Fetterman Opens Up About His Slide to the Middle 

OogImages / shutterstock.com
OogImages / shutterstock.com

It’s a fate no one saw coming when John Fetterman (D-PA) won his election in 2022. Once a proud champion of the progressive agenda, Fetterman has notably lurched to the middle and distanced himself from progressive ideology altogether. 

With his votes no longer reliable, Fetterman finds himself a denounced spoiler to the radical left agenda, similar to Joe Manchin (I-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ).  

Some of Fetterman’s recent moves include breaking from the Democratic pack on President Joe Biden’s immigration executive order and siding with Israel over Hamas.  

Fetterman defended the administration’s border security approach, emphasizing its importance for his state and stressing the need for a secure border. In an earlier interview with Fox News’ Chad Pergram, Fetterman expanded on his immigration views, highlighting the many people encountered at the border and comparing it to the population of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s second-largest city. He stated that one can support immigration while also insisting on border security, questioning why this should be controversial for a Democrat or any American. 

Meanwhile, Fetterman’s staunch support for Israel has caused tension within his party, particularly with some progressive members. He acknowledged that his position has made him a target, noting that both progressives and the right are hoping for his downfall due to his views on Israel and border security. He drew the wrath of progressives when he waved an Israeli flag at Palestinian protestors from his roof. 

He has also surprised conservatives by working to remove Senator Bob Menendez from Congress due to bribery and other accusations. He’s also opposing regulations on Zyn, a new nicotine pouch that’s become popular in conservative online circles. 

So why did the fiery 6 foot 8 inch hoodie-wearing Fetterman abandon his progressive ways? According to the Pennsylvania representative, a near-death experience from a stroke caused him to reconsider his extremist views.  

Fetterman talked about his near-death experience during an interview with Bill Maher on Real Time With Bill Maher, where he openly discussed his struggles with a stroke and depression. Maher asked if these experiences allowed him to speak more freely. Fetterman said it was freeing and that after overcoming those challenges, he wanted to express his true beliefs without fearing backlash. 

Maher then asked why he identifies as a Democrat rather than a progressive. Fetterman explained that he didn’t abandon the progressive label. He just no longer believes it fits his views, especially after the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7. Fetterman said that event “shattered the progressive stance.” 

Fetterman raised eyebrows in late April when Ihe called anti-Israel protesters “a-holes” in response to progressives criticizing Israel. He noted that it was appalling how many Democrats didn’t condemn Iran for attacking Israel and is shocked at how many of his fellow Democrats support Hamas.  

Despite his harsh words, he made it clear that he supports the right to protest and the rights of those who have different opinions. The issue, he said, is when these protests, such as large-scale marches, block streets and disrupt people’s lives. In May, Fetterman doubled down on campus protests, saying they were an offshoot of Hamas. 

Fetterman first distanced himself from the Democrats’ progressive arm in late 2023. Fetterman noted that throughout his 2022 campaign, he didn’t identify as a progressive Democrat.  

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has been vocal about her betrayal at the hands of Fetterman, calling him a bully for joking that the House of Representatives was like an episode of The Jerry Springer Show. His remarks followed the clash between Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX), and AOC. The now infamous exchange occurred during a hearing to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress.  

“Do you know what we’re here for?” Crockett asked Greene, who responded, “I think your fake eyelashes are messing up what you’re reading.” AOC waded into the fray, asking that Greene’s remarks be “moved down.” Greene then asked AOC if her feelings were hurt, to which AOC answered, “Oh, baby girl. Don’t even play.” 

AOC took Fetterman’s comparison of the House of Representatives with The Jerry Springer Show to heart, accusing the Pennsylvanian of not wanting to stand up to “racism and misogyny.” Undeterred, Fetterman told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he was “responding to the chaos” and that if “everyone on the committee was proud” of the incident, they should send it to civics students in an 8th-grade classroom. 

Fetterman’s light-hearted approach makes him unique, and his now-moderate stances make him wildly unliked within his party. There is little doubt that now that he has offended the gods of progressivism, he will be a one-term wonder. But what an incredibly unpredictable term it has been.