It always struck me how easy it was supposed to be
for Layton to achieve it. If you think that he was an incompetant delusional idiot, then this thread ends here. But if you assume that someone in his position would be intelligent and experienced, then you have to wonder how did he plan to achieve it?
What we know is: He has a bunch of kids on his side, one Captain in charge of Starfleet Security, and one Captain on a starship that's more loyal than others (this assumes there are other officers loyal to him).
Since Benteen is the only one there to help, we can assume that others either weren't highly placed or were at other strategic locations throughout the Federation. However, if this was the case, why didn't he have more ships in Sol just in case of rebellion? One can only assume that he didn't have enough "others" that were loyal and couldn't afford to have more than one ship around Sol.
Layton also doesn't seem to have enough pull to arrange for Benteen to have a more powerful ship assigned to her. She instead gets an old rust bucket that has to be upgraded in order to be some kind of threat.
With this situation in mind, how did he plan to confront the rest of Starfleet? With the power that Starfleet has, I can see the president being no challenge, but how was he going to convince at least a 1000 other Captains that include officers like Picard to come to his side? Are people like Picard and Sisko simply outlying cases, and are other officers more hawkish like the captain of Phoenix and Jellico were?
Did he really believe that chain of command was enough? And if he did, what was he going to do with his superiors? Fleet Admiral Nechayev woud be demoted/imprisoned?
I was always thoroughly confused by the episode. Perhaps it should have been a 3 parter.