I’ve never been in the military and I have zero basis for making any kind of statement as to what the rank and file military man would do or not do. If you have military experience or exposure, I’m in no way trying to negate that experience.
That said, there are plenty of Nat’l Guard reserve units available, and maybe I am incorrectly assuming that. Maybe half of them would disobey orders to put down a civilian “diturbance” but far fewer would disobey orders to put down an out of control race riot in a Detroit or a Newark or a Camden or an Oakland. Sure, there are plenty of folks who are armed. I think the claims as to how many of them would fire upon a squad of Nat’l Guard soldiers are overestimated, as well.
I am not predicting how this would turn out. I am only saying that there is a period after early November and January 20, 2013 when a booted-out admin is very much in control of things. If it’s chaos they want, I believe they would unleash it if they felt it would serve their aims.
I served in Army intelligence from 1978 to 1983 and then as a civilian for about 10 years. Any president has great power, but it’s getting everybody to go along with your agenda in a martial law situation that’s tricky. I think FDR, Truman, Ike, JFK, Nixon and Reagan wouldn’t have had a big problem. Many of the others would’ve, to varying degrees. I don’t think Mr. Obama has a prayer of getting the majority of the military and law enforcement to do his will if it means attacking suburban or rural civilians.