Fetterman Thinks Top Dem Is Getting the Boot and He’ll Be Getting His Parking Space

On Friday, The Washington Post published an article which, on its website, bore the title “How John Fetterman is charting his own course in the Senate.” Writer Liz Goodwin could have answered the implied question in the title with a three-word article — “By being incoherent” — and we’d all have been better off. However, what we were treated to was a heavily edited version of Fetterman supposedly in compos mentis, and he still sounded like a man who should be back in Pennsylvania working intensively with mental health and stroke rehabilitation experts. “It’s that line from … the original Batman with Jack Nicholson where as Joker he starts laughing and he’s like, ‘I’ve already been dead once,’” Fetterman told Goodman. “That’s really what it is. It’s been freeing.” Yes — because if there was someone who needed “freeing,” it’s a guy whose sartorial ensemble ranges between pickup-basketball attire and the clothes thrown on by an absentee father nursing a hangover. But, I digress. The “new, liberated Fetterman” was there to talk about how he thought New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez was a crook (which, in terms of going out on rhetorical limbs, is like saying you think Batman might actually be billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne), how he’s “not a vegetable” (which, in terms of going out on rhetorical limbs, is like saying Bob Menendez isn’t a crook), and how he plans to have Sen. Joe Manchin’s parking spot come this time next year. What’s his beef against Manchin? Well, after Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer decided to do away with the Senate’s unwritten dress code so that Fetterman could continue dressing in hoodies and shorts on the floor of the most distinguished legislative body in the Western world, Manchin “started a movement to officially codify the more formal version of the dress code in a resolution that he originally called ‘Show Our Respect to the Senate Resolution, or SHORTS for short.” “Fetterman, who lives in shorts, interpreted the acronym as a personal insult, and said he felt furious at Manchin for a while over it,” the Post noted. Fetterman apparently hasn’t been around the Senate long enough to know that 1) there’s nothing a legislator likes more than a catchy acronym for a piece of legislation and 2) the way he was dressing was scarcely appropriate for a Zoom meeting, much less the freaking Senate. But then he chilled — because, after all, Manchin is up for re-election in 2024 and the odds ain’t looking so good in a state that’s gone deep, deep red. “At first I was really kind of angry [at him],” Fetterman said. “And then I realized, well, he’s not going to be around much longer and I’m going to get his parking space.” The Post noted that the “animosity is apparently one-sided. Manchin said he’s had ‘good conversations’ with Fetterman when asked about the dress-code drama.” Whatever the case may be, if sturm und drang between Fetterman and Manchin manages to hurt Manchin’s chances — given that Fetterman somehow has broad blue-collar appeal, despite living off his parents’ allowance for most of his life — I wouldn’t count on him getting Manchin’s parking spot. In fact, the Democrats might move his parking space all the way out to Alexandria, Virginia, and make it small enough that only a Smart Car could fit in it. First off, Fetterman should probably realize how unpopular the idea of changing the dress code for him was: When legislation codifying attire standards was addressed under a different name than the SHORTS Act, it was passed unanimously. Second, no matter what happens at the White House level, 2024 will be a tough year for the Democrats if they hope to keep the Senate. Depending on how badly the political winds are blowing, the Democrats could be defending up to 10 vulnerable seats, none more vulnerable than Manchin’s. (And this isn’t even counting Bob Menendez, who might still be on the ballot even as he faces a corruption trial; under those circumstances, ordinarily blue New Jersey might just elect a Republican simply to throw the bum out.) For the Republicans, the only real worry is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who the Democrats threw considerable resources at trying to beat in 2018 — a process that will likely repeat itself in 2024. Few candidates bring out the big-name liberal donors and surrogates eager to beat them like Cruz does, so defeat remains a distinct possibility even in typically red Texas. So, 10 vulnerable seats vs. one vulnerable seat in a 51-49 Senate. Lose a net of two seats and suddenly, nothing gets done, even if Biden gets re-elected. No fast-tracked judicial nominations. No Supreme Court vacancies filled. No pressure on the House to pass a budget more amenable to President Weekend-at-Bernie’s. Nada. And this is assuming Manchin stays with the Democrats. There’s been talk about him mounting a third-party run for president on the No Labels ticket, and as The New York Times reported in August, he was considering leaving the Democratic Party altogether. In other words, this is the time to lend Manchin all the support he needs — not to take potshots at him in the Beltway’s paper of record, all over the fact that Fetterman couldn’t wear shorts and a hoodie on the Senate floor. Don’t be counting on that parking space, John.
    This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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