by James A. Bacon

In a Tuesday Facebook post Sen. Amanda F. Chase, R-Chesterfield, a candidate for governor, called upon President Trump declare martial law and seize voting machines to find the voting fraud that resulted in Joe Biden’s election. “There needs to be a national audit,” she said.

President-elect Biden, elaborated Chase, is “not my President and never will be. The American people aren’t fools. We know you cheated to win and we’ll never accept the results. Fair elections we can accept but cheating to win, never. It’s not over yet. So thankful President Trump has a backbone and refuses to concede. President Trump should declare martial law as recommended by General Flynn.”

This is scary stuff. Chase’s comment has been appropriately rebuked by many fellow Republicans, including her opponent in the gubernatorial contest Del. Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights. Chase’s comment comes treacherously close calling for a suspension of suspending democracy, overthrowing the rule of law, and declaring a dictatorship. It’s dangerous as hell and, as far as I’m concerned, disqualifies her as a serious candidate for public office.

But there is a larger point to make. Chase’s comment demonstrates the extent to which a large swath of the Trump-voting electorate has become thoroughly distrustful of political institutions, the media, and the opinions of America’s cultural elites. The same day that Chase’s comment was reported by the Washington Post, these stories were reported in local newspapers in Virginia:

Campbell County. A crowd of more than 100 gathered by the Campbell County courthouse, laughing, whooping, and brandishing signs in defiance of Governor Ralph Northam’s executive order limiting the size of gatherings to 10 people. Most were not wearing masks, reports the News & Advance. Last week the county supervisors had directed the county to oppose any restrictions imposed by statewide mandates, declaring the county a First Amendment sanctuary.

Fifth District Congressman Bob Good, a former Campbell supervisor, supported the movement. “Here you have an example of citizens rising up and saying, ‘We are the ultimate authority in this nation. We are not going to allow our constitutional rights to be trampled upon, and we’re not going to continue to suffer restrictions that are not warranted with no end in sight.’”

Charlie Abbott, who organized the event, said there are future plans to assemble in community restaurants without masks, social distancing, capacity limits or prohibition on the sale of alcohol. “Someone needs to remind [Northam] that we the people still wield the power. So come and take it from us.”

Bedford County. Dozens of Bedford County residents gathered at a county supervisors meeting maskless in protest of Northam’s pandemic restrictions. County officials maintain that local government operations such as board of supervisors meetings are exempt from the governor’s executive orders, reports the Roanoke Times.

Last year Bedford supervisors passed a resolution declaring the county a “second amendment sanctuary” protecting the rights of gun owners and recognizing the county’s citizen militia. Now people are calling for Bedford to declare itself a “first amendment sanctuary.”

County officials have not commented on the first-amendment-sanctuary idea, but they are drafting a resolution in support of a bill submitted by state Sen. Steve Newman, R-Lynchburg, to limit emergency powers by executive order to no more than 30 days. “The never-ending practice of governing by edict and press conference is bypassing the General Assembly and is not a narrowly tailored approach to managing an emergency,” the statement says. “The unlimited timeframe” of the emergency hinders the ability of state delegates and senators to represent their districts.

Pittsylvania County. During a Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors meeting, a citizen described as close to tears expressed opposition to Northam’s “tyrannical” mask mandate. During his time to speak, Supervisor Ronald Scearce said he appreciated the resident’s comments against the governor’s “oppressive edicts,” and said he planned to disregard them during his holiday celebrations.

“For my family, we’re going to add some special civil disobedience traditions to our Christmas plans this year, and I plan on having as many of my extended family and friends that I can tolerate,” he said, as reported by the Danville Register & Bee. “And it will be without a mask. I hope the governor’s listening.”

When cities and counties declared themselves to be second-amendment sanctuaries a year ago, the paper resolutions didn’t hurt anyone. The current round of civil disobedience is a different matter. Flouting the governor’s mask mandate might feel good, but protesters are hurting only themselves by exposing themselves to the coronavirus. The sheer illogic of the form the protests are taking, however, is indicative of the deep alienation afflicting so many. It is from this wellspring of disaffection, I believe, that Chase draws when she urges Trump to declare martial law.

It would take another column — indeed the topic calls for book-length treatment — to suggest where this deep disaffection comes from. Clearly, it precedes the  presidential election that proved so disappointing to many. It was a year ago that the second-amendment resolutions were raging like a wildfire across “red” Virginia. I suspect that much of this emotional energy stems from watching Democrats and the media since 2017 declaring themselves the “resistance,” blocking Trump’s appointees, leaking classified information with impunity to embarrass the president, fanning the flames of the Russia Collusion delusion, slow-walking the release of documents that would reveal the truth, slandering Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, impeaching Trump over policy differences in Ukraine, and otherwise doing everything within their power to nullify the 2016 election. The behavior of Trump’s enemies, which included many illegal acts, gave credence to the notion that they would try to steal the election. Layer on the daily insults and depredations of America’s cultural elite rewriting history, declaring America a systemically racist nation, stereotyping all Trump supporters as  racists, and “canceling” all who would voice opposition, and I can understand where the paranoia is coming from.

While I sympathize with those who see themselves as citizens and patriots, as in fact I do myself, I am distressed to see their protests take such a self-destructive form. There are better ways to oppose Northam’s “tyranny” than exposing yourself to risk of infection of COVID-19!

And as much as the 2020 presidential election was likely marred by widespread irregularities, I believe Attorney General William Barr when he said they would not have changed the election outcome, I believe Republican election officials in Georgia who say their vote counts were accurate and that Biden won, and I trust the legal judgment of the U.S. Supreme Court, six of whose members were appointed by Republican presidents, when it refused to consider last-ditch appeals to contest the outcome.

Biden won the election. People need to get over it — and they need to find more constructive ways to channel their legitimate discontent. The country is a mess. Virginia is a mess. The identity politics, intolerance, civil disorder and regulatory overreach emanating from Virginia’s new ruling class is terrifying. But calling for martial law to overturn an election is not constructive. If anyone destroys democracy and the rule of law in the United States, let it not be the lovers of liberty.

Share this article


(comments below)


(comments below)


47 responses to “Martial Law Is NOT the Answer!”

  1. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Agree on this one

  2. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    To advocate armed rebellion is beyond the pale. Sadly, Chase’s statement is just the logical extension of the widespread dissention from and disbelief in the outcome, fed by President Trump’s own inability to admit why he lost – his own statements and personal behavior. The other day I wrote to praise Chase for re-entering the regular process for gaining nomination (the wrong process, but a lawful one) and now I hope this recent comment buries her chances. Biden won. Dozens of courts have examined the claims of meaningful fraud and rejected them. Trump’s AG rejected them. The Supreme Court batted down the final Hail Mary effort, 7-2, and those two might still have rejected it on the merits. This is over. Over.

    Except for far too many, it is not. One and all, do not mistake me: I will stand with the Constitution. If you want a fight, I won’t be on your side.

    Even as a retiree, Flynn can be charged with sedition and conduct unbecoming and be stripped of his rank, honors and retirement pay. Works for me. He has embarrassed the uniform. I fully support those seeking to test the outcome in court, within the system, but Flynn is a dangerous fool.

    1. Matt Adams Avatar

      It’s wrong on all account, however it’s just the logical swing of the pendulum after the outcome of 2016.

      I’ve listened to some lawyers debate the voter fraud cases and their take was that instead of focusing on legitimate issues, they went with Q BS. They went right where the Democrats wanted them to go, which was after Dominion and all that other nonsense. There was a disservices done when they employed showboat lawyers instead of election lawyers.

      There was fraud, was it meaningful enough to overturn the election. That is a resounded no, but there are in fact problems with what occurred.

      “Even as a retiree, Flynn can be charged with sedition and conduct unbecoming and be stripped of his rank, honors and retirement pay. Works for me. He has embarrassed the uniform. I fully support those seeking to test the outcome in court, within the system, but Flynn is a dangerous fool.”

      That is a big problem in the Military community, but it’s best to look at O6 and above for what they are, which is politicians trying to curry favor for their next big payday.

      1. “There was a disservices done when they employed showboat lawyers instead of election lawyers.”

        On the other hand, without knowing who “they” are, it’s hard to say “they” were stupid people. If “they” understood the numbers really weren’t there for them, then hiring showboaters who are good in front of a microphone makes sense, particularly if your only remaining goal is to make political points, get the base riled up, and raise money.

        1. Matt Adams Avatar

          I suppose if that was the end state. However, the end state should be to resolve all the actual fraud that occurred and was exacerbated by no reason mail in voting.

    2. James Wyatt Whitehead V Avatar
      James Wyatt Whitehead V

      There could be one more Hail Mary. Electoral Count Act. That would produce some made for TV drama on the Potomac. I do have a soft spot for Hail Mary’s.

  3. It’s all about FREEDOM…
    Too much Government
    Too many Rules
    Too many Taxes
    Too much Lawlessness
    To many Irresponsible Individuals
    Too many Illegals….
    To much and To many you name it. …
    Christians, Conservatives, TEA party types, whatever you want to call us are tired of abiding by the rules while everybody else lies, cheats, steals, play the race card, claim discrimination, burn down cities, demand free everything….
    Hell Yeah people are PISSED….

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      For once, in this election, I think the people who agree with you actually did show up and vote. Trump got a tremendous turnout. But we just got outvoted, largely because he screwed it up (not just my opinion.) Guess what, another election is coming. Starting with the Georgia races, the damage can be mitigated and reversed. You have indeed nailed the other side’s tactics, but they must be stopped lawfully.

    2. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      … and the answer was Trump? A liar, cheat, ignorant buffoon and thief? Yeah, that works.

      1. VDOTyranny Avatar

        Not to defend Trump, but in 2016 he just took advantage of the frustration. People hitched a ride on the wrong bus, partly because they don’t want to accept reality.

        1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

          The “frustration” is 90% based on internet falsehoods. The mind is a place all of its own. It can make a Heaven of Hell, or a Hell of Heaven.

          What’s that chestnut? If I can get you to believe the absurdity, you will commit the atrocity. Lies and violence. Can’t have one without the other.

  4. We have met the enemy and he is US (social media bred extremism on all sides).

  5. Nancy_Naive Avatar

    Such rhetoric lost a Michigan State Rep/Sen his committee chairs.

    Sad that the crazies in your party are so happily entrenched in their little districts.

    Good that they are exposing the level of their lack of understanding of the Constitution and that which makes our form of democracy exceptional. It makes it impossible for them to attain state-wide or national prominence. These irrational remarks, and actions of signing on to lawsuits, e.g., will bite them in the ass if they try to leave their little neighborhoods.

  6. For some time, I have been telling my brother Up Nawth that you are witnessing a form of civil war, and that all had better be careful lest a real one be precipitated.

    1. It’s interesting to see Biden calling for unity while blasting his enemies, namely Trump without saying so. This is what Trump was called out for.
    Seems hardly the way to unite the country.

    2. Re: The Mess. I found a column in this morning’s T-D to be thoughtful. Salena Zito writes for CNN, not my favorite news outlet, but I thought her explanation of the current politics had some merit, referring to similar volatility between 1890 and 1900. This lady has something to think about.

  7. Lawrence Hincker Avatar
    Lawrence Hincker

    I’d like to see all those maskless protestors in Bedford or Campbell and Pittsylvania Counties to take a vow not to seek medical help and eschew hospital emergency rooms when they contract the virus. Same for the anti-vaccers. Like Sampson in the Temple, they are collapsing the roof onto their own heads.

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      That is exactly how Trump sealed his fate and Republican candidates better learn from it. But first they have to admit the loss was self-inflicted.

      1. Steve, Not sure what you’re referring to here. What is “this”?

        1. Steve Haner Avatar
          Steve Haner

          Pandering to those who think the pandemic overblown. That lost Trump votes.

          1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

            Now, the question is “Will Trump’s pandering to the Election Fraud crowd cost Mitch his job?”

            Jan 5 will be the answer.

    2. Perhaps, and you can call them out for what you might believe is their recklessness, but the underlying problem remains.

  8. Jim – I agree with this column almost completely, but with a big exception – Libertarians/Republicans/Trump supporters just can’t help themselves with their “Whataboutism”

    “I suspect that much of this emotional energy stems from watching Democrats and the media since 2017 declaring themselves the “resistance,” blocking Trump’s appointees, leaking classified information with impunity to embarrass the president, fanning the flames of the Russia Collusion delusion, slow-walking the release of documents that would reveal the truth, slandering Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, impeaching Trump over policy differences in Ukraine, and otherwise doing everything within their power to nullify the 2016 election. ”

    There are many major issues with this sentence, and it gives cover to those Americans like Va Tech Grad Chase (what is in the water in Blacksburg – Steve Bannon, Benedictine HS grad, and former VPI class President, and self proclaimed admirer of Vladimir Lennin is another GOP-crazy).

    Let’s agree that there was no “collusion”. Trump has been compromised via his corrupt self by Russia and likely other foreign actors. The US Attorney, Southern District of NY, will get to deal with this corruption/RICO issue with the first crime family after Jan 20, 2021.

    But, the fact remains that this clear and present danger to the USA is the nominal leader of the GOP, for now, and has conned millions of Americans and continues his seditious incitement of violence and overthrow of a Constitutional election.

    Until Republicans, Libertarians, and Americans repudiate him, his actions and his beliefs, we will continue with this escalation.

    For starters, the Russians have continued to attack us and our Cyber infrastructure, unabated, not fake news, and this Administration has failed to address this threat and there are many that need to be held accountable.

    Otherwise, great column Jim.

  9. I think taking disputes to court is perfectly appropriate. Sen. Amanda F. Chase has gone over the line, however, here. She should not be the nominee for governor.

  10. djrippert Avatar

    Here we go again. Yet another chapter in the slow motion suicide of Republicans in Virginia. First, the RPV demands that a convention be the means of nomination for governor in 2021. That compresses the timeframe for getting into the game and effectively squeezes out anybody other than long time politicos who have been slithering in the Richmond cesspool for 10+ years. Unsurprisingly, only two candidates seem likely to compete for the nomination – a flamboyant extremist (Joe Morrissey in drag) and the candidate that the plantation elite want to run – Kirk Cox, a Colonial Heights lifer, politician for life, drenched in over $10m of special interest political donations. He’s never run anything bigger than a classroom. That’s the choice the Republicans are going to provide – a loon and Ralph Northam, Jr.

    The best thing Republicans can do is to donate to Jennifer Carroll Foy and try to convince her to campaign and govern as a more centrist Democrat. Republicans should also vote in the Democratic primary to help ensure Foy is the candidate.

    Alternately, try to convince Pete Snyder to run as an independent so that conservatives have a candidate who is not just the next standard bearer for the remnants of the Byrd Machine.

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      Right….Carroll-Foy will happily veer back to the center just because a few Republicans send her money. DJ, you would attack any GOP candidate with legislative service in the same terms as you do Cox. You just love to read your own ravings. Snyder has squandered his opportunity — he’s been dithering about running now for months and months. Likewise Senator Hanger. Cox is on the field and making the run. Snyder running as an independent would have the same result as Chase doing so — an easy Democratic victory.

  11. James Wyatt Whitehead V Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead V

    When is the next flashpoint? That will reveal a great deal about where this is all going. Too bad we are all just along for the ride.

    1. Here’s the next milestone.

      January 6, 2021—Congress counts the electoral votes

      “Congress meets in joint session to count the electoral votes. The Vice President, as President of the Senate, presides over the count and announces the results of the Electoral College vote. The President of the Senate then declares which persons, if any, have been elected President and Vice President of the United States.”

      “If any objections to the electoral votes are made, they must be submitted in writing and be signed by at least one member of the House and one Senator. If objections are presented, the House and Senate withdraw to their respective chambers to consider the merits of the objection(s) under procedures set out in Federal law.”

      1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        A fishing pole is a stick with a jerk on one end wishing for a jerk on the other.

  12. LarrytheG Avatar

    Who said the GOP is not a “big tent” party? It’s pretty much got anyone who does not care for the Dems, “elites”, MSM, etc – but the width and breadth of the opinions do vary all the way from “no way martial law” to actual martial law – with Trump leading the way.

    Chase actually does represent a significant number of people / voters, it’s not like she’s boot booted from the GOP at all, no less than three GOP Congressmen have signed on to the “fraud” election idea.

    You can bet if Chase was voting in a precinct – that other GOP would be voting the same way she would be – “big tent” GOP!

  13. LarrytheG Avatar

    I know this sounds CRAZY but somehow I got on Trumps email list and I’m getting 10-20 emails a day. I initially thought of tagging it as SPAM or blocking it but then thought better of it – not in a “good” way! 😉

    It’s an eclectic mix of stuff ranging from the far out conspiracy theories to stuff like this:

    ” We have a very important offer for you from President Trump.

    For the NEXT HOUR, you can get one of our ICONIC 2020 Trump Christmas Ornaments for ONLY $35.

    That’s right, Matthew. You can take $10 OFF your purchase when you step up and claim your 2020 Trump Christmas Ornament RIGHT NOW.

    Act fast. In ONE HOUR the price will go back up and you may NEVER get another chance to claim a 2020 Trump Christmas Ornament at this very special price.

    Please contribute $45 $35 in the NEXT HOUR to claim your very own 2020 Trump Christmas Ornament. >>”

    Now… when I see Joe Biden doing stuff like this – I will be agreeing with George Wallace who famously said there is not a “dimes worth of difference between them”.


    1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      So, how many ornaments did you get for your tree?

      1. Steve Haner Avatar
        Steve Haner

        The Official WH ornament is the JFK portrait. But Trump can’t put any of that money into his pocket like he can what Larry is buying.

    2. “For the NEXT HOUR, you can get one of our ICONIC 2020 Trump Christmas Ornaments for ONLY $35.”

      I’d have to see the ornament first. If it’s a statuette of him dressed as the Grinch with his head stuffed up his own ass then I’m in!

  14. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    Jim, if you are going to criticize Trump’s opponents, at least be credible in your criticisms:
    1. Blocking Trump’s nominees. What nominees were blocked? The Republicans had the majority in the Senate and the filibuster of nominees had been abandoned thanks to Harry Reid, a Democrat, which made it impossible to block any nominees.
    2. Leaking classified information. This is not new. It happens to every President. The Obama went to great lengths to try to stop leaks.
    3. Fanning flames of Russian collusion. There may not have been collusion in the sense that the Trump people and the Russians explicitly got together to agree, but the Russians were trying to help Trump and the Trump people knew about it.
    4. Slow-walking release of documents. What are you talking about here? The administration is the one that had the documents and went to great legal lengths to avoid releasing anything.
    5. Slandering Kavanagh. As I recall it, it was the female acquaintance of Kavanagh who came forward with the accusations. The Senate is not supposed to look into it?
    6. Impeaching over policy differences in Ukraine–It wasn’t about policy differences. It was about the President using his official office to pressure another country to take actions that would benefit the President’s political fortunes.

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      No. 6 is still in play….

      1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        Forget the blackmail, delaying a Congressional appropriation, etc., etc.

        He should have been censured for attempted abuse of power for stepping all over the Biden’s 4th Amendment rights, Hunter’s and Joe’s. He attempted, quiet clearly, to initiate an illegal investigation of a US citizen.

        We have treaties for such, but they are deliberately AG to AG to protect US citizens.

        I could explain more but with the crowd here, it would bounce off the hard heads like a BB off a battleship.

    2. Dick, we’ll have to agree to disagree on all six points.
      1. When I said “blocked,” that was short-hand for using every procedural trick in the book to delay appointments as long as possible. Perhaps I should have used a different word. The larger point remains. Key positions were delayed for months, which delayed the implementation of Trump policies.
      2. The leaks, including of classified intelligence, were unprecedented during the Trump administration. Anyone who refuses to acknowledge this lives in la-la land.
      3. There was no collusion. End of story. Three years of hysterical media speculation proved totally unfounded.
      4. The administrative state dragged out the release of documents in response to FOIA requests, congressional subpoenas and other legitimate demands. When documents were released, they were often heavily redacted to hide embarrassing information. It has taken years for the truth to dribble out.
      5. You seem to forget the less credible allegations that were widely aired in the media.
      6. Do I really need to remind you how much more the public knows about Hunter Biden’s pay-to-play schemes than was acknowledged during the impeachment?

      1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        Suppose, James, that the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney suspected you had a meth lab in your basement. No evidenc, mind you, not even real probable cause. He just knows you, doesn’t like you, and figures you for the type.

        Now, no judge is going to give him a search warrant, so he tries to make a deal with a B&E artist, awaiting trial, to break into your house and take photos for dropping charges against him.

        Is that okay with you? What should happen to the CA?

        Remember, Trump was absolutely sure it was the Ukraine that hacked the DNC (because Putin told him so), and Barr had refused to open the investigation.

  15. Nancy_Naive Avatar

    Well, if it’s civil war they want, let ’em bring it. It won’t last long, and will result in a better version of the 2nd Amendment.

  16. Baconator with extra cheese Avatar
    Baconator with extra cheese

    F_ck her. I’m not happy about the election but I am not taking up arms against my own citizens because there may be some relatively low level shadiness.
    I believe there was some shadiness… but not enough to sway the election.

  17. VDOTyranny Avatar

    This sounds like the 5 stages of Grief
    1. Denial
    2. Anger
    3. Bargaining
    4. Depression
    5. Acceptance

    Just not sure if Acceptance means:
    1) The looters and moochers win; accept “socialism” and learn to be a crony, or
    2) Conservatives finally acknowledge you can’t have freedom while using the force of government to shove your version of morality down other people’s throats

    Maybe I’m at stage 4, but I’m expecting acceptance outcome 1

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      Well, conservatives are finally understanding the concept of federalism and an independent judiciary that is reluctant to intervene and overturn legislative actions, elections, etc. That’s what we’ve (well, I’ve) advocated for. And that is what has frustrated Trump and Chase et. al.

      1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        For now. Wait 2 years to see if the lesson stuck.

    2. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      Of course. #2 requires the ability to learn, and learning needs a long term memory, beyond 2 years.

  18. LarrytheG Avatar

    The GOP impeached a POTUS over sexual behavior and lying about it. They prevented Obama from appointing a SCOTUS judge. To name two. Many others, but NONE of those acts would justify “martial law” or much of what else is going on now with armed people going to GOP officials homes and threatening them, Members of Congress signing on with obvious conspiracy theories and worse.

    Almost no POTUS in history publically personally attacked people he disagreed with – much less on an almost weekly basis. The name-calling, the bullying, the threats, – what POTUS does this?

    Trump says on social media almost daily what Nixon would only say in private but was caught on tape, Trump has no problem what-so-ever , personally attacking his own people, his own AG, Defense Dept, FBI, CIA, Cyber Security, CDC, FDA. What POTUS does this?

    He has debased the office and has encouraged the worst behavior from those who normally would be condemned – like Chase.

    But apparently it’s all “justified” because of the bad stuff the Dems did.

    This could go on forever – and maybe is the norm anyhow – but when we cross over to using these “sins” to justify armed folks parading around threatening GOP election officials and talking about martial law – we’ve crossed over the Rubicon.

    1. James Wyatt Whitehead V Avatar
      James Wyatt Whitehead V

      If Biden ends up with the unfortunate luck of William Henry Harrison he might go down as the only scandal free president of the 21st century. Good ole Tippecanoe and don’t forget Tyler Too!

  19. Blackdog Cav Avatar
    Blackdog Cav

    On the “unmasked”protests: Wouldn’t a more effective protest been a responsibly “masked” one? “Look how silly your arbitrary gathering caps and other limitations on legal assembly are, governor… We the people can choose to gather responsibly and safely and will continue to do so!”

    But you’re right… Those protests and the way they played out do very much reflect the deep mistrust that has been fostered and that continues to grow… and that will continue to be a drag on the recovery from the Covid pandemic. Our leaders and politicians have little direction to turn in assigning blame for this dynamic other than the mirror… and the media

Leave a Reply