Christian nationalism + anti-abortion extremism + antisemitism + election denialism = Doug Mastriano's losing campaign playbook
You didn’t even have to be in the State of Pennsylvania to hear the sickening crunch of the slow-motion train wreck of Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano’s campaign at the state capital in Harrisburg on Saturday. Only a few dozen people showed up for a rally Mastriano held on the capitol steps, and many of them appeared to be campaign volunteers, according to the New York Times.
Mastriano doesn’t really seem to have a campaign, according to reports in newspapers and on local television news shows over the last six months. Nor does he hold regular campaign events like speeches to crowds of supporters [see also: Harrisburg rally] or local civic organizations. He doesn’t give interviews to the media, either. In fact, he travels with a coterie of thuggish aides and candidate handlers whose sole job seems to be keeping the media at bay. He does like to speak at churches, where the press is almost always kept outside the sanctuary and cannot hear what Mastriano tells the congregations. When he does appear in a public setting, as he did two weeks ago at a luncheon in Pittsburgh, the press was “barred entirely,” according to a report in Vanity Fair, which had a reporter there attempting to cover the Mastriano campaign, with little apparent success.
At another campaign event in Pittsburgh recently, journalists were told “not to engage with Doug or Rebbie [Mastriano’s wife] and were physically blocked by campaign members and supporters,” according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Philadelphia Inquirer put it this way in a recent report: “On the campaign trail with Mastriano, dissent is squelched. Questions are neither asked nor answered. Paranoia is rampant.” Mastriano assured his audience in Pittsburgh that when he is elected, “No longer will you have a governor reigning over you with terror and fear.”
You have to wonder what kind of fear the man is talking about, and who he’s afraid of.
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