What If Ohio Threw A Senate Debate And All The Incredibly The Worst People Came?

Elections

The leading Republican candidates for the open US Senate seat from Ohio debated for the first time Sunday night. It was a repulsive display as they all tried to out-asshole each other.

Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt moderated the event at Westerville's Genoa Church. It was sponsored by the Center for Christian Virtue, and if that name actually meant anything, they wouldn't have invited most of the candidates, which included Jane Timken, former state GOP chair; Josh Mandel, former state treasurer; and J.D. Vance, current asshole. Also present were state Sen. Matt Dolan, investment banker Mike Gibbons, and car dealer Bernie Moreno.

Dolan is struggling in this race because he's not a complete asshole. He's drawn rebuke from Donald Trump himself because his family owns the Cleveland Guardians and Dolan didn't pitch a fit over the team no longer having a racial epithet as its name. Trump said last month:

Anybody that changes the name of the once storied Cleveland Indians to the Cleveland Guardians should not be running for the United States Senate representing the Great People of Ohio. The Atlanta Braves didn't change their name, and the Florida State Seminoles didn't change their chant, but Cleveland has, and they were there first.

Native tribes were in fact here first and deserve better than serving as mascots for the nation's most boring pastime.


Dolan also supports the bipartisan infrastructure bill. He's sort of running in the Rob Portman lane, and the incumbent senator's retiring in the first place because there's no room for “polite" Republicans on the Trump expressway. Dolan even supports treating LGBTQ people like actual citizens and banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. He's toast.

Moreno suggested that America declare Mexican drug cartels “terrorist organizations." He apparently doesn't fully comprehend how terrorism works. Timken complained that children are learning how to be gay and hate white people instead of getting their advanced degrees in patriotism.

TIMKEN: Our children are failing in schools. They cannot read, they cannot write. It's because our education system has deviated from its job. Instead of prayer and patriotism in school, we are now talking about critical race theory and other issues like sexuality.

"JANE TIMKEN FOR SENATE: Your Children Is Dumb As Fuck."

Republicans only started talking about critical race theory during this calendar year, but it's somehow retroactively rendered Ohio students illiterate.

Timken tried her best, but she's not in the same bag of soggy crap as Vance and Mandel. It says everything about the current GOP that they're the top contenders for the nomination. Of course, Vance shouldn't have been at the debate at all. He should've been hiding in a dark room somewhere under an assumed name after he “joked" Friday that Twitter should let Donald Trump stink up the joint again because “We need Alec Baldwin tweets."

See, it's funny because Baldwin, who played Trump on "Saturday Night Live," accidentally shot and killed a woman on a movie set. No, it's not funny at all. It's a horrible tragedy, and Vance is a monster and not even one who has the sense to keep his mouth shut like Michael Myers.

Democratic Senate candidate Tim Ryan put it best: "Someone died, you asshole."

Vance hasn't apologized or expressed regret because that's not what Republicans do in Trump's party. He also doubled down again on his gross assertion that childless people have no business in the public sphere. He claimed the educational establishment is run by "people without kids trying to brainwash the minds of our children." Let's go ahead and assume this isn't true.

He singled out labor leader Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, as someone who “doesn't have a child." Weingarten is gay, and while conservatives aren't thrilled when gay people have kids, this feels like a less-than-subtle dig at her sexuality in general.

Randi Weingarten ... doesn't have a child. If she wants to brainwash and destroy the minds of children, she should have some of her own.

OK, I don't think someone should have children so they can "brainwash and destroy" their minds. That's messed up. Also, J.D. Vance can go fuck himself. I can't believe I have to say this in the 21st Century, but Weingarten's family makeup isn't relevant to how she does her job.

But even assholes like Vance might still understand how the Constitution works. Josh Mandel, however, declared that “there's no such thing as separation of church and state."

Oh, yes he did:

Mandel, who's held elected office, demanded that we impose the religious faith of his preference “in the classroom, in the workplace, and everywhere in society." Mandel also tweeted that we should “shut down government schools and put schools in churches and synagogues." It's an anti-American sentiment that has turned up (almost verbatim) elsewhere on conservative Twitter.

He also repeated the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. People died because of this lie, but Mandel considers his blind devotion to Trump his biggest selling point. And even supposedly pro-Vance polls only show the bad book author losing slightly less badly to Mandel, who's openly rejected democracy, the Constitution, and observable reality.

Here's where we send you to Tim Ryan's donation page. Biden lost Ohio by eight points last year, but we can't give up on this one. Senator Mandel is too terrifying to consider.

[Dispatch]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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