|Did it really come this close?|
But they did not come into Jan 6th without a strategy. They did have one very specific thing they were after that they needed the mob's help with: delay. They needed to stop the certification of electoral votes in the hopes that one state, any state, would decertify.
And if you can delay the vote, you give Trump a chance to work over GOP governors in AZ and GA. All he needed was one of them to say "hey, we are concerned enough about voting irregularities that we want to decertify" and you create enough doubt to paralyze Congress.
If you can get the mob to push around a few cops, shove some barriers, even get the cops to fire some tear gas, you can get Congress to delay the vote and flee the building, especially when the Vice President and Secret Service are inside.
What they needed was two things: time and a show of force. A rowdy crowd of thousands outside the Capitol helped them with both of these things. It showed GOP state legislatures how passionate their base was about the issue and could create a security concern that delayed voting.
2) Congress did not delay. To their credit and to the credit of Mike Pence, they refused to walk away and give Trump the time he needed. They reconvened and still certified that day. Without more time, there was nothing the seditionists could do. It was over.
But two things happened that the seditionists did not expect: 1) the mob broke into the Capitol and started hurting cops. Any hope Trump had of getting a governor to decertify was gone when the protest became an unruly mob of would-be terrorists. They became the bad guys.