DemDaily: The Stories of 2021

January 5, 2022

It was a historically challenging year for Americans and our democracy.

These are just a few of the 250 articles and dozens of topics we covered over 2021 in our mission to educate, inform and connect allies and the electorate on the politics, players and issues of the day.

If you appreciate the free Daily political column, please contribute here to help DemList continue our work.

The 117th Congress
The 117th Congress, the most diverse in history, was sworn in January 3rd. Nancy Pelosi, the first female Speaker of the House, was elected to her fourth term with the gavel.
January 3: DemDaily: The Opening Week of the 117th Congress
April 12: DemDaily: The Composition of Congress. The Breakdown

Democrats Win Control of the US Senate
Democrats won both January 5th Georgia Senate runoff elections, giving them control of the US Senate.

Georgia was also the final holdout in the presidential election, confirming victory for Joe Biden on November 19th. Trump’s efforts to pressure the Georgia Secretary of State to "find” the votes necessary to overturn the outcome were later cited in his impeachment.
January 6: DemDaily: Democrats Flip Georgia: Trifecta

The Attack on the US Capitol
On January 6th, as members of Congress met to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, Trump supporters, at the behest of the President, violently breached the US Capitol. The Casualties: 200+ assaulted, 138 law enforcement injured, and ultimately nine dead, including five Capitol Hill police officers.

The subsequent investigation by the Department of Justice, the largest in its history, has so far resulted in over 700 people being charged for crimes connected to the insurrection.
January 7: DemDaily: The Last 24 Hours of History
May 20: DemDaily: The Capitol Attack: Aftermath and Accountability

Inauguration of the 46th President
Joseph Robinette Biden is sworn in as President and Kamala Harris as the first woman, and first person of color, as Vice President. Biden's Cabinet is the most diverse in history.
January 20: DemDaily: Democracy Has Prevailed
March 31: DemDaily: The Confirmation Count. Rounding Out The Cabinet

Trump Impeached
The US House of Representatives impeached President Donald J. Trump for "High Crimes and Misdemeanors," in inciting the insurrection at the Capitol, making him only the third US President to be impeached, and the only one to be so condemned twice. After four days of public hearings, the Senate acquitted Trump.
January 13: DemDaily: Impeached
February 13: DemDaily: Hypocrisy and History

The Pandemic
2021 started with US coronavirus cases surpassing the 20 million mark January 1st, and 345,000 deaths.

The Biden administration, from day one, aggressively attacked the pandemic through implementation of a national coronavirus policy, executive orders and relief legislation, including passage of the American Rescue Plan in March.

The crisis, which continues to dominate the national agenda and everyday lives of Americans, was also weaponized over the last year as a prop of political division on civil, legal and individual rights.
March 9: DemDaily: Help Is On The Way. The American Rescue Plan
April 7: DemDaily: Biden's Battle. Against COVID
August 6: DemDaily: The Moratoriam's Moral Imperative
September 13: DemDaily: The COVID Count: Who Are The Unvaccinated?

Game of Guns
2021 saw another record year of gun-related deaths and violence.
The Stats: 44,789 gun violence deaths, including 20,669 homicide or murders, 24,090 suicides, 693 mass shootings. Children aged 0-11: 310 killed, 746 injured. Teens aged 12-17: 1,227 killed, 3,369 injured.
March 18: DemDaily: Game of Guns
October 21: DemDaily: Gun Violence in America. The Status

Status of Hate
There was a rise in hate groups activity and crimes under Trump's tenure, followed by a 149% increase in attacks against Asian Americans fueled by Trump's racist rhetoric regarding the "Kung Flu" pandemic. As a result, in May, Congress passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act.

Congress also censured two of its own for their incendiary statements and endorsements of political violence.
May 19: DemDaily: The Status of Hate
November 18: DemDaily: Censured
December 9: DemDaily: The Threat Within

Racial Injustice
The tragic death of George Floyd in 2020 ignited the largest civil rights uprising in decades and forced a nation to reckon with its record on racial injustice. In the wake of the protests over Floyd's death and those of other black people at the hand of white police officers, over 3,000 police reform bills were proposed across the country. On March 3rd, the US House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021. The legislation died in the Senate.
April 21: DemDaily: Guilty
May 5: DemDaily: One Year Later

Afghanistan
On April 14th, President Biden announced that all American troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the 20-year anniversary of 9/11, bringing to an end our nation’s “Longest War.”
April 20: DemDaily: The Longest War
July 23: DemDaily: Leaving Afghanistan Behind

January 6th Committee: After the Insurrection
Six months after the Capitol insurrection, The United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, commissioned by Congress in May, held its first public hearing. The Committee has so far received over 35,000 documents, interviewed more than 300 witnesses, issued 50+ subpoenas, and held two former Trump advisors in contempt of Congress for failing to cooperate.
July 20: DemDaily: The Capitol Attack: Aftermath and Accountability
July 28: DemDaily: The Capitol Attack: Following The Facts
October 22: DemDaily: Update On The Insurrection
December 17: DemDaily: Update On The Insurrection

Restricting the Right To Vote
Fueled by Trump’s “Big Lie” regarding false claims of voter fraud, 2021 saw a sweeping number of restrictive voting laws passed in Republican legislatures across the country. Some 19 states passed 34 new laws last year that make it harder to vote. The most symbolic of battles was that of Texas Democrats' unsuccessful effort to block passage of an extreme voter suppression bill by fleeing to Washington to escape quorum for the vote.

The US House passed voting rights legislation with the For The People Act (March 3) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (August 24), but both were blocked in the US Senate.
March 29: DemDaily: Bullies at the Ballot Box
June 10: DemDaily: Restricting The Right to Vote
July 13: DemDaily: Protecting The Right To Vote. Texas Democrats’ Flight and Fight
August 12: DemDaily: What is the Voting Rights Act? History, Prologue, Postscript
August 27: DemDaily: In The Name of John Lewis

Supreme Court
The impact of the Supreme Court's new 6-3 conservative majority was felt in seismic rulings in 2021, touching on nearly every issue of American life. Following a wave of extreme anti-abortion laws passed in red states, designed to challenge Roe v. Wade, the High Court has now established a path to overturning the landmark ruling.

April 6: DemDaily: SCOTUS: Decisions On The Docket
June 21: DemDaily: Decisions: ACA, Religious Freedom, Athletes
July 2: DemDaily: SCOTUS Decisions: Voting Rights, Money and Trump
June 29: DemDaily: Decisions: LGBTQ, Free Speech, Property, Police
August 26: DemDaily: SCOTUS Upholds “Extreme & Irreversible Harm”
October 5: DemDaily: Decisions On The Docket
December 3: DemDaily: SCOTUS: Debating Liberty
December 13: DemDaily: Measuring Madness

Census and Redistricting
After being historically delayed by the pandemic and the Trump administration, the first 2020 census numbers, used to redraw congressional and legislative districts nationwide, were released in April.
April 28: DemDaily: Census Reshuffles Congress
September 21: DemDaily: Deciphering The Census, A Snapshot
September 22: DemDaily: Download On Redistricting

Winners and Losers
In addition to the early Georgia Senate runoffs, there were two gubernatorial, one state recall, seven congressional special elections and hundreds of municipal, legislative and local elections up in 40 states. Then there were the retirements and resignations...
March 10: DemDaily: On The Ballot: In Your State in 2021
July 7: DemDaily: New York: Final Election Results!
August 11: DemDaily: Cuomo: Time’s Up
August 25: DemDaily: Departing The House: Retirements and Special Elections
September 15: DemDaily: Newsom Wins Gold. Recall Election Results
October 25: DemDaily: 2021: Where Women Are Running
November 3: DemDaily: 2021: Tuesday's Election Results

Biden Agenda
While the 50-50 Senate and the filibuster continue to put a stranglehold on many of President Biden's priorities, he can claim victory in a number of areas, including the COVID relief bill, getting 72% of American adults vaccinated, and an unemployment rate of 4.2%.

Biden's signature $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure law was a victory for his administration and Americans, along with his renewed international leadership in the climate crisis. Biden's confirmation rate of federal judges exceeds that of any president in 40 years and "Juneteenth," marking the end of slavery in the United States, is now an official holiday. TBD: The fate of Biden's social spending bill, the Build Back Better Act, which the House passed in November.
January 25: DemDaily: Reversing History. Biden First Orders
March 12: DemDaily: Signed, Sealed, Delivered
April 30: DemDaily: Breaking Down Biden's First 100 Days
June 16: DemDaily: What is Juneteenth?
November 16: DemDaily: Rebuilding “The Backbone of This Nation.” Breaking Down the Infrastructure Bill
November 22: DemDaily: What The Build Back Better Act Means For You
December 1: DemDaily: The Confirmation Count: Biden's Bench

Nature’s Fury
Last year's disasters are proof the climate crisis is intensifying, with crippling heatwaves, floods, massive storms and wildfires across the United States and the globe. In one of his first orders, President Biden rejoined the landmark Paris Agreement, and in November, joined other world leaders at COP26 in Scotland to establish historic new goals to limit global warming.
April 22: DemDaily: Back In The Game. Planet Earth
November 15: DemDaily: COP26: The Final Outcome

The Closing Count
Two years into the pandemic, and with the emergence of the Delta variant in June and the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant in December, the year closed with 50.35 million Americans infected and over 800,000 dead.
December 16: DemDaily: The COVID Count

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