What Got Us Through 2021

A collage featuring former U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill's MSNBC backdrop that earned her a 10/10 score from Room Raters, Adele's "30" abulm, cover art from the single "Nothing Else Matters" by Miley Cyrus, cover art for the "You're Wrong About" podcast, a map of Indiana's 7th congresional district, Democracy Docket's "I FIGHT FOR VOTING RIGHTS" mug filled with hot coffee, and a thumbail from the Tik Tok account "SCOTUS Blog"

2021 wasn’t an easy year by any means. While we hoped that the pandemic would be a relic of the year prior, it ravaged on in 2021. Offices remained closed, social circles smaller and once again, we negotiated a new understanding of what it means to be together, while apart. 

At the same time, Republican legislators across the country introduced hundreds of new voter suppression bills and all 50 states embarked on the once-a-decade redistricting process, determining political representation for the next 10 years. 

While it is friends and family that lift us up during the toughest of times, on the last day of the year, we also wanted to reflect on what inspired and entertained us through 2021. 

First up, Marc’s favorites. While fighting in court (and in the court of public opinion, on Twitter) can be exhausting, here are some of the motivators that kept him going. 

Best Album: Glow On (Turnstile) and Keys (Alicia Keys)

Turnstile’s latest that keeps you on your toes and Alicia, of course. 

Best Song: Nothing Else Matters (Miley Cyrus) and Waiting on a War (Foo Fighters)

The Best of Both Worlds! 

Best Books: 

The Broken Constitution: Lincoln, Slavery, and the Refounding of America

A tale of how the highly revered president continually violated the U.S. Constitution.

The Original Meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment: Its Letter and Spirit

Due process, equal protection and the power to protect individual rights from the states.

1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed

Invasion, revolt, earthquakes and drought — a chronicle of the interconnected failures that led to the “First Dark Ages.”

Best Movie: The Velvet Underground

Bringing the story of a band that changed the world right to your living room.

Favorite Emoji: 👀

So much meaning, so few words.

Best Twitter Accounts: 


Much needed comic relief for when Twitter (and life) is just too much.  


A basketball star with big opinions.


A personal hero and inspiration, always.

Best Podcasts:


Diving deeper into the news.


The extraordinary stories of ordinary court cases.

Hidden Brain

A glimpse into human behavior…beware.

Best Newsletters: 

Letters from an American

A professor of American history uses the past to help us understand the present.

The Message Box

For the political junkies.

Best Background via Room Rater: Jon Meacham

A historian’s attention to detail translates into strong interior design.

Favorite Democracy Docket Merch Item: Democracy’s Favorite Dog Bandana

In this fight, we need all paws on deck!

Now, some favorites from the Democracy Docket team. Here’s what got us through a long year, fueling our fight for democracy every day. 

Best Album: 30 (Adele)

We’ve been waiting for six years.

Best Song: good 4 u 

Olivia Rodrigo brought the teenage angst we missed.

Best Binge-Worthy TV Show: Ted Lasso

Even Mitt Romney’s Halloween impersonation can’t ruin it.

Best Podcast: You’re Wrong About

Questioning the historical and pop culture myths we assume to be true.

Best Tik Tok Account: SCOTUSblog

Useful information on a platform we barely understand.

Best State Legislature Website: Texas

At least they did one thing right.

Worst State Legislature Website: Alabama and New Jersey

In need of an interface update.

Best Court Website: Ohio Supreme Court 

The live streaming quality, the detailed case summaries, the functional docket where you can access every single filing — what’s not to love?!

Best Congressional District Shape: Indiana 7th

A near-perfect square.

Worst Congressional District Shape: Texas 33rd

What is that?

Best Background via Room Rater: Claire McCaskill 

Would love a baking lesson from the former senator!

Favorite Democracy Docket Merch Item: Mug

Gotta stay caffeinated while you’re fighting to save democracy. 

Best Places to Give: 

Run for Something

Recruiting and supporting young, diverse progressives to run for key positions. 

EMILY’s List

Electing pro-choice women to office is more important than ever.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

Keeping the only party that supports democracy in control of Congress.