Donald Trump, West Palm Beach, TPUSA
Former President Donald Trump at the 2023 Turning Point Action Conference at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, FL, July 15, 2023. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED)

Once the party of law and order, the GOP is now aiding and abetting Donald Trump whenever he wants to break the law. His vow to violate the Posse Comitatus Act is just the latest example.

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There was a time when Republicans could claim to be the party of “law and order” without blushing. And there was a time when that kinda made sense. After all, the GOP has traditionally wanted to be tough on crime and bolster law enforcement.

So, if you believe that these things promote law and order (and weren’t just tools to institutionalize racism, as some Democrats would argue), then that was a fair characterization.

Now, however, the party is run by a convicted felon who has a knack for getting those he surrounds himself with to also commit felonies. To be fair to Trump, maybe they were crooks even before they entered his orbit… which isn’t much better.

And Republicans are aiding and abetting the entire thing.

For example, in April, just 17 percent of GOP voters (apparently those with foresight) said that convicted felons should be allowed to be president, according to a YouGov poll.

Following Trump’s conviction on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to conceal the hush money he paid a porn star to keep their affair from being made public prior to the 2016 election, they have changed their tune.

In a new poll conducted after the verdict (although with slightly different wording), a whopping 58 percent of Republicans now say a convicted felon should be allowed to serve as president. And that number is going to keep going up.

And, of course, they also keep trying to find excuses for Trump’s crimes, such as the January 6 insurrection he sparked with his “stop the steal” lie. That’s not so bad, after all, if you think that Biden is an illegitimate president, which more than two-thirds of them now believe.

Trump and his supporters supplied a great example of this dynamic on Thursday.

Speaking at an event of Turning Point Action, the group founded by right-wing activist Charlie Kirk, the former president said he would move “thousands of troops […] currently stationed overseas to our own borders.”

Not surprisingly, that announcement was met with an enthusiastic cheer from the crowd.

There is just one minor problem.

Trump’s plan would be a blatant violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.

If you are unfamiliar, this is the law that prevents the US government from using federal military personnel (i.e., not the National Guard) within the United States unless specifically authorized to do so by an act of Congress.

Even Space Force.

But those are minor details for the MAGA GOP.

While France’s Louis XIV once said “I am the state,” for Trump, it’s “The law am I.”

And, once you have staged a coup, sparked an insurrection, obstructed justice, and hoarded classified documents, what’s a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act among friends?

According to today’s Republicans, it’s apparently not a big deal.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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