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-   -   Possibility of martial law? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=891615)

salinqmind 03-13-2020 04:21 PM

Possibility of martial law?
 
I am a fat, slow-moving, retired housewife. I am handling the madness right now as best I can and so far, despite no toilet paper anywhere, I haven't seen fistfights break out in the aisles of Walmart or anywhere else. But I'm wondering, with this virus going around, no guidance from Our Betters, just wash our hands and pray...

Is there a possibility the Republicans want riots breaking out, a breakdown in society, so they can declare martial law and elect Captain ShitStain as a dictator?

Little Nemo 03-13-2020 04:38 PM

Trump dreams of being Putin. But being Putin is beyond Trump's capabilities.

Trump is only President right now because Mitch McConnell decided he could stay in office. How long do you think Trump would last if he told McConnell he was disbanding Congress and assuming total power? McConnell would make a couple of phone calls to Pence, Pelosi, and the Pentagon. Forty-eight hours later, Trump is sitting in a cell in Leavenworth watching Pence being sworn in. Or maybe confined to a hospital room in Bethesda after his "collapse" depending on how they wanted to play it.

As we saw this week when he showed he doesn't know what the White House's coronavirus policy is, Trump's essentially just a figurehead in the Trump administration.

salinqmind 03-13-2020 05:37 PM

I'm only worried because any knowledgeable, intelligent member of his circle has quit/been arrested/fired. He's hiring college students to fill slots. He has the supreme court and the senate lapping his big orange hind-quarters. There seems to be an eroding of checks and balances.

I'm still worried.

Velocity 03-13-2020 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salinqmind (Post 22188465)
I am a fat, slow-moving, retired housewife. I am handling the madness right now as best I can and so far, despite no toilet paper anywhere, I haven't seen fistfights break out in the aisles of Walmart or anywhere else. But I'm wondering, with this virus going around, no guidance from Our Betters, just wash our hands and pray...

Is there a possibility the Republicans want riots breaking out, a breakdown in society, so they can declare martial law and elect Captain ShitStain as a dictator?

If Trump suspends elections, it likely wouldn't be because of riots (the Covid-19's very nature would discourage people like rioters congregating together en masse) but rather because the virus compels drastic measures - Trump could say, "The process of voting and large numbers of people standing in line poses a virus spreading danger" and suspend elections. Of course, one could use vote-by-mail, but that might face significant legal challenges.

Smapti 03-13-2020 06:45 PM

(Le sigh)

Trump cannot "suspend the elections". The federal government does not manage the electoral process, the states do.

drad dog 03-13-2020 08:18 PM

It would be mighty ironic if the inertia of his admin under pressure makes the base turn on him, but also prevents having enough democracy to get him the fuck out.

Little Nemo 03-13-2020 09:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 22188669)
If Trump suspends elections, it likely wouldn't be because of riots (the Covid-19's very nature would discourage people like rioters congregating together en masse) but rather because the virus compels drastic measures - Trump could say, "The process of voting and large numbers of people standing in line poses a virus spreading danger" and suspend elections. Of course, one could use vote-by-mail, but that might face significant legal challenges.

More likely the elections would be held. But the Republican will use the health crisis as an excuse to enact some "reasonable limitations" on the voting process and make sure these procedures target Democratic voters.

In other words, an accelerated version of the usual policy.

cochrane 03-13-2020 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salinqmind (Post 22188465)
I am a fat, slow-moving, retired housewife. I am handling the madness right now as best I can and so far, despite no toilet paper anywhere, I haven't seen fistfights break out in the aisles of Walmart or anywhere else. But I'm wondering, with this virus going around, no guidance from Our Betters, just wash our hands and pray...

Is there a possibility the Republicans want riots breaking out, a breakdown in society, so they can declare martial law and elect Captain ShitStain as a dictator?

No.

RioRico 03-13-2020 11:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smapti (Post 22188755)
(Le sigh)

Trump cannot "suspend the elections". The federal government does not manage the electoral process, the states do.

So the Executive couldn't impose a national quarantine, enforced by troops? It's hard to argue with armed troops.

Smapti 03-13-2020 11:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RioRico (Post 22189096)
So the Executive couldn't impose a national quarantine, enforced by troops? It's hard to argue with armed troops.

Not without amending the Constitution or violating the Posse Comitatus Act he can't.

And even if he could shut down every polling place in every state in the country, he'd still have to shut down every single state legislature to stop them from appointing electors on their own.

And if he did that, his term would still end at noon on January 20th - and since the speakership would probably be vacant in such a far-fetched situation, then President Grassley/Leahy would probably want Loser Donald to get the hell out of his office.

Bijou Drains 03-14-2020 06:31 AM

NYC delayed their primary mayoral election which was scheduled for 9/11. They moved it to 9/25

Damuri Ajashi 03-14-2020 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salinqmind (Post 22188465)
I am a fat, slow-moving, retired housewife. I am handling the madness right now as best I can and so far, despite no toilet paper anywhere, I haven't seen fistfights break out in the aisles of Walmart or anywhere else. But I'm wondering, with this virus going around, no guidance from Our Betters, just wash our hands and pray...

Is there a possibility the Republicans want riots breaking out, a breakdown in society, so they can declare martial law and elect Captain ShitStain as a dictator?

Riots don't usually break out during pandemics BEFORE martial law is declared.

dalej42 03-14-2020 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bijou Drains (Post 22189275)
NYC delayed their primary mayoral election which was scheduled for 9/11. They moved it to 9/25

Moving a primary is fine, theyíre not in the USA constitution.

Northern Piper 03-14-2020 01:18 PM

Neither is the date for presidential elections.

AK84 03-14-2020 01:31 PM

If the US or a large region of it is in lockdown ala Italy, then yes martial law is likely.

dalej42 03-14-2020 01:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northern Piper (Post 22189745)
Neither is the date for presidential elections.

Election Day is set by federal law and the terms of office are set in the constitution.

And while the Senate might let him get away with a lot, thereís a ton of asshole Republican Senators that wake up every morning and see a future president when they look in the mirror.

Loach 03-14-2020 01:57 PM

I think those on the left misunderstand the deep mistrust of the government that is on the far right. Iím on a bunch of veterans pages and it is rampant. Iím not sure if you can categorize them as republicans but they are Trump voters. There are already conspiracy theories about the hoax virus being used to control the people. The far right boogaloo bois will be vehemently opposed to martial law more than anyone in the middle or left. Maybe violently opposed.

ThelmaLou 03-14-2020 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 22188504)
...How long do you think Trump would last if he told McConnell he was disbanding Congress and assuming total power? McConnell would make a couple of phone calls to Pence, Pelosi, and the Pentagon. Forty-eight hours later, Trump is sitting in a cell in Leavenworth watching Pence being sworn in. Or maybe confined to a hospital room in Bethesda after his "collapse" depending on how they wanted to play it.
...

Don't tease like that! ;)

ETA: Has Moscow Mitch had anything to say about all this? Or is he hunkered down in his 60s bunker amid cases of TP and Campbell's soup?

robby 03-14-2020 02:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 22188504)
Trump dreams of being Putin. But being Putin is beyond Trump's capabilities.

Trump is only President right now because Mitch McConnell decided he could stay in office. How long do you think Trump would last if he told McConnell he was disbanding Congress and assuming total power? McConnell would make a couple of phone calls to Pence, Pelosi, and the Pentagon. Forty-eight hours later, Trump is sitting in a cell in Leavenworth watching Pence being sworn in. Or maybe confined to a hospital room in Bethesda after his "collapse" depending on how they wanted to play it.

As we saw this week when he showed he doesn't know what the White House's coronavirus policy is, Trump's essentially just a figurehead in the Trump administration.

You know who else the conservative Establishment thought they could control? :dubious:

Quote:

...Franz von Papen was vice-chancellor. Hindenburg had promised him that Hitler would only be received in the office of the president if accompanied by Papen.

This was another way to keep Hitler in check. In fact, Papen had every intention of using the conservative majority in the cabinet along with his own political skills to run the government himself.

"Within two months we will have pushed Hitler so far in the corner that he'll squeak," Papen boasted to a political colleague.

RioRico 03-14-2020 03:06 PM

Federal martial law has been imposed many times, usually locally, but it can start local too: Champaign IL: Grant powers to ban sale of firearms, gasoline, liquor, take possession of private property
Quote:

The City proposes to grant extraordinary powers to the Mayor...
  • Violating parts of the Open Meetings Act
  • Ban sale of firearms and ammunition
  • Ban sale of any alcohol
  • Closing of all bars, taverns, liquor stores, etc
  • Ban sale or giving away of gasoline or other liquid flammable or combustible products in any container other than a gasoline tank permanently fixed to a motor vehicle
  • Direct the shutoff of power, water, gas, etc
  • Take possession of private property and obtain full title to same
  • Prohibit or restrict ingress and egress to and from the City
One thing noticeably absent? The Mayor will not have the power to prohibit the sale of marijuanaÖ
All this under a public health emergency declaration per state law. Too bad our POTUS doesn't run Illinois - he'd have all the tools he needs.

Projammer 03-14-2020 04:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salinqmind (Post 22188465)
Is there a possibility the Republicans want riots breaking out, a breakdown in society, so they can declare martial law and elect Captain ShitStain as a dictator?

Only in the fevered dreams of the far left/right.

Little Nemo 03-14-2020 11:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robby (Post 22189851)
You know who else the conservative Establishment thought they could control? :dubious:

Hitler hadn't held power in 1932. He was an unknown the conservative establishment underestimated.

Trump has been President for over three years now. His lack of capabilities is no longer just theoretical.

Little Nemo 03-14-2020 11:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Loach (Post 22189802)
I think those on the left misunderstand the deep mistrust of the government that is on the far right. Iím on a bunch of veterans pages and it is rampant. Iím not sure if you can categorize them as republicans but they are Trump voters. There are already conspiracy theories about the hoax virus being used to control the people. The far right boogaloo bois will be vehemently opposed to martial law more than anyone in the middle or left. Maybe violently opposed.

Those guys out on the far right are afraid of the power of government. And their answer to that is that we should give a dictator absolute power so he can protect us from the government.

That kind of logic is what happens when cousins marry.

Little Nemo 03-14-2020 11:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThelmaLou (Post 22189814)
Don't tease like that!

It just illustrates that the real danger that Trump presents isn't Trump himself. He's held in check by his limitations.

The real danger from Trump is that other people who aren't incompetent are watching him. And some of them are thinking "If that bumbling idiot can get away with every thing he has, I could get away with so much more."

Picture somebody who has Trump's total lack of concern for morality or decency or legality - but is smart enough to use it all intelligently. That's the guy who will become dictator.

Loach 03-14-2020 11:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 22190669)
Those guys out on the far right are afraid of the power of government. And their answer to that is that we should give a dictator absolute power so he can protect us from the government.

That kind of logic is what happens when cousins marry.

You are not looking at the same places on the internet I am. And Iím talking about Facebook not the dark web. Anything close to martial law will make them turn on Trump immediately. They havenít forgiven him for bumpstocks. Iíve seen polite speculation about martial law from those on the left and middle. Any discussion about martial law on the right is full of frothing at the mouth and talk of civil war.

Loach 03-15-2020 04:39 AM

From a practical standpoint look at martial law as an exercise in logistics. Take my state. There are only around 8,000 National Guard soldiers. Depending on the mission you have to eliminate a percentage of those as strictly support. There are about 4 battalions of line troops available. There are about 33,000 police from various agencies. That includes administration so also cut that down by a significant percentage. Thatís to control a population of 9 million. Realistically any Guard units that are activated will be under direct civilian control and used as logistical support and possibly static infrastructure security.

robby 03-15-2020 11:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 22190664)
Hitler hadn't held power in 1932. He was an unknown the conservative establishment underestimated.

Trump has been President for over three years now. His lack of capabilities is no longer just theoretical.

But Trump has shown a remarkable ability to corrupt institutions, inspire a cult following, and escape accountability to an extent never before seen in American politics.

I have no doubt that Mitch McConnell thinks that if Trump gets out of control he can get rid of Trump whenever he wants. However, after three years in power, it may be far more difficult than he thinks.

ThelmaLou 03-15-2020 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robby (Post 22191160)
But Trump has shown a remarkable ability to corrupt institutions, inspire a cult following, and escape accountability to an extent never before seen in American politics.

I have no doubt that Mitch McConnell thinks that if Trump gets out of control he can get rid of Trump whenever he wants. However, after three years in power, it may be far more difficult than he thinks.

Where is Unca Mitch in all of this?? :confused:

robby 03-15-2020 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThelmaLou (Post 22191181)
Where is Unca Mitch in all of this?? :confused:

Iím not exactly sure what youíre asking, but I was responding to Little Nemoís post:
Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 22188504)
...Trump is only President right now because Mitch McConnell decided he could stay in office. How long do you think Trump would last if he told McConnell he was disbanding Congress and assuming total power? McConnell would make a couple of phone calls to Pence, Pelosi, and the Pentagon. Forty-eight hours later, Trump is sitting in a cell in Leavenworth watching Pence being sworn in. Or maybe confined to a hospital room in Bethesda after his "collapse" depending on how they wanted to play it.


Little Nemo 03-15-2020 11:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Loach (Post 22190675)
You are not looking at the same places on the internet I am. And Iím talking about Facebook not the dark web. Anything close to martial law will make them turn on Trump immediately. They havenít forgiven him for bumpstocks. Iíve seen polite speculation about martial law from those on the left and middle. Any discussion about martial law on the right is full of frothing at the mouth and talk of civil war.

Because if there's one thing Neo-Nazis are known for, it's their staunch opposition to dictators.

That's the problem; these people are stupid and easy to manipulate. Some guy comes along and plays to their fears of the government and says things like "I'm one of you. I understand how dangerous the government is. So back me up while I fight them." They're the sheep that put people like Hitler in power.

robby 03-16-2020 07:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 22192400)
That's the problem; these people are stupid and easy to manipulate. Some guy comes along and plays to their fears of the government and says things like "I'm one of you. I understand how dangerous the government is. So back me up while I fight them." They're the sheep that put people like Hitler in power.

Quoted for truth.

Just like the Republican Party (which has now been described as more of a cult than a political party in the traditional sense) has turned 180 degrees and now obsequiously supports a President who rejects much of what they have supported for decades (like promotion of the free market and free trade, strong alliances, balanced budgets, low deficits, reducing the national debt, limited government, etc.). Thereís a reason why people who actually care about these issues (like George Will and Jennifer Rubin) have left the GOP in recent years.

BobLibDem 03-16-2020 09:56 AM

I believe the right wing would be just fine with a dictator, so long as it's their dictator. So long as this dictator oppresses people that they hate, they'd be cool with it. When Republican lawmakers look in the mirror, they see someone who would be out on his keister in a New York minute if the virus turns as deadly as it potentially could and the administration is seen as having blown the response. When having to choose between serving a dictator or turning over power to the Democrats, it's a no-brainer for them. They would happily goose-step behind Donald as he torches the Constitution and appoints himself dictator for life.

ThelmaLou 03-16-2020 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThelmaLou (Post 22191181)
Where is Unca Mitch in all of this?? :confused:

Quote:

Originally Posted by robby (Post 22192338)
Iím not exactly sure what youíre asking, but I was responding to Little Nemoís post:

I wasn't really addressing your post specifically as much as I was wondering aloud (as it were) why Mitch was being so quiet during all the kerfuffle. But I posted the answer in the Stupid Republican Idea thread. He's on the phone to Pubbie-appointed federal judges who are near retirement age asking them to clear out so they can be replaced by young sprogs with 40-year careers ahead of them while there's still time. I'm picturing him making these phone calls from his personal bunker among giant bottles of water and cases of soup and canned tuna that have been there since the Cuban Missile Crisis. :rolleyes:

Procrustus 03-16-2020 12:25 PM

Anyway, I have it on good authority that it's "Marshall Law" and we're not going to have it.

Quote:

We will continue to see closings & restrictions on hours of non-essential businesses in certain cities & states. But that is NOT marshall law.
https://twitter.com/marcorubio/statu...53159154057216

Leaper 03-16-2020 12:28 PM

So if Trump, or any President, wanted to take over the country on anything like a permanent basis, what would they have to do? Whose support do they actually need? At what point can their assertions no longer just be ignored by the rest of the government?

As an aside, I’m still a firm believer that for this country, “runs exactly the same with exactly the same structure, except with a dictator” is an impossible state.

BobLibDem 03-16-2020 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Procrustus (Post 22193236)
Anyway, I have it on good authority that it's "Marshall Law" and we're not going to have it.



https://twitter.com/marcorubio/statu...53159154057216

Maybe Rubio is a Gunsmoke fan and thought we'd have Marshall Dillon law as we watch the virus infest us.

ThelmaLou 03-16-2020 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobLibDem (Post 22193257)
Maybe Rubio is a Gunsmoke fan and thought we'd have Marshall Dillon law as we watch the virus infest us.

Ninja'd!

No, I trust Matt Dillon to proteck us!

Fiveyearlurker 03-16-2020 12:53 PM

For anyone concerned about Republicans somehow suspending election, realize that by the Presidential Succession Act that Pelosi would become president on inauguration day. So, that won't happen. Trump/Pence ends on January 20, 2021 if they have not been elected.

Johnny L.A. 03-16-2020 01:16 PM

Kentucky Man with Coronavirus Who Refused to Self-Quarantine Being Guarded by Police Officer

robby 03-16-2020 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fiveyearlurker (Post 22193279)
For anyone concerned about Republicans somehow suspending election, realize that by the Presidential Succession Act that Pelosi would become president on inauguration day. So, that won't happen. Trump/Pence ends on January 20, 2021 if they have not been elected.

You're assuming that the Republicans would follow the rules. I don't have any confidence that they would, especially regarding a law that most Americans are unaware of.

The Democrats would appeal to the courts, of course, but how has that worked out for them so far? They can't even get a subpoena enforced or copies of Trump's tax returns, even though the law clearly provides for these. Even violations of the Constitution (such as the Emoluments clause) have been allowed to continue, and the courts have provided no relief there either.

Our much-vaunted checks and balances seem to have disappeared some time ago.

Leaper 03-16-2020 03:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robby (Post 22193531)
You're assuming that the Republicans would follow the rules. I don't have any confidence that they would, especially regarding a law that most Americans are unaware of.

The Democrats would appeal to the courts, of course, but how has that worked out for them so far? They can't even get a subpoena enforced or copies of Trump's tax returns, even though the law clearly provides for these. Even violations of the Constitution (such as the Emoluments clause) have been allowed to continue, and the courts have provided no relief there either.

Our much-vaunted checks and balances seem to have disappeared some time ago.

Well, then things would get interesting, because then the Democrats would ignore Trump and listen to Pelosi, and Republicans would do the opposite. So what would the actual machinery of government, the ones who make things happen, do? For Trump to retain authority, if those people and departments donít decide unilaterally to go with one side over the other, the courts would have to affirmatively say that Trump is still president. Otherwise, why should the Joint Chiefs continue to listen to Trump? The FBI and CIA? They would hardly be intimidated by physical threats, since theyíre the ones usually wielding it,

Velocity 03-16-2020 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fiveyearlurker (Post 22193279)
For anyone concerned about Republicans somehow suspending election, realize that by the Presidential Succession Act that Pelosi would become president on inauguration day. So, that won't happen. Trump/Pence ends on January 20, 2021 if they have not been elected.

The idea that Republicans would go so far as to suspend elections, yet, simultaneously, abide by the law so much that they would allow Pelosi to take office, is contradictory.

Johnny L.A. 03-16-2020 05:16 PM

I have a wife. I'm already under marital law! :p

ThelmaLou 03-16-2020 05:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. (Post 22193792)
I have a wife. I'm already under marital law! :p

Thank you! That's what I see every time I look at that subject line. :)

Johnny L.A. 03-16-2020 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThelmaLou (Post 22193812)
Thank you! That's what I see every time I look at that subject line. :)

*bow* :D

Senegoid 03-17-2020 01:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fiveyearlurker (Post 22193279)
For anyone concerned about Republicans somehow suspending election, realize that by the Presidential Succession Act that Pelosi would become president on inauguration day. So, that won't happen. Trump/Pence ends on January 20, 2021 if they have not been elected.

Congresscritters' terms end, and a new Congress is installed, on January 3. The president's term ends, and a new president is installed, on January 20.

If there are no elections, then do all the incumbent Congresscritters cease to be on Jan. 3? Then who takes their place?

If there are no elections, then is Pelosi out on Jan. 3? If so, how can she become president on Jan. 20?

Who gets the job?

RioRico 03-17-2020 01:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Senegoid (Post 22194410)
Who gets the job?

"Political power grows from the barrel of a gun." -Mao

Whomever the gunsels follow has the job.

DinoR 03-17-2020 03:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Senegoid (Post 22194410)
If there are no elections, then do all the incumbent Congresscritters cease to be on Jan. 3?

No. There are still 65 Senators in office on that day. Some of the 35 other seats can be filled pretty quickly by temporary appointments until the next special election.
Quote:

Who gets the job?
If there is no Speaker, the next in line is President Pro Tem of the Senate. That would be the longest serving Senator of the party that was in the majority when the presidency is vacated. Since they have quorum (which is 51) the Senate can then start holding confirmation hearings for new presidential appointments.

There are a lot more Republican Senate seats up for election this cycle. It would take a deep dive on which states allow interim appointments, and how they do them, but that seems to lean towards a Democrat. Trump would then probably be replaced by our first female president when his term is up - Dianne Feinstein. Leahy is senior but his term is expiring. VT has interim appointments but a Republican governor so assume Leahy is screwed.

Smapti 03-17-2020 03:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Senegoid (Post 22194410)
Congresscritters' terms end, and a new Congress is installed, on January 3. The president's term ends, and a new president is installed, on January 20.

If there are no elections, then do all the incumbent Congresscritters cease to be on Jan. 3? Then who takes their place?

If there are no elections, then is Pelosi out on Jan. 3? If so, how can she become president on Jan. 20?

Who gets the job?

The president pro tempore of the Senate - so either Chuck Grassley or Pat Leahy, depending on which party has the majority after the governors appoint senators to fill the seats that have fallen vacant because there hasn't been an election.

Senegoid 03-17-2020 04:12 AM

We have another thread (or several?) discussing what might happen if Trump claims he won the election and refuses to vacate the office.

In the situation discussed in this thread (Trump postpones or cancels the election), he will presumably argue that he remains the president.

So does the situation become similar to the case where elections are held and he loses but refuses to leave?


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