I love my home state (or actually, commonwealth). Pennsylvania is a good place to live. We have two wonderful cities; if you have jokes about Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as dumps, all you’re telling me is you are basing that on old information. There are beautiful natural areas, and many of the denizens are friendly.
However, we are of course not immune from making bad decisions. Trump won our state, for example. We had Rick Santorum as our senator. And now we have an opportunity to make another awful decision – Hearthrob Snakeoil Salesman Dr. Oz has thrown his hat in the ring for the Pennsylvania senator race.
Mehmet Oz (his real name) somehow became a “trusted medical voice.” Well, not somehow…the only somehow here is he managed to hoodwink an obviously smart woman, Oprah Winfrey, into being his salesperson. Not to pick on Oprah, as Dr. Oz has a successful show himself.
It’s not like he fooled everyone. In fact, there were people trying to tell us he’s a quack for years.
He is running, of course, as a Republican. He has the Republican bonafides. For example, he said this:
DR OZ: "Schools are a very appetizing opportunity. I just saw a nice piece in The Lancet arguing the opening of schools may only cost us 2 to 3%, in terms of total mortality. Any, you know, any life is a life lost, but … that might be a tradeoff some folks would consider." 😳 pic.twitter.com/aifMeKTsIv
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 16, 2020
I certainly hope that Democratic operatives are all over that. Although I doubt it swings many Republicans, and sorry, our recent nonchalance stance toward death that seems to be coming from independents makes me wonder if it would work as well as we would hope.
In his announcement, Dr. Oz said this:
“During the pandemic, I learned that when you mix politics and medicine, you get politics instead of solutions. That’s why I am running for the U.S. Senate: to help fix the problems and to help us heal.”
Okay, first, come here…let me have your ear so I can tell you something:
THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO INJECTED POLITICS INTO MEDICINE DURING THE PANDEMIC WERE REPUBLICANS, THE DEMOCRATS WERE (AND ARE) SAYING EXACTLY WHAT YOUR DAMN FAMILY DOCTOR WAS (AND IS) SAYING – GET VACCINATED AND WEAR YOUR MASK.
That said, what exactly Oz has in mind as far as “fixing problems and helping us heal,” of course, he isn’t clear about. He’s obviously going to run the Virginia governor election playbook, sounding like the reasonable uniter, who gosh darn it wants everyone to heal. Because he’s a doctor! Get it? Meanwhile, he’d let the right-wing fever swamp on social media and right-wing “regular” media do the dirty work.
I have no idea whether any of this will work. No doubt in the primary one of his opponents will use his Muslim faith against him, and he will likely attempt to explain he is not one of those Muslims. He will likely go full throttle on bad COVID ideas, and I wouldn’t be stunned if that would work. Philadelphia suburban voters will see him as one of them, and his tenuous connections to Pennsylvania are all in that region.
But surely a complete quack wouldn’t be elected to Congress, right? What, are you a comedian? My goodness, they could create an entire Quack Caucus.
Oz is no dummy. In fact, I do not believe he himself is a full proponent of kooky medical supplements and potions. I believe he is a proponent of being wealthy as hell. He obviously fooled a lot of smart people. For example, watch the John Oliver clip above, you will see Joe and Mika of Morning Joe SWOONING over Dr. Oz, even after seeing his Senate testimony where he was exposed as a charlatan. He probably owes Oprah a sales commission for hawking his stuff. And remember, Libertarian Frat Bro Paul Ryan was treated as a Reasoned Conservative Voice, even with his economic ideas being complete nonsense, because he made them sound good.
We’ll see how this plays out. The last TV personality to win a national office didn’t work out so well, so fingers crossed he flames out.
The last word goes to Ray Charles – I hope my fellow Pennsylvanians think this if Oz is the GOP nominee.