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Jawn

Today is the Pennsylvania primary. In case you’ve been living in a cave, we have an open senate seat.

In the right corner, we have a handful of silly twits racing to the bottom of normal human behavior, trying to one up each other in how much pain they intend to inflict on people with uteruses.

In the left corner, we have three politicians who might actually make a difference and cancel out the execrable Joe Manchin. Those guys would be Conor Lamb, Malcolm Kenyatta and John Fetterman.

My quick summary goes like this: Conor Lamb is my congressman. I campaigned for him twice. He’s ok. Nothing to write home about. He got a lot of notoriety a few years ago when he ran for a seat vacated by a staunchly pro-life Republican who was caught texting his pregnant mistress, encouraging her to get an abortion. Conor ran for his seat in a heavily gerrymandered district and squeaked by, winning a handful more votes than his opponent. And he did it by running pretty far to the right for a Democrat. He’s a Catholic, ex-marine, lawyer. Pretty much sums him up. Don’t get me wrong, I campaigned for him anyway because his commitment to the party platform was semi-firm and it was the best we could do.

When he ran again in 2020, he was running in a new district, MY new district, to be exact. I used to be in Mike Doyle’s district and I was pretty happy about that. Mike is a solid Democrat. Very dependable vote. But PA was ordered by the state Supreme Court to stop Fucking around with the gerrymandering and draw a new congressional map to make it respect geographic and demographic lines. Doyle’s district was reconfigured and several big, blue suburbs got allocated to Lamb’s new district. That made it MUCH easier to win his second term. He barely had to lift a finger. So what does he do to campaign for his senate seat? He completely forgot whut brung him to this dance and attributes all his success to the pandering he had to do to the old guys at the VFW who vote Republican. Yep, that’s what he considers his strength, forgetting all of the Democrats he was gifted that made his second victory as easy as Pie.

I’m sorry, he’s a nice guy and I’ll vote for him if I have to. But he’s one of those squishy dudes when it comes to abortion, he bucks the rest of the party to make the old right wing guys in diners feel comfy, and he’s been pretty unremarkable otherwise. Case in point: he is one of a handful of Democrats who didn’t vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker. Now, I have issues with Pelosi as well, especially her support of Obama in that outrageous primary of 2008. Omg, don’t get me started. But I’ve come around to the point where I have to give her credit for keeping the band together on the House side since then and Lamb had to have known that. Nevertheless, he acted like an adolescent and voted for Joe Kennedy for Speaker, like he just tossed his vote away and poked the Democrats in the eye just to make himself look good to the VFW, even though they wouldn’t be relevant after the new district was drawn. So, you know, there’s that. He’s been running like he’s some transformational candidate that appeals to right wingers when the truth is a lot more nuanced than that. The nuance doesn’t fit in a sound bite so in this primary race for Senate, he’s been going after his main opponent in a cynical and ugly way. Lamb is not reading the room. Let’s leave it at that.

Who convinced him he could win this thing?? Nevermind, it was probably himself. He just doesn’t get it.

Malcolm Kenyatta. I apologize for not getting to know this man better. He’s a black state representative from Philly and has a good following from there. I think that name recognition might be an issue for him in the rest of the state. Lamb is nationally known because of his sphincter clinching first campaign. The next guy is known statewide as the eccentric Lieutenant Governor. Kenyatta needs a little more exposure. Kenyatta is young, black and LBGTQ. Despite this, he’s more of a mainstream Democrat. His future looks bright. I wish him well in future races. But he’s been overshadowed by the next guy.

Typical John Fetterman photo

And that would be the 6’8”, winter shorts wearing, tattooed former mayor of Braddock and current PA Lieutenant Governor, John Fetterman. He’s lovingly known as Jawn, due to his daughter Gracie’s phonetic spelling of his name. He was once a Bernie guy in 2016. But when Hillary won the primary, he supported her enthusiastically. I might even credit him with the fact that we got a lot of Bernie supporters to campaign for her during the 2016 closing hours. I got a lot of them from other areas of Pittsburgh to canvass my suburb and I credit John for leading by example.

He definitely doesn’t come across as elitist. He lives in a converted used car leadership in Braddock in the shadow of the steel mill. His family is colorful and close. Three cute kids and a hot Brazilian wife. What makes John work is his appeal to the working class as well as his embrace of the dispossessed. I used to pass through Braddock on the bus many years ago and think as I looked out the window that it was a town that could probably be improved by demolition. But sometimes, you have to hit bottom before you can rise again. And that’s kind of what’s happening in Braddock. It’s gone through some really hard times. Now, it’s slowly transforming itself. John and his wife Gisele have worked for community.

Then he became Lt. Governor. He supports legal weed. He’s flown a rainbow flag from his office balcony and driven our nutty GOP legislature into a frenzy, trying repeatedly to make him take it down. You might have seen John after the 2020 election with his “come on, guys, let’s cut the bullshit” attitude about the recount.

He’s not without controversy. He skipped debates. When he did show up, he let his opponents hang themselves because they spent their time trying to take him down over a confrontation he had with a black jogger years ago. Again, failure to read the room from his opponents. Voters are dying for something different. But this time, they’re gravitating to his giant, quirky, straight talking, guy who really seems to care about working class voters without attacking anyone. That’s… different.

You may have heard that he had a stroke last Friday. Here’s more on his condition from a local news station. What happened was serious. No doubt about that. But his prognosis is good. It turns out that his height may have been a contributing factor. John has been watching his weight in the past couple of years and that probably helps him. It looks like he’s going to have to be on blood thinners. Pacemaker? IDK. I am not a doctor. But I do know from personal experience that the human body has a powerful way of healing itself and I don’t do nearly as much public campaigning as John does. If this had happened a few days from now, no one would have noticed. He would have been given the break he needed after winning the primary. In the video of him in the hospital after his stroke, he looks and sounds good. He caught it in the Knick of time. His wife, Gisele, our SLOP (second lady of Pennsylvania) will take us through the primary.

She’s his secret weapon. Here’s her update on Joao (she’s Brazilian):

I am so looking forward to this primary. Josh Shapiro our Attorney General who protected our votes after the 2020 election, is running for Governor. He’s got a lock on that. But I so admired his ferociousness in standing up to the myriad of rabidly anti-democratic GOP legislators and lawyers who tried to get our mail in ballots thrown out. His commitment, reassurance, and professionalism never wavered. He, the Secretary of State, Governor Tom Wolf and John Fetterman kept the state calm after the election while the count was still ongoing, encouraging patience, common sense and a firm commitment to the law.

Gotta love’em.

It’s primary day! Go vote PA!

4 Responses

  1. Cast my vote by mail. Hoping to do it again in November for Fetterman and Shapiro, but will vote D no matter what.

  2. Sure, good luck to Alopecic Lurch if he does win the nomination, but I suspect that shotgun incident will keep enough Black PA voters home in disgust to let whichever loon the Elephascists choose squeak by.

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