Democrats Did Well with the January 6th Committee

Eric Medlin
4 min readJul 27, 2022

It won’t save the world on it’s own. But the Democrats performed better than most had expected.

The January 6th committee in June. Source: NPR

The January 6th committee wrapped up its first set of hearings last week. This latest round was just as newsworthy as the committee’s previous televised meetings. Members heard testimony from two Trump aids who resigned in disgust after January 6th. They shared harrowing stories of Secret Service members fearful that they would be murdered in the course of duty. The committee even went viral with a video of Missouri Senator Josh Hawley running away from a mob he had egged on just hours before. In all, the committee made further progress in its efforts to find out what happened that day and to hold at least some of the perpetrators responsible.

Critics have charged that the committee can never meet its true objective: putting the one man who prompted the riot in jail. Donald Trump has so far evaded dozens of attempts to investigate his conduct and hold him accountable for misdeeds. He is preparing to run for president again and politically taint any attempts to probe into his role in the 2021 riot. In addition to not holding Trump accountable, critics believe that it has also failed at changing the political calculus in this country. The committee was supposed to aid Democrats by showing the Republican Party as a lawless cabal whose reckless rhetoric and coddling of extremists led to a deadly assault on democracy. But every day brings the country a new poll spelling disaster for Democrats in the 2022 midterms.

The January 6th committee is far from perfect. It will certainly not end poverty, disease, war, or many of the other forces which afflict humanity. It also may not overcome the historical forces that doom presidents in their midterm elections. But the committee’s actions are still a success for a Democratic Party which needs all of the small victories it can find.

One of the key measures of success for the January 6th Committee was the lack of bloviating House member speeches. In early 2019, observers frequently criticized Democrats for losing the plot of their oversight hearings and descending into bickering and infighting with Republicans. This time around, there was little grandstanding and few attempts at blatant fundraising. In many instances, the focus of the…

Eric Medlin

I’m a writer interested in the intersections of history, ideas, and politics. I publish every week.