As Trump likely moves out of the White House, he leaves behind a Republican Party remade in his image, as well as a security apparatus he attempted to dominate. That puts a Trump in exile in position to have a #Resistance of his own—one that unites loyalist former security officials whom Trump gave the credential of running intelligence agencies with serving officials at Trumpy redoubts like the Department of Homeland Security. Already, on Thursday, his former acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell, baselessly insisted before a bank of TV cameras that Democrats are stealing the vote in Nevada. Meanwhile, without Trump in office, the original Democratic #Resistance coalition may not be so stable…

However ideally suited Biden might be to the #Resistance, the coalition may not be stable without its centrifugal orange force. Competence for its own sake isn’t much of a unifying factor, and some former intelligence officials see their current alignment with Democrats as unfortunate. “It’s an identification against Donald Trump,” said one, rather than an identification with Democrats: “If Biden takes the tack of appointing intelligence professionals at ODNI, which is most likely to happen, the intelligence community will return to a position of political neutrality.” Another explained that intelligence professionals don’t seek an alignment with Democrats, but “stability, reliability, predictability,” something they don’t get with Trump but typically get with Democrats in power. That may be music to a technocrats’ ears; the left will see it as a reversion to a brutal American-exceptionalist status quo that yields Trump-like figures, particularly in an age of perpetual war post-9/11.

“A huge portion of those who paint Trump as an exception support the terrible security and economic policies that led to Trump,” said Thanassis Cambanis, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation. “The FBI and CIA are not allies in our effort to reform the abusive Security State, and this is one of the huge mistakes that people have made during this interregnum, to ally with that. We can trust all these career security officials to protect their institutional interests. That’s what they’re there for, they’re not interested in due process or people’s freedoms.”