In the tradition of the classic Washington “document dump”, the Senate last week took advantage of the public’s attention on a massive snow storm to fast-track a bill that would give Barack Obama sweeping new powers and potentially allow him to stay in office beyond his administration’s January 2017 expiration date.
The bill, Senate Joint Resolution 26, was authored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). The official purpose of the bill is to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State. However, its vague language would give Obama sweeping new controls of the U.S. military and de facto martial law powers. Traditionally, martial law powers include the authority of the chief executive to suspend elections in a time of crisis.
Predictably, grassroots organizations were not distracted by the storm and are enraged at the bill, encouraging Americans to contact their representatives to protest the legislation.
Much as members of the Black Panthers patrolled voting centers in 2008—with the mildest of reprimands from Eric Holder’s Justice Department—Obama under SRC 26 could legally deploy armed soldiers to the same polling stations. All this with the imprimatur of one of the Senate’s most prominent Republicans.
For those skeptical that their government would hatch such a nefarious plot, there has been other government activity that supports such thinking. Among them is the government’s purchase of large amounts of riot gear and other military equipment for use by various federal agencies that are traditionally known as administrative bureaucracies.
Image: Pete Souza @ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Barack_Obama_at_White_House_