Another perfectly normal day in the majestic pageant of America’s peaceful transfer of power.
This doesn’t reach the level of actual treason, a federal crime with a very specific definition, but Ken White is right to call it “breathtakingly morally treasonous to American values.” There’s no way to prove it but my strong suspicion is that the people who are applauding the loudest for Flynn’s tweet today are also the people who had the most George Washington and Constitution iconography on their walls at home during the tea-party era.
Reading it also reminded me that Flynn was once accused of considering the rendition of Turkish dissident Fethullah Gulen from the United States to Turkey, which would have delivered him into the murderous hands of Erdogan. A guy who’d end America as we know it by calling out the military because his buddy lost an election logically should have no problem handing someone over to another one of his buddies who wants to kill that person.
Follow the link in his tweet and it’ll take you here, where you’ll find this:
When the legislators, courts and/or Congress fail to do their duty under the 12th Amendment, you must be ready Mr. President to immediately declare a limited form of Martial Law, and temporarily suspend the Constitution and civilian control of these federal elections, for the sole purpose of having the military oversee a national re-vote. A vote that assures a fair election in every jurisdiction and reflects the true will of the people. Federal candidates only. Paper ballots. No computers. Hand-counted with both parties watching every vote. Only registered voters. Photo ID to prove residence. Conducted safely with everyone wearing masks and six feet apart, just like we did in Ohio. Only then can the winning candidate be accepted as legitimate by a true majority of We the People who must give our consent to be justly governed! Unfortunately we are at a point where we can only trust our military to do this because our corrupt political class and courts have proven their inability to act fairly and within the law.
You must also act, like Lincoln did, to silence the destructive media’s one-sided propaganda designed and proven to influence the election outcome, and end the unlawful censorship of Big Tech, to restore the confidence of the American People in our electoral process or we cannot continue as a nation. Failure to do so could result in massive violence and destruction on a level not seen since the Civil War. Limited Martial Law is clearly a better option than Civil War!
The piece begins with a reminder that Lincoln imprisoned newspaper editors and political critics during the Civil War, in case you’re wondering what Flynn has in mind in that second paragraph. I say this in all sincerity: I’m surprised that Trump hasn’t retweeted Flynn today or tweeted out a link to the “We The People” page with some sly comment attached like “Interesting idea!” It’s an uncharacteristic show of restraint, especially now that his cronies have begun to turn up the heat on what they’ll support to keep him in power.
Did his advisors meet with him at some point to say, “Uh, listen, don’t tweet anything about needing the military to resolve this election dispute, okay?” Even if they had, why would Trump heed them?
Here’s an interesting point in the same vein as my point about Washington and tea partiers:
It's really ironic how the conspiracy nuts who spent decades telling us how Clinton/Bush/Obama were going to suspend the constitution and declare martial law are… now unironically calling for Trump to do just that because they didn't like the results of the election. https://t.co/Kh1Ix3fU9F
— Ben Harris (@btharris93) December 2, 2020
How many people who had panic attacks over Obama and “Jade Helm” in 2015 have signed the Mike Flynn petition demanding a choice between martial law and civil war?
Say this much for Flynn: He’s a true believer. The debate will rage forever among Trump critics over who’s worse, the devout cronies like Giuliani who went to the mat for the president or the Republicans in Congress who knew better but bit their tongues out of ambition and self-interest. Mike Flynn was willing to show his cards on his willingness to commit “moral treason” against America. Why can’t Ron Johnson do the same?
Next we covered the election results. I said I was both frustrated and gravely concerned about how the GOP is continuing to advance disproved conspiracy theories regarding the integrity of the election. Senator Johnson said that he knew and accepted the fact that Joe Biden had won. I asked why he wouldn’t say so at a moment when Trump was taking a sledgehammer to the very foundation of our democracy. Senator Johnson replied that the institutions of our democracy are strong enough to withstand what is going on. This response shocked me, since it suggested that the truth was ultimately unimportant and that Sen. Johnson viewed what the president was doing as someone else’s problem.
I’m gonna politely disagree with RonJohn that it’s fine to stand by silently while a hapless coup attempt takes place just because it’s hapless, as even a hapless attempt would have stood a good chance of succeeding if circumstances were slightly different. Jonathan Last posed a hypothetical in his newsletter this morning: If Trump had won the popular vote by a few million votes this time but Biden had won the electoral college with narrow margins in key swing states — a reversal of 2016, in other words — does anyone think Biden would have certainly been inaugurated on January 20 the way Trump was four years ago? Republican officials like Brian Kemp and Doug Ducey deserve credit for having resisted Trump’s efforts to pressure them but the scale of Biden’s victory made that comparatively easy for them. He won the popular vote comfortably and won several more states than he needed to clinch 270 electoral votes. Had Ducey or Kemp tried to block certification of their states’ results, they would have ignited a ferocious uproar locally while also failing to stop Biden from becoming president. He has 270 even without Georgia and Arizona, after all.
But what if he didn’t? What if his margin of victory depended on those two states and, on top of that, Trump had received more votes nationwide? Who’s willing to bet everything they own that, with a better chance of actually stopping Biden’s win, Republican officials from Ducey and Kemp to members of Congress to Trump himself wouldn’t have gone all-in on trying to overturn the election?
Believing that a hapless coup attempt is nothing to get worked up about is like believing that a friend’s failed attempt to murder you isn’t worth getting worked about. You survived, right?
The problem is, now that you’ve seen your “friend” for who he is, you’ll never look at him the same way again.
I’ll leave you with this. A distinguished officer deserves better than to have to field questions about what the military might do if the president makes a treasonous request of him, but this is the position in which we’ve placed ourselves. Trump didn’t put us here. We chose it.
After Mike Flynn endorses idea that Trump should impose martial law and suspend the constitution, America's top soldier, Gen. Mark Milley, says of the US military: "we are determined to defend US constitution, no one should doubt that.” https://t.co/asuOttRTpw
— Frida Ghitis (@FridaGhitis) December 2, 2020