By now, even if you didn’t watch last night’s debate between Pennsylvania Senate candidates John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz, you know exactly how it went. You knew how it was gonna go well before it happened.

Needless to say, it went badly for Fetterman. Very badly. As in, not even some of his most knee-jerk defenders could ignore how badly it went. Axios’ assessment of the debate touched on the negative quite a bit.

“Complete ad utter train wreck” would also work.

Axios’ article focuses on Fetterman’s performance in the context of his health issues. And much of what’s in the article is criticism — from both sides — not only of the decision to put Fetterman out there, but the decision to have Fetterman run in the first place. Still, Fetterman does have some defenders. One of them is a “senior Democratic official” quoted by Axios:

The other side: Other stalwart Fetterman defenders argued that, despite the debate stumble, they gave him credit for at least showing up.

  • A senior Democratic official in Pennsylvania told Axios: “I wished Fetterman was in a better place to clap back. Overall, I argue it wasn’t great for us but still a draw. Remember in these next few weeks that Oz’s campaign is spending tens of millions of dollars against a man with a major medical condition.”

Let’s look at that for a second:

How dare Dr. Oz campaign against a man with a major medical condition?!

We have to assume that that senior Democratic official wasn’t trying to make Fetterman look bad … but that’s exactly what he did.

Apparently that senior Democratic official wants us to think that Oz is supposed to go easy on Fetterman. Because, as we all know, men who grab their shotgun and chase down unarmed black joggers are very vulnerable and don’t deserve to be challenged.

That’s exactly the message that’s being communicated in that quote. “Dr. Oz should be ashamed of himself for treating John Fetterman like he would any other debate opponent instead of treating him with kid gloves and totally ignoring Fetterman’s … major medical condition.” What?

Fetterman’s devoted army of defenders wants to have their cake and eat it, too. They’re willing to acknowledge his major medical condition, but only if the opposition doesn’t focus on the fact that he has a major medical condition. If they do, then Fetterman is a victim of cruel, ableist bullies.

Do they not realize how insane they sound?

“John Fetterman is a brave behemoth of a man! And also he’s a victim who deserves to be coddled like the precious porcelain doll that he is.”

If is the best Team Fetterman’s got to offer, maybe they’re suffering from a major medical condition of their own. Severe brain inactivity, perhaps.


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