Now, let’s get into last night’s debates, because there were several that made news, even if only one was the political equivalent of the Hindenburg disaster. That was the Pennsylvania Senate debate between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Right off the bat, let me state something that’s getting buried: Dr. Oz did very well. He came across as serious, well-prepared, articulate and sincere in both his conservative principles and his desire to serve the voters and help get America back on the right course. And he kept his cool and his patience when dealing with a very trying opponent, which is a key aspect of the job. He should make a fine Senator for Pennsylvania. And judging from the huge post-debate surge in his direction on the electoral betting markets, that just became the most likely outcome.
As for Fetterman, where to start? His campaign tried desperately to lower expectations before the debate, but the universal consensus is that they didn’t lower them nearly enough. His very first words to the audience were, “Hi. Good night, everybody.” And unlike Groucho Marx singing, “Hello, I must be going,” it wasn’t a joke. In fact, it was all downhill from there.
His answers were so incoherent that after the moderator asked why Fetterman hadn’t released his medical records, his follow-up question was to simply repeat the original question, in hopes that a second stab at it might actually produce an answer.
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Twice during the debate, Fetterman burst out with interruptions of Oz, including shouting, “You want to cut Social Security!” during Oz’s closing statement, a major breach of debate rules. This implies that he’s not only suffering cognitive and communications problems, but also a lack of self-control.
I’m not even going to try typing out all the baffling word salad answers (the ZeroHedge blog compiled a lot of clips in the link above), but suffice to say that Fetterman doesn’t merely have a minor auditory problem. He cannot communicate coherently, and apparently isn’t even aware that what he’s saying is gibberish.
I’m not criticizing him for that. The man had a stroke and is obviously not well. I sincerely pray for him to make a full recovery, but it’s obvious now that he’s far from that point. He should be concentrating on recuperation and therapy. The people around him should be making that a priority instead of pressing him into a stressful political campaign for a demanding job like United States Senator that he’s clearly not capable of handling.
Even many liberal commentators had to admit they were shocked by how badly Fetterman did, calling it sad, painful and embarrassing to watch, and saying that people who criticized NBC reporter Dasha Burns for mentioning his problems during their interview owe her an apology.
Despite that televised disaster, Fetterman’s supporters are trying desperately to spin it as a win. His campaign claims he did “remarkably well,” better than he did during the primary, and they’re “thrilled” with his performance (bear in mind, these people have had a LOT of experience lying in recent months.) Some are accusing those who expressed shock at his condition of being “ableist,” since calling someone an “-ist” of some sort is their go-to response when they’ve got nothing else.
For the record: it’s not “ableist” to reject someone for a job who is obviously unable to do that job. It would be ableist to deny someone a desk job because he’s in a wheelchair. It would be insane to hire that person as an NFL running back.
Fetterman tried to blame his poor performance on the giant monitor showing him the questions, claiming it had typos, errors and glitches. But the questions weren't the problem; it was his answers that were full of typos, errors and glitches. Besides, the moderator rejected that claim, saying that the monitors (which were installed to help Fetterman) performed as planned, and that Fetterman was given two chances to rehearse with them, but took only one.
In the end, no amount of spinning, denials or appeals for sympathy can overcome the now glaringly obvious fact that Fetterman cannot serve in the US Senate. And shame on the people who are pressuring and exploiting him and trying to bamboozle Pennsylvania voters just because they’re so hungry for power.
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