Mid-April, Sen. John Fetterman returned to Capitol Hill for the first time after spending much of his tenure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center receiving treatment for clinical depression. He was given the opportunity to chair the Senate Subcommittee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry last month in an effort to prove that he could do his job. The Washington Post acknowledged that “his voice would stumble at times when reading prepared notes,” however, that was still a very generous statement. The video of the hearing was difficult to watch, as Fetterman appeared to struggle to read from his prepared remarks.
The hearing was a painful reminder that cognitive impairments had been raised during the campaign. He was incapacitated by a stroke that occurred in May 2022 and survived. According to his closest associates, he continued to campaign, which caused irreversible damage to the brain. He did not seem to make any progress with his stroke recovery despite being away from the Senate over a long period of time.
It’s obvious to all that Fetterman has no business holding office in the Senate. While it’s obvious that Fetterman is unfit to hold office in the Senate, there are some media outlets who have tried to distract from his cognitive impairments. They praise him for “talking” about depression.
Seit his disastrous performance at a committee hearing in mid-April the media is less interested in showing Fetterman. Seit the hearing mentioned above, Fetterman also made quiet appearances in a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and a Senate Banking Committee, where he struggled with reading out his prepared question.
It is interesting that the media did not show much interest in Fetterman, given how eager they were to promote him as a symbol of courage and strength after his return to Walter Reed. They also wanted to demonstrate that he was capable of becoming a senator. It’s because his chairing the Senate Subcommittee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry was planned to be a media spectacle and his subsequent appearances haven’t.
Fetterman, and others’, extended absences were a problem because of the Democrats’ slim majority in Senate. The Democrats appear to be trying to portray Fetterman as working and performing his duties in order to avoid his resignation prior to the 2024 election — and media are helping by not paying much attention to his public appearances anymore.