An unpopular ruling party is widely expected to be routed in an upcoming election. As voters go to the polls, election observers note numerous voting irregularities all favoring the ruling party. After the votes are counted, contrary to a substantial body of reputable (but unofficial) polling data, the unpopular party retains its grip on power yet again. But this time the anomalies are too blatant, the public does not accept the result. Protests flare up around the country. So the leader of the unpopular party imposes martial law to suppress dissent.
It’s an old story. It’s happened countless times in troubled countries all over the world. But it couldn’t happen here, right? Right? So I guess it’s only a coincidence that (a) the makers of most of America’s voting machines are in the Republicans’ pockets, (b) those machines are trivially easy to hack, and (c) just a week and a half ago, the Republicans snuck through in the dead of night a new law that specifically makes it easier for Bush to declare martial law, upending yet another inconvenient centuries-old tradition.