Do you remember “Joe the Plumber”? If not, you’re better off. But let me remind you – because “Joe the Plumber” might be elected to Congress in two weeks.
“Joe the Plumber” is not named Joe, and he’s not a plumber.
His name is Samuel Wurzelbacher. In 2008, he claimed that he was a plumber, working for A.W. Newell Corp. in Ohio. But in Ohio, plumbers are licensed, and Joe didn’t have a license. So he’s not a plumber. As Gov. Rick Perry might say, “Oops.”
“Joe the Plumber” made about $40,000 not doing his not-plumbing. In his Walter Mitty imagination, though, he somehow was going to buy Newell Corp. How could he do that? Who knows?
Not-yet-President Obama came to “Joe the Plumber’s” town in 2008. At an Obama campaign event, “Joe” took that magical mental leap from personal failure to personal success, and told/lied/BS’ed Obama that “Joe” was “getting ready to buy a company that makes $250,000 to $280,000 a year – your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it?”
“Joe the Plumber” was “getting ready” to buy that company in much the same way as Kim Kardashian is “getting ready” to end the Middle East conflict. It could happen. But I doubt it.
Anyway, Candidate Obama gave “Joe the Plumber” a substantive analysis of how “Joe’s” non-purchase of “Joe’s” non-plumbing business would affect “Joe’s” non-income and “Joe’s” non-taxes. Obama then added that Obama’s tax plan was necessary in order to reduce taxes on the middle class, which would add customers to “Joe’s” non-business: “My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s going to be good for everybody. If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re going to be better off . . . if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you. Right now, everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody. I think that if you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
You may recall the shock and horror which the right-wing noise machine manufactured over that statement. The same shock and horror that the right-wing noise machine manufactured over the President’s more recent statement that “if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.” History repeats itself – first as tragedy, and second as farce. (To quote someone else who, by coincidence, also wrote about spreading the wealth.)
Back the first time, in 2008, “Joe the Plumber” jumped, with both feet, into the ensuing distortion-fest. He said that the President’s answer would put us “one step closer to socialism.” He said that the answer showed that our first African-American President could “tap dance . . .almost as good as Sammy Davis, Jr.” He said that he could never support Obama, because of “questions” about “Obama’s loyalty to our country.”
For Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, a star was born.
“Joe the Plumber” gave up his non-plumbing career, and became a “motivational speaker.” His talk consists of witty observations like asking why Senator Chris Dodd hasn’t been “strung up” yet.
Now he is running for Congress in Ohio, against Rep. Marcy Kaptur. Here are some of “Joe the Plumber’s” more recent bon mots:
(1) “Joe” says that both the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide were caused by gun control.
(2) “Joe” says that the way to stem illegal immigration is “going to Mexico, and start shooting.”
(3) “Joe” says that he would not let anyone who is “actually homosexual” near his children.
Samuel Wurzelbacher, a/k/a “Joe the Plumber,” should not be in Congress. And we have a good chance to get defeat him, on Nov. 6. Please click here, and support “Joe’s” opponent Marcy Kaptur. Help avoid the stain of “Joe the Plumber” in Congress.