We are not Venezuela…yet.
December 20, 2020
Yesterday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said he plans to challenge Joe Biden’s electoral college votes when they are certified during a Joint Session of Congress on Jan. 6.
“So on January 6, I’m joining with the fighters in the Congress and we are going to object to electors from states that didn’t run clean elections,” Gaetz told a crowd during the Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit.
Gatez’z comments come during the same week that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell congratulated Joe Biden as the “President-Elect,” and sources on a phone call later reported McConnell told Republican senators not to join in any objections.
McConnell’s acquiescence to a Biden presidency deeply embittered many in the GOP base, who viewed McConnell’s remarks as a surrender to the steal and an abandonment of “Trumpism.”
The backlash over McConnell’s remarks led some to call for President Trump to impose martial law and use the US military to re-run the elections in the contested states. It is an idea endorsed by Ret. Lt. General Michael Flynn.
Make no mistake: the imposition of martial law to cure this election is a terrible and unlawful idea.
I certainly understand the frustration and deep sense of injustice Trumpism feels. On the one hand, America’s court system has been cowardly, dismissing election lawsuits on technicalities and procedural grounds. On the other hand, the GOP leadership has been just as spineless, refusing to fight the steal and signaling to the MAGA crowd to move on.
But even with these frustrations in mind, attempting the use the US Military to fix this election is bad idea. It’s one that even the Commander-in-Chief himself has seemingly dismissed.
As attorney and populist commentator Robert Barnes points out, “There is no Constitutional basis for martial law unless the entire civil government collapsed (e.g., the battlefield.) It is a federal crime for any military role in elections. Even what Lincoln did was held unconstitutional in the middle of the Civil War.”
Barnes is right, and not just on the law, but on principle too.
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Democrats violated our laws to steal the 2020 election. In some cases, it was stone cold criminal, like offering to cash for votes in Nevada. In other cases, Democrats disgraced the constitution by violating the sacred separation of powers and allowing election officials to rewrite the law without the approval of the lawmakers — the legislatures.
As illegal and unpalatable as those actions are, taking back this election through equally unlawful and unconstitutional means is not the answer. Trumpism is better than that.
Instead of obsessing over using the military to redo the vote, Trump supporters should be focusing on the legal issues that matter, like absentee signature verification, investigations into the abuse of indefinitely confined in Wisconsin, keeping the pressure on their state lawmakers, and turning up the heat on their members of Congress to object to Biden’s vote count.
The GOP needs to be brave and fight on. The Gipper once reminded us, “The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave.”
But the fight should occur through lawful and constitutional means, not through the use of military rule.
We are not Venezuela…yet.