fbpx

Pennsylvania

PA House Speaker Bryan Cutler isn’t running for re-election. The reason why is terrifying.

So despite his hard-right political leanings, the departure of Speaker Bryan Cutler is terrible news for us all. By bullying, harassing, and threatening anyone who stands up for our democratic institutions and the rule of law, these radical, treasonous Trump sycophants are inching closer and closer to putting one of their own into an unparalleled position of legislative power. And when that happens, the price will be higher than anyone could possibly imagine.

There Was a Guy Dressed Like Elvis at an Anti-Mask Protest at the Capitol, and I Have So Many Questions

Earlier today, a group of patriots people with nothing better to do held a rally against the mask mandate for schools issued by Governor Wolf’s Department of Health. As you can see, it was quite the gathering, with 14 whole people showing up to defend against tyranny:

anti-mask protestors
These 14 folks are all that's protecting us from socialism.

To be fair, they were loud and obnoxious for a crowd several times larger, actively engaging with anyone who crossed their path.

In a way it was almost sad, because for the 5 minutes I watched, nearly every person passing by had no problem telling the protestors to “fuck off,” which was really quite fun to watch.

The group had every variation of “spreadneck” you would expect at this kind of meeting of the minds; Alpha Karens, Neck Beards, Grandmother Who Is Way Too Young To Be a Grandmother, etc. It was a truly diverse group of people who may or may not have been related to one another.

But we have to talk about one guy in particular because he was far and away the star of the show. I’m talking about the anti-mask protester dressed up like Elvis:

elvis
This is real. This guy was really out there protesting mask mandates dressed like Elvis.

I have SO. MANY. QUESTIONS.

First, why in the world would this guy dress up like Elvis to protest the mask mandate? And why did he choose old, gross Elvis? Do you really think that dressing up like Elvis right before he died is going to give you credibility on public health issues? Is there a single person on Earth who equates late-stage Elvis with the word healthy?

And of course, he misspelled “breathe” on his sign, unless he wants us all to be free to breath.

What makes you wake up, look in your closet and say, “You know what? I think today is an Elvis day.” I mean, who does that? And is there nobody in his house to at least ask some questions before he leaves for a day of plague rat stuff?

Does the Elvis suit get dry cleaned regularly? It was about 85 degrees out there today, and that suit was working overtime. Does he have other costumes that he rotates out depending on the occasion? If so, what are they? 

And why no sideburns? Would it kill you to fully commit to the role? I mean, what the hell?

I wish I could say the guy went there to goof on the protesters and make them look silly sillier, but he seemed to be chirping right up with the rest of them, so I have to assume he was there of his own volition.

Get ready because this about to get even more bizarre.

But here’s the best part. Either this guy is a meta-level troll playing in his own league, or he’s even more stupid than the picture would indicate. Why? Because Elvis was famously pro-vaccine, going as far as to get vaccinated for polio on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956.

"Thank you, ma'am. Thank you very much."

In a world without social media, texting, or even cable television, Elvis getting his polio vaccine in front of millions of adoring teenagers was a huge deal. Vaccination rates among American youth skyrocketed to 80 percent after just six months.

So what exactly was happening on the steps of the State Capitol today? Was fake Elvis really trolling all of the anti-maskers, or did he somehow accidentally cosplay as a dead celebrity who managed to get millions of people vaccinated?

Personally, I think he should have just gone with his Jenny McCarthy outfit, but I would imagine the high heels would be uncomfortable if you plan on yelling at people all day long.

If anyone knows more about our Elvis impersonator with a cause, please let us know.

And to the 13 other protesters, don’t you people have jobs? 

State Rep. Dawn Keefer is Pennsylvania’s New Hydroxychloroqueen

Dawn Keefer cares about precisely two things: the support of the hard-right political base and the ability to raise money from political action committees funded by working professionals in various fields. As long as Keefer can do both with zero consequences, she will continue to do so, putting the people she swore to protect in potentially mortal danger.

Doug Mastriano Needs Smacked Down. Hard.

Doug Mastriano is begging to be smacked down, and Democrats need to seize the moment and knock him down on his Trump-loving butt.

Mastriano, who serves as a state senator from Franklin County when he isn’t working with insurrectionists hell-bent on dismantling our democracy, recently called for an Arizona-style audit of Pennsylvania’s 2020 election results. In fairness, the Arizona audit has been a resounding success, if your definition of success includes handing over millions of legally cast ballots to a firm of partisan hacks with no auditing experience that shipped those ballots off to an undisclosed location in Montana, forever ruining voting machines that will need to be replaced before the next election.

Instead of trying to wreck Pennsylvania all at once, Mastriano called for an audit of only three counties: Tioga, York, and Philadelphia. Here’s a breakdown of how many votes were cast in each county in the 2020 Presidential election:

And now, just for funsies, let’s take a look at the percentage of white folks in each of those counties:

Let’s give Mastriano credit here for being incredibly disingenuous and incredibly racist at the same time. There’s a reason this guy is the frontrunner for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2022, after all.

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and MAGA

By including two reliably Republican counties filled with voters willing to sacrifice their firstborn to the altar of Donald Trump, Mastriano is trying to set Democrats up when York and Tioga agree to the audit, and Philadelphia refuses to play along. You can almost hear talk radio teeming with “what do THEY (aka non-white people) have to hide?”

It’s a nifty play by Mastriano designed to build his profile statewide and solidify himself as the clear choice for Trump supporters in 2022. For all of his faults, he is not stupid in the traditional sense. According to his official biography, Mastriano has a doctorate in history and four master’s degrees (Strategy, Strategic Intelligence, Military Operations, and Airpower). While in the Army, he served several combat tours overseas, is a published author, and taught at the Army War College. He’s Donald Trump without the money, but with a real education and legitimate military bona fides.

For all of these reasons, Doug Mastriano is arguably the most dangerous Republican in Pennsylvania. How many times did we avoid further disaster during the Trump administration because Donald Trump has virtually no concept of using power to govern effectively? We were saved more times than we’ll probably ever know by Trump’s utter incompetence at his job.

But Mastriano is smart enough to use his angry, racist mob in ways that Trump lacked the intellectual capacity and inability to look beyond his own ego to comprehend. With the Republicans holding substantial majorities in both the State House and Senate, Doug Mastriano as governor could quickly gut Pennsylvania as we’ve never seen before- right to work, voter suppression, pro-life, open carry without a permit, you name it. And once you cross those lines, it’s nearly impossible to come back again, even when Democrats retake control.

The County Response: Go F*ck Yourself, Doug

So let’s step back from the ledge and focus on Mastriano’s election audit play. Democrats need to seize this opportunity to expose him for the radical, wanna-be dictator he is. If Doug Mastriano wants to be in the spotlight, let’s crank the light up so brightly that he burns up in the process.

First, counties need to tell Mastriano exactly where he can shove his audit request. He has zero legal authority to demand an election audit as chairman of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee. None. Nada. Not even a little bit. I’ve even gone to the trouble of preparing a sample letter for counties to use as a template:

doug mastriano
It's the "God Bless" that makes it clear that it's a professional document.

Next, counties should make it crystal clear that Mastriano will have to go to court to access sensitive voting information and equipment. Let’s be clear- we want this issue to play out in a court of law instead of the court of public opinion. What is he going to do when he can’t produce any hard evidence to justify his self-proclaimed forensic audit? You can almost hear the Democratic majority on the State Supreme Court salivating at the prospect of writing an opinion that utterly and completely destroys Mastriano on every level possible.

Speaking of the court of public opinion, there should be a statewide Democratic blitz framing Mastriano (quite accurately) as “the politician trying to access your private personal data. What’s next- will he be trying to get your credit card information? Your internet search history?” Ramp up the fear factor and take it to the next level, letting him see how he’s not the only one who can manipulate an ignorant and uninformed electorate. Give the jagoff a taste of his own medicine.

Furthermore, counties should demand that Mastriano put up a bond to cover the insane cost of new voting machines in the counties he wants to audit, citing the problems in Arizona. (Spoiler Alert- he’s not going to be able to come up with the millions of dollars needed.) Without certified voting machines, Mastriano will be creating the very election instability that supposedly keeps him up at night. It’s clearly a sore spot he can’t answer, because he has already issued a statement deflecting the question.

Doug Mastriano: The Little Patriot that Couldn't?

Beyond the counties themselves, it’s time to pressure Mastriano about the extent of his role in the January 6 insurrection because his story doesn’t pass the smell test. From his own interviews, we know that he was at Donald Trump’s speech and then moved to the Capitol in time to see the defenses breached by the insurrectionists. Then he posed for a selfie with former State Representative, Trump sycophant, and certifiable crazy person Rick Saccone, who posted, “we’re storming the capitol. Our vanguard has broken thru the barricades. We will save this nation. Are u with me?” Mastriano later distanced himself from Saccone, claiming not to know him very well, which totally explains why he had a big smile on his face and his arm around Saccone in the photo.

mastriano saccone
Are we really supposed to believe that an intelligent politician like Mastriano knowingly posed for a Facebook selfie with someone actively committing an act of treason? Come on.

But the kicker is Mastriano’s claim that just after his selfie with Saccone, he decided he’d had enough violent overthrowing for the day and walked back to his hotel, where he presumably took care of his formidable insurrection erection.

So to be clear: Mastriano traveled to Washington, went to the Trump speech, marched to the Capitol, posed for selfies with insurrectionists he now pretends he doesn’t know, and at the height of the insanity, he decided just to go home? Does anybody seriously believe this?

Here’s another question: as an officer of the United States armed forces, albeit retired, why did he flee as the nation’s Capitol was under siege? Didn’t he swear an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic?” (Spoiler Alert- he did.) Where did THAT guy go?

mastriano
If anyone sees the version of Doug Mastriano who swore to support and defend the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic, his mother is worried about him and wants him to come home.

If Doug Mastriano is the patriot he pretends to be, why didn’t he step in and assist the Capitol Police Officers as they fought for their lives to protect our elected leaders? Why didn’t he try to disperse the crowd by calling on reason and denouncing violence as a solution? Why didn’t he go on social media and urge everyone to stand down and go home? Why did he violate the solemn oath he swore in the eyes of God? The press should be hounding this clown non-stop until he gives us some real answers.

It’s time to force this guy to choose a lane. Whose side is he on here? If he says he stands with the insurrectionists, it’s much easier to brand him as the traitor he is, which will impact his ability to raise money and support from Republicans who want to avoid that stink. And if he stands in opposition to the insurrectionists, he immediately loses a ton of street cred with the Trump voters he has worked so hard to groom. It’s a win-win for Democrats.

It's Time to Confront Performance Art Politics

Slick politicians like Doug Mastriano understand that performance art has replaced policy as the measure of success in the Republican Party. He thinks he knows how Democrats will respond, which is factored into how his message will play to the Republican base he is courting. So instead of giving Mastriano the reasoned, logical response he expects to his Election Audit performance piece, Democrats need to come back with a full-on attack. Take Mastriano’s military service, his political strength, and flip the script by openly questioning his actions on January 6. It’s not hypothetical- he was there and failed to honor his oath as both a State Senator and an officer in the United States Army.

By responding to Doug Mastriano with the same amount of brazen disrespect he’s treating our democratic processes, Democrats can send a strong message to him and other Trump toadies that their words and actions have real consequences. If the Republicans refuse to support and defend our democracy, we sure as hell will. And if it means knocking faux patriots like Doug Mastriano on his ass in the process, then so much the better.

The Keystone Reckoning Project is a Political Action Committee funded solely by donations. If you like what you see and want to help us grow, please make a recurring monthly donation now.

Scroll to top