The Naked Jan. 6 Political Calculation

Democrats spend money to put riot participants on the ballot in November

Jan. 6 Capitol rioters / Getty Images

As the Jan. 6 hearings roll on, we are awash in professions of Democrats' deep concern for the health of our democracy. Committee chairman Bennie Thompson (D., Miss.) kicked things off on Thursday talking about the "domestic enemies of the Constitution" who "put two and a half centuries of constitutional democracy at risk."

So it's puzzling that Democrats are shelling out millions of dollars to help some of those very people secure a spot on the ballot in the upcoming midterm elections. You got that right: The same folks droning on about the existential danger of former President Donald Trump are boosting some of his most fervent supporters—in a couple of cases, men who literally marched on the Capitol on Jan. 6—because they think it'll help Democrats in November.

In Pennsylvania, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Josh Shapiro, spent more money on a single ad boosting one of the Republican candidates, Doug Mastriano, than Mastriano's entire television budget. Mastriano, of course, spent thousands of dollars in campaign funds to bus supporters to the "Stop the Steal" rally. He is now the GOP gubernatorial nominee, and while the Republican Governors Association hasn't endorsed him, the Democrats are all in.

Out in Colorado, Democrats are boosting nutjobs in the Republican Senate and gubernatorial primaries. A Democratic super PAC spent $800,000 in a single week to buoy state representative and Senate candidate Ron Hanks, another diehard Donald Trump fan who showed up for the former president's last stand at the Ellipse. Hanks, who would face off against Sen. Michael Bennet (D.), also supports a blanket ban on abortion, so remember that the next time you hear a hysterical Democrat on the airwaves.

Elsewhere in the Centennial State, Democrats have reserved $1.5 million in airtime to boost a local mayor and 2020 election conspiracy theorist, Greg Lopez, in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Lopez doesn't think we'll ever know who won that election: "I mean, people are still questioning and debating what happened with the Kennedy assassination, what happened with other major situations, right?"

This strategy has backfired as recently as 2016, when Hillary Clinton and her allies sought to bolster Trump in the primary. (Adviser Neera Tanden rejoiced over how "easy" it would be for Hillary to defeat him.)

Democrats should be careful what they wish for — and, in the meantime, spare us their primetime pablum.