If the coup attempt had been better planned, could it have actually damaged democracy

The coup was mostly a bunch of guys breaking in and sitting at desks and vandalizing things. But assume it had been done more intelligently with more planning.

Lets say they took politicians hostage, they executed 100+ politicians and they stole large amounts of classified data. Then lets say they bunkered in to slow down a military attempt to take the capitol back.

Had they done that, would that damage our democracy in a truly meaningful way? I mean what if they had assassinated hundreds of politicians including the vice president (which some of the coup plotters were probably planning).

Would we just have ad hoc elections to replace all the politicians and democracy would go on, after six months we’d be back where we were?

I guess I’m wondering was there any way that a few thousand people storming the capitol could actually harm democracy in the long term.

My understanding from history, perhaps wrongly, is that a true coup requires the support of the military or the support of the secret police. A lot of dictators were heads of military or heads of secret police before taking over the government. The US doesn’t have a secret police and the military doesn’t support a coup.

I think if some think is not done soon you probably going to have more coup attempts or civil war break out among the people , the conservatives people on the street vs the liberal people on the streets than your typical civil war of government vs government.

The US sadly has gotten so divided they are on brink of war. Every year and more so every election the US is being more and more divided.

That make some think clear the US has always been very divided but it gotten worse.

And sadly I don’t know how this can be fixed other than the Midwest and south form their own country and the west coast and north east part of the US form their own country or join with Canada.

the divisions aren’t blue state vs red state, they are urban vs rural. in California the rural areas are red and the urban areas blue, and it’s the same in south Carolina.

But about 3/4 of America’s economic activity happens in the blue urban areas. if we truly divided into two nations we’d have blue urban areas with a gdp of about 15 trillion and red rural areas with a gdp of about 6 trillion dollars. the red areas would not go along with that as their standards of living would decline rapidly so I don’t think breaking apart will work.

For some reason, I think of a hairline fracture that’s always been there, and then the herculean effort to drive wedges into it.

It’s a bit like how granite slabs are processed for countertops and such:

Granite is found close enough to the surface that it can be cut from shallow quarries. In order to get the granite into transportable blocks, small holes are drilled in the shape of the desired block size. Carefully planned explosives placed into these holes create just enough blast to separate the block of granite from the bedrock without breaking the block itself.

Masterful but evil political operatives have inserted the wedges and planted the explosives for decades, getting very wealthy in the process.

“The greedy and the ignorant.”

Suppose that, not only did they manage to kill, say, a couple of hundred legislators, but that they had the sense to only (or at least mostly only) kill Democrats. Say, 190 Democrats and 10 Republicans who got caught in the crossfire.

And suppose that some amount less than 100% of those killed Democrats were then replaced by other Democrats.

We’d end up with control of both houses of Congress being decided by violence. If that’s not an “end to democracy”, I don’t know what is.

But the big thing that keeping the divide about the liberals and conservatives is issue on immigration, illegal immigrants, abortion, LGBT, church and war and open borders.

This is what got Trump so popular among his group. The group never had politician that bold and fear that all of the US will be like Portland and Los Angeles.

The conservative people are more to right and have been for years than the politicians. And they fear by the year 2050 there will be no more conservative in power ever and topics like open borders, abortion, LGBT, church and immigration will be done deal never to be talked about in media or in government.

Most of those people would probably pick small city or town in Mississippi than say Portland ,Seattle or San Francisco. Than care about GDP or economics.

And well it is very cheap there and cost of living is very low it next to impossible to get job and if you do get job good luck finding job that pays 11 dollars hour.

I’m never quite sure what people mean when they say rural. When I hear rural I think sparsely populated areas, like Sheridan, Arkansas with its 5,000 residents in Grant County with its population of 18,000. But sometimes the suburbs are included as rural areas by people and I’m hard pressed to think of many of the smaller cities surrounding Dallas or Austin as rural.

I had wondered something tangential: Suppose the Trumpers had managed to seize the state-elector ballots (which were being held in chest-like boxes in the building.) Would the states then just simply send in new elector-slate ballots, or do those ballots (the ones that were seized) particularly count?

What if the Trumpers had forced Pence and the Senate to “certify” all the slates as Trump’s at gunpoint?

I’m pretty sure that coup attempt has damaged our democracy. :worried:

The Electoral Count Act (3 USC Chapter 1) has the electors make out six copies of their certificates: one sent to the President of the Senate, two sent to their state’s Secretary of State, two sent to the Archivist of the US, and one sent to the local federal district court.

The law does not seem to make specific provision for what happens if the Senate’s copy is destroyed - but it does say that one of the SoS’s copies and one of the Archivist’s copies is to be “held subject to the order of the President of the Senate”. So presumably in the situation you describe, Pence would simply order the Archivist to deliver one of his copies to the Senate; and failing that he could order the Secretaries of State to do the same.

The premise of the OP is poor as it assumes, incorrectly, that no damage was done.

Had they stolen all the EC voting certificates, and created the impression that there were no originals to be found, then Nancy Pelosi would take office on Jan 20th. That’s entirely constitutional and democratic, but it would have effectively cancelled the November election (as well as further enraging the yahoos who would expect Trump to take over). That’s damaging to democracy.

There is other harm that’s been done, but it’s hard to quantify. The left is outraged that the insurgents seem to have been treated with kid gloves, the right is outraged that the left suddenly hates riots and loves dead cops. It’s a field day for “but muh hypocrisy” on both sides, at a time when we really needed an uneventful transition.

It’s safe to say that there’s been considerable damage to faith in democracy, which is sort of what the whole thing rests upon. But then again, I don’t know that the white right was ever going to have faith in democracy once they ceased being a dominant majority. In that sense, our democracy has always had that aneurysm ready to blow the second it became a real democracy instead of a theoretical one.

(ftr, I did use the phrase “both sides”, but I assign 100% blame here for pushing “stop the steal” and an uncountable number of incendiary statements in the years up to now. They’re no longer capable of accepting a legitimate loss).

If the coup was better planned but with the same group of people then no. A successful coup in the US right now would require the military and that’s not happening.

Trump, having raised the rabble, had no idea what to do with it. A competent autocrat would have lined up a couple of generals beforehand and taken over.

What would have happened if they had murdered a couple legislators and then left? I suspect some more-or-less constitutional way would have been found to declare Biden elected and the legislators would have been replaced, probably nearly all by Dems.

It’s interesting to note that one of the few rioters to make it to the floor of one of the chambers was a retired USAF Lt. Colonel.

Michael Flynn was calling for martial law, and Thomas McInerney and Scott O’Grady pushed baseless conspiracy theories. Makes me wonder how many active duty members would have gone along with Trump.

Can’t they all be prosecuted for insurrection or sedition under the military code of justice?

I’m glad Trumps followers are morons. They openly planned this, they didn’t wear masks, they had no real plans, and then they bragged about it on social media. It makes it easier to identify and punish them.

No amount of planning would have permanently damaged democracy. If Trump had gotten some military support, we would have seen a literal civil war as loyalist branches of the military destroyed traitors. We actually saw this in 1860.

Executed politicians would be replaced. Democracy would have been extremely damaged as we would have to oversee numerous “mid-term” elections, and we would have lost many capable elected politicians, plus democracy would be “on hold” as the House and Senate might not even be able to make quorum (and if they could, that would be distorted, as one party would have been nearly wiped out).

Classified data has been stolen before. The country would be damaged but would persevere.

If Trump had spent four years planning a coup (or more accurately, a competent leader) then democracy would have been in far more trouble. Such a situation would probably result in the permanent cancellation of elections (I think I saw this plot element in Escape from LA, The Handmaid’s Tale, and so forth) and we saw this in Egypt recently (the “wrong” people won so the military kicked them out, and of course there have been no elections since).

But even if someone had spent time plotting a coup, its still my understanding that you need the military or secret police in your pocket to really stage a coup. Trump has neither. Even if you had a more competent leader I don’t know if they would actually be able to win over the military leaders to join them.

It has already damaged democracy; the fact that it happened has further damaged democracy. We are fortunate that nothing extreme happened so as to set off a desire for an extreme counter-reaction.

If this republic is to survive, we will have to achieve a few important things that are going to be very difficult to achieve. One of them - our first priority - is making Americans believe it has a really good chance at a quality lifestyle again. Not a guarantee of a nanny state from cradle to grave, but we have to restore the idea that if you get a basic education and training, and work hard, that you can have a shot at a small house with a yard and a dog - or at least a comfy apartment to live in. And that you won’t go broke from hospital bills or bettering yourself through education.

But the other thing we have to achieve requires international partnerships and trust, and that is dealing with climate change, which is going to fuck with us in ways we cannot possibly imagine. It doesn’t matter whether we are the “winners” in climate change – even if we are, we will be dealing with pressures of mass migration from all the people leaving places that are getting destroyed by climate change. This will happen very, very suddenly. And it will have profound impacts on us, and other countries. It will be a shock event. Meanwhile, we’re still trying to pull up our trousers in dealing with this internal division shit.

The pressures on democracy are going to be tremendous, because there will be tremendous pressure for someone to do something to alleviate the pain that many of us will be feeling.