I've got to say something. I just watched the (almost always) worst of the Sunday morning political gab-fests, FOX "News" Sunday, with its vaguely creepy host, Chris Wallace. The guest today was Sen. John McCain, who was in quiet voice. But he spoke softly and carried a large lying stick. He's still using the same lies that have been debunked, like Barack Obama's tax plan hitting incomes of $42,000.
He also bizarrely would try to attack Obama for things his campaign, or the media have done. He gets his facts jumbled, or more likely, is trying to set up his own alternate timeline and hopes that people believe it. The issue I'm talking about here is the--oh my God, I'm so sick of this phrase already--"Joe the Plumber" issue.
Let's get a few facts straight:
- Barack Obama was going door to door in Ohio, campaigning as though he's running for a district assembly seat in Toledo. It's cute, but sure, it's a photo op.
- "Joe the Plumber" sought Obama out, injecting himself into the race.
- McCain mentioned Joe a couple dozen times in the last debate, very much taking credit for inflating Joe's profile.
- The media, wondering who the heck this Joe is, did what the media is supposed to do (but didn't very often throughout the Bush Administration): they investigated.
- It was found out, Joe isn't named Joe, isn't a plumber, and almost all of his storyline was pie-in-the-sky fantasy. He's complaining to a presidential candidate about taxes, and yet is in trouble for not paying his taxes. Also, Obama's economic plan would benefit "Joe" more than McCain's would.
But, as Republicans have done since Newt Gingrich seized power, they continue to hammer the "Joe the Plumber" meme as though none of the above has transpired. McCain hammered Obama for "attacking" poor Joe, as though it was Obama that brought him up. Joe was mentioned over and over and over again on FOX "News" Sunday by McCain himself, Chris Wallace, Brit Hume, Mara Whatsername, Bill Kristol and token (pun sort of intended) liberal Juan Williams.
I'm sorry Republicans, but if you think the name "Joe the Plumber" is your salvation, I feel sorry for you. But I feel sorrier for me and the rest of America. Because the simplicity and childishness of the phrase makes us sound infantile. I image an America play set with Fisher-Price characters when I hear the phrase. Please. I'm begging you. Knock it off!