetic to Trump, or to apply the logic of so called “cancel culture” to the armed services.
We could end up in an interesting situation where the Judiciary and the Senate are decidedly conservative, the military, in line with the best practices of respecting pronouns and promoting diversity, decidedly liberal.
If these things do come to pass, can we say that they would be totally undesirable?