Speed Reads

election 2020

Trump's reported martial law musings have even some conservatives alarmed

"In this instance, all that is preserving the Constitution is the military's fidelity to the rule of law," Max Boot writes in The Washington Post in reference to reports that President Trump has at least discussed the possibility of declaring martial law and seizing voting machines with his former national security adviser Michael Flynn and controversial attorney Sidney Powell in hopes of overturning the presidential election results.

Boot, who considered himself a conservative pre-Trump, acknowledged neither scenario is likely to be realized, but he argues simply talking about the ideas marks a "new low" for Trump. "Never before the in U.S. history has there been a record of a president discussing a military coup to stay in office," he wrote.

Even The Washington Examiner's Byron York, who has written books such as Obsession: Inside the Washington Establishment's Never Ending War on Trump and The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy, called the recently pardoned Flynn's ideas "dangerous" and suggested that positing them on national television, as he did on Newsmax last week, is significant.

Like Boot, York indicates the risk of Trump actually declaring martial law is low — Trump, he wrote in the Examiner, has "shown repeatedly that his talk is just talk" — but "what about the idea that there are some things one just doesn't talk about?"

Meanwhile, Tim Miller, an outspoken Republican Trump critic, thinks it's better if Congress is proactive rather than waiting around to see if it's all bluster. Read more at The Washington Post and The Washington Examiner. Tim O'Donnell