What If Obama Declares Martial Law?

Finally, what some of us fear is being taken seriously — that Obama might declare a state of emergency, install martial law, suspend the upcoming elections, all of which then triggers a military coup.

This is an excellent calm, rational analysis of the likelihood and feasibility of such a scenario, written by the consulting editor of American Thinker. It is most reassuring. 

America is a rule-governed country, with millions of really smart and feisty individuals whom the new technology of the Internet (and blogs) have made extremely well-informed. Obama or any fool who dreams of subverting the Constitution to seize dictatorial control of this country has no idea who Americans are and what retribution he’s courting.

Highly recommend!

~Eowyn

Rumors of a Coup

By J.R. Dunn - American Thinker – June 10, 2010

We’ve been hearing a lot of comments recently about a national coup d’etat scheduled for sometime in late summer or early fall and designed to circumvent the coming Democrat debacle in the 2010 elections.
This is an example of political gothic of a type that I tend to overlook. But my interest was piqued by the fact that it has been mentioned several dozen times in the comment threads of essays of mine in recent weeks. I’ve had a little difficulty grasping exactly how such a thing would work, so I’ve spent the last few days puzzling it out.
The contention is that at some point before the upcoming November elections, an “incident” of some violent but unknown nature will occur that will provide Obama with the opportunity to declare “martial law” across the country, which will involve the “cancellation” or “postponement” of the elections. This will enable the Obama dictatorship to take off its humanist mask and put its true agenda into play, part of which involves sending JRD up to Prudhoe Bay to feed moss to the caribou for the next ten years.
Breaking this thesis into its component parts, we find:
First, the trigger “incident.” It’s hard to picture what is being postulated here. The model seems to be the Reichstag fire of February 27, 1933, in which Germany’s version of the Capitol was burned to the ground in the middle of the night. A mentally deficient Dutch communist, Marinus van der Lubbe, was persuaded to confess, though in fact Hermann Goering, whose office featured an underground passageway to the Reichstag, was probably responsible. Hitler utilized the fire as an excuse to strike at his opponents with a vengeance, opening up the first concentration camps to hold communists, social democrats, and anyone else who had ever looked at him cross-eyed.  
Would this work in the United States? Hardly. Set Congress ablaze, and people across the country would cheer, slap hands, and drive around beeping their horns at each other. The problem with this conjecture is that the U.S. is not Germany of 1933. It is a society so different, so removed from the circumstances of Depression-era Germany, as to be of an entirely distinct order of existence. It is far larger, far more complex, and far more advanced in almost all criteria — political, social, and technological.
A Reichstag scenario, with its dependence on an ill-informed, limitlessly gullible populace, simply won’t work in the millennial United States. It’s difficult to imagine what would work in this context. The U.S. did not go into garrison-state mode after Pearl Harbor, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, during the ’60s riots, after the Oklahoma City bombing, after 9/11, or during the great swine flu scare. Surely, nothing short of a universal catastrophe such as a mass attack with WMDs would justify such a move. And in that case, most of us would have other worries.
We move on to the question of martial law. This is a feature common to all legal systems, as a last resort when law enforcement and social convention have broken down completely. It is an emergency brake designed to halt a society before it goes straight over the edge of a cliff into abject chaos.
It’s the abuse of martial law in a few of the more unstable states that has given the practice its stigma. Several Latin nations have declared “states of emergency” (their term for martial law) at various times in recent decades to combat internal subversion and insurrections. Serious abuses by government figures have not been at all uncommon during these episodes. In many cases, the opposition later claimed that martial law was unnecessary under the circumstances and was declared solely as an act of political repression.
Is such a development possible in the United States? Perhaps so, in the most extreme circumstances, but we’d have to say it’s unlikely. There has never been a general state of martial law declared in the United States. During the Civil War, martial law was imposed on a number of areas under military occupation (in one case, the ever-perspicacious Ambrose Burnside arrested all the reporters and many of the Democrats in his area of command and had to be reversed by President Lincoln). A few riot situations have been answered with short periods of martial law. But that’s the extent of it. Martial law is simply not the way we handle things. If it’s not part of the tradition, it’s unlikely to occur. It’s doubtful that any government-wide plan exists for the emplacement of martial law, one that involves the bureaucracy as a whole, that is continually updated, and briefed to all officials. If there’s no plan, it ain’t gonna happen.
Now we reach the political ramifications, always the juicy part in a democracy: namely, the claim that Obama will “call off” the 2010 elections. Simply put, there is no constitutional provision for doing any such thing. The sections on elections for the legislative and executive branches contain no such language. In our system, you can’t do it unless the Constitution sez so.          
Article 1, Section 4 gives the game away: “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Place of Chusing Senators[.]“
The itals are mine, to emphasize the money phrase. Neither Obama nor any other president has anything to say about when, where, or how congressional elections are carried out. It’s up to the states (or alternately, up to Congress). While Obama could politely ask the state legislatures to cancel in order to give him an opportunity to slam down the iron boot, I am not at all sure they would go along.
Another roadblock lies in the fact that the Constitution sets terms of office: two years for the House, six for the Senate. If somebody were to “call off” the elections, then as soon as January 3 rolled around, current congressional terms would end, and you’d have no more House, and a severely truncated Senate. It’s possible that some legislators would object to this.
But could the messiah simply sweep all this aside, make his own rules, and see that it was done his way? Sure he could. In fact, it’s allowed for. All he needs to do is write an amendment, get it through Congress, and have it ratified by three-quarters of the states, and he’d be in business.
Let’s drop law for procedure. Suppose, next October 31 (a good date for this kind of thing), Obama decides to pull a Chávez, kick the entire bourgeois structure of law aside, and chance everything on a single throw of the dice. He issues an executive order canceling the elections until Sarah Palin closes down her Twitter account. What would happen next? Within hours the Supreme Court would meet and invalidate that order on straightforward Article 1, Section 4 grounds. (I would be willing to bet that the decision would be unanimous. Not even the most radical justices would want to face what might come through the door such an action would open.) But martial law is in effect and they can’t get together, you say? Well, it happens to be the case that any judge, including the justices, can issue a stay, which is what would occur. He — probably all nine, in fact — would then contact legislators, officials, and the media, and the word would get around, and Obama would have to leave the White House and go someplace else. Nor would he be saved by the SEIU, ACORN, or his personal Praetorian Guard of Rahm Emmanuel clones. There exists a thing in any form of government called “legitimacy” (the “mandate of heaven” in ancient China), an intangible but undeniable quality demonstrating that a potential ruler is worthy to rule. In the U.S., this quality is more important than in many other nations. Nixon lost it, and he had to go. Undermining the Constitution is the easiest way to emulate such a fate.
A word on the matter of competence: Obama is slowly being stripped of any reputation for ability he may have accrued during his political career. The Deepwater Horizon blowout, the Korea crisis, Iran, Sestak…Commandant Zero is being revealed as the most inept president on record. This is in no way hyperbole; it is a sober evaluation of the record as it exists. Fillmore, Buchanan, and even Carter are simply not in the running here. As a schlemiel, Obama stands in a class by himself, a man who not only can’t solve problems, but can’t recognize them when they appear.
And this limited individual is somehow going to coordinate and carry out an operation as complex, difficult, and risky as a national coup? That’s one of those questions that answers itself. (And let’s not argue that his “handlers” would take care of it. His handlers were the ones who came up with the Sestak approach. If they were capable of anything impressive, we’d know about it by now.)
The final problem with the martial law thesis is that it’s leftist. The first time I heard the formulation was in October 1973. Richard Nixon was caught deep in the mire of Watergate and getting deeper every day. But that didn’t stop him from carrying out one of his greatest and most noble efforts: coming to the rescue of Israel during the Yom Kippur War.
In the process, Nixon put the U.S. armed forces on full alert, both to warn off the Soviets and to ramp up the effort to resupply Israel. Immediately the whispers began: “He’s declaring martial law…he’s going to shut down the Watergate investigation. People will start to disappear…”
Of course, the only one who disappeared was Moody Richard himself, back into retirement in California. The martial law canard vanished too, only to be revived when — you guessed it! — George W. Bush took office. As most of us will recall, Bush (or alternately Cheney, or even Karl Rove) was going to declare martial law for the purpose of “calling off the elections” in 2004 and 2006.
It’s a lefty daydream, something they use to excite themselves into thinking that they’re involved in a dangerous game, that they’re living life on the edge, that what they’re doing really, really means something. Conservatives have no use for either the fake excitement or the self-delusion. We have more serious things to occupy our time.
It’s also unnecessary. The tide is turning. After a lengthy period, things are moving in our direction. What we need now is action and effort, rationally considered and intelligently applied. The “martial law” myth is neither. It is the counsel of despair, a wail that it’s no use, that we simply can’t win, that there’s no point in trying. It’s a sad thing that anybody thinks that way, but it’s nothing worth lingering over. We’ve got work to do — let’s get the job done, and save the horror stories for later.

26 responses to “What If Obama Declares Martial Law?

  1. Eo,
    This is one of the best thought out pieces I’ve read in a long time…Very thought provoking and absolutely right on the mark. I’m rethinking my views on Osamaslut and his abilities.

  2. I largely agree with Ron, but I can’t help wondering why unrest of the largely unemployed and unemployable denizines of the urban citizens wasn’t mentioned asa reason for the imposition of martial law. Large numbers of people on unemployment insureance will be exhausting their benefits by late summer. The unpleasantness faced by Nancy Pelosi will no doubt mushroom, goaded on by anarchists and far left crazies – and of course the bloom will be gone from Obama’s rosey senarios.

    • Good point, Right! It’s not TEA Party moms and grannies about whom Obama and Dems like Pelosi should be concerned. It’s the wrath from the far Left fringe as well as all the welfare state dependents as the bottom falls out….

  3. As is evident, I neglected to spell check. It is very late.

  4. Funny , the far left was saying the same thing about Bush. Correct me if I’m wrong, but But Bush ’43 was our first ever president appointed by the Supreme Court, and Obama has simply continued to press forward on many of Bush’s agendas, including expanding Afghanistan’s conflict farther into South and Central Asia.
    I remember reading article after article (Rense)about Cheney’s secret detention camps, black helicopters, Satanic rituals at Bohemian Grove, etc. Let’s all hope that J.R. Dunn is wrong, cuz, you ain’t lived until you’ve seen the results of Martial Law.We don’t need no stinkin’ Baghdad on the Saint John’s River………….

    • Bush 43 was not appointed by the Supreme Court. They made the ruling on the issue of the validity of the ballot count. The electoral college was the final authority on who won the election. The Supreme Court decision was no different than the state attorney general making the same call. All the court did was determine if the election law was used properly and fairly and within the Constitution.

  5. Eo,

    I know this is your blog and you believe in free speech but Nini is a derogatory misfit. No one on the blog will answer an illiterate.

    Would you be so kind as to block the ignorance.

  6. erinyes,

    I know you and I have had some disagreements but there is much of what you say that I go out and research rather than look totally stupid. I too remember reading an article similar to the one you re referring to but I could not verify the validity of it. Consequently, I never discovered the truth. Now, it’s past history only good for reference.
    I like to know what I quote is as close to absolute as possible.
    I think I agree with the above article because I have not thought about it in the same light as Eo, established it.
    I’ve been thinking this guy could get the Congress behind him, but after reading the article, I’m not so sure.
    As for Bush…I personally gave up party affiliation about the middle of the first Bush administration. I am too much of a conservative to associate with a party that spends a trillion bucks when their income is only 600 billion. I believe an individual runs his home or his business conforming to a strict budget and he balances that budget monthly.
    Neither one of these parties has the wherewithal to be fiscally responsible and no President for many years has actually been fiscally responsible. Yes, I know all about Ronnie Reagan and Bill Clinton. They were better than most but if you look at the growth of the unfunded debt while they were in office you will see that they kept the spending down on the national debt but not on the unfunded debt. In my book, a debt is a debt…I don’t care what they call it at the government level.
    As for Martial Law–I totally agree with you. I was part of the occupation forces in Germany…I do not recall the Germans liking us very much. We were actually quite benevolent but they still did not like us.
    We had all the guns and they did all the crawling.

  7. Eo,

    Thank you, muchly

  8. The new criteria for implementing martial law is both broad and ominous depending upon the circumstances and the individual calling the shots. For more specific details on the act, go to:

    http://www.rwor.org/a/083/martial-en.html

    It’ll send chills up your back…or, at least, it should!

  9. Bill S , If that scares you you could Google “Go Army I/R (31E) Specialist ” you will find an advertisement by the Army for guards for those non existant Fema Marshal Law Camps . If you really search you can follow the money for contract awards to build these camps .It’s real .

  10. Dude… you are an idiot

  11. Anyone seen the stories of massive amounts of plastic caskets stored around the country in out of the way places, some in plain sight? Millions of them, what are they for? Then there is Obama’s call for a well funded domestic security force, (brown shirts), What’s up? Are they planning something or know something that we should be aware of?

    • micro,

      I’ve read those stories as well, and of FEMA camps scattered across the country. I do know that one story about “white UN cars/vans parked on a CIA-owned airstrip in Florida” is bogus. The cars were simply off-the-dock new white-colored cars — KIA, if I remember correctly.

      Those rumors reached a peak in the BP Gulf oil crisis because of rumored mass evacuation plans. Since then, they’ve died down. I’ll continue to keep an eye on it, with your help! ;)

  12. A question to the author: Even in the slim chance martial law were to be declared nationwide, what would you do? Would you fight them?

  13. Obama has signed an excutive order that gives him the power to shut down the internet. i read so many i forgot which one but it is between 10995 and 11005. it can be found on the internet for now.

  14. . thepeoplesvoice.org

  15. Watch the heavens, watch the sky, watch as the days go passing by. “It” will come this I know because a watcher told me so. Now I know what I must do for I have become a watcher too. When you know the end is near, watch and wait for “it” to appear. The watchers know things not of this world. They have been watching man since they were put on this earth. Watch “it’s” coming, will be here soon. Now you’ve been told the watchers are here, watch and wait because this all you can do unless you become a watcher to.

    Remember the watchers are watching you!!!

    • Hi, grandiose occultish self-declared “Watcher”:

      Yes, indeed, we are living in strange times. We are told that each of us has a Guardian Angel who watches over us. So, yes, the watchers are watching us.

      I love my Guardian Angel and asks for his protection and guidance. And I love and so admire the Braveheart of angels, St. Michael, with all my heart.

      I’m not an angelic watcher, but you should know that I’m watching you.

  16. Before you say it couldn’t be done, think about this. Ten years ago if you were asked if a person could be president of the United States, if they were suspected of using a stolen social security number, possibly forged birth certificate and draft card, you would probably have said it would be impossible. Your reference to ” ill-informed, limitlessly gullible populace”, could be what we have today. The main stream media twists the facts and refuse to report anything that might hurt Obama. Congress won’t even whisper that there might be a problem with Obama’s credentials and now he is trying to go after the Supreme Court for looking at the constitutionality of his health care law.

    All of the firewood is in place (occupy groups, SEIU, ACORN, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton followers, etc.) and now all it needs is a spark. Instant martial law. Shut down the internet and a blackout on media. Destroy the voting machines and the companies that make them during riots and elections can’t happen. You say it can’t happen? Hillary was defeated by an unknown senator to become President. He even beat out a war hero and respected Senator that everyone knew. Just when you think something can’t be done… Think about it.

  17. No fool would try a coup unless he had the military in his back pocket, and then he’d have to be a general type. Obama can’t even spell general much less command the forces. There will be no marshall law, there will be no suspension of anything, other than the Obama presidency when he is voted out.

  18. Its called the normalcy bias, witch states that if it hase never happend it never will, this is inharent in all humans, one good example is germany world war 2, if you told the jewish people that where living there, that they should leave because hitler was going to round them up and murder them they would have said “no way that cant happen” the sad thing is, it has to happen before most people will believe it, by then its to late

  19. since the recent shooting in ct would obama consider martial law to remove auto matic weapons from the public and what would be the consequences?

    • There are strict regulations in place for automatic (machine gun) weapons. “The ownership of machine guns was first regulated at the federal level by the National Firearms Act of 1934. This act establishes the need for the approval of the Treasury to transfer or own a machine gun along with the payment of a $200.00 tax each time a weapon is transferred to or among individual collectors. In addition the weapons are registered in a federal database. These procedures remain in effect today as part of the federal tax code though they are administered by the Bureau Of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. A second federal statute, The Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of May 19, 1986, created two broad classes of automatic weapons. Guns manufactured and registered prior to the acts date which can be owned by civilians. These are called “transferable guns”. Those manufactured on or following the acts date are restricted to manufacturers, dealers and government entities.”

      Any action by this president to remove legal weapons will not be tolerated by any legal/responsible gun owner.

  20. Following a crackdown by police on Occupy Wall Street protesters around the nation, Oakland, California, mayor Jean Quan mentioned during an interview with the BBC that she was on a conference call with leaders of 18 US cities shortly before a wave of raids broke up Occupy Wall Street encampments across the country. It was later discovered that the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and other federal police agencies had coordinated the often violent response to the protests.

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