Trump's true and terrifying ace in the hole……………Declaring a National State of Emergency
December 17, 2019 at 2:05 PM - Views: 115 #239367
The Alarming Scope of the President’s Emergency Powers
But will they? Unknown to most Americans, a parallel legal regime allows the president to sidestep many of the constraints that normally apply. The moment the president declares a “national emergency”—a decision that is entirely within his discretion—more than 100 special provisions become available to him. While many of these tee up reasonable responses to genuine emergencies, some appear dangerously suited to a leader bent on amassing or retaining power. For instance, the president can, with the flick of his pen, activate laws allowing him to shut down many kinds of electronic communications inside the United States or freeze Americans’ bank accounts. Other powers are available even without a declaration of emergency, including laws that allow the president to deploy troops inside the country to subdue domestic unrest.
This edifice of extraordinary powers has historically rested on the assumption that the president will act in the country’s best interest when using them. With a handful of noteworthy exceptions, this assumption has held up. But what if a president, backed into a corner and facing electoral defeat or impeachment, were to declare an emergency for the sake of holding on to power? In that scenario, our laws and institutions might not save us from a presidential power grab. They might be what takes us down.
1. “A LOADED WEAPON”
The premise underlying emergency powers is simple: The government’s ordinary powers might be insufficient in a crisis, and amending the law to provide greater ones might be too slow and cumbersome. Emergency powers are meant to give the government a temporary boost until the emergency passes or there is time to change the law through normal legislative processes. Unlike the modern constitutions of many other countries, which specify when and how a state of emergency may be declared and which rights may be suspended, the U.S. Constitution itself includes no comprehensive separate regime for emergencies. Those few powers it does contain for dealing with certain urgent threats, it assigns to Congress, not the president. For instance, it lets Congress suspend the writ of habeas corpus—that is, allow government officials to imprison people without judicial review—“when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it” and “provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.”
Nonetheless, some legal scholars believe that the Constitution gives the president inherent emergency powers by making him commander in chief of the armed forces, or by vesting in him a broad, undefined “executive Power.” At key points in American history, presidents have cited inherent constitutional powers when taking drastic actions that were not authorized—or, in some cases, were explicitly prohibited—by Congress. Notorious examples include Franklin D. Roosevelt’s internment of U.S. citizens and residents of Japanese descent during World War II and George W. Bush’s programs of warrantless wiretapping and torture after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Abraham Lincoln conceded that his unilateral suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War was constitutionally questionable, but defended it as necessary to preserve the Union.
The Supreme Court has often upheld such actions or found ways to avoid reviewing them, at least while the crisis was in progress. Rulings such as Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company v. Sawyer, in which the Court invalidated President Harry Truman’s bid to take over steel mills during the Korean War, have been the exception. And while those exceptions have outlined important limiting principles, the outer boundary of the president’s constitutional authority during emergencies remains poorly defined.
IF Trump thinks he is going down in 2020, he might pull the trigger, and if he wins and doesn’t have to invoke the powers then, he surely will be tempted in 2024. The US is literally becoming the end days of the Roman republic, wherein Counsels stayed in power simply to avoid prosecution.
The only way then to get Trump out if he declares a national state of emergency is to hope the Rethugs in the Senate finally do something (which they probably will not do, and I am not even sure if Trump would honour a conviction and removal at that point), or the Cabinet and VP uses the 25th Amendment remedy (extremely doubtful as they are pure sycophants) or barring those options, the true nightmare scenario of a military coup d’état. IF the military sides with him, and the other 2 things fail, then the US is off and running to an eventual civil war in some shape or form, and the world’s future is in grave danger. ZERO hyperbole at that point.
A true dictator Trump (and the chaos surrounding this) could unchain Putin to vacuum up vast swathes of Eurasia (goodbye Ukraine, goodbye Baltics for sure, plus who knows what else), allow Turkey to go wild in a real Caliphate attempt, unleash Israel to nuke Iran (with the Saudi’s backing), and allow China to do multiple smash n’ grabs in SE Asia (goodbye Taiwan, goodbye even partially free Hong Kong, etc etc, hell they might make a move on other nations as well.)
Dog only knows what NoKo would do, but if I were Japan and SoKo, at that point, I would be looking out every window for incoming nukes (Japan) or millions of rounds of artillery tube and other style bombardment followed by 5 million NoKo ground force troops invading (SoKo).
I wish I were having a laugh, but I am not.
December 17, 2019 at 2:23 PM #239377salemcourtParticipant
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At one time, the right-wingers were worried that Obama would become President for life using the emergency powers.
December 17, 2019 at 3:12 PM #239389MizzGrizzParticipant
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We were afraid George would do that,too.
Trump probably hasn’t thought that far ahead.He only reacts second to second.
December 17, 2019 at 3:23 PM #239394
I find almost no substantive basis for thinking any post Civil War POTUS would seriously entertain what Trump is capable of doing. Most of that (Bush, Clinton, Obama, Nixon, FDR, etc) was simply projection and cheap, throw-away fear mongering IMHO. Trump has almost no guardrails whatsoever, he only knows grifting, power, and self-preservation/promotion his entire life.
December 17, 2019 at 3:27 PM #239398Ohio BarbarianModerator
- Total Posts: 13,625
I really don’t think the American military would support Trump if he lost the election and declared a national emergency, or if he canceled or delayed the election by declaring one. Trump doesn’t have the support of the rank and file, and the officer corps would be split.
It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs
If Democrats don’t stand for the people, why should people stand for them?--Jim Hightower
December 17, 2019 at 3:38 PM #239403
I truly hope you are right, but even the thought it would possibly take a coup d’état to remove him is fucked up. At this point, I put NOTHING past Trump, nothing. The table is set for pure chaos. I have never thought this before, not even post 9/11 and then the series of murder wars that followed, as all that (the wars) was just bog standard empire machinations and were done from a uni-polar (plus its penumbra) power projection stance overall.
December 17, 2019 at 4:14 PM #239412mrdmkParticipant
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Unfortunately, in my lifetime these things have already happened, and it was not just Trump.
As far as Trump not leaving office after losing the 2020 elections, doubtful. It would be the end of peaceful transition of power. The first time this happens in the U.S.A. it will cause a major reshuffle of power and the powers that be want stability, not chaos.
What did happen in my lifetime was gaming of elections and illegal negotiations with foreign governments during the elections. Here are the years 1968, 1972, 1980, 2000, 2004, 2016. One can take a look at those elections and see who came into power and how.
There have been ‘boots on the ground’ throughout the entire history of the U.S.A. At the time, these events did not turn-out well in the short-run more or less the long run. History has documented these events and have treated them for what they are, an abuse of power.
Turning off the Internet nation wide because of a declared emergency has yet to be done. Doing so will for the most part shut down the entire country. Then it will take time to get matters back into order. Not only will this affect the intended population, it will also affect the unintended population. The conspiracy theories will be flying for centuries. Although, other communications have been turned off, namely telephone, radio and TV. The population was given advanced warning of these disruptions of communication. Sorry, not going to happen willy nilly.
There are many assholes in government and other positions of power. Putting forth what could happen in this article will not have the intended consequences, it will be quite the opposite. Just ask Trump about his boarder policies. This article by the Atlantic is at best shill, stupid and serves no purpose other than click-bait and some grocery market sales. It is sad to see this article pass for informed commentary.
If you cannot dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit WC Fields
December 17, 2019 at 5:08 PM #239429game meatParticipant
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This has become something of a motif in the resist Trump narrative, more of a literary device than anything else, with different situational variations appearing periodically. The “Trump will declare himself dictator, and no one will be able to stop him” has been a common method of instilling fear. We’ve been through this before.
There was the government shutdown over border wall funding where plenty of highly detailed articles citing historical precedent and all of the constitutional loopholes Trump could take advantage of started popping up. All of it was supposed to end with Trump assuming absolute power with the help of the courts stacked with conservatives. Hell, some people here were convinced we had to fund his wall because the red hats would rise up and start a civil war, once again, ending with Trump as dictator. Not only did none of that happen, but the courts have been blocking his attempts to loot the military budget for wall funding.
Then we had the 2018 elections. Russia was supposed to rig the elections so all the Trump Republicans would win. If that somehow didn’t work and Democrats took the House, Trump was supposed to challenge the results, leading to him declaring himself dictator, a possible civil war…
Of course, Repubs lost the House and, once again, none of the apocalyptic predictions became reality.
But Trump is going to really going to do it this time, and Russia still lives in our heads, controls our every thought, but decided to sit that last one out for reasons no one entirely understands, and no one has ever tried to explain.
So far Trump has been little more than impotent chest thumping. Besides, even if he tried, I tend to agree with those who say the military would never back him.
December 17, 2019 at 5:42 PM #239437djean111Participant
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Yup! Sorta how it used to be when reading Freeperland for a laugh. Kinda funny how the meme seems to be we had no corporatist liar presidents who loved war before Trump, innit. Actually, if anyone was going to do that, IMO it would be Pence. Hard to tell if this is just random hysteria or a loooong lead-up to “lesser evil”.
December 17, 2019 at 5:18 PM #239430ravensongParticipant
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Recommend. The facts of Trump’s words and actions speak for themselves. We have almost 3 years worth of unquestionable receipts as proof that he is a lying, corrupt fascist authoritarian who has placed himself above the law.
Trump/RNC propagandists urge us to ignore these receipts, and insist that the facts that illustrate Trump’s fascism is some silly left wing loony delusion.
“A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority.” ~ Booker T. Washington
The truth is, there’s no such thing as being “anti-Fascist.” Either you are a decent human being with a conscience, or you are a fascist.
December 17, 2019 at 5:41 PM #239435doh1304Participant
- Total Posts: 1,161
GOD! This crap again! W started this – he even took the first 2 steps. He wrote NSPD51 and crashed the economy. But then he got cold feet. (I think he saw the joint chiefs loading their sidearms, but that’s at best an illustration) Obama got some flunkie to write in a few weasel words rather than erasing it completely – an obvious attempt to keep the possibility alive. Trump doesn’t have the vision to found a fourth reich. Pence I can see, but Pence will not become President until at least 2024. It is the Democrats that I fear, especially because I do not know who is pulling their strings.
December 17, 2019 at 5:45 PM #239440PunxsutawneyModerator
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Every major and most smaller business in this country depend on the Internet for day to day operations. Shutting it down would cause havoc so that won’t be done as the economic losses to big business would be intolerable. But undesirable websites like this one could well be shuttered. I’m pretty sure JPR was on the ProporNot list for instance.
In America, “Liberty” means “Free to Die in Service of Capital” - Amfortas the hippie
December 17, 2019 at 6:13 PM #239455sadoldgirlParticipant
- Total Posts: 774
Sorry, I see this as propaganda from the”resistance” group
to raise the fear factor again. Most of his agenda does not
differ from the Repuglycan one. It seems as if the Dems
are quite agreeable with that, while pretending to hate it.
The real difference I see is that he tries to enrich himself
while in office; others have waited until they left it. In
the end it comes to the same.
December 17, 2019 at 6:17 PM #239459bazukhovParticipant
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Trump is both crazy and stupid enough to try it or at least threaten it under some ridiculous or made up pretext.
Would the politicians allow an obvious coup?
Tell me, great captain, how do the angels sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on? Tom Waites
December 17, 2019 at 8:25 PM #239483David the GnomeParticipant
- Total Posts: 2,350
I understand the arguments here. Is this a real possibility? I think so. Is it likely? I doubt it – at least in the short term. Trump simply does not have enough support to pull it off, one concern I have though..
The impeachment affair, which i see as a cynical play being put on… will rally – and is rallying support for Trump. In part, this is because it lacks support from almost anyone on the right. In part, because they love to see themselves as the oppressed majority – and they no doubt will come to see Trump as a martyr if he does go down.
Pence is the greater threat. The right wing evangelicals are a very serious concern. Add the various militias and hate groups on the far right – most of whom would and will be happy to oppose anything “progressive”… and we have the makings of a real nightmare.
Of course, could be nothing at all will happen. Without some kind of miracle, the Senate will not support impeaching Trump. He could resign though – and put Pence on top anyway.
I think it is best to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. One way or another, the federal and state governments in their current form are not prepared for even the near future. Doesnt matter which corporate party has a majority – most of them are fucking useless.
December 18, 2019 at 2:10 AM #239619
I have to laugh at people who are comparing Trump to Bush in terms of threats and try to dismiss possibilities based off the last several POTUS regimes. So much normalcy bias going on here.
The difference is an ocean’s breath in potential multivariate threats. Obviously that previous positing (the Bush tosh from the so-called left, and then the Obama tosh from the so-called right) was scare-mongering. In this case however there is no previous framework with which to measure Trump by in American history.
Also, the arrogance to suggest that this post is some possible precursor a ‘lesser of two evils’ plea is amongst the most disingenuous rot I have seen on here in ages.
Finally, I never said AFTER a possible Trump loss, I said BEFORE, if he thinks he is going down, or barring that, and assuming he wins reelection, then when his second term is winding down.
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