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Doug Mastriano serenaded with ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ parody

Is the Republican pandering to the Jews he’s accused of dog whistling?

Lately I’ve been thinking of a line from “Fiddler on the Roof”: “God, I know we’re the chosen people, but once in a while, couldn’t you choose someone else?”

It came to me again as, on the eve of the elections, Doug Mastriano, the Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate dogged by accusations of antisemitism, had a bizarre tribute paid to him at a Bucks County rally: a parody of “If I Were a Rich Man” apparently titled “Douglas Mastriano.”

A video from the rally shows Jaymie Bellet, identified on her Facebook page as “a singer/songwriter and follower of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah” accompanying herself on guitar. Her lyrical riff on Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock’s song isn’t exactly Weird Al — heck it ain’t even Randy Rainbow. Here it is anyhow.

Would it be cynical of me to say that Mastriano’s campaign, which has been receiving flack for its candidate harping on the fact his Jewish opponent attended a “privileged” Jewish day school (and rebuking claims of antisemitism by invoking a love of Israel) may have pulled this performance out of the hat to assuage concerns the could-be governor doesn’t like Jewish people? Well, call me a cynic, then! 

The video was hard for me to get through, but I managed to make it all the way up to the line “We love your tours of Gettysburg where we can learn from the history you bestow/Nothing we could get from Shapir-Oh God please no” before wanting to take a nap until the next election cycle.

What are we to make of the display? Well, it’s a bit late in the day to be pandering to Jews. On the other hand, given the musical’s wide appeal, and the singer’s decidedly Messianic bent, it may not be Jews who Mastriano’s people are trying to convince. (Mastriano’s alliance with Messianics is nothing new.)

That said, if Mastriano were making a straightforward appeal to constituents, there’s already a “Fiddler” number for that: “Do You Love Me?”

We’ll find out if they do on Tuesday.

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