Mocking the Ill

I did not think much of John Fetterman as a candidate, to say the least. But watching him debate Dr. Oz tonight excited my pity for him, and my anger for everyone around him — his partner, his campaign operation, the Democratic Party of Pennsylvania, and any national party figures who were aware of his condition before this debate. John Fetterman should not have been on a debate stage tonight. He should be at home, recovering from his stroke. He looked and sounded like the victim of a stroke — unable to form coherent responses to questions asked of him, unsteady in reaching for his rehearsed lines.

I am very angered by this spectacle of a seriously ill man being subjected to what amounts to physical abuse for political reasons. This whole idea that after suffering a stroke you need to be able to go back to work at once as if nothing happened is inhuman and wrong. I don’t care what this man’s politics are, I don’t care about his party affiliation, or anything of the kind. I care that he is a human being in distress and he is being trotted out in public for everybody to gape at his physical limitations.

I was particularly stunned to find out that Fetterman is married. We are mocking the wives of the Russian soldiers who are eager to send them to die in hopes of getting a payout as widows. But those are miserable, uneducated, piss-poor women with no options. What is the excuse of Fetterman’s wife? It’s almost physically painful for me to watch clips from this debate, and I don’t know Fetterman. What kind of utter inhumanity is needed to put a victim of a very recent stroke in a high-pressure situation of a political debate?

12 thoughts on “Mocking the Ill

  1. “What kind of utter inhumanity is needed to put a victim of a very recent stroke in a high-pressure situation of a political debate?”

    The Machine needs to be fed, no matter what, and anyone is grist to its mill if it is politically expedient to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When my father had a stroke, he lied to us for two days, denying it. He was dragging his leg and slurring his speech but when we asked, he insisted that he had slipped and hurt himself in the shower. Finally, we had to manhandle him into an ambulance and get him to the hospital where he continued assuring the doctors he was feeling better than ever.

      A stroke involves brain damage. The person isn’t fully there. He can’t decide.


      1. We’re wondering if we should do this with my dad this week, actually. Pupils different sizes, some balance issues, droopy eyelid… pretty classic. But still cogent and has such a contentious relationship with hospitals and medical treatment that… I mean if he doesn’t want to go, I’m really not sure we should force the issue. “This could kill me” has never been much of a deterrent for him. Already died once. Hasn’t bothered him since.


        1. I hope all goes well with your father and that you finish up knowing that you took the right difficult decision between allowing autonomy and keeping alive whatever the costs.
          There is no right answer in many of these cases and I feel for you in this situation.


  2. “What is the excuse of Fetterman’s wife?”

    She’s the hall monitor, because everything in America is really about high school, didn’t you learn that during your intensive American cultural indoctrination? 🙂

    Fetterman’s the jock with a highly visible “mystery medical condition” that’s totally known about, but nobody dares to talk about it because it may draw into question other people with “mystery medical conditions” that nobody dares to talk about.

    Maybe we can’t talk about it but we can hint about it?

    Let’s do this like Alex Trebek.

    Geography for $1000: What is an industrial city in northwest New York State?

    Sounds Like for $700: What is a four-letter homophone of “chump” that starts with the letter H?

    [ahem] … So does anyone want to Google That for Final Jeopardy? 🙂

    “A stroke involves brain damage. The person isn’t fully there. He can’t decide.”

    That’s not the worst that can happen to you, especially in a hospital.

    Reactions to propofol IV can be serious, but many doctors aren’t aware of them, so they’ll double down on treating newly presented symptoms as if the patient came in with them and that they were simply not diagnosed yet.

    The upshot of what this does is that it makes the stroke recovery massively worse.

    What could be a few days turns into weeks, months, or even years.

    During this time doctors with an agenda will try to get these people into some “life care pathway” that the family will agree with because it’s easier than fighting the doctor and the hospital’s admin who are behind him.

    That’s just one example of how this can be anything but what it seems.

    We just don’t know whether the guy’s doped up to the gills or actually functionally non compos mentis, but we can hope his “school monitor” actually does give a damn about him and that she’s going to block the worst of it.

    After all, what else were those marriage vows good for?


    1. “homophone of “chump””

      Not sure what you mean… ‘chump’ doesn’t have any homophones (that I’ve ever heard of). Do you mean ‘rhymes with’? Is this a reference to the…. thing on his neck?

      Here I’m with the majority here. He’s had a major medical event and needs to recover from that and not have done to him whatever they’re doing to get him on a stage or a camera…


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