It's true what they say — no good deed goes unpunished.
At least, that's what the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee — responsible for "flipping state houses from red to blue," writes Politico — learned the hard way, after attempts to shame GOP lawmakers who attended the Jan. 6 Capitol riot into resigning had almost the opposite effect of what they'd hoped.
The DLCC ultimately found that of the 21 lawmakers nationwide they identified as insurrectionists (and the other almost 600 that promoted "Stop the Steal" rhetoric or called to overturn the 2020 election), "many of the names on the list avoided pushback from party leaders in their state, grew their political platform and online following," and in at least three instances are now campaigning for statewide office having aligned themselves with former President Donald Trump, reports Politico.
"In terms of seeing any difference on the ground," said DLCC National Press Secretary Christina Polizzi, "the only thing that we can point to is awareness of who these legislators are, but I don't think that it has changed Republicans one iota."
And for one particular Pennsylvania state senator — Doug Mastriano (R), who the DLCC called out as having attended Jan. 6, "his street cred went up," said Jay Costa, Democratic minority leader in the Pennsylvania state Senate. "There's no question."
As time went on, Mastriano faced no pushback and instead began "building a following, behaving more and more like the former president," writes Politico.
The DLCC was just as appalled when John J. McGuire III, a GOP member of Virginia's House of Delegates, felt comfortable telling The Washington Post he was at the Capitol on Jan. 6, although he did not go inside.
"A lot of these folks felt covered," said DLCC President Jessica Post. "This is today's Republican Party." Read more at Politico.