On the eve of the midterm elections with Pennsylvania’s Senate race viewed as a dead heat, a debate has continued to rage over whether Democratic candidate John Fetterman is fit after suffering a serious stroke that impaired his communication and processing skills. However, as we previously discussed, many on the left have swatted back questions concerning Fetterman’s fitness as “ableism.” Now, the Washington Post has run a long column from University of Delaware Professor Jaipreet Virdi declaring that it is not just embracing ableism but eugenics to question Fetterman’s fitness.
Professor Virdi is an associate professor at the University of Delaware who describes herself as “Deaf & forever a radical.” She is a prominent and influential voice against discrimination against the deaf.
There were parts of her column that I thought raised valuable and probative insights, including Virdi’s observation that “disabled people are the ‘original life hackers,’ people who adapt to their circumstances and find their way through the disabled world, by creating new objects and paths that allow them full participation.” She is also right that we need to reevaluate how our expectations might be barriers to those with disabilities. However, she engages in her own sweeping generalizations of those who raise these concerns and tells them that they must “jettison eugenics-influenced ideas about disability.”
Virdi frames her analysis by insisting that Fetterman is just given to “verbal stumbles and pauses.” The problem is that we do not know if there is more serious cognitive damage. Fetterman has refused to release his medical records despite requests from the media, including newspapers that support him.
Moreover, Fetterman had this stroke before the primary vote but he and his staff kept the serious impact of the stroke a secret. After he received the nomination, they then largely prevented the media or voters from questioning him and sharply limited his public appearances. They would only agree to one debate and insisted that it occur relatively late in the election after hundreds of thousands voted.
In other words, we still do not know the extent to which Fetterman can process information and communicate. His sole debate was widely viewed as alarming.
However, it is the escalation of the rhetoric that is most notable about the Washington Post column. Professor Virdi explains that the doubts raised over Fetterman are reflective of our history with eugenics and view that certain groups are “socially deficient.”
“As far as eugenicists were concerned, science said that “moral” flaws were hereditary and threatened the health of the nation. This meant that the solution to social problems such as crime, promiscuity and poverty aimed at the institutionalization and sterilization of the “morally degenerate”. As [Sir Francis ] Galton envisioned, human improvement was only possible through consistent, scientific intervention brought about by eugenics: ‘What nature does blindly, slowly, and recklessly, man can do proactively, swiftly, and kindly.’”
Professor Virdi ties such doubts over the fitness of disabled people to past efforts of sterilization and the view that “controlling human reproduction through better breeding was a must.” She warns that “at its core, eugenics simply applied a scientific gloss to existing racial, class, and gender prejudices. Immigrants, people with disabilities, and racial and ethnic minorities were among those identified as socially ‘disabled.'”
As I wrote in the earlier column, there is no reason why a senator cannot be fully effective despite a disability, including the use of such devices as readers. The problem in Pennsylvania is that the Fetterman campaign has actively prevented efforts to determine if there are more serious cognitive difficulties for Fetterman in processing information.
In the end, the Fetterman strategy worked in sheltering the candidate from further questioning or debates. The best way to dispel such questions would have been greater interaction with the candidate to show that this was limited, as Professor Virdi suggests, to mere “verbal stumbles and pauses.” As it stands, voters will largely vote without such information and any doubts are the result of the concerted effort to leave these questions unanswered.
N.B.: The original version of this blog posting noted the controversy over Fetterman allegedly saying that he “celebrated the death of Roe v. Wade.” It appears that Fetterman stumbled over “Oz” and it came out sounding like “I.” However, it was removed as not a good example of the health concerns given the minor confusion.
106 thoughts on “Washington Post Columnist: Doubting Fetterman’s Fitness is Embracing Eugenics”
In Fetterman’s defense, the average senator is not known for engaging in meaningful dialogue on public policy. Virtually no senator bothers to read proposed legislation prior to casting a vote. And only a dozen or so are worth their salt during oversight hearings.
The more I think about it, Fetterman would fit right in. If only he would give up his support for baby killing, letting murderers out of prison, and open borders.
NEVER believe or take seriously ANYTHING a ‘Professor’ says…..they seem to think that having the title ‘Professor’ makes their opinions Absolute Truth. Folks, don’t buy that BS. The majority of ‘Professors’ are complete fools who always spout the Far-Left (Communist) party line. It’s time for the STUDENTS in their classrooms to mock their nutty ramblings and laugh them off campus. And graduates of those colleges should decline to donate while idiotic Professors are still on the faculty.
If Fetterman loses he can always play Uncle Fester. He can connect a light bulb to his pacemaker to make it blink
Jonathan: Some on this blog think I have lost my “critical thinking skills” for questioning the motives of your post about Fetterman’s ability to hold office. I am used to these non-sensical comments. My wife often refers to me as a “good” narcissist but has never accused me of lacking the ability to think clearly–although she says I am wrong most of the time. If you are married you know what I mean. Give it to the women. They can turn one sentence into a 5 hour argument. Now that takes real talent!
That said as far as I can tell Fetterman still has the “critical thinking skills” necessary to carry out his duties as Pennsylvania’s Lt. Gov. If there was a serious Q don’t you think Penn. officials would have acted by now? They would have demanded Fetterman reveal his prognosis for recovery by now or retire. I mean the GOP controls both chambers of the state legislature. Some stroke survivors fully recover–only about 10%. Is Fetterman one of those? Who knows. But some on this blog have resorted to wild speculation about Fetterman’s condition. They pretend to be neurologists. Unlike them I don’t pretend to be a doctor or to know whether Fetterman’s condition would preclude him from serving as Senator. I guess we will have to let the voters decide tomorrow. But I know one thing. If Fetterman wins the state’s GOP will file a ton of lawsuits claiming “voter fraud”. Donald Trump will be on his media platform claiming the election was “stolen”. Now that doesn’t require any speculation!
Here’s your guy, Dennis.
REPORTER: “There is that 2018 interview that you said, ‘I don’t support fracking at all,’ so how do you square the two?”
JOHN FETTERMAN: “I do support fracking and I don’t, I don’t, I support fracking and I stand and I do support fracking.” #PASenpic.twitter.com/aJRDZVFU2x
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 6, 2022
“Some on this blog think I have lost my “critical thinking skills” for questioning the motives of your post about Fetterman’s ability to hold office. I am used to these non-sensical comments.”
Questioning other peoples unexpressed motives is not about critical thinking, it is about mind reading.
“That said as far as I can tell Fetterman still has the “critical thinking skills” necessary to carry out his duties as Pennsylvania’s Lt. Gov.”
The Lt. Gov. does almost nothing. Regardless, if you think Fetterman Ever had critical thinking skills – you have a problem with observation.
Regardless, he does not now.
“If there was a serious Q don’t you think Penn. officials would have acted by now? They would have demanded Fetterman reveal his prognosis for recovery by now or retire.”
No they would not. When is the last time you have seen that occur ?
“I mean the GOP controls both chambers of the state legislature.”
All they can do is impeach him. Further all are busy in their own campaigns right now.
“Some stroke survivors fully recover–only about 10%. Is Fetterman one of those? Who knows.”
Except that we have data on that. Your betting that Fetterman is one of the lucky 10% when he should have improved significantly by now if he was.
Further it is irrelevant whether he fully recovers. What is relevant is what was the damage caused by the stroke.
Many people lose physical abilities as a result of a stroke. If Fetterman was no longer able to walk with no likelyhood of recovering,
He would still be capable of being a Senator. Fetterman’s impairment leaves him incapable of doing the job – not that he ever was capable.
Regardless, there is alot of racism against Oz. It is possible that without his mental dificulties Fetterman might have eaked out a victory.
“But some on this blog have resorted to wild speculation about Fetterman’s condition.”
No most people are making direct observations. My father had vascular dementia – that is dementia caused by repeated large and small strokes.
I can tell you that my Father would have done better on the Montreal Cognative Assessment (MOCA) after his first significant Stroke than Fetterman is doing now.
“They pretend to be neurologists. Unlike them I don’t pretend to be a doctor or to know whether Fetterman’s condition would preclude him from serving as Senator. I guess we will have to let the voters decide tomorrow.”
Guess what – that is how it actually works. Candidates make arguments – something Fetterman is not able to do, and then voters decide.
I would greatly prefer that this races was decided based on ideas – not Fetterman’s medical condiction. But Fetterman and Democrats had the ability to avoid that. Fetterman could have dealt with his arrhythmia earlier. My wife has arrhythmia and knows that if she does not take her meds, that she will likely have a stroke. Fetterman gambled and lost. He and the Democratic Party should have removed him after the stroke.
But he was another one of these democratic rock star candidates – who really isn’t. Likely there will be far fewer of them tomorow.
“But I know one thing. If Fetterman wins the state’s GOP will file a ton of lawsuits claiming “voter fraud”. Donald Trump will be on his media platform claiming the election was “stolen”. Now that doesn’t require any speculation!”
That is correct. Because we already have plenty of evidence of Fraud in PA and elsewhere. In PA there are already over 250K fraudulent ballots that the PA SOS “accidentally” mailed out despite court orders, Now election officials all over the state (mostly Philadelphia) are tasked with catching those. Philadelphia has had the most corrupt election system in the country since the end of Mayor Daily’s chicago machine.
We also already know of significant election fraud in Detroit – another major fraud center.
And the Biden DOJ has sent its Troops to assure that Election observers are unable to do their job in the same 6 places that elected Biden in 2020.
Democrats including Fetterman are warning that it will take days even weeks to count the ballots – when the only reason that ballots can not be counted by Midnight is because counting ballots quickly means you do not get to know how many fraudulent ballots you have to find.
RCP’s last polling average has Oz leading by 0.4%, The Polling Error in the past 3 election cycles in PA has been R+1.3 – i.e. The PA polls ran against Republicans by 1.3+. The only way Oz loses is if Democrats pull off 1.7% of Fraud. It is near certain there will be democratic Fraud in PA, But 1.7% is hard.
I would further note that Like 2020, Democrats have been making vague claims about election fraud through this whole cycle.
Election fraud claims are common place. They are only evil when Republicans make them.
I expect significant Democratic Election fraud in 2022 – But not enough to change much. Democrats are repeating much of the same nonsense they did in 2020 – but without Zuckerberg, and with people watching. And though many courts have made bad rulings again – as a whole the courts are much less sympathetic. And there is far greater danger of getting caught in 2022.
Catching democrats in a SINGLE significant large scale election fraud in 2022 will cast not only every 2022 race in doubt, but will undermine Biden’s legitimacy even further.
Allowing dependent parasites to vote causes the vote to be worthless.
The American Founders never intended for dependent parasites to vote.
Who, in their right mind, would take direction from dependent parasites?
I’m not aware anyone is suggesting Mr. Fetterman should be done to death because of his neurological impairment.
“University of Delaware Professor Jaipreet Virdi . . . eugenics to question Fetterman’s fitness.”
First you attempt to deny reality (the facts of a man’s *medical* condition). Then you frighten your opponents away from reality (the *facts* of a man’s medical condition) by emitting a toxic smokescreen: If you focus on the facts of a man’s medical condition, you embrace eugenics.
That is a truly wicked form of manipulation. And par for a modern academic.
So the Left penalizes talent, e.g., by killing AP programs and magnet schools, and handcuffing industrialists. Then it elevates and protects those who lack talent. (And uses monstrous lies to smear those who point out the obvious.)
The Left is built on an inverted moral code.
They are just trying to foster a more easily manipulable constituency.
I take a slightly different view from those previously given. I do not favor (through expectation nor legislation) a candidate having to release their medical records. These are private and confidential records and a candidate should have the right to claim the confidentiality of their medical records, period. If there is a medical concern about a candidate, the candidate’s advisors could make a non-binding recommendation to him/her that an abstract of the medical record — limited to the issue at question — be released. The physician making the review should be trained in the discipline covered by the alleged “disability” and chosen randomly from a candidate pool of independent physicians/surgeons without a history of financial contribution to the candidate or his/her opponent.
Otherwise, the press being the press would scour the entire record, looking for something as salacious as possible going as far back as possible. The press would magnify any finding — even if it was medically inconsequential. Leave it as it now stands. If the candidate wishes to waive confidentiality, so be it. If s/he wishes to NOT open their medical record to scrutiny, that is their right. It would also be the right of the voter to decide to elect (or not) the candidate on that basis.,
There is no requirement for candidates to release their medical records, and should be no requirement for them to release tax records – there is for some local offices in some states.
Voters get to chose who they vote for.
They can choose for whatever reason they wish.
If you refuse to provide medical records – they can ignore that, or vote against you – as they chose.
Each individual voter gets to decide what you must do to earn their vote.
Candidates get to decide if they are willing to do what is asked by voters and if they are not risk losing votes.
Similar to 2020 when we were assured there was nothing wrong with Biden, it was just his old stutter.
I’m guessing Virdi would have legally blind people operate motor vehicles – and expect states to issue drivers’ licenses to them! Just another example of victimhood babbling posing as a print-worthy article — but it’s the Washington wash COMpost, so why is anyone surprised.
Guess who Mr. Potato Head is?
If you are correct & I am the Power Ball jackpot winner, I’ll issue a cashiers check to you for $1 million dollars….With the taxes already paid.
Jonathan: On the day before the mid-term elections it seems unseemly you would choose to raise “questions” about the fitness of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman to hold office–based on his stroke and his “serious cognitive” abilities”. You offer no objective evidence of Fetterman’s current medical condition. Fetterman and Dr. Oz are in a tight race in Pennsylvania. You had months to discuss the issue so why wait until now to raise a question about Fetterman’s ability to “process information and communicate”? Trying to influence the election in favor of the Republican candidate and to provide an echo chamber for Fox News? Two days ago Fox host Jesse Waters raised the same issues: “Look, I’m not going to mock the guy, but he’s supposed to be the voice of the people of Pennsylvania, but he can’t speak and we just found out that he has to walk around with a stenographer who types up what people are saying so he can read it on his computer”.
Gutter politics is not new. But for someone who portrays himself as the leading conservative constitutional scholar in the country why would you want to descend into the mosh pit of election politics by, in effect, supporting the Republican candidate. The writers of “Above the Law”, another legal bog, refer to you now as just another “political hack”.
In your “Civility and Decorum Policy” you say: “we…do not want to add another ‘echo chamber’ to the internet where we each repeat or amplify certain views” If that is the goal please explain how your column is not just an “echo chamber” for the views we see on Fox News. This is ironic since you often complain about the “echo chamber” in the liberal and left-wing media. You can’t have it both ways.
“Jonathan: On the day before the mid-term elections it seems unseemly you would choose to raise “questions” about the fitness of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman to hold office–based on his stroke and his “serious cognitive” abilities”. You offer no objective evidence of Fetterman’s current medical condition. “
Democrats voted for Fetterman before they even knew how sick he was. Now just days after the Fetterman, Oz debate Dennis is questioning the evidence of Fetterman’t current medical condition. One has to wonder about Dennis’ critical thinking skills.
So you’re stating Virdi has the right lamely to defend Fetterman “just before the midterms” but Prof. Turley does not have the right to reflect or comment on that defense. Fetterman is quite unfit for office regardless of his physical and mental state. But that aside, had Fetterman been running on the Republican ticket Virdi would never have written that absurdist document and you would never have objected to Turley’s commentary on it.
RE:”You offer no objective evidence of Fetterman’s current medical condition” Encountering an individual lying on the ground, twitching, jerking, and thrashing, there is no OBJECTIVE evidence that a seizure is in progress. However, SUBJECTIVE evidence suggests that it is, and one acts accordingly until a more definitive assessment and diagnosis can be made. In Fetterman’s case, the objective evidence as to his fitness is under wraps and will not be disclosed, for obvious reasons. MRI’s and CT/angiography of brain using contrast media will give you the flow rates of the circulation there and enable the educated and enlightened as to what the degree of compromise exists as will follow up,hands on clinical assessments by the neurologists who attended and managed him, on ER presentation, through the clinical course, discharge and followup. If he underwent an emergency interventional endovascular thrombectomy, before and after radiologic studies would have been obtained and assessed. THAT’s the data currently under wraps. If your SUBJECTIVE impression of his affect is that it is normal, you’re out of your depth where the medical expertise of contributors to the group’s conversations are concerned, because it is NOT, and you should limit your remarks accordingly..
Dennis McIntyre, one question remains. Why won’t Fetterman release his medical records. He could make a quick phone call to his doctor saying okay Doc I am ready to give the public everything they need to make a decision. Like you Dennis he just doesn’t want the people of Pennsylvania to know.
Fetterman had a stroke 5 months ago. Repeatedly voters were assured that was not an issue.
There have been questions since then. As actual evidence has come out, it is increasingly evident Fetterman has a long long long way to go before he has recovered – If he ever will.
The real issue here is why so many have waited so long to say there is something seriously wrong.
If you wish you can pretend that doctors statements etc are all true.
We have all seen how Fetterman performs in public, in debate, in interviews.
If you wish to beleive that is good enough to be a Senator – YOU are free to do so.
LOTS of the rest of us think this is not a man who should be in the senate.
We do not need to know Fetterman had a stroke.
We do not need doctors assurances.
We are capable of watching Fetterman in Public and deciding for ourselves.
Personally – he should have withdrawn when he had the stroke.
But he, his family and the democratic party decided otherwise.
Now they can live with the results.
Sympathy for Fetterman would be easier if he were not pretending to be able to be a US Senator.
Regardless, Sympathy is not a basis to vote for someone.
There is no right to be Senator. You must convince voters you are both able, and that for political reasons they want to vote for you.
It’s so transparent where this is headed if Fetterman wins. Expect his wife to be appointed when he steps down not long after he is sworn in. Then we shall see what Philadelphia has allowed to be foisted upon the rest of PA and the country. Pretty scary Machiavellian stuff.
What Fetterman Democrats are doing is one of the things seen in crowded areas where empty parking spaces are a rarity. Someone sits in the parking space holding it for their friend that will arrive later. They inappropriately block others from parking. Many find that action despicable. That is what the Democrats are doing with Fetterman, which is more despicable on many levels.
I do not expect him to win.
The most important evidence is Fettermans public performance.
We have all seen that.
My grandmother used to vote for the most handsome candidate.
People can vote for whatever reasons they choose.
This is not a criminal court.
The standard of evidence is whatever each voter chooses.
That applies to all of us.
I was at a resturant recently and heard some women discussing this race,
and several said they could not vote for Oz because he is a muslim.
None of our discrimination laws apply to voters.
People can vote for or against candidates based on whatever reasons they want.
If that is the goal please explain how your column is not just an “echo chamber” for the views we see on Fox News.
Echo Chamber doesn’t mean what you think it means. The mere fact you and others post contrarian points of view prove this is anything but an echo chamber.
“Now, the Washington Post has run a long column from University of Delaware Professor Jaipreet Virdi declaring that it is not just embracing ableism but eugenics to question Fetterman’s fitness.”
Obviously, an honored graduate and tenured professor of the clown college in Chennai.
Educated anyandeverywhere but the US, she’s marshalled her alien leftist “everybody hates the deaf” mentality to aid a person who isn’t deaf, merely brain damaged which in Dim circles isn’t particularly disqualifying as both see the rest of us as the “Great Unwashed” (as Edmund Burke used to say) in desperate need of their sinister brand of brain-free “enlightenment.” See such likely clergy of the left as Joe, Sleepy; Johnson, Hank; Lee, Sheila Jackson and, everyone’s favorite brain cell challenged lush, Pelosi, Nancy (“hiccup”).
Actually, it’s sort of refreshing to see the Dims acknowledge mental impairment since they were loath to see the obvious in 2020.
Anyway, go out and vote tomorrow. It’s time to throw the mongrels from the ramparts and reclaim the country. Wonder how Hunter looks in my favorite Dim color, Inmate Orange?
We waste so much time and conversations about these academic morons .’Eugenics? Give me a break!! Fetterman has a mass in the right center of his neck which is enlarging. Why hasn’t it being addressed? The man stands there amongst a cheering crowd, his surrogates are all animated, and he stands there, without affect, looking like Don Megowan’s ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon.’ Why?? He turns his entire body to look around. Never turns his head. Why? He has issues, but the ‘gimmee free stuff crowd couldn’t care less. Biden shut down PA’s energy industry and they couldn’t care less. Yesterday he was clear that there would be NO MORE DRILLING. And they couldn’t care less. All the Democrats want is warm body in the Senate to give them a majority and dictate how to vote and the pathetic lemmings will give it to them as they race over the cliff.
Fetterman has a mass in the right center of his neck which is enlarging. Why hasn’t it being addressed?
Arias-Tellez MJ, et al. Neck adipose tissue accumulation is associated with higher overall and central adiposity, a higher cardiometabolic risk, and a pro-inflammatory profile in young adults. Int J Obes (Lond). 2021 Apr;45(4):733-745. doi: 10.1038/s41366-020-00701-5. Epub 2020 Nov 2. PMID: 33139886.
Several have been commenting that his post-stroke trajectory will be favorable given his age. These people are untrained in the medical sciences, liars or both.
Fetterman comes from a white privileged background. Mommy and Daddy paid for his every whim including multiple advanced academic degrees (BA, MBA and MPH from Harvard) with no student debt to match. Married with children while his parents still supported him as he “worked” as a politician Mayor for a black town where the Council Members, mainly black, resented him. He is a sanctimonious white dude, with a history of weighing over 400 pounds, morbidly obese and a horrific cardiovascular, metabolic history under the age of 50. Talk about reckless, self-destructive and aloof. He had a left middle cerebral artery ischemic stroke. The MCA is a branch off of the carotid artery, internal. His post-stroke trajectory is awful because the atherosclerotic buildup in his carotid arteries that lead to the cranial arteries (e.g. MCA) is sludge.
Kolmos M, Christoffersen L, Kruuse C. Recurrent Ischemic Stroke – A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2021 Aug;30(8):105935. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2021.105935. Epub 2021 Jun 18. PMID: 34153594.
Even if he trimmed down his weight to 230 lbs for a guy of his 6’9″ height, the plaque buildup is a time bomb. I wish him well but running for Senate, Governor or Mayor is not in his or constituents best interest. He is still in the campaign because of nefarious reasons which is all the more reason to reject this guy as a trojan horse.
Then again, what in the heck is a highly trained cardiothoracic surgeon doing running as a politician?!?!
RE: RE:”Then again, what in the heck is a highly trained cardiothoracic surgeon doing running as a politician?!?!” Thank you for excellent clinical review. I made some comments unaware of your post but you’ve pretty much supported me. As to political aspirations, It’s nothing new that Congress has been replete with members of the health care professions from a variety of walks. Why not he? They, and many others, including “45” have brought far more diverse life experiences to bear in their proceedings than that current holder of the Presidency.
RE: “Neck adipose tissue accumulation..” Perhaps more. I’ve seen enough lipomas in that anatomical location in my time not to want to rule that out. They are space occupying lesions with mass effect of concern. Patients are often adverse to surgically intervention in such cases.
It was fairly common back in the 1990s, early 2000s to see HIV+ patients present with a “hump back neck” due to lipodystrophy. It is no longer seen today in HIV patients because HIV meds are superior
Guzman N, Vijayan V. HIV-associated Lipodystrophy. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493183/
When I saw Fetterman’s hump, my mind went immediately to lipid accumulation.
as for Dr Oz, a CT surgeon is a elite physician. Their training is brutally long and exceedingly demanding. There is a shortage of them today. Seems like a waste to me, but I see the role of physicians like that of vocation, which never ends. I might understand a burnt out psychiatrist, ophthalmologist, generalist but a CT is a very special physician. However thats just me
We don’t give a driver’s license to a blind person. Is that also ’embracing eugenics’? Fetterman’s medical conditions make it difficult or impossible for him to understand and communicate effectively – paramount qualifications for a legistator. I wish him a speedy recovery, but electing him to the Senate is akin to giving a blind person a driver’s license: They are simply incapable of performing the task. If Fetterman had a shred of integrity, he would have dropped out of the race when he suffered the stroke.
Fetterman’s medical conditions make it difficult or impossible for him to understand and communicate effectively
That makes him a modern day Democrat hence his candidacy