Fetterman's Controversial Death

Dateline October, 2023

Sen. John Fetterman attacked by Republicans for dying in office. Dems say it shows his extraordinary courage…

Senator John Fetterman passed away this Friday capping a tumultuous year. He suffered a stroke while running to be Pennsylvania’s Senator against Trump-chosen candidate and out-of-state resident Mehmet Oz. After his solid victory in the 2022 mid-terms, he became the state’s junior Senator. Because of his stroke, he was ruthlessly targeted by Republicans during the primary who insisted he was unfit to serve. The issue surfaced again when Fetterman checked himself into treatment for depression in February and was revived in June when he was run over by a truck.

His 2022 opponent, Dr. Oz, criticized Fetterman’s death, claiming that the freshman Senator had already missed a substantial number of votes on the Senate floor and “seems more concerned with his own health issues than serving the people of Pennsylvania.”

Fetterman’s office, however, pointed out that Dr. Oz has missed almost as many broadcast days in the last six months and that Donald Trump spent more time golfing in Mar a Lago during his first year than Fetterman spent in the hospital. According to his senior aide, “We fully expect Senator Fetterman to continue doing his job bringing greater prosperity and economic justice to Pennsylvania and the United States.”

His colleagues in the Senate said that Fetterman’s presence, humor and out-sized personality had been a welcome change. According to his colleague, Bob Casey, “Republicans want to make a big issue out of this. But people die all the time. Real people. Little people. People without privilege. John Fetterman was a man of the people. And he proved that on Friday.”

Adam Schiff added that “not every serving Senator has the courage to die when it’s their time. John’s example will be valued in California and elsewhere.”

Critics on the right, however, were anxious to pile on Fetterman’s health problems. Marjorie Boebert Gaetz claimed that “Fetterman’s death shows the difference between liberals and Donald Trump. The media elites all want Donald Trump to die. Even most of the fake Republican bosses want Donald Trump to die. If Mitch McConnell prayed – which he doesn’t – he’d pray for Donald Trump to die. But, you know what, Donald Trump will never give the coastal-elites the satisfaction. He’s immortal. He’s immortal for us.”

Republican leadership also hopes to turn the Senator’s death to short-term political advantage. Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate should declare a two-year period of mourning and should no longer confirm any Biden judicial nominees “out of respect for the dead”.

Ex-President Donald Trump (the loser of the 2020 elections) has not specifically commented on Fetterman’s death and its implications for the coming 2024 election. However, he did post on Truth Social:

“Chickens roosting. Come home. 2020 victory. Perfect Meatballs! Won 2020. Still president. 2020. Won. Perfect. Won Ton.”

Analysts speculate that Trump may be linking Fetterman to Ron DeSantis (whom he likes to call Meatball Ron in private and whom he has also labeled Ron DeSanctimonious).

Trump famously made fun of a handicapped man during the 2016 election, and according to Dell Karten, Senior Director of the World Council for Raising Awareness, the latest comments about Fetterman and the Senate are part of an ongoing and troubling pattern of Republican discourse. “We’ve seen Republican’s increasingly willing to engage in hate-speech, mocking and making fun of the less fortunate while trying to marginalize those who don’t live up to their “so-called” standards. Being a Senator is not really that demanding, and there’s no reason why Sen. Fetterman can’t continue to perform his duties quite well. Being “quick” isn’t everything.”

Director Karten pointed out that traditional Western language structures tend to marginalize the dead, but that in many societies, the dead are revered over the living. “In many societies,” they point out, “the dead are considered to have gained considerable wisdom by crossing over and being released from the constraints of physical existence. However, because of the negative Western stereotypes associated with death, we’ve had to find other words for John’s new state. Since non-living also carries negative connotations, some people favor ‘respiratorily challenged’. But, especially for champions of climate change like Senator Fetterman, I prefer to say that John is now in a climate-friendly state.“

CBS News asked August, Senator Fetterman’s eight year old son how his Father’s death would likely impact the balance of power in the Senate. “I don’t know. Mom says Dads gone to a better place where the Democrats have a super-majority in both houses.”

Senator Fetterman has not responded to our requests for comment.