‘Grim’, anti-conservative optics: Lincoln used fewer troops to defend D.C. during Civil War

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U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Bryan Myhr

Nothing says, “This was a perfectly normal election, and now it’s time to come together as a united nation,” like having your swearing-in behind 12-foot-high razor wire surrounded by 25,000 troops whose loyalty you doubt. That’s what we witnessed at President Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday: a grim testament to the fundamental insecurity and fragility of the re-ascendant liberal elite.

Democrats no doubt hoped that the optics of this military-heavy presidential installation would convince ordinary Americans that the republic is in peril from the populist ferment that sent Donald Trump to the White House in 2016 and garnered more votes four years later than any GOP ticket, ever. It’s a peril that can only be addressed by, in James Comey’s lovely phrase, “burning down” the Republican Party. But the whole aura was less Lincoln and more bananas. As in banana republic.

Abe Lincoln had fewer troops to defend Washington during the Civil War, even though the Confederate capital of Richmond was just down the road. LBJ used only about half as many troops to put down the 1968 riots that killed more than a dozen, injured hundreds and did property damage that lasted decades.

Having filled the nation’s capital with enough soldiers to invade a small country, the Democrats went further and suggested that the National Guard troops might not be trustworthy. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) observed, “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 percent of the people there protecting us that voted for Biden.” This meant, he said, 75 percent of them might be of the class that would be inclined to “do something.”

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