Thursday, February 07, 2013
OK, so I was kidding when I told Webster and Nancy this morning that I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and ran into a guy in the hallway holding a petition. If it happens, though, I won’t be surprised. Scranton voters are petition crazy - with good reason.
Government big and small is out of control.
Bad government rules.
We’ve got elected officials more suited to group therapy and prison rehab than for making smart decisions that benefit everyone – even those who are not related through blood and marriage. Yet many people still view these small-minded bureaucrats as if they’re true statesmen and stateswomen with real leadership ability and the courage to make moral decisions on our behalf.
When you step outside the city limits the view gets worse throughout Lackawanna County. Small towns from Dickson City to Peckville are run by certified drunk drivers and lackeys who run interference for admitted political swindlers. You’d think they’d hide under the bed rather than campaign again and again and again on their experience – as drunken drivers and political lackeys.
And they win.
Again and again voters cheer these lugs and defend them as if they’re the cream of the crop rather than they pesticide run-off they are. Again and again they sprout through the fertilizer to blossom and reproduce, offering the future a chance at a whole new generation of drunken drivers and political cretins.
The new breed heralds any movement as progress and charges forward, bringing darkness to the light to cast a shadow over a new dawn. At family reunions they toast each other, promise more of the same and are true to their word.
The only good news for most of us is that we’re not in their bloodline. The DNA strain that runs through them does not run through us. We have a future unsullied by dysfunction and denial.
We’re safe – sort of.
But we’re not represented in the hallowed halls of good government.
Recent petition drives target county commissioners for extinction and challenge the city council decision to raise parking meter revenues – both commendable challenges that will improve our lot.
Who needs three county commissioners, anyway? Two majority goof-offs who take care of themselves and those close to them and a minority commissioner from the losing political party who poses for photographs and offers less watchdog aggression than last year’s littleYanks bobblehead doll are far more trouble than they’re worth.
Taxpayers pay through the nose for this burden that benefits few people outside the circle of blockheads that has influence and power over the dim lights who rule the roost.
Sign that petition.
Then sign the one that opposes the threat to raise parking meter fees and adds another day for which we must pay to use our city. Scranton welcomes tens of thousands of people downtown for the St. Patrick’s Day parade on a joyous Saturday that will be made less so if parade-goers have to feed the meter. The same goes for the wildly successful First Friday festivities that bring out-of-town hipsters and beautiful people to walk and gawk at an abundance of bad art mixed with good that is on display throughout the town.
If things go according to bad plan, the meters will now require money until 8 o’clock. How hip is that? What ever happened to artistic freedom and the license to lounge? Oh wow. We’ve got to fight for our right to party.
And the best way to do that is to sign the petitions no matter which one the new breed of activists shove under your nose. Be against everything. Tear it down to build it up. Burn the village to save it. Anarchy for Scranton is better than council president Janet Evans for another term. Refuse to watch Office reruns. Hold Democratic majority Commissioner Corey O’Brien’s saddle shoes hostage. Mess up majority Commissioner Jim Wansacz’s thick head of hair. Threaten to ban Republican minority Commissioner Pat O’Malley’s young son from posing in official county photographs and tagging along with dad to special events that non-politically-connected kids can’t attend
But watch out. Be careful. The night of the long knives is upon us. Don’t even trust people you trust. Politics is power and power corrupts absolutely in hard coal country where absolute power is absolutely corruptible.
Get paranoid. Look over your shoulder at all times. Eavesdrop whenever possible. Don’t look in windows because that’s illegal but a pair of binoculars while staking out your opponent’s wing fest fundraisers and clambakes is advisable.
Power to the peephole.