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Source: (consider it) Thread: Could there be a coup?
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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We never expected the 1991
coup attempt in the USSR. The below link says there's been 145 in the western hemisphere with about 50% success rate.

Could there be an attempt to Dethrone donald? Why not? Would it be a good thing?

Here's > one Link < among many which discuss such things.

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Lamb Chopped
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Please God no.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
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mousethief

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It would have to be the military. The only other group with enough weaponry to even attempt a coup are the far-right gun nuts, and they're on 45's side.

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Og, King of Bashan

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In case anyone is too lazy to click the link, it states several times that experts say there's no way it will happen.

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RuthW

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Could there be an attempt to Dethrone donald? Why not?

You gotta have armaments to do this, and neither the military nor the gun nuts are going to do this. Not for the same reasons -- the military has always taken great pride in not being the sort of force that takes the law into its own hands -- but it comes to the same thing: no coup.
quote:
Would it be a good thing?
No, because the biggest problems with Trump are his blithe disregard for the rule of law and ignorance of the norms and necessities of democracy. A coup is a huge step in the wrong direction.

What we need are for the people in powerful positions in our system to do their jobs and exert the curbs upon the presidency that are built into the system.

[ 02. August 2017, 04:53: Message edited by: RuthW ]

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Marama
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Back in May historian Timothy Snyder - for whom I have considerable respect - suggested it was much more likely Trump would be the one to stage the coup. I'm not sure if the chaos created between May and now counts as a coup, but I think not.
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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Please God no.

Amen. [Votive]

It would make things much, much worse. It would be illegal, which, in itself, would ruin the lives of the participants, no matter how the coup went. It would likely be violent, which would be a whole 'nother level of ruin, and possibly injure innocent parties. Whoever took over might be inclined to stay in power. That seems to happen in other countries, especially if it's a military coup. And it's very hard to oust *them*.

Current Trump supporters would be furious and scared, and might act to protect Their Guy and Their Country. Private militias might get in on the act. And opportunists, with other sorts of vested interests.

Governors might decide to call in their state's part of the National Guard. For one example of how that can turn out, look up "Kent State Shooting".

People would be frantic, terrified, and confused. There'd be a run on banks and grocery stores. Big upsurge in buying guns for self-protection. Nervous people would probably mean a nervous stock market, which could make the 2008 mess look like amateur hour and cause problems around the world.

Then terrorists and opportunists from other countries would get in on the act.

So no, _it_ _would_ _not_ _be_ _a_ _good_ _thing_.

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simontoad
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very much not. It would be an unmitigated disaster for the USA and the world.

A coup by Trump against the constitutional order is more likely than a coup against his Presidency, but would be equally disastrous.

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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Martin60
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No.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Could there be an attempt to Dethrone donald? Why not?

Historically coups have occurred when a certain section of society perceive an existential threat to either their way of life or their person.

So therefore no - the people most likely to launch a coup in most western democracies are the rich or the military, and both are well catered for by the present US administration.

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
It would have to be the military. The only other group with enough weaponry to even attempt a coup are the far-right gun nuts, and they're on 45's side.

Plus, despite surface similarities between all of their views, I doubt the gun-nuts could get organized enough to act with the uniformity required to carry out such an action. They actually kind of fit the lazy caricature of what anarchists are supposedly like.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Martin60
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Chris has it. The military are a subset of the rich. The rich are insulated from reality. South Central LA and Detroit can burn to the ground again, New Orleans drowned, the rich are untouched. They just get richer. No coup.

[ 02. August 2017, 09:13: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
very much not. It would be an unmitigated disaster for the USA and the world.

A coup by Trump against the constitutional order is more likely than a coup against his Presidency, but would be equally disastrous.

He's already conducting a coup - a slow, painful eroding of all that was decent and democratic in the USA.

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mr cheesy
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It'd be fascinating to know if Trump has tried to do things (eg with the military) and has been prevented because those who are able have refused to co-operate. I'd like to think the WH is aware of the knife-edge that they're walking and that giving the wrong order to the wrong person would snowball into something horrendous.

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Doc Tor
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Yes, of course, there could.

The most obvious route is impeachment and the installation of Pence as president. I don't know if you'd classify it as a coup, per se, but Pence is a dominionist and philosophically/politically/theocratically much more likely to get terrible things done for the military/industrial complex than Trump.

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Get your arse to Mars

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Chris has it. The military are a subset of the rich. The rich are insulated from reality. South Central LA and Detroit can burn to the ground again, New Orleans drowned, the rich are untouched. They just get richer. No coup.

Er, speaking as someone who's actually been in the military, I think you're a bit off beam - it's too easy to "other" the military. They're just the same as everyone else, just usually slightly more (in practical terms) pacifist precisely because they understand what they and their weapons can do and what the consequences of getting it wrong are.

Which is why Chris' contention is slightly more worrying. The military might get lots of shiny new toys to play with off Mr Trump indeed - OTOH, if things look so unstable that they think there's a good chance of them becoming embroiled in more ludicrous foreign adventures *then* there might be a problem.

Overall? no chance. However *not* because the military are a subset of the rich (FFS) or because they're "doing well." More because they're (generally) democrats and do what they're told.

Not for the first time I worry that what the west has done successfully is other itself from the military, rather than other the military from it... IME they're just the same as any other human being, although as a group usually less war mongering and more keen on avoiding wars...

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And is it true? For if it is....

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
It'd be fascinating to know if Trump has tried to do things (eg with the military) and has been prevented because those who are able have refused to co-operate. I'd like to think the WH is aware of the knife-edge that they're walking and that giving the wrong order to the wrong person would snowball into something horrendous.

almost certainly - although that goes behind the scenes for most world leaders rather than just the more obviously insane. AIUI Harold Wilson was rather keen on bombing Rhodesia until the RAF quietly informed him that they wouldn't be doing that...

The Civilian good ideas club these days (largely because so many leaders lack military experience) frequently has a less than realistic grasp of what the armed forces can and can't do (and more particularly will and won't do).

In some ways the public might be reassured by how much time generals, admirals and air marshals the world over spend explaining why *not* to do the latest brilliant idea that the executive comes up with.

Although admittedly I suppose they might temper that reassurance with horror at some of the executive's plans....

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And is it true? For if it is....

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:

Which is why Chris' contention is slightly more worrying. The military might get lots of shiny new toys to play with off Mr Trump indeed - OTOH, if things look so unstable that they think there's a good chance of them becoming embroiled in more ludicrous foreign adventures *then* there might be a problem.

Please note that I didn't claim that they are 'a subset of the rich' (a ludicrous claim for the US army), or that they are 'doing well' more that they are well catered for - the higher ranks get new toys to play with, and moves against the ACA won't necessarily further worsen veteran care (as an example).

quote:

They're just the same as everyone else, just usually slightly more (in practical terms) pacifist precisely because they understand what they and their weapons can do and what the consequences of getting it wrong are

While true of the rank and file, the US (as opposed to the UK) tend to throw up officers at the ends of both extremes.

I agree with you about the othering, but think the causes of it on both sides of the Atlantic owe as much to military attitudes as that of the civilian population.

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
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That's interesting Betjemaniac, and chimes with a conversation (in a family/ social context) about gun control / arms proliferation I had with a couple of army officers not so long ago. I had been working for a company who make military comms equipment, one of whose executives was openly enthusiastic for war as an opportunity to sell stuff. They were probably more angry and depressed about it than (Guardian-reading) I was.

So what does Gen. Kelly do when he tries to straighten things out a bit, but its too chaotic for him to exert the kind of discipline which would have an impact? Taking the reins forcibly (a-la Pakistan) is out, so...what?

Here is something interesting.

[ 02. August 2017, 10:33: Message edited by: mark_in_manchester ]

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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wabale
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# 18715

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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
AIUI Harold Wilson was rather keen on bombing Rhodesia until the RAF quietly informed him that they wouldn't be doing that...

A churchwarden of ours, as part of his army service some years before he joined us, was in charge of the detachment of the Zambian army at the Kariba Dam during the UDI crisis. He knew some of the ‘chaps’ on the other side of the river. All the Zambians had to defend themselves against Rhodesia's Hunter jets were trenches strengthened with railway sleepers. Later, Zambian Railways sent him the bill.

The best coups, whether they succeed or not, are often bloodless, because it becomes obvious which side has overwhelming force. In democracies this is a case of arguing and persuading (though I imagine fantasising about a coup might help).

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simontoad
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I do hope that's true Mark, about the agreement between the two retired Generals. I rather suspect the leadership of America's armed forces are much more alert to internal dangers after the Strangelove Incident

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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Brenda Clough
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I would judge that Crooked Donald will be deposed politically, rather than militarily. No, this country will not tolerate an overthrow of democratic systems. We aren't a Venezuela quite yet.

As to the military saying no to him, you will recall that for the Inaugural parade he wanted the full North Korea -- goose-stepping troops snapping a salute as they pass the podium, munitions rolling down the avenue, flyovers by jets. The brass said no, and instead he got the (traditional) Girl Scout troops and high school marching bands.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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Will his followers ever turn against him?

Reading the history of the Hapsburg monarchy which ruled the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and the 1848 revolution (if you've seen Les Miserables, that's the French one which spread to many other countries and most cities in Europe with 100k population). The people had moved to cities, promised jobs and industrialization didn't happen. Nothing became great. The people turned against altar and emperor. Many were killed. The establishment ultimately won. trumpy hasn't a chance to improve his followers' lives let alone greatness. Maybe it's a dystopian fiction to speculate. (Though aren't we living in one?)

[ 02. August 2017, 13:22: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]

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Crœsos
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Seven Days in May is NOT a healthy Plan B for preserving democracy y'all.

For those unfamiliar with the reference, here's a helpful link.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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simontoad
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# 18096

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Look, when will you people realise that its all about water flouridation?

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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HCH
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In an earlier post, simontoad mentioned the notion of Trump attempting a takeover against the constitution. It's not hard to see how a president could attempt this. Wait until a day or two before a national election (in 2020 or 2024, perhaps) and announce that the terror threat level is at an all-time high and that threats have been made against polling places nationwide. (All the evidence is faked and/or classified.) Now announce that the election will have to be postponed until the threat level comes down--and of course, it won't. The country stays in a state of emergency and whoever was in office stays in office.

I don't think it would actually work, but careful preparation ahead of time would make it more feasible. I first thought of this when we had George W. Bush in the White House.

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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A more apt film analogy might be Alien. The body is invaded until such time as the parasitic organism can erupt, killing the husk-like remains of the body that nourished it.

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Could there be an attempt to Dethrone donald? Why not?

You gotta have armaments to do this, and neither the military nor the gun nuts are going to do this. Not for the same reasons -- the military has always taken great pride in not being the sort of force that takes the law into its own hands -- but it comes to the same thing: no coup.
quote:
Would it be a good thing?
No, because the biggest problems with Trump are his blithe disregard for the rule of law and ignorance of the norms and necessities of democracy. A coup is a huge step in the wrong direction.

What we need are for the people in powerful positions in our system to do their jobs and exert the curbs upon the presidency that are built into the system.

This. Please God, this. Please. God.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:

So what does Gen. Kelly do when he tries to straighten things out a bit, but its too chaotic for him to exert the kind of discipline which would have an impact? Taking the reins forcibly (a-la Pakistan) is out, so...what?

The easiest way, and most consistent with American customs and law (maybe not totally, but hey) would be to pull a James Comey. Get fired/leave, take one's personal notes with one, and then provide them to the media and/or Congress. Thereby hastening the impeachment.

The rub, of course, is that someone with military background will have ... qualms ... about doing this to the commander-in-chief. But he's not a robot, and would, I hope, put country first.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

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Especially if he were to conclude that the commander-in-chief is unfit.

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"We're not in Wonderland anymore, Alice." – Charles Manson

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Seven Days in May is NOT a healthy Plan B for preserving democracy y'all.

For those unfamiliar with the reference, here's a helpful link.

Brilliant film. The best treatment of the subject by far. The only really!

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Love wins

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wabale
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# 18715

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Will his followers ever turn against him?

Reading the history of the Hapsburg monarchy which ruled the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and the 1848 revolution (if you've seen Les Miserables, that's the French one which spread to many other countries and most cities in Europe with 100k population). The people had moved to cities, promised jobs and industrialization didn't happen. Nothing became great. The people turned against altar and emperor. Many were killed. The establishment ultimately won. trumpy hasn't a chance to improve his followers' lives let alone greatness. Maybe it's a dystopian fiction to speculate. (Though aren't we living in one?)

Yes, but it was
King Louis Philippe and his brolly they were rising against in 1832, another year when Revolution spread all over the place, including Britain, but in the end we made do with a Parliamentary Reform Act.

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simontoad
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# 18096

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Could there be an attempt to Dethrone donald? Why not?

You gotta have armaments to do this, and neither the military nor the gun nuts are going to do this. Not for the same reasons -- the military has always taken great pride in not being the sort of force that takes the law into its own hands -- but it comes to the same thing: no coup.
quote:
Would it be a good thing?
No, because the biggest problems with Trump are his blithe disregard for the rule of law and ignorance of the norms and necessities of democracy. A coup is a huge step in the wrong direction.

What we need are for the people in powerful positions in our system to do their jobs and exert the curbs upon the presidency that are built into the system.

This. Please God, this. Please. God.
Yeah. The thing about a coup is it's totally unnecessary because of what Ruth points out. Personally, I think Trump has already spiked his own administration, and we are just watching the tyre slowly deflate.

--------------------
The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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I don't know. People who could call out the ignorant obscenity don't. The only influential people doing it at all seem to be comedians. Sad.

It's Marx in reverse: the comedy is going to return as tragedy in the trumpian dialectic. Which means the tarot of death and suffering has yet to be played. It's the end of Weimar and we're singing Springtime for Trumpy until he does something which rhymes with gas and blitz.

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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np--

quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
I don't know. People who could call out the ignorant obscenity don't. The only influential people doing it at all seem to be comedians. Sad.

It's Marx in reverse: the comedy is going to return as tragedy in the trumpian dialectic. Which means the tarot of death and suffering has yet to be played. It's the end of Weimar and we're singing Springtime for Trumpy until he does something which rhymes with gas and blitz.

But since the comedians are handling it so well (!Viva Colbert!), maybe the pertinent Marx isn't Karl, but Groucho, Harpo, Chico (and sometimes Zeppo).

As long as there are comedians helping us cope, we can have a feeling of hope...and that can help us survive long enough to get through this.

FWIW.

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:

What we need are for the people in powerful positions in our system to do their jobs and exert the curbs upon the presidency that are built into the system.

FWIW, my opinion of the American political system has actually improved since Trump was inaugurated, precisely because it does look like those curbs are being used and are doing what they are designed to do.

If Trump was elected PM of the UK, we would be screwed.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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agingjb
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There are curbs in the UK but they are not well defined. It is not impossible that they might be used, or even that they have been used.

[ 03. August 2017, 08:59: Message edited by: agingjb ]

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Doc Tor
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There was certainly mention (as in 'shooting his mouth off') from at least one serving UK army officer regarding the undesirability of a Labour government. I don't know if he lost his commission, but he certainly should have.

What's worse is that I think the majority of the population would just grumble about there being tanks on the street corner and carry on as before.

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Get your arse to Mars

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
There was certainly mention (as in 'shooting his mouth off') from at least one serving UK army officer regarding the undesirability of a Labour government. I don't know if he lost his commission, but he certainly should have.

What's worse is that I think the majority of the population would just grumble about there being tanks on the street corner and carry on as before.

Desirable or otherwise there is no way on God's green earth that the UK forces would stage a coup.

Depending on who you believe though, they actually came *very* close in the early 70s. See the 1974 occupation of Heathrow airport on an "anti terrorism excercise" no one on the civil side knew anything about. Allegedly it was Mountbatten that put the lid back on that one when he was offered the regency and described it as "treason" before storming out...

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betjemaniac
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This from the Grauniad is a reasonably concise primer for the unaware/overseas contingent but if you want to dig there's a lot more

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Doc Tor
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You say that, and perhaps things have changed since Mrs Tor was in. But my experience of the officers' mess was one of unthinking conservatism, reinforced by an almost universal public school background.

I wouldn't necessarily trust them to boil an egg (and have anecdotes to prove that), but to follow senior officers in a coup? Yes, I can see that.

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Albertus
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After pretty much the whole governing class lost its backbone in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, I did daydream that I wouldn't mind if a few tanks appeared in Whitehall with the promise of stabilising the ship.
The trouble is, of course, apart from anything else, that once you get into that, you have to get out of it again. I suppose the Portuguese coup in 1974 worked and, under rather different circumstances, the coup (if you can call it that- technically AIUI just the King dismissing his chief minister) against Mussolini started putting Italy back on the right track. But I don't think there's generally a good record of short-term emergency military governments handing smoothly back to constitutional rule.

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Albertus
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And of course there's this from the paranoid years of the 1970s.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
You say that, and perhaps things have changed since Mrs Tor was in. But my experience of the officers' mess was one of unthinking conservatism, reinforced by an almost universal public school background.

I wouldn't necessarily trust them to boil an egg (and have anecdotes to prove that), but to follow senior officers in a coup? Yes, I can see that.

They couldn't do much at all, but there are a lot of senior NCOs to get the work done and they don't fuck-up.

[ 03. August 2017, 11:29: Message edited by: Sioni Sais ]

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
And of course there's this from the paranoid years of the 1970s.

Sounds like your typical Brexiteer. [Mad] [Devil] [Killing me]

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Albertus
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Probably up for the leadership of UKIP.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
And of course there's this from the paranoid years of the 1970s.

I was literally about to post that!

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
You say that, and perhaps things have changed since Mrs Tor was in. But my experience of the officers' mess was one of unthinking conservatism, reinforced by an almost universal public school background.

I wouldn't necessarily trust them to boil an egg (and have anecdotes to prove that), but to follow senior officers in a coup? Yes, I can see that.

Dunno - that might have passed for the army in past.

The RN is and always has been a bit different. For a start you have to be able to do quite complicated maths (spherical trig anyone?). Then there's the fact that over 1/3 of the officers commission from the lower deck (other ranks in your money).

I was a public schoolboy but very much in the minority as one even at Dartmouth 15 years ago.

My intake are the current Lt Cdr/Major level, just starting (with the highflyers) to pick up Cdr/Lt Col.

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Doc Tor
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Yes, I think it was/is different in the army. Certainly in the infantry (where, bless them, they were thicker than a whale sandwich), but transport was barely any better.

(They literally had no idea what to do with me, as I didn't conform to any norms of 'officer totty'.)

But to the substantive question, I think it's probably the army that would be best placed to arrange a coup. I'm also extreme uncertain as to what the Conservative party's response to one would be.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:

But to the substantive question, I think it's probably the army that would be best placed to arrange a coup. I'm also extreme uncertain as to what the Conservative party's response to one would be.

.. and just tangenting back to the original comment for a moment. The US Army tends to lean Republican due to decades of recruitment targeting Sunbelt states, and at the extremes, their reactionary element tends to swing further right than is the case here.

So I think they are highly unlikely - for this and other reasons - to launch a coup.

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