Fetterman surprises many with willingness to take left to task on key issues

 January 14, 2024

In a surprising turn of events, Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) has taken a strong stance in opposition to members of his party's far-left “Squad,” clearly distinguishing himself from their radical takes on a series of key issues of the day, in some cases aligning more closely to the positions of former President Donald Trump, as Fox News explains.

Fetterman, who was elected to the upper chamber in November 2022, has taken issue with some of the most controversial positions held by certain colleagues on his side of the aisle, garnering respect and admiration from corners some might not have expected.

Staunch defender of Israel

One area on which Fetterman has emphatically diverged from the liberal wing of his party is that concerning Israel, particularly in the wake of the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas.

Whereas well-known Squad members such as Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) have been outspoken in their criticism of the Israeli response to those attacks as well as of the Biden administration's handling of the ensuing conflict, Fetterman has made his position crystal clear.

“I would be the last man standing to be absolutely there on the Israeli side on this...,” as the Jerusalem Post recently noted.

When asked whether the hostility toward Israel from some of his colleagues has surprised him in recent months, he replied, “I mean, of course, I expected that there will always be a diversity of opinions and that as long as things go that the Democratic caucus might splinter more.”

“Not a progressive”

Beyond their disagreements on Israel, Fetterman and the far-left flank have also diverged on a range of other issues, including the appropriate fate of Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), indicted on corruption charges the Pennsylvania lawmaker believes should result in his ouster from the chamber.

Whereas many in his party are hesitant to take action against Menendez, Fetterman says that his hardline stance on the matter should not come as a surprise, declaring, “I'm not a progressive.”

“Oh, Bob Menendez. What a guy. What a guy. He's still running his mouth against [President Joe] Biden right now. He needs to go,” Fetterman stated.

The senator added, “I don't understand why he can be here, having expelled [former Rep. George] Santos. But I'm sure there might be a very innocent explanation of having gold bars in your mattress and overstuffed envelopes of cash,” a reference to the allegations currently pending against his colleague.

Mixed reactions pour in

Fetterman's outspoken nature on the issues where he splits with certain factions within his party has caused a certain degree of “blowback,” as Fox News noted, but the senator remains undeterred, saying, “Great. I welcome the smoke then.”

Pennsylvania-based public affairs consultant Larry Ceisler suggested that Fetterman's statements are simply an indication that he is not one to stay in lockstep with every idea championed by the radical left, saying, “John's always had this quality to him that people see in him what they want to see. I think that was his strength, but for some of those people who assumed, 'He is fully in our club,' obviously he's not. And I gotta believe that the anger he is evoking, it's making him dig in even more.”

As The Hill reported, longtime Republican strategist Christopher Nicholas recently suggested that no such animosity exists on the right, saying, “For a lot of Republicans, it's been a pleasant surprise. Here is a freshman taking some strong stances...I just see someone who's 'Well, that's what I think, and I say what I think,'”

Less convinced of the senator's true motives, however, is conservative commentator Jack Posobiec, who wrote on social media, “Fetterman is running an angle on talking like average Pennsylvanians so that he can undercut Trump later this year when he campaigns with Biden across Pennsylvania. This is clearly an op and there's a lot of people falling for it.”

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