Comment: you make good points

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In reply to comment: Makin' good sense, BUT .... (see in situ)

you make good points

And it could go the way you describe.
But i think (hope?) that they'll be hobbled by:

1) Their tiny numbers:
To impose martial law, they must have country-wide support at the local level. But decades of incessant media conditioning has split the country into red/blues, and only one side will be in power when TSHTF. The other will look upon the USG (and it's supporters) as the enemy (or at least w great suspicion). e.g. I can't see many conservatives (esp southerners) joining Obama's Brown Shirt Brigade. But I can see them undermining it at ever turn.

2) A lack of fuel:
Their big/bad toys eat it up, and it's a BIG country.
They'll have great difficulty obtaining more without a working infrastructure.

3) Their blind stupidity. They can barely dress themselves, let alone organize/impose martial law in such a large country.