This will be a real war. A war on your street, in your town. Against terrorists who look just like you.
This is certain for two reasons. First, it happened before -- remember the Weathermen? Second, you can't run for a generation on the proposition that the other side is illegitimate, un-American, an enemy, and not expect some blowback. Just look at what happened under the Clintons -- Oklahoma City, the Atlanta bombings.
Now you expect the Republican tribes to tolerate a Barack Obama Administration dedicated to tearing down everything George Bush has built? Neither do I.
Once the Republican Tribes realize they're finished, they're going to ground. They're going to use their technical savvy (they're Americans) and their ready access to arms (they're Americans) to gather their forces and try to take it all back by force, all the while claiming that they're the victims, they're the ones under attack, they're surrounded and they're just defending themselves.
It's how they roll.
So who are these new terrorists? Thanks to groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center we already have some good ideas.
But that understanding is limited because the SPLC only actively tracks groups which have already announced their intentions against the government -- neo-Nazis, Christian brotherhood, white nationalist, even black nationalists. What happens when what are now mainstream groups find themselves marginalized? And what happens when the economic downturn grows ethnic-based organized crime gangs, as it has in the past?
So some imagination is required:
- Dobbites -- An echo of the Know Nothings who have been around since the 1850s, as portrayed by Daniel Day Lewis in Gangs of New York. This may or may not include people now associated with relatively benign groups like the Minutemen.
- Hageeites -- Eric Rudolph emerged from an intensely religious background, which taught him that gays were inhuman, as were women who sought abortions. Now groups like the Christian Defense Coalition stand ready to preach the same tactics, if called upon, even merging with the active Christian Identity movement.
- Huckabees -- When Mike Huckabee joked about someone aiming a gun at Obama during the recent NRA convention, he earned both a white sheet and his name on the racist fringe. The Roswell Beacon, here in Georgia, has been tracking such groups in our northern suburbs, but the fact is they're everywhere. And they are heavily armed.
What will happen after the 2008 election is that the Republican coalition will fracture, just as the Democratic coalition fractured after 1968. The difference is that, thanks to the rhetoric used to build the current coalition, we can guarantee they will not go quietly. We can also guarantee they will try to hang onto power with all the tenacity of a Robert Mugabe. No Democrat should count their chickens before they're hatched, nor assume democracy is home free just because a majority is with us.
Fortunately the Bush Justice Department has created the weapons we need to take these bozos on. It will be the final irony of our time if the Department of Homeland Security starts bringing in the Bush Coalition, one by one, to face justice. All the laws and powers we're complaining about now, if used in the name of real justice, could yet be our salvation.
History is filled with ironies like that.