October 26, 2022

First of all, whose idea was it to make last night's Fetterman/Oz debate into a 30-minute lightning round -- like a game show? It made both candidates look worse, and did not serve the voters well because it allowed for so little nuance. That is allegedly the point of candidate debates, and whoever was in charge of this one did a really shitty job. (I'll note that the moderators did a pretty good job of shutting down the usual attempts to go off the tracks.)


Let's get to the meat. If you thought Mehmet Oz was a shady snakeoil salesman, you didn't change your mind. If you thought he was an opportunistic rich guy trying to buy a Senate seat for his personal agenda, you didn't get any facts to the contrary.

More to the point, you got the overwhelming sense that he was a transparent huckster who doesn't believe in much of anything other than winning. That's why he frequently stumbled over policy questions, like whether to raise the federal minimum wage.

He clearly does not, as they like to say, have a servant's heart. (Although he plays it on teevee.)

He took a page from Trump's book: Deny, deny, deny. Who you gonna believe, me, or your lying eyes? Anyone who's ever seen Oz's show knows he was shilling miracle cures and profiting mightily.

“I never sold weight loss products as described in those commercials,” Oz said. Bullshit. You shilled for them, and you made money as a result.


John Fetterman was pretty much what you'd expect from someone who was a few months out from a major stroke. He was tongue-tied at several points, and a few times couldn't get words out at all. Sometimes it was painful to watch.

But as far as I can tell, he won the debate. (Just as an aside, imagine being called "too radical" by someone who was handpicked and owes his vote to Trump. “Washington keeps getting it wrong with extreme positions: I want to bring civility, balance.” We've all been around long enough to know that civility and balance from Republicans is not on the menu.)

The difference is, no matter what came out of his mouth, you could usually tell exactly what he meant -- and that he believed it.

Last night, Oz pushed fracking in Pennsylvania as yet another one of his miracle cures -- and as usual, he was lying. Fracking operations shut down here because it was no longer profitable! It reacts to the market. And Oz kept pushing the idea of "well paying jobs" from fracking as an economic supplement! He doesn't seem to know that the vast majority of the fracking workforce was from out-of-state drilling operations. The only economic effect was peripheral -- restaurants, bars, hotels, etc.

Here's what John Fetterman was trying to say last night: That when businesses say they can't afford to pay a higher minimum wage, they're saying workers should subsidize their profits. That workers deserved the dignity of a living wage.

He got off this zinger:

Oh yeah, that:

Get used to that one, you'll see a lot of ads.

Here's the bottom line. Even with a stroke, Fetterman outperformed the snake-oil salesman. He will win.

P.S. Republicans just announced they're dumping $6 million more into this race in the next two weeks. Send your donations today!

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