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It’s that time of year again! Two months from now, the United States will hold a midterm election. Control of the U.S. Senate and House, as well as state and local governments around the country, will be up for grabs, and signs point to a strong red wave year for Republicans. Yet, it appears that the GOP is trying its best to attempt to lose this out of power midterm election. In critical congressional and gubernatorial races around the country, Republican voters have continued to nominate candidates that are so extreme and so out of touch, they might just end up blowing it. So, I want to say thank you to the NRSC (National Republican Senatorial Committee) for picking these candidates. The NRSC is also mysteriously low on cash, and although I have no proof that its chair, Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), embezzled money from the NRSC, he is known for defrauding the Medicare system as CEO of the Columbia/HCA Healthcare company, so I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the money showed up in his bank account. Scott also decided to release a plan to the public that endorsed a five-year sunset provision on all federal laws, which would mean that Social Security and Medicare would end if Congress did not vote to approve it every five years.
However, even without Scott’s greedy hands in the NRSC cookie jar – hey, it’s better than killing Harry Potter’s parents! – the GOP doesn’t appear to be serious about winning this midterm.
For example, in Pennsylvania, the Republican Party has nominated TV doctor (lowercase intentional) Mehmet Oz to take on popular Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman (D-PA). Oz is a proven liar, with over half of the claims on his show being rated “unsubstantiated claims” or “refuted with facts”, including claims that people can take weight loss pills to lose weight fast without diet or exercise, claims that you can cure cancer by eating certain foods and claims that malaria drug hydroxychloroquine can cure COVID-19 (he owns hydroxychloroquine stock, by the way). Oz was forced to admit in front of the Senate that these pills do not work. As a cardiac surgeon, Oz was accused by his colleagues of treating the job like a way to get on television and a former producer of “The Dr. Oz Show” accused him of selling out for fame and money, and even though he’s a physician, he said that the uninsured have “no right to health.” He has also been accused of conducting incredibly cruel medical tests on puppies (don’t look it up).
Oz has also repeatedly flip flopped on the issues, initially being staunchly pro-choice, pro-trans and a friend of socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). After former president Donald Trump’s endorsement, Oz claims to be “pro-life”, has come out against transgender athletes being on sports teams that align with their gender identity, and is running ads against Fetterman that fearmonger about Sanders.
Oz is also incredibly out of touch with Pennsylvania. He lives primarily in his New Jersey mansion, which has served as a background for many of his ads and owns ten properties all over the world. His most recent house was purchased in Huntingdon Valley, Penn., – whose name he spelled incorrectly on his declaration of candidacy form – shortly after he became interested in this job. Oz has also attacked Fetterman for living with his parents when he was mayor of Braddock, Penn., even though the job only paid $1,800/year at the time. Although Fetterman has well-off parents who’ve supported him financially, this financial support allowed him to take low-paying public service jobs such as Mayor of Braddock. An ad from April also recently came to light, in which Oz went to a grocery store to complain about inflation. Oz mispronounces the name of the store, calling it “Wegner’s” a combination between the names of the Pennsylvania grocer Redner’s and the New Jersey grocer “Wegman’s”. It gets worse from there. He states that his wife wants a crudité (veggie tray), and instead of buying a veggie tray, proceeds to pick out a head of broccoli, a bunch of asparagus and baby carrots and then grabbed salsa and guacamole, which are not traditional dips for vegetable trays. Did I mention he held the groceries with his hands and didn’t use a cart, bag or basket?
Oz then went on to complain that the crudité cost about 20 dollars, “and that’s not even counting the tequila!”, which again, is not typically served alongside crudité.
Fetterman has used Oz’s repeated gaffes against him and has a consistent lead in the polls of 5 points or more, with even the least favorable outlier still showing him leading by 2, even though the retiring incumbent is a Republican. Oz, who is desperate (I would be too, it doesn’t help that Doug Mastriano, an insurrectionist, won the primary for Pennsylvania Governor) has turned to attacking Fetterman for his weight and the stroke he suffered earlier in the year, claiming that he wouldn’t have had a stroke if he ate vegetables.
So, to recap, the Pennsylvania Republican candidate is a wealthy, puppy-torturing, TV doctor who jumped the border into a working class state whose residents he obviously looks down on and who can’t pretend to be a working class Pennsylvanian without making at least 70 embarrassing gaffes. Oz should probably start selling his house in “Huntington Valley”, Penn., once the election is over, that is, if he can bother to figure out the name of the town he allegedly lives in.
In Georgia, Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA), who narrowly won in 2021, is up for a full term against former football player Herschel Walker. Walker is almost as bad a candidate as Oz. Walker, a Black man, has repeatedly characterized Black parents as absentee fathers (even though studies show that, despite disproportionate incarceration of Black men, race has largely no effect on the rate of negligent parenting). However, Walker has four children, even though he only admitted to one, even lying to his campaign about his other three children, making him a hypocrite as well as an absentee father. He has also fabricated stories about having FBI training, being an honorary member of his local police department, claimed valedictorian status at the University of Georgia despite not even graduating, claimed to be the owner of the world’s “largest” minority-owned business despite having nothing to do with the company that no longer exists and claimed that Donald Trump has never said that the 2020 election was stolen. Walker and Warnock are close in the polls, although Walker still trails in most.
Here in Wisconsin, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), is running for re-election, even though he promised to retire after his previous term. Johnson is extremely out of touch and has publicly defended outsourcing in a state that has suffered disproportionately from the outsourcing crisis, claiming that Wisconsin has “enough jobs”, as well as calling for the cutting of social security. Johnson is extremely conservative but is first-and-foremost a massive Trump supporter who wanted to overturn the results of the election (he has now gone on to claim that he was only involved in the insurrection for a few seconds-, after claiming no involvement initially). Johnson has also attacked same-sex marriage, which Wisconsin overwhelmingly supports. In a stunning turn of events, after beginning his campaign breaking a promise to his constituents and then continuing it by blindly following Trump, supporting a fascist insurrection, attacking minorities and proposing extremely unpopular ideas, Johnson tends to trail Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes in the polls, which are narrowing. Johnson has desperately resorted to attacking Barnes, who is Black, for being “different”. That’s no dog whistle.
I also must thank Blake Masters, an open white nationalist who is running against Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Jo Rae Perkins, a QAnon believer running against Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Tiffany Smiley, an anti-abortion extremist running against Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). Other honorable mentions go to J.D. Vance, a notorious flip-flopper running to succeed Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), whose campaign is out of money and who has publicly claimed that he has a habit of saying “stupid things”, Don Bolduc, a 2020 election denier running against Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) who is so extreme that he’s having to disavow some of his own views heading into November, and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who is open about his disdain for his job and dislike of public service. It appears that Vance and Rubio, who will still probably win, are trying to see if it’s possible to lose Senate seats in states that voted for Trump twice.
I also want to thank Republican voters for nominating Sarah Palin for Congress in Alaska, Joe Kent for Congress in Southwest Washington and John Gibbs for Congress in Western Michigan. We will see if the strategy of nominating extremist dipshits in swing seats pays off, but I can’t imagine it will, and it’s already shown that it won’t. Palin already lost to Representative-elect Mary Peltola (D-AK) in a special election in Alaska in a year that was predicted to be favorable to the GOP and will be running against Peltola in November.
It’s certainly possible that Democrats will blow this opportunity, as it is a specialty of theirs, but Republicans are handing the party a golden opportunity, and it would be wise to take it.