We in Northeastern Pennsylvania have been treated - or mistreated if you like - to more than our share of appearances by Barack Obama and his faithful goofy sidekick, Joe Biden.
We who live in Scranton – five generations on my father’s side of the family walking the streets – are even more fortunate – or unfortunate, if you like.
I’m tired of this deceptive dynamic duo coming to town. Obama and Biden are more dangerous than zombies at an Irish wake, more boring than a Lackawanna County commissioners’ meeting and far more expensive than a roomful of hookers in the old Central City red light district.
No madam ever had the regal comforts of Air Force One and Air Force Two waiting on the tarmac after a full day of tricks. But our celebrity tricksters will fly off into the sunset after whatever damage they inflict on our common sense.
Still, duplicity can be fun.
You’ll survive tomorrow’s visit by this pair as long as you understand what Obama and Biden are doing to us and not for us.
They’re here for themselves and not for us. They’re here to use, abuse, manipulate and wield power for a select few who will likely flank them on the stage -fellow Democrats such as rookie U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (up for re-election) and whatever gaggle of local pathological Democrats the party faithful can line up.
All will curtsy at the appropriate moment and kiss the ring that is offered, making this reunion a cross between meeting the Queen and the Pope. Some Scranton Democrats consider Obama and native son Biden more lavish than royalty and papal authority put together.
I, too, consider them royalty all right – a royal pain in the arse.
And I’m a Democrat.
Not all of us fall for the sad road show that has played here time and again – a staged appearance by professional hucksters who have more in common with the robber barons of old than with the people whose ancestors toiled in industrial era factories, worked sweltering iron furnaces and dug coal in the black hell holes.
Obama and Biden are masters at playing the middle and working-class for suckers, lining up gullible union officials and other pasties who believe with all their heart that they can find the pea after Obama shuffles the shells.
I’ve seen it all before.
After I became progressively more critical of Obama during the 2008 primary, his handlers kept me out of a campaign rally at a local factory. They could have easily let me in but told me I was a few minutes late. Then they let the guy delivering sandwiches through the press gate.
But Biden’s unforgivable behavior put me over the top.
After the 2011 hurricane, he embarrassed a flood victim in his own Duryea home, ordering the man to rebuild his home after the man made one of the most difficult decisions in his life. Jimmy Pliska decided to walk away from the family homestead because he had rebuilt before and the money wasn’t there and his family had already been through too much.
Noticing my glare, Biden told me it was OK to smile and called me “Dr. Death” because of the grimace I wore that paled in comparison to his capped toothy trademark grin and his delusional sense of reality.
The local scene remains no laughing matter.
Northeastern Pennsylvania maintains the highest unemployment rate in the state. Our colleges and universities – including private two-year Lackawanna College a political nest of patronage and other ethics breaches where Obama and Biden will appear - are graduating students who are not equipped to even comprehend the road map on their way out of town to find work that will take them and pay a living wage.
Biden’s father even fled the area after failing to find work in the years following World War II.
When it comes to wages and opportunity, life has become worse for too many people in the ensuing 60 or so years after the war to end all wars.
But Scranton is supposed to welcome Barack and Biden with laughter and a humble peasant smile that displays great appreciation for their thinking enough of us to come and use us once again for their own nefarious purposes, groveling before the rulers in exchange for whatever moldy crumb of hope and change they might provide.
By the way, I believe Biden still owes my cash-strapped city that is on the brink of financial ruin money for the extra security the city police provided when he showed up to ruin the July 4 fireworks last year.
Biden didn’t even stay for the display.
That’s gratitude for you.
So don’t expect a welcome home from this lad, whose grandfather immigrated to Scranton from Ireland to mine coal. I’m still waiting for Biden’s apology for lying about having family members who worked in the coal mines.
As for Barack, I’m concerned that his ego might motivate him to order a drone strike on the college.
If he does, he knows that some Scranton Democrats will applaud his vision in wiping out potential delinquent college loans.