The Fetterman Mystique

Image may contain Human Person Clothing Apparel Shorts Grass Plant Carrie P. Meek and Nicola Bertram
Bloomberg/Getty Images news photo

John Fetterman, pictured above at a campaign event in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, last month, is, um, not your usual candidate for the U.S. Senate. And that’s a good great thing.

John Fetterman, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate for Pennsylvania, won every county in the state in the primary election yesterday.

I’m glad to know that, since I’ve given more than $200 in small donations to him over time.

I don’t even live in Pennsylvania, so why did I do a little bit to help the Fetterman campaign?

Call it The Fetterman Mystique.

Or, as The Atlantic has put it, “John Fetterman Wins on Vibes.” (The tagline is: “The 6-foot-8 goateed Senate candidate prevailed in the Democratic primary less on the strength of detailed policy proposals than on vibes.”)

While “vibes” certainly are part of the equation of Fetterman’s victory yesterday — the voters were fairly starving for a down-to-earth, genuine candidate for political office, I surmise — I think it would be unfair to say that it was all “vibes.”

No, Fetterman is not a policy wonk, from what I can tell, but I am clear on his key political positions, which include (in no certain order):

  • He opposes the anti-democratic filibuster, which keeps us enslaved in rule by the right-wing minority, and as a U.S. senator he would vote to abolish it.
  • He correctly has called health care a “fundamental human need and right.”
  • On that note, he supports a wealth tax. (This is probably the most immediate, most achievable way to seriously tackle our huge problem of insane income inequality, which to me is our No. 1 problem after climate change.)
  • He supports a $15 minimum wage (at the minimum…).
  • He is pro-choice.
  • He is deeply supportive of those of us who are not heterosexual and/or not gender-conforming.
  • He supports the federal legalization of marijuana.
  • He opposes the death penalty and supports reforming the criminal justice system.
  • Environmental protection is a tough issue in a coal state like Pennsylvania, but he supports a transition toward green and renewable energy.

So there is the head stuff — which also would include the fact that the Democrats need to win every U.S. Senate seat that they possibly can in November in order not only to keep the Senate, but also to expand their majority past DINO “senators” Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin in order to be able to kill the fucking filibuster for fucking once and for fucking all — but yes, there is the heart stuff — the “vibes” — too.

The aforementioned Atlantic article begins:

Even if you don’t know a single policy he supports, chances are good that you know what John Fetterman looks like. Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor is larger than life at 6 foot 8, distinctively bald with a salt-and-pepper goatee, and draped in a baggy shirt or hoodie. Oh, and he’s a shorts guy too.

Fetterman easily won [yesterday’s] Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, and will run in November in a race that could decide control of the chamber. (He experienced a stroke on Friday but says he is expected to make a full recovery.) Some people consider it distasteful to focus on a candidate’s aesthetics over their message, but in Fetterman’s case, aesthetics is part of the message, and the message has resonated with Keystone State voters. …

Sure, Fetterman’s appearance is part of the package, whether he would like it to be or not. Not many of us are 6 feet and 8 inches tall and bald, and Fetterman has what some might call quirks that I like, such as his distain for wearing suits (I also fucking hate wearing suits, as I hate the artificiality of it — I always have found the idea that if you simply don a nice suit, you’re suddenly automatically honest, competent, credible, honorable, etc. to be demonstrably bullshit*).

Further, Fetterman is in my age group — he’s 52 (and will be 53 in August) and I’m 54 — and we Gen Xers largely have been shut out of the halls of power, so Fetterman gives me the sense that someone in my generational cohort can have an influence in the halls of power in D.C. for fucking once. (Yeah, um, the 57-year-old Kamala Harris, an awful, do-nothing politician whose approval rating is only around 40 percent, doesn’t count...)

Will The Fetterman Mystique carry John Fetterman all the way to the U.S. Senate in January 2023? We’ll see.

Fetterman overcame the first considerable obstacle, that of the Democratic Party establishment — the corporate whores who call themselves “Democrats” while selling us, the people, out to the highest bidders — to win the primary, and with his populist “vibe” he won every county in his state yesterday, which seems like a pretty good omen for November to me.

P.S. Also in yesterday’s primary elections, Repugnican U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn lost his primary race. He’s a crazy fucking fascist, but at least he’s pretty; I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t at least nice to look at. (Unfortunately, it’s looking like we’re probably going to be stuck with the dog-ass-ugly crazy fascist Marjorie Taylor Greene for another term.)

Cawthorn’s biggest sin, I believe, was claiming that other Repugnicans in D.C. invited him to cocaine-fueled orgies (I paraphrase…). That, apparently, was the only red (white?) line that could not be crossed.

At least Cawthorn, a Pussygrabberian, has not (yet…) claimed that the election that ousted him from power was “stolen.” Maybe that’s not going to prove to be such a great political tactic in the future.

Anyway, I dunno — it seems to me that if nothing else, Cawthorn has a new career in gay porn if he wants it…

*Here’s a guy in a suit and tie, for instance:

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