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.