Plumber Joe didn't go with the flow
Give a man enough rope line, and he'll hang himself. There was His Serene Majesty President-designate Barack the Healer, working the crowd at some or other hick burg, and halfway down the rope up pops a plumber to express misgivings about the incoming regime's tax plans.
Supposedly, under the Obama tax plan, 95 percent of the American people will get a tax cut. You'd think that at this point the natural skepticism of any sentient being other than 6-week-old puppies might kick in, but apparently not. If you're wondering why Obama didn't simply announce that under his plan 112 percent of the American people will get a tax cut, well, they ran it past the focus groups who said that that was all very generous but they'd really like it if he could find a way to stick it to Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove and whatnot. So 95 percent it is.
By the way, like the nightly news shows, this column now has an exclusive lavishly funded Fact Check Unit set up at great expense (a colorful graphic with the words "FACT CHECK ALERT!") in a lame attempt to pass off our transparent political bias as some sort of scientific exercise. Our accredited credentialed licensed expert Fact Checkers from the University of Factology in the Czech Republic are standing by to rigorously Fact Check the candidate's claims. We check facts so you don't have to. All you have to do is sign up to our Fact-Check-Me-Now! Service, and we'll send you a daily Fact Check on your Facts Machine, which costs only $79.95 from Radio Shack (sorry, no checks).
Anyway, our Fact Check Unit ran the numbers on the Obama tax-cut plan and the number is correct: "95." It's the words "percent" immediately following that are wrong: that's a typing error accidentally left in from the first draft. It should read: Under the Obama plan, 95 of the American people will get a tax cut.
Joe the Plumber expressed his misgivings about the President-in-waiting's tax inclinations, and the O-Man smoothly reassured him: "It's not that I want to punish your success," he told the bloated plutocrat corporate toilet executive. "I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success, too. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
In that sentence about you spreading the wealth around, there's another typing error: that "you" should read "I, Barack." "You" will have no say in it. Joe the Plumber might think he himself can spread it around just fine, but everyone knows "trickle-down economics" don't work. So President-presumptive Obama kindly explained the new exquisitely condescending "talking-down economics." Put that in your pipe and solder it.
Evidently the O-Mighty One was not happy after his encounter with Joe. He's still willing to talk to Ahmadinejad without preconditions. But never again will he talk to Joe the Plumber without preconditions. Outraged at the way the right-wing whackos were talking up Joe the Plumber as if he were an authentic regular Joe, like Joe Biden, the O-Bots of the media swung into action. Vast regiments of investigate reporters were redeployed from the Wasilla Holiday Inn back to the Lower 48.
"We need you down here checking out this Joe the Plumber," editors barked to journalists.
"But I'm this close to wrapping up the Wasilla Town Library banned-book investigation!"
"Forget it! The Atlantic Monthly is claiming Joe the Plumber is Trig's real father. We can't get behind on this. Get to Minneapolis Airport. Joe the Plumber was seen in the bathroom with Sen. Larry Craig."
"Yes, but he was installing a stopcock."
"Look, you went to Columbia School of Journalism. This is what we bold, courageous journalists do. We're the conscience of the nation. We speak truth to plumber."
"Er, shouldn't that be 'Speak truth to power'?"
"That's the old edition of the handbook. Now we speak truth to power-tool operators. Joe the Carpenter, Joe the Plasterer, Joe the Electrician … . When you're building utopia, you don't want any builders getting in the way."
Alas, as a result of this massive investment of journalistic resources, no investigative reporter will be free to investigate ACORN voter-registration fraud or Obama's ties to terrorist educator William Ayers until, oh, midway through his second term at least.
Under the headline "Is 'Joe The Plumber' A Plumber? That's Debatable," John Seewer of the Associated Press triumphantly revealed that Joe is not a "licensed" plumber. In fact, he doesn't need to be licensed for the residential plumbing he does, but isn't that just typical of Bush-McCain insane out-of-control deregulation? It wouldn't surprise me to discover that most of these subprime homeowners got Joe in to plumb their subprime bathrooms. Next thing you know, the entire global economy goes down the toilet. Coincidence?
Joe is now the most notorious plumber in American politics since the Watergate plumbers. And they weren't licensed, either. It turns out Joe doesn't even make 250 grand, and it's only the $250,000-a-year types who'll be paying more (please, no tittering) under Good King Barack. Joe Biden – that's Joe the Blue-collar Senator – said that he didn't know any $250,000 plumbers in his neighborhood, or even in the first-class club car on Amtrak he rides every night to demonstrate his blue-collar bona fides. On "Good Morning America," Diane Sawyer emphasized this point, anxious to give the apostate plumber one last chance to go with the flow:
"Well, I just want to ask you now about the issue that was raised, because it's been a little confusing to me as I try to sort it out here. To get straight here, you're not taking home $250,000 now, am I right?"
"No. No. Not even close," confessed Joe.
So what's he got to be worried about?
The heart of the American Dream is aspiration. That's why people came here from all over the world. Back in Eastern Europe, the Joe Bidens and Diane Sawyers of the day were telling Joe the Peasant: "Hey, look, man. You're a peasant in the 19th century, just like your forebears were peasants in the 12th century and your descendants will be peasants in the 26th century. So you're never gonna be earning 250 groats a year. Don't worry about it. Leave it to us. We know better." And Joe the Peasant eventually figured that one day he'd like to be able to afford the Premium Gruel with just a hint of arugula and got on the boat to Ellis Island. Because America is the land where a guy who doesn't have a 250-grand business today might just have one in five or 10 years' time.
I'm with Joe the Plumber, not Joe the Hair-Plugger. He's articulated the animating principles of America better than anyone on either side in this campaign. Which is why the O-Bots need to destroy him. As Obama's catchphrase goes:
"Joe the Plumber!
Can we fix him?
Joe the Plumber!
Yes, we can!"
For the record, I am not a government-licensed pundit. But I expect they'll fix that, too.