Our Soda Jerk Senator Fizzles

As parched Palestinian children drink poisoned gutter water, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey sips and savors a refreshing strawberry milkshake.

Dressed in a dull gray blazer, preppy slacks and a white open-necked shirt, Pennsylvania’s privileged candidate for re-election clutches his frozen treat like vintage TV show “Happy Days” character Richie Cunningham on a malt shop date.

The senator’s wife, Terese, snuggles under his left arm slung 50s sock hop style around his steady’s shoulders. In a childish celebratory gesture Pennsylvania’s lackluster senator raises his plastic lidded cup with a straw sticking from the top.

Yet, these are not the “Happy Days” of yore.

Terese is neither Laverne nor Shirley from another hit 70s comedy spawned from “Happy Days” and Casey is definitely not Fonzie, the super-cool, charismatic show character other guys want to be. No, Casey is Laverne and Shirley’s upstairs neighbors, goofy duo Lenny and Squiggy all rolled into one, squeaking their trademark “Helllloooo!” and bursting through democracy’s door like a mope.

If the man hometown Scranton Democrats affectionately call “Our Bobby” wasn’t so deadly, he’d be nostalgic sitcom material.  Casey continues to oppose a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and stands firmly with the Israeli genocide he votes to continue, an intentional final solution and human extermination plan that has killed more than 40,000 men, women and children, more than 15,000 of whom are children. Millions of displaced Palestinians, shell-shocked and desperate to live, continue to seek shelter where the rubble meets the road.

Casey occasionally takes to the open road himself.

“Hey everybody, we’re on our road trip,” Casey says in a current online re-election campaign commercial. “I’m here with my wife Terese at the Soda Jerk which is, as you can see, a great diner here in Hummelstown.”

I can hear Lenny and Squiggy now.


“We had a great lunch,” Casey says in the campaign ad raising his cup so starving kids in Gaza can see how lucky he is. “I got a strawberry milkshake.”

Milquetoast Casey, 64, is as excited as you ever see him.

“Terese, you had?”

“I had a root beer float,” she says.

Okay, maybe Terese does have some Laverne and Shirley in her as the duo runs arm-in-arm down the street in the show opening chanting, “Shlemiel, Schlemazel. Hasenpfeffer Incorporated.”

“That’s pretty good,” Casey says of his date’s soda fountain selection.

 “It’s good,” Terese says.

 “It’s a fun trip and a great place,” Casey says. “We’re grateful for the service here and grateful to have this group. Good food.”

Without explaining what group he’s talking about (maybe some Israeli lobbying outfit or white phosphorous bomb manufacturing corporation), Casey again rubs in his good fortune and raises his cup in another toast.

Good times.

Good food.

Good God, has this man no heart, no compassion, no empathy for his mortal sins?

Giving Terese a self-serving squeeze while Gazan children eat leaves Israeli jets haven’t yet blown off the remaining trees or force down bread baked from animal feed, our shameless three-term senator grins a waxy grin that matches the cheap wax on his cup.

Pretty bad, Senator, not pretty good.

Does this Zionist tool have any idea how godawful his silly, oblivious behavior looks? Does his normally sanctimonious Catholic piety extend to countless murdered babies buried among the bomb craters? Does Casey forget the courageous sacrifice of countless college and university students who risk harm and arrest to stand on moral principle against the continuing Gazan slaughter in which Casey is complicit?

Talk about brain freeze. Twisting the narrative like a chocolate and vanilla swirl ice cream cone, Casey blames guerrilla resistance army Hamas for everything bad in Gaza. No milk shakes for you!

Although Casey’s office has ignored my emailed questions or requests for information for a few years, I figured I’d again try to reason with him. After all, I do help pay his salary and he does represent me in the Senate where he advocates death and destruction in my name. So I sent a note to Natalie Adams, Casey’s press secretary, inviting Casey to sit down and talk.

“Since we’re Hill Section neighbors and live just a few blocks from each other he’s welcome to stop by the house for a beer,” I wrote in an email last Friday. “We can sit on the front porch and talk about the times and how they are “a-changing.”

“I met with the Senator years ago in his Scranton office and often interviewed him during the decade I hosted a talk show on WILK News Radio. We see each other regularly when my wife and I take our afternoon walks that pass his house.”

After a follow-up email, press secretary Adams failed to respond.

Of course, I realize Casey likely fears talking with me face-to-face over a cold bottle of Stegmaier or a lager Laverne and Shirley helped bottle at Shotz Brewery in Milwaukee. If my senator thinks so little of me as a neighbor, a constituent and veteran journalist, imagine what he thinks of you.

Deluded Bobby Casey might really believe he is the Fonze.

Despite the Gazan holocaust and America’s campuses seething with justifiable rage and dissent, Casey’s vision of an apple pie America force feeds voters make-believe happy days and imaginary milkshakes for everybody at Arnold’s drive-in. Meanwhile, the man protesters call “Butcher Bobby” fills his belly at the public trough and apparently sleeps well at night.

Fonzie would easily see through our phony tough guy senator. With his inimitable black leather grease and guts, the Fonze, America’s lovable bad boy biker would casually dismiss Casey with three oft-used “Happy Days” words:

“Sit on it.”