November 8, 2008

Joe the Hypocrite

Warning: This is not going to be a very charitable or happy clappy post. It's about Joe the Plumber, and you may have gotten enough of that during the campaign.

I don't think Joe the Plumber (JTP) was a real campaign issue. Even he said that nobody should care who he was voting for... just before he went on a campaign tour for McCain / Palin. So I actually think it's more appropriate now to talk about this hypocritical bonehead as a celebrity rather than as a campaign symbol.

But I have to slam this moron.

His gig for the last month or so has been to call Obama's tax plan "socialist." He attacked the plan (which returns us to an earlier tax structure we had when the country was pretty prosperous and people still seemed to think we were living in America and not some Marxist dystopia) with scare words and bullshit. A specific attack has been to decry "spread the wealth" as unamerican.

All tax plans spread the wealth, and indeed all economies do. JTP says he doesn't have a problem with taxes, per se. He just doesn't want bigger taxes. And it's against his principles to spread the wealth -- to take money from one person and put it in another person's pocket. The longer you listen to JTP, the longer he sounds not like an everyman, but a politician stuck on his talking points and increasingly good at dodging questions.

Except that he's run into a little problem about welfare. His family accepted it. Twice. It was when he was a child, and this allowed them to eventually become part of the middle class and enjoy a middle class lifestyle.

Social programs are in place for a reason. Aside from the compassionate reason, they are practical because they strengthen the country. This is why they should neither be abused, nor denigrated. Like drugs that you take when you're sick, programs target a need and we're better for it in the end. As with drugs, then can be abused. But we'd never think of letting the abuse convince us to shun the benefit of drug treatments and medicine.

Joe is full of shit. Not just because there's a lien on him for nonpayment of his taxes, nor just because he embellished more than a bit when he said he was buying a plumbing business. Not just because he isn't even a licensed plumber. Not just because whining about the tax structure in the midst of delinquency is bizarre. He's full of shit because he's living in a dream world. Unable to accept the benefit he experienced from a "socialist" program when he was a child, his rationalization is that he "paid into the system." Presumably he means later, when he grew up (again, ignoring his tax delinquency).

News flash: "welfare" isn't a system you pay into. It's a social program. Some would even call it a socialist program in which tax money is used to provide temporary support to people who are not able to manage because they are unemployed or underemployed. It's not a bank, despite what Joe tells himself when his mind cannot wrap itself around the cognitive dissonance of having benefited from (gasp!) a socialist program.

Joe Wurzelbacher's reflection goes only as deep as his rhetoric. His wisdom is nothing more than you can distill from a few minutes listening to right wing radio. He's a perfect regurgitator. It's like some mad scientist reached into a misleading campaign ad for the brain of his Frankenstein monster. A wingnut Young Frankenstein story.

The campaign is over, but Frankenstein's Monster lives. I keep saying that this is the type of stuff we're going to have to get used to hearing, from hypocrites just like this, but I hope I'm wrong.

Posted by James at November 8, 2008 3:00 PM
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For decades, those who know better have been raising to "celebrity" status those whose sole purpose is to steal valuable oxygen from the rest of us.

It started with the coordinated misinformation, sero-value-added personalities and pretend "live action" that gave us "Reality TV".

Those principles have been honed and perfected in the ultimate reality show - 21st century political campaigns; the Republicans more than the Dems.

Posted by: Bull at November 8, 2008 4:07 PM

Joe the Plumber is an idiot and I don't give a paltry shriveled shit what he has to say.

Posted by: Chuck S. at November 9, 2008 10:59 AM

I don't think the people who whine the most about "socialism" even know what it is. Next time someone like Joe the Plumber or Sarah Palin mentions socialism (or Marxism) in an interview, I want the interviewer to ask them to define the term in their own words (not simply parroting "spreading the wealth").

Of course, sometimes it's the interviewer who throws those words around (Barbara West). In that case, I think the politician she's interviewing should ask her to describe what it is in her own words.

Posted by: Julie at November 9, 2008 1:54 PM

Joe the who? I've already forgotten this empty Republican snack.

Posted by: Patti M. at November 9, 2008 2:31 PM

In one of our many discussions about the election with our son (we tried for a long time to not tell him who we were voting for, but he eventually figured it out), we told him that the two most important patriotic acts he would do in his life would be to 1) vote and 2) pay taxes. We told him you couldn't call yourself a patriotic American if you didn't do both those things. Nor could you call yourself a responsible citizen.

I'm tired of the economics that demand we be given everything without having to pay for them. Taxes aren't evil and I'm confident that the 30 percent I pay in income taxes are going to be spent for the greater good in a far more effective way than if I tried to do it myself.

Posted by: Bridgette at November 9, 2008 11:08 PM

@Bridgette: hear hear, it's refreshing to hear that viewpoint coming from someone else. I'm so sick of listening to paranoid ravings about waste and government flunkies "deciding where your money goes."

Posted by: Chuck S. at November 10, 2008 7:34 AM

Great to read your post, Bridgette.

I think there are more of us who think this way than the idiots who think paying taxes is an undue and unfair burden, but we don't get the press they do because their thinking is odd and against the grain. At least that's my hopeful thought.

I'm pleased to read you're instilling these patriotic values in your son. Good on you.

Posted by: Patti M. at November 10, 2008 8:15 AM

I think you're right, Patti. It's not reported on because hopefully it is the norm--or at least, it used to be. I have to wonder whether things start to become the norm because they are heard so often.

Posted by: Bridgette at November 14, 2008 12:04 PM

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