What will happen over the next 13 days is not a slam dunk. Trump is on the retreat as he has never been before. Even some Republicans are talking about impeachment or using the 25th Amendment to get him out at this late date. To this, the silly Mike Rogers, Republican commentator on CNN claimed that Trump “got the message”. Right. Just like Trump “learned his lesson”, as Republican Senator Susan Collins claimed after the impeachment procedure failed (partly due to Collins’ opposition).
As Oaklandsocialist pointed out before military tops have made clear that they will not obey any “unlawful” order, meaning that Trump won’t be able to mobilize the troops to remain in office.
But there are other orders that would be just as devastating but completely “lawful”. On January 3, three days before the Trump riot, Trump ordered the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz to turn around and head back towards Iran. It seems unlikely that in his much chastened situation Trump would even have the courage to order the bombing of Iran, but nobody can predict what he will do, not even Trump himself. And while ordering the troops into the streets would be unlawful, ordering them to bomb Iran would not be.
What would the generals do? Carrying out this order would be devastating. Refusing to do so would set a dangerous precedent at home. It would set the precedent of giving the generals authority to do what they want to do. In these precarious times, that precedent should not be taken lightly.
Then there is another issue: Inevitably, “investigations” into what happened with the riot will lead to new laws or new enforcement of old laws that make protests more difficult, further criminalize civil disobedience, and increase the penalties for such actions. That will be used against the left and against the working class. What will happen, for example, if during a strike the strikers physically block scabs from going to work? Or what will happen the next time Black Lives Matter protesters go onto a freeway and block traffic?
This is not likely to end well.