By Isaac Schorr and Brittany Bernstein, National Review
While Democrats have spent much of the past year attempting to use the horror of the January 6 Capitol riot for political gain, they still managed to raise the bar for distasteful behavior in marking the one-year anniversary of the insurrection last week.
At least 13 Democratic elected officials or candidates used the anniversary as an occasion to fundraise, including Representative Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), who described being trapped in the House gallery as insurrectionists invaded the Capitol and recalled “fearing for my life and preparing for a fight as they pounded on the door.” She then asked for donations.
“I am grateful that I reached safety later that day, but our democracy is far from safe,” she wrote. “Trump and his Republican allies continue to peddle dangerous misinformation about our elections. They continue to attack our democracy. And they continue to introduce anti-voting bills — including more than 400 nationwide last year. We must respond with the urgency necessary. That’s why I’m continuing my call for the Senate to immediately reform the filibuster, pass voting rights legislation, and protect our democracy.”
She asks readers to “join me in the fight to pass historic voting rights legislation through the Senate with a $3 contribution,” warning that “our democracy is on the line.”
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, Representative Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and Representative Val Demings of Florida all sent similar missives using the anniversary of the riot to fundraise, as did at least six Democratic groups, including the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
However, for all of their concern about the chance of a Capitol-riot repeat, Democrats have largely been unwilling to review the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which lays out the process for certifying the results of presidential elections. Some Republicans have proposed getting Congress out of election certification entirely by altering or eliminating the ECA, thereby reducing the danger that a majority party could disregard the will of the American people in favor of its preferred candidate. Liberal Democrats have refused to engage with those Republicans on what appears to be common ground, insisting instead that Congress must pass their more expansive voting legislation, which would federalize elections and override state laws.
Aside from using the anniversary as a chance to fundraise and to push their voting legislation, Democrats also made the cringe-worthy decision to invite the cast of the Broadway hit Hamilton to perform at a ceremony marking the anniversary. The cast performed Dear Theodosia, which is sung in the show by Aaron Burr to his infant daughter.
“We’re all stewards of the American experiment, working to pass down to our children and our grandchildren a more perfect union that treats all its citizens with fairness and equity,” playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda said before the performance at the January 6 event. “We should never take our rights and liberties for granted . . . we must remain committed to finding a way forward together. That’s what I wrote about in the song ‘Dear Theodosia’ from Hamilton. I believe no challenge is worth abandoning our efforts to unite as Americans. We will keep working generation after generation until we reach that someday.”
“Having a real hard time coming to grips with the deadly riot being commemorated by ‘Dear Theodosia,’” the New York Times’ Evan Hill tweeted in response.
“Makes sense. Both are political theater,” former U.S. diplomat Alberto Miguel Fernandez wrote