Last week's attack on the capitol building in Washington was bad and could have been much worse based on what we've learned since then, but there are more potential plots to overthrow the government according to officials who briefed House Democrats.
One potential scenario out of three plots that security officials briefed members of Congress on is a plan to essentially blockade the capitol by force.
The first is a demonstration billed as the “largest armed protest ever to take place on American soil.”
Another is a protest in honor of Ashli Babbitt, the woman killed while trying to climb into the Speaker’s Lobby during Wednesday’s pro-Trump siege of the Capitol.
And another demonstration, which three members said was by far the most concerning plot, would involve insurrectionists forming a perimeter around the Capitol, the White House and the Supreme Court, and then blocking Democrats from entering the Capitol ― perhaps even killing them ― so that Republicans could take control of the government.
The final plot to surround the capitol also calls for blocking or killing Republicans who didn't support Trump's coup according to Capitol Police officials.
It sounds almost too fantastical to believe, or at least it did until last week. In any case, officials are taking the threat very seriously now.
Representative Conor Lamb (D-PA), who was among those briefed by officials yesterday, appeared on CNN this morning where he said rules of engagement have been established for police and National Guard members guarding the capitol.
"They were talking about 4,000 armed 'patriots' to surround the Capitol and prevent any Democrat from going in," Rep. Conor Lamb, a Pennsylvania Democrat, told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day." "They have published rules of engagement, meaning when you shoot and when you don't. So this is an organized group that has a plan. They are committed to doing what they're doing because I think in their minds, you know, they are patriots and they're talking about 1776 and so this is now a contest of wills."
Even if the presence of armed troops outside the capitol effectively deters and discourages organizers from implementing these plans, I think we can say that this isn't going to go away.
They may not surround the capitol next week, but right wing domestic terrorism and violence will be a problem for many years to come and it will not exclusively target Democrats. The cult of the Red Hats is radicalized, heavily armed, and swimming in their own delusions of conspiracy and grandeur.
Emphasis on delusion. If you read the reports of their arrests, many of the people who participated in last week's attack are not average working Americans struggling to get by in a harsh world. Some of them are young men living with their parents. Some of them are executives. Some of them are state lawmakers. One group of them flew to Washington on a private jet to kickstart their revolution. What they all have in common is they've been brainwashed by right wing media and the echo chamber of Facebook.