The GOP Senate primary race in Pennsylvania is finally over after a tedious two weeks of recounts and intraparty stop-the-steal whining. Former hedge fund manager David McCormick, who we assume has otherwise contributed meaningfully to society, has conceded the election to TV’s Dr. Mehmet Oz, a greasy snake oil pitchman.
Friday night, McCormick told supporters his campaign was over during an appearance in Harrisburg.
We spent the last 17 days making sure every Republican vote was counted. But it’s now clear to me that with the recount largely complete, that we have a nominee. And today I called Mehmet Oz to congratulate him on his victory.
There was much drama associated with this recount, especially since Donald Trump had suggested his boy from Oz just declare himself the winner and call it good. Dr. Oz’s lead was fewer than 1,000 Republicans with low expectations. McCormick had requested a recount of select counties, which worked so well for Al Gore in 2000, but it was soon clear he couldn’t make up the gap between him and the guy who proposed sending kids back to school a month into a global pandemic and long before there were vaccines.
McCormick had just won a suit he filed in Pennsylvania state court requesting elections officials count mail-in ballots voters submitted on time, but failed to date on the outside of the envelope consistent with state law. Apparently, if the envelopes aren’t dated they could come from the future, where people don’t write dates on envelopes.
As Wonkette explained a couple weeks ago, the Third Circuit ruled that “rejecting votes because the envelope is undated violates the Civil Rights Act, and thus the law cannot be enforced, as McCormick points out in his suit demanding county officials count those ballots.”
We didn’t even have to wait for the Trumped-up Supreme Court to thumb its nose at the Civil Rights Act, because McCormick accepted the people’s verdict and didn’t keep crying fraud while actively undermining faith in our elections. No wonder Donald Trump didn’t endorse him.
We could take comfort in how close the primary was, despite Dr. Oz having Trump’s endorsement and Sean Hannity’s nightly PR assistance. However, a win is a win, no matter how small the margin. “You only need one” vote to win, according to President Jed Bartlet: “The rest is for ego.”
Dr. Oz is nonetheless the Republican nominee, even if MAGA world doesn’t fully trust him. Conservative radio host Todd Starnes tweeted, “We just have to hope and pray #DrOz is not the deciding Senate vote on whether we get to keep our guns.” This is so unfair. Dr. Oz certainly appears to have spent his entire professional career demonstrating there’s very little he won’t say or do if the price is right, and now right-wingers fear he’ll go “woke” on them and take away their metal masculinity enhancers?
Do we really think he’s going to craft some bipartisan gun bill with Joe Manchin like retiring GOP senator Pat Toomey? Dr. Senator Oz is a truly terrifying prospect because we fear he’ll never stop proving his MAGA bona fides.
Someone commenting from 2002 predicted that Dr. Oz will move to the center for the general election, maybe even get Oprah Winfrey’s support. That’s just laughable. Republicans no longer shift to the center. They move further right while painting their Democratic opposition as a pedophile socialist who performs drive-by abortions. Skeptical Republicans have already begun to embrace Dr. Oz as the non-Democratic option. Whatever he actually believes seems immaterial.
Conservative commentator Mark Davis tweeted, “I had a lot to say about the apparent holes in #DrOz’s conservatism. Now every one of those points pales against the necessity of uniting behind him to keep this seat Republican.”
The problem with “Vote Blue No Matter Who” is that it works both ways: Even a lifelong Republican should reject this TV show quack, but they won’t because the alternative is letting the Democrats win. Hyper-partisanship means this is strictly a turnout election. We shouldn’t count on flipping anyone not already on our team. So, let’s get busy making sure everyone’s ready to take the field in November.
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