Already bloated business swells and other ill-intentioned corporate capitalists bellied up to the trough this morning for yet another downtown Scranton Chamber of Commerce breakfast, this time embracing dull company man and U.S. Sen. Bobby Casey as featured speaker.
Raising Palestinian flags and protest placards, about a dozen of Casey’s constituents lined the sidewalk in front of the building to call attention to the continuing slaughter of tens of thousands of Gazans as millions of men, women and children face starvation in the savage aftermath of the continuing bombing and collective punishment of innocent civilians.
When Casey arrived in a gas-guzzling publicly-funded SUV his driver bypassed the front entrance to pull into a space in the back. Casey moved so fast when he got out of the vehicle that decent, moral people Casey is well-paid to serve, who awaited his arrival in the early morning cold, didn’t have a chance to ask him a single question.
Moving quickly to the rear entrance I was only able to spot the back of Casey’s head as he scurried into the building. Before he disappeared behind the locked door I was only able to shout one question: Will you talk with constituents?
Casey never even turned around.
If Casey wants our vote in his tough re-election bid, he better talk with us. If Casey wants to continue the privilege of representing those of us assembled in Democratic President Joe Biden’s birthplace, he better respect us more than he does. If Casey wants to sleep at night with a clear conscience knowing his morality rises to the expected standard of a decent human being, he better support a ceasefire in Gaza and stop his complicity in arming Israel.
The more I think about what happened this morning, the more irked I get.
Casey is one big reason I recently checked out of the Democratic Party after trying for years to fight for progressive change from within and re-registered as a non-affiliated voter. After serving as a faithful Democrat and voting for Biden in 2020, I now might not vote at all. At 72 I’m one of those voters Democrats take for granted. Those days are gone, “Joey” and “Bobby” – as we like to infantilize grown men’s first names here in Scranton. If I do vote, I’m looking at third party candidate Cornel West or some other antagonist to the system in whose judgement I can at least place faith.
As I watched one particularly well-dressed guest walk to the front door to the breakfast this morning I shouted, “Enjoy your breakfast while kids are starving in Gaza.”
No joke, as Biden likes to say.
“The Israeli government is using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare in the occupied Gaza Strip, which is a war crime,” Human Rights Watch reports. “Israeli forces are deliberately blocking the delivery of water, food, and fuel, while willfully impeding humanitarian assistance, apparently razing agricultural areas, and depriving the civilian population of objects indispensable to their survival.”
The self-absorbed swell on his way into the breakfast had to hear me yell unless his head was in the clouds where most distracted Democrats daydream when it comes to accepting the harsh reality of genocide in Gaza. Judging from the well-fed appearance of the hungry crowd that showed up for the Chamber breakfast, maybe I should take a cue from this gluttonous gang and plan a breakfast of my own.
“Breakfast at Bobby’s” at Casey’s Webster Avenue house just a few blocks from my home in the Hill Section of Scranton might be a nice way to introduce our ire to Casey’s neighbors. We can sit on the curb eating our Wheaties with our fingers like barbarians at the gate. Or we can just walk up and down in front of Casey’s home inviting the shameless, shrinking senator to join us for a bite.
Like it or not, voracious bad governmental gorger Casey must one day eat his humble pie.