Trance Politics, Part Deux: Joe the Republican Entrepreneur

(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

Pink might be the new Black, Thursday might be the new Friday, and Joe The Plumber (JTP) might be the new Sarah Palin.  In other words, yet another gigantic distraction.  One with little political or economic substance.  Exactly the kind of distraction that diverts us from the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, universal health care, AIG, the DJIA, Gitmo (remember Gitmo?), renditions and torture and empire and the gaping hole in your 401k.  In other words, yet another gift from the sinister mind of Rove and the Traditional MediaTM.  Put simply, who gives a damn about anything important when we can play around with bald headed JTP?

Do we need a 12 step program for addiction to political distraction?  for addiction to trance politics?  for watching the repeated re-re-runs of McSame jumping the shark over and over again?  I’m beginning to think we I (it’s more therapeutic to remain in the first person) might have a problem that requires some serious, time consuming, expensive shrinkage, the kind that’s uncovered by my health insurance.  And I think the electorate should line up behind me and take a number.  I’m not the only addict in the nation.  Far from it.

A brief, but petulant review of my most obvious symptom: researching fallacies and writing about them.  I learned the following:  JTP is not a plumber.  He has no plumbing license.  He’s never been an apprentice.  He doesn’t belong to the union.  So, the NY Times concludes, ta da!, he’s not a plumber.  Yes, he runs a plumbing and heating business.  Put another way, he is yet another, 34 year-old Republican entrepreneur with serious issues and an axe to grind. And, of course, I care, I really do about his “issues.” Not. I bet you do also.

What are Joe’s issues?  Well, it turns out his name isn’t “Joe.”  It’s “Sam”.  And, he says, Obama “can tap dance – almost as good as Sammy Davis Jr.” Source.  I said he has issues.  Like not using his real name and being a racist pig and not paying his f*cking taxes.  But I digress.  Digression and distraction go hand in hand.  

And what about the alleged business that he was so “interested in buying?” Who knows about that?  Nobody’s got the details of this possible deal.  The Times says he wasn’t thinking about buying a brand new business for himself.  Or starting one.  No.  He was “thinking about how to expand his plumbing business.”  So it turns out that the big fat question he asked Obama was actually nothing more than a hypothetical, nothing more than some more Republican talking point, AM radio BS.  And his big question was really vague.  So vague, in fact, that you still don’t know and can’t tell from the reporting whether he was going to draw a $250,000 salary (which would increase his taxes the munificent sum of $300 under the Obama Tax plan from what they would be today if he made that much, which he doesn’t) or increase his gross revenues by $250,000, which might result in wages to him of far, far less than $250,000, a circumstance under the Obama plan which would actually decrease his taxes.  What kind of moron argues against his own tax benefit in this Republican fueled economic crash?

But never f*cking mind.  None of the facts matters.  Why?  Because we’re not talking about facts.  We’re talking about generalizations and garbage.  We’re talking memes and talking points and BS.  Look.  Any half-assed accountant, in fact, anybody with a desire to do so and a pencil could figure out to the penny what the difference in tax consequences would be for this guy.  Except for one thing.  I bet we all almost forgot what it was: there are no details because the supposed “deal” was entirely, completely, utterly hypothetical.  There is nothing to figure out.  You don’t know, precisely, even now, exactly what he was planning on doing, so you can’t figure out what the taxes would be under McSame’s regressive, voodoo economics plan or Obama’s plan or any other plan including the present one.  

That, of course, is incredibly helpful to the doleful McSame (does he remind you of Bob Dole, even a little?).  Because, folks, we’re talking about talking points.  We’re arguing about the significance of hypothetical circumstances.  And most important, we are not discussing what a douchenozzle McSame is.  No, and we’re not talking about the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, health care, AIG, the DJIA, Gitmo, or renditions.  Did I mention torture?  We’re not talking about anything that matters.  We’re talking about some rightwing crank plumbing entrepreneur, about whom, frankly, I could give a rat’s ass, and the vague, hypothetical question he asked Obama, which McSame turned into florid flatulence in a debate and made this the new, reigning distraction for this Thursday.

The best part of this wonderful exchange between Obama and JTP, who is really JTRE:

“Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it?” [JTRE] asked. Mr. Obama told him, “It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you – that they’ve got a chance at success, too.”

“Because you’re successful, you have to pay more than everybody else?” Mr. Wurzelbacher said on Thursday. “That’s a socialist view and it’s incredibly wrong.”

But he also acknowledged he earns substantially less than $250,000, which would make him eligible under Mr. Obama’s plan for a tax cut.

And if Mr. Wurzelbacher bought his plumbing business and began earning more than $250,000, Mr. Obama’s campaign said he would get a 50% tax credit to pay for his employees’ health care and have a zero per cent capital gains rate.

During Wednesday’s debate, the Republican candidate John McCain lashed out at Mr. Obama for fomenting “class warfare” against Joe the Plumber.

That would be “class warfare” against this Republican Entrepreneur.  That’s rich. That is cut from the very same cloth as criticism of Clarence Thomas is a “high tech lynching.”  And crticism of Sarah Palin is “sexist.”  And now, it’s JTRE’s turn to play Republican victimhood to the fullest, and claim that alas, that rabid socialist Barack Obama is waging the class war against poor, old him, and all the other, rich Republican Entrepreneurs.

Would that it were so.


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    • davidseth on October 17, 2008 at 4:20 am

    So let me say this.  F JTRE and the horse he rode in on.

    Thanks for reading.

  1. But, having opened Pandora’s box and unleashed this “Plumber” thing (among many others), I can’t help but wonder if McClown today is just the teensiest bit regretful, or envious, over the fact that all the mass media today seem far more interested in “Joe the Plumber” than they are in him!  Which is yet another sign that McClown’s candidacy is over.

  2. …but we are seriously missing the boat on this one.  I may simply think this since I came from a small-medium business family…I am not entirely sure.  But I think this is one where we’d do better to hammer on the fact our (entirely hypothetical, since the real Joe/Sam is a weasel) small businessperson is NOT going to be taxed at 250k as income, if that is what their business makes.  Write it in the sky!   You’re right that at core there is nothing to talk about — by the time one hits 250k, one is hopefully not filing as an individual.  But in terms of these folk’s concerns, there is a lot to talk about…and it hasn’t been.  

    Small business folks have been given — truly — very little reason to trust that the tax system will be anything shy of confiscatory over the years.  Yeah, they end to be a reactionary lot — but they are also being taxed at close to 50 percent from their first substinence earnings on up.  As a result I think they are radicalized and scared to death of something — anything — which is going to burden them to the advantage of the fat cats and the corporate employees.  


  3. the actual conversation between Obama and JTP to be fascinating. In case anyone hasn’t seen it, here it is.

    With all we know now about JTP, its obvious this was an attempt at a “set up” for Obama. But I think his explanations were great and its interesting to see him spend so much time with one person on one issue.

  4. …to do simple plumbing, he started with the universally accepted First Rule Of Plumbing:  shit flows downhill.  These political distractions (i.e. “shit”) are intended to reach the least-informed (i.e. “downhill”) voters.  There’s no room for facts at the bottom of the hill.  But I’ve been somewhat encouraged this stuff hasn’t stuck as well as it has in past elections.  A bad economy truly does trump everything else.  

    Unless Joe can add add 4000 points to the Dow and hire 5 million unemployed people in the next two weeks, I doubt he’ll have a lasting effect on the election.

  5. Since when are tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 welfare?????????????????

    • Temmoku on October 19, 2008 at 12:15 am

    for my political addiction!

    The trouble is, I’ve been told that 12 step programs don’t work for atheists since we won’t admit the need for a “higher power” to help us…..

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