The crisis isn’t just that we had a coup attempt almost a year ago, but that the Republican party has itself become so venal, so corrupt, so ruthless in its quest for power, that it seems assured that we will see further attempts to overrule any election outcomes they don’t like. Already the kind of election laws they’ve pushed across the country seem aimed at such goals, and voter suppression has long been one of their anti-democratic tactics (it played a substantial role in Trump’s 2016 win, and the genuine illegitimacies of that election – foreign interference, anomalies the recount might have uncovered had the Republicans not stopped it – were appropriated as false claims for 2020).
The Republicans made a devil’s bargain decades ago, when they decided that they would not change course to win the votes of an increasingly nonwhite, increasingly progressive people, but would try to suppress those who would vote against them. That is, they pitted themselves against democracy as participatory government and free and fair elections. The rhetoric of the far right makes it clear they are fearful and know their power will ebb if they cannot command and subvert the laws and elections of this nation, and they are aiming at some form of minority rule.
That’s perfectly clear from their attack on the constitutional process unfolding that afternoon of 6 January, which was itself a refusal to accept a loss. The refusal to recognize the authority of Congress by Trump associates, including Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows, is a further sign of their belief, emboldened by Trump’s four years of criming in public, that they make their own rules. Both have been found in contempt of Congress.