John fetterman in front of american flag

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John Fetterman’s recent policy pivots earn him ‘based’ label from the far-right

He recently ditched the 'progressive' label as well.


Katherine Huggins


Posted on Jan 9, 2024

Sen. John Fetterman (D-Penn.) has distanced himself from the “progressive” label his 2022 campaign at points embraced—and has gained the unexpected admiration of conservatives in the process.

“John Fetterman is so based,” wrote prominent right-wing blogger Ian Miles Cheong.

“What happened to make Fetterman become based?” wrote another user on X.

The shift in perception among conservatives comes as Fetterman has staunchly advocated in support of Israel, spoken out about the migrant crisis at the U.S. border, and called Harvard “always a little pinko” in the wake of the tumultuous exit of its president Claudine Gay over her handling of antisemitism on campus as well as allegations of plagiarism in her academic work.

Fetterman attended Harvard.

In response to Fetterman stating that “there’s a crisis at the border” and he doesn’t know “how anybody could pretend that there isn’t, one person remarked that “dude has become based.”

“I wish he was running as president for the Democrats lmao,” wrote another user in response to the same clip.

“Fetterman has inexplicably been a breath of fresh air!” replied someone else.

“Has John Fetterman completely forgotten what side he’s supposed to be on?” asked conservative podcaster Tim Young.

News that Fetterman was seeking to ban the Chinese government and other foreign adversaries from owning U.S. farmland drew similar reactions, with one Trump supporter replying, “Why is Fetterman lowkey getting based.”

Other right-wingers played into the longstanding conspiracy theory that body doubles are being used in Fetterman’s place amid his recovery from a stroke in May 2022.

“Whoever they have playing fetterman is getting pretty based!” wrote one person on X.

“John Fetterman’s body double is way more based than John Fetterman,” said another.

“The Fetterman Clone is more based than 99% of GOP,” posted someone else, adding that he’d trade Fetterman for Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) any day.

The praise from right-wingers online comes at the same time that Fetterman has faced heightened criticism from some Democrats due to his policy stances and rejection of the label “progressive.”

“I’m not a progressive,” told NBC News in December. “I just think I’m a Democrat that is very committed to choice and other things. But with Israel, I’m going to be on the right side of that. And immigration is something near and dear to me, and I think we do have to effectively address it as well.”

Fetterman’s comment and subsequent doubling down against being a progressive prompted left-wing outrage at the time, with some former supporters stating they regret their donations or would like their money back.

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*First Published: Jan 9, 2024, 9:36 am CST