Yes, using the armed forces to force Congress to increase defense spending is a military coup.
Mediaite tells us that Lindsey Graham says he was joking: “Lindsey Graham Jokes: I’d Use the Military to Force Congress to Reverse Defense Cuts.”
During his remarks before the Concord City Republican Committee last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham(R-SC) suggested that robust military spending is absolutely necessary to defeat ISIS forces abroad, and that, as president, he would use the military itself to force Congress to reverse budgetary cuts to defense and intel.
In brief audio obtained by BenSwann.com, Sen. Graham purportedly suggests he would use the military to restrict the movement of Congress until they complied:
…[A]nd here is the first thing I would do if I were President of the United States: I wouldn’t let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to. We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We’re not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts.
Seeing the high possibility that this could be Graham’s special brand of humor, we’ve reached out to his office and will update if and when we hear back.
Eventually, Graham’s office got back to them, claiming the Senator “was employing over-the-top humor to win over his audience.”
Yes, because joking about a military coup is great for winning over an audience.
Benswann.com devotes some space to how likely it is that Graham was joking.
Graham does not usually apply humor when discussing the military or government power. Graham’s potential presidential run is somberly based on pressing for a “robust national defense.” His presidential exploratory committee is called Security Through Strength. Graham told reporters last month that “What compels me to run is that I’ve never been more worried about our nation and the threats we face at home and abroad, and we’re running out of time to deal with these threats. Never since 9/11 have I seen so many terrorists, or dare I say armies now, with so much safe haven, so many recruits, so much money, so much capability to attack our nation than I do today.”
I don’t understand how people who defend kill lists and indefinite detention without trial can expect us to know that they are joking when they add yet another unconstitutional act of violence to the list of crimes that they advocate.
And I don’t understand why anyone would think using the military against Congress was funny.