It’s been a devastating 24 hours for the man the world has come to know as “Joe, the Plumber.” Just yesterday morning, he was the toast of the political world, appearing on Good Morning America and being interviewed by Katy (don’t call me a journalist) Couric. He appears in a new John McCain ad, conservatives have embraced him as an entrepreneurial icon, and the apparel industry is going nuts with every manner of Joe the Plumber T-Shirts (For just $35.95 plus shipping, you can own this “Joe the Plumber is my Homeboy “T” in black, navy blue, or ten other colors.)
But this was before the minions of our political savior decided that Joe the Plumber must die.
Well, not literally, I suppose. Rather, they set out to kill his name – a careful, deliberate, gleeful campaign to assassinate, smear, and destroy his name in order to lay the icon low. The problem is that this icon is just an ordinary American citizen whose own mother would now probably disown him after the left and the national press have unearthed a frightening amount of information – some of it not very flattering – about his life.
A tax lien, a question of whether he is working legally (there is a a debate whether he actually needs a license to perform residential work), a divorce – it is enormously disconcerting to see the kind of information you can dig up on someone if you know your way around a search engine or two.
And the dumpster diving press must have temporarily re-assigned the smelly, stinking reporters who have been rummaging in Sarah Palin’s trash in Alaska the last 6 weeks. They probably welcome the change in scenery although I imagine the stench in which they are now wallowing in Holland, Ohio smells pretty much the same. From the looks of what they’ve been able to dig up, they sure seem to know their way around a sh*t hole.
For those in the upper echelons of the garbage sniffing media, it is important to get the smear out – even if you are unsure whether the crap you are dealing out is actually, like, you know, true and stuff.
You see, Joe Wurzelbacher is apparently related to Robert Wurzelbacher. Who is the son-in-law of (are you ready…?) Charles Keating!
Yes, that Charles Keating. The Charles Keating of the Keating 5 Scandal. For which John McCain was reprimanded by the United States Senate, for his involvement in attempting to illegally influence government regulators. The Charles Keating who John McCain has been trying to avoid have mentioned. So, he basically mentioned it 24 times.
Mind you, I thought it odd when John McCain first brought up Joe Wurzelbacher’s but then never referred to his last name again. I thought perhaps he’d forgotten it. Or it was too hard to pronounce. Apparently though there was a better reason for him to quit saying the name “Wurzelbacher” 24 times. If only Sen. McCain (R-AZ) had remembered the pesky Tivo, where you can rewind.
Now, in fairness, John McCain might not have known than Joe Wurzelbacher was from that same Wurzelbacher family. He might have thought it was just some regular Wurzelbacher. And who knows, maybe they’re not even related?
Get that? All of this smear by association, all of this information about Joe splashed all over the pages of the #1 liberal website in America, and then “Who knows, maybe they’re not even related…”
Pardon me for my stupidity (which many on the right and left have been noticing lately) but shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t you like, sorta first, ascertain the truth and THEN print the smear?
At any rate, there has been a lot of pixelated poison being dished out by our good friends on the left. Some of it is even true, although the relevance of anything relating to Joe the Plumber’s personal and professional life escapes me. Last time I looked, all Joe did was ask Obama a question. And no matter what they dig up about poor Joe (they have only scratched the surface of his sex life – I assume that stuff will be out before long), it doesn’t change what Obama said about “spreading the wealth” one iota.
They can smear Joe from now until the 2012 election but it doesn’t change the underlying reason that they need to smear him: Obama revealed just a little bit too much of his real philosophy.
For more than a year, Obama has survived largely by uttering the most banal, the least offensive pablum that, falling on the ears of the young and less sophisticated voters, has proved to be as soothing a balm as has ever been applied to the American electorate. But in that one moment, after many months of obfuscation, obtuseness, and just plain lying about his positions on the issues, Obama let slip the concept of redistributing the wealth. Every taxpayer regardless of their education or sophistication knows full well what “redistribution” means to them – higher taxes. Obama can swear on a stack of Korans between now and election day that he will only tax the rich. But that single phrase – “spread the wealth” – has damaged if not destroyed his credibility on taxes.
So in essence, this entire smear campaign by the Obamabots on the left is really for naught. They might kill Joe the Plumber’s iconic status. But they will never be able to whitewash what Obama said.
There are some who take this smearing of Joe to be an example of what America under Obama will be like – dissent stifled, opponents destroyed. I’ve got news for my friends on the right – we’d be doing the same thing in their shoes.
I don’t know what information the righty blogs and media would be digging up and plastering all over the net if McCain had responded to a question by Joe on the economy and made some stupid statement in response. All I am certain of is that we would be doing it. I know I would. I have no doubt I would be republishing all the stuff the rightysphere dug up on poor Joe and do it with a clear conscience. “He asked for it by getting himself involved…” would be my rationalization. And those honest enough to ask themselves whether they would participate in such a campaign – to switch places mentally with the left -should think long and hard before they answer in the negative.
I would hasten to add that such an attack by the right on Joe would no doubt have s lot less resonance than smears against Joe by the left now, given the mainstream media’s curious inability to get off their knees and take a respite from their Obama worship long enough to play this little media scenario exactly the same way they are playing it today. Joe would be trumpeted to the skies as an “Everyman,” anything negative in his past would be buried, while McCain’s dumb comment would be highlighted continuously.
If life were fair, this is the way it would be today only it would be Obama’s comment on “spreading the wealth” that would be shown over and over again on every cable TV news channel and become the subject of long, thoughtful pieces in the New York Times. But life isn’t fair and conservatives, more than anyone else, know this. It’s written on the first page of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Handbook: “Life in a world dominated by a liberal media, liberal intelligentsia, liberal culture, and a liberal educational system will never be fair for members of the VRWC. GET USED TO IT.”
Joe might not be “fair” game. But he is game nonetheless. It is a fact in this age of polarized and poisonous politics that it hardly matters who gets caught in the crossfire. What matters is that anyone who gets in the way or who inserts themselves into this great, gaping maw of political media that can build you up, lionize you, and destroy you in less time than it takes to digest your breakfast, is by definition, part of the story.
I’m sorry for Joe. I admire his ambition and the fact that he works hard all day and comes home at night, taking care of his 13 year old son on his own.I agree that he is an iconic figure. He wants a better life for his kid and himself. And he has the right idea of what government’s role in America should be.
And he doesn’t deserve the disapprobation and calumny being heaped upon him by the rabid dog left, the Obama campaign, and the media. But in this case, as well as other cases like Joe’s, “deserve” has got nothing to do with it.