Stop with the emails, Bob Casey
By Eric Heyl
Published: Thursday, July 4, 2013, 10:05 p.m.
Certain people labor under the misconception that everything U.S. Sen. Bob Casey does is fascinating, and by “certain people,” I mean Casey.
It's time to put that misconception to rest.
Casey's staff, presumably with the blessing of Pennsylvania's senior and extremely vanilla senator, lately has flooded news organizations with emails detailing the detritus of his legislative life. They produce so much electronic sediment that the Army Corps of Engineers might have to perform emergency dredging in Microsoft Outlook inboxes.
This isn't occurring because Casey, D-Scranton, is trying to get re-elected soon. When he next faces a challenge in 2019, few people will remember that he recently called for decisive leadership in Syria. Few people recall it now, and those who do are saying, “Isn't calling for decisive leadership in Syria the Secretary of State's job?”
It's almost as though Casey's people believe he has the star power of Sandra Bullock. Their prevailing attitude seems to be that TMZ, Perez Hilton and Drudge Report sites would go dark if not provided mountains of Casey-themed minutiae.
There is no other rational explanation to explain why Casey last week shared his thoughts about the Obama administration's suspending trade privileges with Bangladesh following a factory building collapse. His take on the matter, via email?
“The administration made the right call in suspending trade privileges with Bangladesh,” he said.
His constituents weren't exactly clamoring for him to clarify his stance on an issue of no particular relevance to any Pennsylvanian. But he probably felt obligated to say something, given his role as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Workforce Safety.
That's right. Casey doesn't sit on the Committee on Employment and Workforce Safety. He sits on the subcommittee, whose meetings often are interrupted by custodians because it meets in a Russell Senate Office Building broom closet.
In recent weeks, Casey news releases said the senator introduced a bill to hold currency manipulators such as China accountable for unfair and illegal trade practices; called for U.S. sanctions against Iranian presidential candidates for suspected human rights violations; and attempted to obtain a Congressional Gold Medal for Borinqueneers.
You don't know who the Borinqueneers were, do you? So do you care if they get a congressional medal?
Didn't think so.
With the Senate preparing to recess for summer in a few weeks, Casey's staff will be hard-pressed to continue churning out news-unworthy items. Yet there is no indication these email blasts will cease, meaning we might have Casey's staff breathlessly announcing that he lost a shirt button or ate blueberry pancakes for breakfast.
There's transparency, and there's overly transparent. Casey should see a doctor immediately to get a shot for his obvious opacity deficiency.
He's becoming as ubiquitous as that poor fellow in Nigeria who can't find anyone to help him transfer millions of dollars into an American bank account.
Eric Heyl is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7857 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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