Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 10 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

No Casey? Santorum in Drag? It Must be Labor Day in Pennsylvania

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   2 comments
Message Dave Lindorff
Become a Fan
  (89 fans)
Labor Day in Philadelphia was full of strange happenings and non-happenings.

My perspective on this was the annual Labor Day Parade in Philly--a joyous and well-attended event that seems to get bigger each year even as the union movement (and workers' wages) keep shrinking.

Lurking on the sidelines of the event, as unions members were assembling for the two-mile march along the Delaware River--was Senator Rick Santorum. This enemy of the working person was easy to spot as the interloper he was by the crisp new bluer-than-blue denim jacket and spanking new jeans that he was wearing. He must have had an aide rush out to the GAP or to Macy's to get him some "workers' duds" so he could look the part of an average guy. I kept waiting for him to turn around so I could see the paper brand label and the price tag still stapled to the back pocket.

The thing is, Santorum looked so out of place without his starchy blue suit and tie on that nobody seemed to even notice him standing off to the side and kibbitzing with a TV cameraman--probably from the local Fox station.

Say this for the job-exporting, war-mongering, birth-control-banning junior senator from Pennsylvania, though: even if he was dressed in drag, at least he showed up at the march.

That can't be said of his opponent, Democrat Bob Casey. Although there were some people at the march supporting Casey's campaign by wearing shirts that said, without a shred of evidence, "Bob Casey, Friend of the Working Man," Casey himself apparently had better things to do than come and talk and march with his "friends" at Pennsylvania's premiere Labor Day event.

The Pennsylvania senate election is in fact a truly depressing affair. The incumbent, Santorum, is one of the most right-wing nut-cases in the Senate--a man who believes women belong in the home and men belong in Iraq, or Iran--and so naturally, he's also number three in the Senate leadership, and a presidential wannabe for 2008. His campaign features calls for war with Iran, unquestioning support for the president's war in Iraq and the overturning of Roe v Wade, but more than that, a ban on access to birth control.

He's despicable, true enough, but then Pennsylvania progressives look at the Democratic "alternative" and see Casey, who also supports the war in Iraq, refuses to join his own state colleague, Rep. John Murtha, in calling for a pull-out from that disaster, and who not only wants a reversal of Roe v. Wade, but actually volunteered that had he been a senator, he would have supported the Bush nomination of right-wing judge Sam Alito to the Supreme Court. Some friend of the working man! Alito, in his decisions as a federal judge and appeals court judge, consistently ruled against workers and for management whenever such cases came before him.

The state Democratic Party has been laboring mightily, with Casey's blessing, to keep off the November ballot a Green Party senate candidate, Carl Romanelli, who enthusiastically supports working people's issues, opposes the war, and supports women's right to safe abortions on demand. (Santorum's people openly helped the Green Party candidate to collect ballot signatures, hoping his candidacy would siphon away Democratic votes from anti-abortionist Casey.)

But the Senate race isn't the only weird one in Pennsylvania. There's also the governor's race. Here we have incumbent Democrat Ed Rendell facing Republican former Steeler football player Lynn Swann.

The race has Rendell, a fairly popular governor, sweating because although Swann is a Republican, he is also an Afro-American, and as such, is likely to cut into Rendell's usually solid African-American vote in Philadelphia and other cities--a critical factor in his victory four years ago. Swann's pro-ball background could also appeal to some of this football-crazed state's white working-class fans.

So you might have thought the former mayor of Philadelphia would have made a point of stopping to give a pep talk to and maybe march (wearing an Eagle's T-shirt perhaps) along with the workers of his home city, but not big Ed. He apparently had better things to do on Labor Day. Rendell also has better things to do than helping to elect Casey, the man sharing the top of the ticket with him this year. The Governor, ever the loyal party comrade, has said he won't pick sides in that race because "Santorum's been a good Senator for the state."

Right. Tell that to the families of the Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers killed in a pointless war in Iraq.

At least Swann, who also skipped the march, had his people there handing out helium-filled balloons emblazoned with his name. (Then again, maybe the rotund Rendell didn't think balloons were the image he wanted to project.)

When you come right down to it, there was an amazing paucity of elected officials at the Labor Day Parade in Philadelphia. There was the mayor, but then, he's not running for anything. If anything, he's running from the corruption that has been like the swamp around a bayou cabin, leaking into his office from all sides.

In the end, it seems likely Rendell will eke out a victory against Swann and that Casey will somehow sneak past Santorum in November, continuing the illusion that Pennsylvania is a so-called blue state. But don't be fooled. The state's Democrats, who are busy ignoring the plight of African-Americans and workers, while cozying up to big corporate sponsors in the healthcare, chemical, oil, communications and utilities industries, are committing political suicide in this state.
Rate It | View Ratings

Dave Lindorff Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Dave Lindorff, winner of a 2019 "Izzy" Award for Outstanding Independent Journalism from the Park Center for Independent Media in Ithaca, is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Israel's Gaza Atrocities Recall America's Atrocities in Vietnam

Looming climate catastrophe?: A Rapidly Warming Arctic Could Loose a Methane Climate Bomb Causing Extinction in 9 Years

Supreme Court Junket King Scalia Dies While Vacationing with Wealthy Patrons at Private West Texas Getaway

Something's happening here: Clinton's Crumbling, Bernie's Surging and a 'Political Revolution' May Be in the Offing

The Case for Impeachment of President Barack Obama

Barack Obama: Manchurian Candidate Version 2.0

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend