Published at 08:42 on 11 January 2021
I do not think most people yet realize the full gravity of what happened at the Capitol and how easily it might have been vastly more serious. Part of this is denial rooted in myth of American exceptionalism, and part of this is that we are still in the process of figuring out exactly what happened.
Consider this video:
Now consider how some of the rioters came there armed, as part of organized militia groups. Consider how some came equipped with zip ties. Consider how we have just learned that all the shit-talking about storming Congress wasn’t just shit-talking. Consider how panicked and hurried the effort to secure the safety of lawmakers was.
Yes, some of the invaders, perhaps most of them, were just LARPing and milled about aimlessly, not knowing exactly what to do (because they had no plan of what to do) when they got inside. That’s just some of them. Available evidence points to others being far more serious.
What would have happened if they had found the Vice President? There were enough armed people there that, despite their generally inferior combat skills, they could have probably overwhelmed the Secret Service detail assigned to protect Pence.
We probably came closer than we think to seeing the Vice President of the United States get lynched in the halls of Congress.
What would have happened then? Now there is no Vice President to perform the Constitutionally mandated duty of tabulating the Electoral College votes until a new one is appointed by President Trump. Can there be even the slightest particle of doubt that the new VP would be a lickspittle who would refuse to do his duty per the Constitution?
At that point, the country would have been in a full-blown constitutional crisis, most likely with spontaneous eruptions of violent unrest nationwide.
We will probably learn in the coming months and years how this coup attempt could have easily been much, much worse.