- The Washington Times
Wednesday, August 24, 2022

OPINION:

Philadelphia is on pace to surpass its all-time record for homicides this year, and the city is seeing armed robberies and commercial burglaries up nearly 50% while auto theft has risen by a third.

Inflation is costing Pennsylvania residents $3,000 more a year on gas and food, and a majority of businesses in the Keystone State say they’re struggling to find workers.


Yet, the mainstream media covering the battle for the state’s open Senate seat in November between avowed socialist (and Democratic nominee) John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz are focusing the majority of their time writing think pieces on the linguistic nuances of crudites vs. veggie platters.

Mr. Oz did make a campaign stumble, posting an awkward video online of him shopping for vegetables for his wife to make “crudite,” a line on which Mr. Fetterman seized. “In PA we call this … a veggie tray,” his campaign posted after Mr. Oz’s video went viral, painting the celebrity television physician as badly out of touch.

To Mr. Fetterman’s credit, his campaign has proven very good at trolling Mr. Oz online — bringing out “Jersey Shore” star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, among other celebrities, to poke fun at the fact Mr. Oz relocated from the Garden State to run for retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey’s seat in Pennsylvania. Mr. Fetterman’s campaign said it raised $500,000 in just 24 hours after the crudite clip went viral and about $1 million by the end of the week.

But do Pennsylvanians, concerned with rising costs, spiking crime and quality-of-life issues, really care about which campaign puts out the best memes on social media?

Mr. Fetterman, who has only made two campaign appearances since suffering a severe stroke in May (at both events his words were mumbled and short), would rather play a troll online than talk about his record, and not surprisingly, the mainstream media are covering for him.

Mr. Oz has agreed to five debates moderated by professional journalism outlets. Mr. Fetterman hasn’t committed to one. Perhaps it’s due to health concerns, or perhaps it’s because once Pennsylvanians hear about Mr. Fetterman’s radical ideas for their state, they’ll quickly become disenchanted with his supposed “blue-collar” allure. (Mr. Fetterman, a former small-town mayor and the state’s lieutenant governor since 2019, lived off his parents’ allowance well into his 40s and has recounted his upbringing as being “extremely privileged.”)

As crime ravages Pennsylvania’s largest cities, Mr. Fetterman wants to release more criminals from jail and decriminalize all drugs, not just marijuana. As the chair of the state Board of Pardons, Mr. Fetterman has voted to release more criminals sentenced to life in prison than any other member. He has argued that anyone convicted of second-degree murder who did not “physically” “pull the trigger” should not be facing a life sentence in prison.

He’s criticized judges for setting bail too high for rioters charged with felony arson, has openly admitted sanctuary cities “make everybody safer,” and has won the endorsement of Philadelphia’s George Soros-backed District Attorney Larry Krasner and defund-the-police advocate New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Amid record-high inflation, Mr. Fetterman believes President Biden hasn’t spent enough and wants to bring Sen. Bernie Sanders’ far-left agenda to Pennsylvania.

Although Pennsylvania is the second largest natural gas producer in America, providing hundreds of thousands of middle-class jobs, Mr. Fetterman believes fracking is a “stain” on the state and in 2016 signed a pledge to ban it. A fracking ban would destroy a total of 609,000 Keystone jobs while taking $261 billion out of the state’s economy, analysts say. Mr. Fetterman praised Mr. Biden for canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, which did away with another 11,000 jobs, saying he “made the right call.”

On social issues, again, Mr. Fetterman’s views are equally extreme. He supports abortion up until the moment of birth, calling the procedure “sacred,” and has advocated for “strengthening” abortion giant Planned Parenthood. He has said he wants to eliminate the Senate filibuster to “codify” the procedure without any limits.

Mr. Fetterman believes biological males should be allowed to play women’s sports. Mr. Fetterman recruited radical gender theory activist Val Arkoosh to help with his campaign. Ms. Arkoosh has regularly called restricting “gender-affirming” surgeries for children and protecting women’s sports “gross violations” of “human rights.”

In sum, Mr. Fetterman is way too radical a Democratic candidate to run in a state Mr. Biden won by only 1.2%. He should be among the most beatable of all the party’s candidates for Senate this year.

But let’s focus on crudites and veggie platters, and not the issues that matter.

• Kelly Sadler is the commentary editor at The Washington Times.


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