Efforts to overturn the next US presidential election will likely be much better planned and more coordinated than was witnessed in the run up to the storming of the Capitol a year ago today, analysts told Sputnik.
The January 6, 2020 attack on the US Capitol, which aimed to block vote certification, came after failed efforts by the Trump campaign to reverse the presidential election results through the court system.
Despite this failure, which included losing over 50 lawsuits, the grueling ordeal shined a bright light on an archaic US electoral college system and vote certification process amenable to manipulation.
PERFECTING THE PROCESS: THE LEGAL PATHS
One strategy to steal the election that opened eyes was put forth by Trump legal adviser John Eastman in a two-page memorandum which argued that then-Vice President Mike Pence, in his role as head of the US Senate, had the legal authority to reverse the outcome.
“Skeptics argued the so-called coup was no more than a riot by right-wing nuts,” historian and political commentator Dan Lazare told Sputnik. “But subsequent disclosures such as Trump adviser John Eastman’s six-step memo on how to overturn the vote have put all speculation to rest. The attempted coup may not have been very competent. But it was still quite real, and the only lesson Republicans have learned is that next time they should do better.”
This is why, Lazare added, a similar incident is likely in 2024, “one that’s more efficient, better planned, and more thoroughly mapped out.”
Immediately flooding the legal system with challenges is also an approach that will work in favor of the party of Lincoln, Lazare added.
“If enough are tied up in court by the time it comes for Congress to certify the results, then the contest will wind up in the House where the voting will proceed on a state-by-state basis as mandated by the Twelfth Amendment and where Republicans enjoy a built-in advantage because they control a majority of state delegations,” Lazare explained.
Independent Institute for Liberty and Peace Director Ivan Eland also believes a repeat is highly possible.
“The same kind of incident, or worse could happen again… but if Congress changes the 1887 law governing the counting of electoral votes and makes other voting changes, it will be less likely,” Eland told Sputnik.
American University History Professor Peter Kuznick sees all the “ingredients” are in place for another chaotic election outcome.
“The Republicans in the red states have been putting mechanisms and laws in place to limit potentially Democratic voting,” Kuznick said.
Moreover, he added, they are trying to give state legislatures the power to “disregard and overrule the popular will in allocating electoral votes.”
Experts also fear the same factors that propelled the violent physical attack on the Capitol last January – such as disunity and extremism – are even worse now.
California State University Political Science Professor Beau Grosscup said it is clear the US has become more divided a year after the storming of the Capitol. In fact, Grosscup said he believes January 6 was just a “trial run.”
In addition, the attack and Trump’s rhetoric has encouraged right wing extremists, Grosscup told Sputnik. The professor also claimed Trump made martyrs of the rioters and convinced many the state was illegitimately captured.
“If they make major inroads into the military command structure they would have the final tool for their assault,” Grosscup warned. “On the other hand, those with the levers of power at this moment still have a chance to stall the more dangerous ‘process’ efforts now underway.”
Political analyst and former hedge fund manager Charles Ortel expressed concerns about the extremists on both ends of the political spectrum who are frustrated with the unregulated globalism which has benefited the crony capitalists and the political donor class.
“This gnawing anxiety triggers lefties to embrace a theory that socialism or even communism will work in America,” Ortel said. “And, a feeling that the system is rigged against the common person also animates those who bet on Trump to bring ‘deep state’ proponents of corrupt globalism to justice.”
The real threat posed to “order,” Ortel suggested, is when Trump supporters find common cause with supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders, as they may on many national security, civil rights and “foreign entanglement issues.”
Lazare is worried about any scenario in which an election is hijacked – be it via legal process or brute force.
“The autogolpistas will succeed whether or not a raging mob gathers on Capitol Hill. Whether the results are quasi or pseudo-constitutional will be unclear,” Lazare said. “But it won’t matter because America’s 18th-century plan of government will be so broken down by that point that it will be impossible to tell. The only thing that will be clear is that the age of democracy is rapidly fading.”