Submitted by Dwight Weidman
Author’s note: This is the original version of a column I did for another Chambersburg publication, which was edited by that publication to take out some important insight into local politics. In addition, I updated some comments related to the latest poll numbers and made a few minor changes to reflect current events.
Sometime very early in the morning of Wednesday, November 9th, the mid-term election results will be in from the day before and will signal the de facto end of the disaster known as the Biden administration. Of course, “The Big Guy,” as he is known to his brilliant son Hunter, will still be holed up in the White House basement for the next two years or so, but his presidency will be effectively neutralized, except for the occasional comic relief provided by his public appearances.
The red wave is building despite the brief sugar high the Democrats seemed to have enjoyed just a few months ago when the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision gave them an issue, abortion, on which they could gaslight their faithful, but that issue was quickly lost in the continued deterioration of the economy, inflation, energy, the border and crime. Now, the voters are in a foul mood, and are ready to take out their anger on the party in charge, the Democrats.
The polls are now uniformly tilting in the red direction with a week to go, and races that were close or had an advantage for the Democrats are now all showing a Republican advantage, even in some states that have been Democrat strongholds for years. The House of Representatives looks like its going to be a runaway for Republicans, who will pick up anywhere from thirty to fifty or more seats, and the US Senate will be Republican again after a net pickup of three to five seats. At least thirty-one of the fifty states will have Republican governors, even in blue states like Minnesota, Michigan, Oregon, or even New York.
Here in Pennsylvania, Dr. Mehmet Oz is now tied or ahead in the polls with John Fetterman, and the word is that the Oz campaign’s internal polling has had the good Doctor up for a few weeks now. The debate between the two showed that Fetterman isn’t fit to be in his current job, let alone face the rigors of the U.S. Senate, and that doesn’t even take into consideration Fetterman’s extreme far left views.
The Democrats are trying to shore up their candidates by sending Joe Biden and Barack Obama to Pennsylvania, which is like sending a couple of arsonists to put out a fire.
Locally, it is the same old story. My ballot this time could have been put on a postcard, with only the statewide races giving us any choice. That’s how the political establishment in Franklin County likes to play things. The guys in charge of the local Republican Party prefer a one-horse race, as we’ll see in 2023. More on that after the mid-terms!
Only the Pennsylvania Governor’s race looks bleak for Republicans. Barring a miracle, it now appears Democrat Attorney General Josh Shapiro will beat local Republican party establishment darling Doug Mastriano, who is behind about seven points in the latest RCP poll average.
If Mastriano loses, what is his next stop? He has spent most of the last two years or more campaigning for governor, and if he fails at that, where does he go next? Having burnt his bridges with the Harrisburg leadership, staying in the State Senate wouldn’t suit his ego. He showed well in the 2018 eight-way Republican primary to replace retiring Congressman Bill Shuster, and the consensus is that he could easily beat our plain-vanilla 13th District Representative John Joyce, but since both of these gentlemen feed from the same local political trough, it would create quite a bit of chaos.
There are quite a few local political geeks who think that if Doug loses to Shapiro, he will pull a Richie Alloway and resign from the Senate, leaving the county Republican Party to have a major say in who fills out his term, much to the delight of current local party Chair and Vice Chair Fred Young and John Flannery, whose zeal for Republican politics neatly coincides with the day they decided to run for county office. More on that later. The word around the campfire is that Flannery makes no effort to conceal his desire to go to Harrisburg for a lifetime gig. After all, that’s what belonging to the local political establishment and political secret society, in the form of a PAC called the “Reagan Coalition”, is all about.
Flannery has found out that once you cast principle and independence aside, obeisance has its rewards. Slinging BS in Harrisburg is much easier and more lucrative than slinging hash in Greencastle. C’mon folks! You really didn’t believe Flannery’s promise to only serve two terms at the public trough, did you? He canned that little ruse the minute he joined the “Ol Boys Club”.
Oh yes, what happens to Mastriano if he resigns? Quo Vadis Doug? No doubt a position in some conservative think tank or Political Action Committee awaits, which is the equivalent of heaven after political death.
About the author
Dwight Weidman is a resident of Greene Township and is a graduate of Shepherd University. He is retired from the United States Department of Defense, where his career included assignments In Europe, Asia, and Central America. He has been in leadership roles for the Republican Party in two states, most recently serving two terms as Chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party. Involved in web publishing since 1996, he is the publisher of The Franklin County Journal. He has been an Amateur Radio Operator since 1988, getting his first license in Germany, and is a past volunteer with both Navy and Army MARS, Military Auxiliary Radio Service, and is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.