There’s a climactic moment in every Lin-Manuel Manuel Miranda production — from Hamilton to In the Heights to Encanto — where a song gets quiet, and the performer (sometimes Miranda, sometimes not) sings in a sort of frenetically loud whisper. It’s like this profoundly earnest moment that combines both heartbreak and deep, heartfelt gratitude. That moment describes my 2021. I love that moment. Even as it has become something of a Lin-Manuel Miranda trope, I will never tire of that moment. All of our ache bubbles up and pours out in that moment. It is transcendent.
But goddamn, it doesn’t belong in the world of politics, and it certainly has no place on the floor of the House of Representatives on January 6th. There aren’t even any of those achy moments in the very sweet “Dear Theodosia,” which is a song that fourth graders learn on ukeleles and play for parents at the end of the school year. That’s an appropriate venue for that song. Marking the year anniversary of a violent staged insurrection by Trump supporters is decidedly not where that song belongs.
Joe Biden at least had the wherewithal to give up on trying to win over these people and give a speech forcefully placing the blame squarely on Donald Trump and his supporters. Nancy Pelosi, on the other hand, brings out Lin-Manuel Miranda for a Zoom rendition of “Dear Theodosia.”
It is beyond embarrassing. This is not a moment for starf**king. It is not a moment for a melancholy Broadway tune. It is a goddamn Axl Rose moment, a time to confront those traitorous insurrectionists and, well, “blow them all away,” rhetorically speaking. This is beyond cringe. It is a profound failure to rise to the occasion.