Opinion | Jan. 6 Proved the Durability of the Constitution — and the Continuing Need to Defend It


The Jan. 6 riot was a disgrace. But, in a certain sense, it was almost beside the point.

At the end of the day, the QAnon shaman and Co. were never going to be able to hold the Capitol and take over the U.S. government; they weren’t even going to be able to stop, rather than delay for several hours, the counting of the electoral votes in the 2020 election. Even if members of Congress for some reason couldn’t have gotten back into the chambers, they would have convened in some other place and finished the count anyway.

The more direct threat to the election was the spurious legal arguments advanced to try to convince Vice President Mike Pence that he had the unilateral power to resolve the counting of electoral votes in President Donald Trump’s favor, despite his loss. One point of the riot was to further pressure Pence (“Hang Mike Pence!”), but much of the lobbying took

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