Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What If

  1. Jan 16, 2008 #1
    What If....

    I'm sorry if this doesn't seem a very serious topic but I would prefer serious responses so I'm putting it here.

    So what happens if, for what ever reason, the Bush admin institutes Martial Law and tries to cancel the elections? I understand that the elections are supposed to continue regardless but what if they try to stop them anyway? Maybe there have even been terrorist attacks and/or threats to voting stations and voters that would give them a rationale for suspending the elections, or at least delaying them.
    Perhaps they don't even succeed in stopping the elections but Bush and his people simply dig their heels in and refuse to leave regardless. Would he simply be arrested? and just how likely do you think it is that they would find the people willing to arrest him and that there would be enough secret service willing to go along with his arrest? and what happens if there aren't?

    I've heard people express worry that Bush may try such a thing and I really have no idea what sort of provisions there are for resolving such an issue. Especially if no one is willing to simply arrest him.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 17, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    If he cancelled or delayed elections in a situation that didn't warrant it, then Congress would impeach him. If the situation were so dangerous and chaotic that Congress couldn't meet - well, that's what the emergency laws that so many are upset about are designed to cover. An appropriate situation to declare martial law would be pretty obvious to all.

    If he refused to leave, it wouldn't change anything. The new President would be sworn in as usual and laws passed by Congress would be sent to the new President to approve or veto. It's the position that's important. The White House is just where the President lives.

    If Bush refused to leave the White House, then I guess you'd go through the normal process every landlord wanting to evict a tenant has to go through. Hopefully the authorities would move the Bush family's possessions to a warehouse or something. It looks kind of tacky if they just sit them out on the curb (plus it would be hard to keep tourists from stealing them - possessions of a Presidential family would have quite a bit of collector value).
  4. Jan 17, 2008 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Also, the secret service's responsibility is the the office of the Presidency, not the sitting President himself. All of the major candidates already have secret service protection, so it isn't like the secret service is Bush's personal army.

    Bush has no actual control over the elections or the other branches of government. His control over the military and the SS is limited by the fact that they are citizens of the US. Military coups are not really part of our vocabulary and at some point in the chain of command, the officers would simply refuse to transmit his orders. He has no direct control over any officers who actually have direct control over troops. By and large, our military is true citizen soldiers: patriots. It is not comprised of mindless automotons nor power-mad fascists.

    As Bob said, his physical location is irrelevant - he can barricade himself in his room with a few loyal secret service agents to guard the door, but that won't actually change anything.

    Barring some extreme stroke of luck Bush would have to commit a Hitler-style terrorist attack on his own government (with deniability) to be able to stay in power past his term.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2008
  5. Jan 17, 2008 #4


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Bush can hire "Blackwater USA" to be his personal army though :grumpy:
  6. Jan 17, 2008 #5
    A small private army has nothing on the US army. Since the new President would be the acting Commander in Chief, he and Congress could deploy the US Army and get help from, say, GBR. The US Congress can authorize it to avoid flying in the face of Posse Comitatus. So it could be a show-down of Blackwater versus Delta Force & SAS.

    Who will be responsible for the snacks? :confused:
  7. Jan 17, 2008 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    The answer is obvious... marching bullfrogs with machine guns will oust Bush and install their leader until the crisis passes.

    You did say "what if'...
  8. Jan 17, 2008 #7


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I was just going to say that!!!
  9. Jan 17, 2008 #8


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: What If
  1. What the heck is this? (Replies: 8)

  2. What's affirmed? (Replies: 1)

  3. What are these parties? (Replies: 17)

  4. What an Idiot (Replies: 41)

  5. What was NOT banned (Replies: 13)