Oct 26, 2022Liked by Jonathan V. Last

We are now under 2 weeks until the midterms, and while we won't know the outcome until the votes are counted, it is time to start asking why the Democratic Party cannot beat these people.

For all who will blame the Conservative Media, that's too much like the Progressives blaming a low-level staffer for putting out their declaration demanding that President Biden negotiate with Russia regarding Ukraine.

Let's look at some facts:

A group of women in Kansas shocked the country when their work resulted in a ruby-red state defeating an abortion ban. How did they do it? They put out ads targeting Independent and Republican women, speaking to their concerns in their language, and it was a resounding success. Did the DNC hire them? Nope. Did they duplicate their efforts in other red states? Nope.

Jaime Harrison was given the DNC Chairman position after the 2020 election because he had raised more money for his Senate campaign than anyone ever previously had. Was it because of something he did differently? Nope. He raised that money because Democrats across the country donated due to their immense hatred of his opponent, Lindsey Graham. Even with a 3 or 4 to 1 advantage in money, he lost by a margin of 10.2%. What has he done as Chairman of the DNC? I don't know, do you? I was hoping he would study the Voting Registration groups in Georgia, who after more than a decade of working year-round to register and communicate and stay in contact with Georgia voters, managed to pull a huge upset in the Senate run-off races in 2020, and start to implement the same strategy in other purple states. Did he? Nope.

Democrats across the country have been donating to MTG's opponent, in a district that her opponent has zero percent chance to win in, while the DNC has offered zero money/support to Tim Ryan's Senate campaign in Ohio.

Ron DeSantis won by less one percent in 2018 - did the Democrats use the time since to come up with a candidate that could topple him in 2022? Nope - another run for Charlie Crist, a la McAuliffe against Youngkin in Virginia last year.

For decades now, Latino groups have been criticizing the Democrats for coming in late, just months before an election, to try to convince Latino voters to support them, and then they disappear afterwards, until the next election cycle. Meanwhile, the GOP has been engaging with those communities year-round.

How many decades have the Republicans been putting in the time and effort at the local and state levels, and now have majorities in a majority of the 50 states? How many decades have the Democrats ignored it?

There are many other examples if you take some time to think about it - just what you've seen and read over the years.

We need to ask this question, and we need to figure out the answers. I have been saying all along that history will render its judgement about the GOP abandoning Democracy, but it will also render the judgement that the Democratic Party was not up to the challenge of saving it.

We need to, and MUST, change that. Beginning November 9, 2022, if not sooner.

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The Fetterman Camp need to be running on a loop Oz saying abortion is "between a woman, her doctor, and her local government" again and again and again. No one likes and/or wants government in the doctors office when critical decisions are made and they need to be hammering Oz, someone who at least plays at being a doctor on TV, for inviting government into the exam room

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I love the Bulwark but everything is so depressing right now I can't read it. I don't know how to both support you in telling truth while being unwilling to dwell in it myself. (I'm not in denial. I agree with you. I just can't read about it anymore). Because what can I do besides cast my single vote? I can do nothing about voters who care nothing about facts or the long term.

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John got there and debated. As he needed time to read the questions the format was not kind, but everybody knows that he’s recovering from a stroke, and it’s not cognitive. If he were deaf or blind or a polio victim we wouldn’t even be having this talk. Sarah and Mona and all of you can’t say enough bad things about Katie Hobbs’ unwillingness to afford her lunatic opponent a platform. Fetterman afforded Oz a platform, and showed up. Bravo.

Oz should have stayed home. What a con artist. His refusal to answer the Lindsay question, and the minimum-wage question, and a dozen other questions, his snotty comments about whether Fetterman understood him, his insistence that his phony miracle drugs were “lifesaving”, and his smirk were so off-putting that he managed to lose in spite of every advantage.

So, it’s “he’s still struggling to keep up with rapid-fire dialogue” v “Jesus, what a fucking asshole.” I don’t think debates matter anyway, but I’m in OH and I’d still vote for John.

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There's a cartoon in the WaPo that really fits what will happen if Americans choose Republicans. There's a guy standing at a gas pump - "Unfair! Voted for fascism over democracy and the gas prices are still high!"

Maybe it's a problem with education or maybe too many people are just incapable of rational thought, but putting Republicans in charge when you're unhappy with the economy is bound to backfire (unless you're rich). It's not like the economy has always done well with Republicans in the past so you can count on it to improve if you vote 'R'. While not quite the opposite, there is a lot of history that shows Democrats tend to be better on that score.

Also, has no one ever worked on a long term project? It's not done in just a couple months, or sometimes even a couple years. The United States is a HUGE project and expecting changes you voted for to be done in 2 years is crazy. Then, because it wasn't finished to your satisfaction, you're going to put people in power whose sole objective is to undo all the work that's been done. Yeah, that makes sense. Again, we're back to the question of why people can't think rationally.

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About the only positive thing I can say about last night's debate between Fetterman and Oz is to paraphrase Winston Churchill: Fetterman will recover from his stroke, but Oz will still be a smarmy, snake-oil salesman and grifter.

It really is awful, though, how much media attention is focused on a man's recovery from a stroke, with the un-subtle implications that his mental faculties have been affected by his physical challenges. Maybe Fetterman shouldn't have tried to debate right now, but I think he showed a good deal of toughness and courage in making the attempt.

Regarding the god-awful surrender letter from the progressive caucus, all I can say is anything that diminishes the sway of that lot is for the better.

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As a stroke survivor (a very small one by the Grace of God), I guess what bothers me the most is learning how many of the folks I know equate a person with a speech disability with diminished IQ. And even worse, how many lower themselves even more by using derogatory words to describe Fetterman and his strokes residual effects. I truly believe that Herschel Walker is mentally impaired, but I have never dropped the 'R' word to describe him.

So here were are in PA with 2 candidates with obvious flaws: one, who has health issue that forces folks to question his cognitive ability. The other a opportunist grifter who peddled BS treatments for pretty much every health issue, and who has no real ties to the Commonwealth. If only the GOP had presented a candidate who wasn't looking for the next opportunity to make a buck, who actually lives and works in our community.

I'm still going to take my chance with Fetterman, but I am afraid I'm in the minority.

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Regarding Fetterman vs Oz, I can't say it nearly as well as Robert Hubbell:

"In the contest of “fitness for office,” there is simply no comparison. Dr. Oz is a medical fraudster who used his tv celebrity to promote snake oil cures and antivaccination propaganda that likely sickened or killed thousands. Oz said he will vote for a twice-impeached, coup-plotting president who committed espionage and obstruction of justice and who admitted on audiotape to using his celebrity status to sexually assault women. During the debate, Oz said he would put “local politicians” in control of women’s reproductive choices. And yet, the crass, insensitive, vapid commentators skip over Oz’s “fitness” for office and tut-tut and tsk-tsk about whether Fetterman is “fit” for office because he is successfully overcoming the effects of stroke.

What is the right bar for holding public office? Can you flirt with white supremacy? Can you support an insurrection? Can you be a sexual predator? Can you support taking away women’s rights? Can you be a quack doctor who regularly scammed his audience for years? Are any of those qualities worse than a speech disorder caused by a stroke?

The truth is that critics of Fetterman’s performance reveal much more about themselves—and our society’s deep discomfort with and ignorance about disability—than they do about John Fetterman himself."

There is no other way to say it: The media is discriminating against Fetterman because of a physical disability and is unwilling to focus on substance. They see Fetterman as a stroke victim, not as a person whose intellect, values, and ideas outshine Oz at every level. Shame on them."

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No Pony but I was offended by the NY Times headline "Fetterman, showing stroke effects, battles Oz..."

That isn't news, it's opinion. Link to the video and let the voters decide how much stroke effect Fetterman is showing, and whether it matters.

If they have to have an opinion how about "Sneering Oz mocks recovering Fetterman". It's equally accurate.

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Dear comment section: you are dooming too much. Dooming at this stage doesn't help anybody.

Re: Fetterman's debate. Yeah it was pretty bad. If Fetterman was debating against a good opponent, I'd say that he probably doomed himself in a close race. Fortunately for Fetterman, Oz was unable to answer a tough question. So they both lost, maybe Fetterman lost more. But Oz didn't win any voters either.

Chin up people, there's still plenty of voters to turn out.

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I could only watch a few minutes of it before I had to turn it off in embarrassment. Fetterman was, as expected, a disaster. But he had an excuse. Oz was about as incoherent. He spoke like someone reading disclaimers at the end of a commercial. There is no feasible way that Fetterman had any idea what Oz said. The smirking, the bell ringing...all too much. If Oz wanted to appear like the good guy, He should have let Fetterman just try to talk without distractions. It appeared as if he was trying to trigger all the stroke problems.

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Fetterman's stroke has affected neither his cognitive abilities, nor his character, nor his competence and experience. He still has my vote and strong support here in the Philly suburbs.

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Oct 26, 2022·edited Oct 26, 2022

Maybe if Fetterman had whipped out a fake police badge the media narrative would have been that exceeded expectations?

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For me, it’s no contest, for what it’s worth because I don’t get to vote in that election. Fetteman has the courage of his convictions. He refused to use his struggle as an excuse to duck what he knew would be a bruising debate. He put it all out there. What I saw was a man of courage. If this were a 100 metre dash and Fetterman had a broken ankle, we wouldn’t expect him to cross the finish line first. But just to be in the race would have won the admiration of the crowd.

But instead of a physical race, it was a debate and Fetterman has a bunch of broken synapses. A broken ankle will heal. So will his ability to put words together. He’s still the person he has always been - kind, caring, intelligent and brave.

In contrast is the smirking snake-oil salesman, a rapid-attack bully - the kind who would kick out a crutch being temporarily used by someone with a broken ankle, just to laugh as the injured person fell.

The difference in character is stark. I know I would vote for the person of integrity and that certainly isn’t Oz.

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I think the pony is that Fetterman's policy positions aren't really the straw that stirs the drink. His case to voters is "I am one of you. This Oz guy isn't. Who do you want in charge, them or us?"

I am not saying Fetterman has this in bag or anything of that sort. Only that the real battle isn't being fought on the debate stage.

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Did it take any more effort to understand Herschel Walker's "incoherence"? Fetterman may not do well in a debate but since when are those TV skills necessary to understand issues and make thought out decision? I understand that Oz is a dual citizen of US and Turkey (per wiki). Does this not concern anyone?

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