Joe the Plumber
There he goes again, fantasizing about inflicting violence. Back in March, left-wing radio host Mike Malloy went off on a characteristically unhinged rant and threatened that "I will shoot you!" to an unnamed National Rifle Association board member.
This time it's former GOP congressional candidate Joe Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber, in Malloy's sights after Wurzelbacher wrote a response to a grief-stricken man whose son was shot in the killing spree at UC Santa Barbara over the weekend. The parent blamed "craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA" for his son's death. (Audio after the jump)
Democrat and former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, who has been "shadowing" Chris Christie while taking every possible opportunity to accuse New Jersey's GOP Governor of either "lying" or of being "the most inept, incompetent chief executive imaginable," tried his schtick yesterday morning on Chris Wallace's Fox News show.
Unfortunately for Ted, establishment Republican and former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove was there to do what the press should have been doing, namely calling out his blatant hypocrisy. But the clever Strickland managed to get in the last word. Viewers not familiar with the details of how Strickland's Buckeye State government went after Joe the Plumber after his preelection encounter with Barack Obama in October 2008 will likely believe that the argument ended in a standoff. That situation needs to be remedied.
On Sunday, in a report which I contend would surely have been published on a weekday -- and more importantly, published with far greater clarity -- if a Republican or conservative were in the White House, the Associated Press's Paul Wiseman essentially explored the following question: "Why aren't people spending more if they're so much richer?"
The answer he found, which should surprise no one in touch with reality, is that quite a few of us aren't richer. We're poorer. But Wiseman also cryptically revealed some of the dollar amounts involved and enough other information to enable one to back into an estimate of the shocking degree of wealth redistribution which has taken place during the recession and the first term of the Obama administration -- and it's not in the direction you might think.
Update (June 25, 5:48 p.m. EDT): Wurzelbacher has responded in a blog post at RedState, linking to a Smart Girl Politics post which noted that "[o]f the thirty-one signatories [of the anti-Wurzelbacher letter], all but six are registered Democrats or have made financial contributions to Democratic candidates or PACs."
"A viral campaign video in which Samuel 'Joe the Plumber' Wurzelbacher links gun control to the Holocaust has sickened some members of Ohio's Jewish community, who sent the GOP congressional candidate a letter on Thursday that calls his claims 'misguided,' 'highly offensive' and 'harmful to the Jewish community,'" Sabrina Eaton informed readers of the Cleveland Plain Dealer in an article uploaded yesterday evening. In the video in question, Wurzelbacher noted that gun control programs in Turkey and Germany preceded the Armenian genocide of 1915-17 and the Holocaust, respectively.
In a heated exchange Thursday between CNN’s Zoraida Sambolin and Samuel Wurzelbacher, also known as “Joe the Plumber,” Sambolin dug up comments he made about “gay people” in 2009, causing Wurzelbacher to quip that "this is TMZ. This isn't CNN, is what you're saying."
Sambolin also questioned his qualifications to run for office, and mislabeled his liberal opponent as a "conservative Democrat" while branding Wurzelbacher as a "conservative Republican."
Bill Maher invited comedian Patton Oswalt to his table on HBO's Real Time on Friday night and saluted his small film from 2009, "Big Fan," in which he plays a superfan of the New York Giants, even after a Giants linebacker beats him up severely. Maher turned this analogy to politics and leftist Thomas Frank's book "What's the Matter with Kansas?" which argued that poorer Americans are duped into voting for conservatives against their own economic interests.
"He will not go against the people who are hurting him, and it just seems so typical of the Joe the Plumbers of the world," Maher said. Oswalt replied, "It just seems to me that a lot of the people who are in the Tea Party movement and those other groups, there's been this brilliant magic trick where people are confusing capitalism with corporations, and those could not be more opposite, but they're made to root for these giant corporations as if they're rooting for free enterprise."
"My point," Maher insisted.
Look, we all get carried away in talk radio but I do not think that on 'The Ed Show' on MSNBC in the last year I've said anything *hateful.* Hateful?! ... Hateful stuff? No, no, no, we point out the hateful stuff and sometimes it lands in Psycho Talk.
Oh really, Ed? Yours truly went through our Schultz archive and passed on Ed's greatest hits to EyeBlast.tv video producer Bob Parks, who put together an excellent montage illustrating Schultz's rage against the Right.
You can watch Bob's montage by clicking the play button on the embedded video above at right.
On Thursday, MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer reported on Meghan McCain calling Joe the Plumber a "dumb ass" for his views on homosexuality and remarked: "Is that name calling? Or, you know, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and looks like a duck. Just asking, folks. I'm just asking." [audio available here]
In the brief report, during the 2:00PM ET hour, Brewer explained:
Let's go to the war of words between Meghan McCain and the man known as Joe the Plumber. In a recent interview, the daughter of the former GOP presidential contender railed against her dad's big supporter here. And she was talking about her support for gay marriage, she criticized Samuel Wurzelbacher, that’s his real name, his comments about homosexuals. She said – this is – okay, these are her words, I’m going to quote them, ‘Joe the Plumber, you can quote me, is a dumb ass, he should stick to plumbing.’ Is that name calling? Or, you know, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and looks like a duck. Just asking, folks. I'm just asking.
Republicans, particularly those who are the biggest fans of Gov. Sarah Palin, are stuck in the vestiges of the 1984 "white-bread fantasy" of Reagan's "Morning in America," huffs Time magazine's Joe Klein in a July 6 Swampland blog post on "Sarah Palin's America":
All this talk about Sarah Palin's constituency being "real Americans" raises the question, yet again, of who the unreal Americans are. Last September, when the Governor burst upon the scene like a head-on collision, I wrote that Palin's America--white folks, small towns, traditional values--was a Republican fantasy, a vestige of Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America" hornswoggle in the 1980s. (This fantasy was reinforced by John McCain's fetishizing of Joe the Unlicensed Plumber.)
Real America is much different from, and more interesting than, that white-bread fantasy, a problem the Republican Party--the party of immigrant bashing--will be wrestling with for the immediate future.
Klein conveniently omitted that 2008 presidential nominee Sen. John McCain was hardly an immigrant basher, heavily criticized by conservatives in the GOP for his push for amnesty for illegal immigrants. What's more, it was President Reagan who signed the last amnesty bill in 1986, another inconvenient fact that cuts against Klein suggesting Reagan was a quasi-racist xenophobe.
As if to bolster his own cosmopolitan credentials with which to better slam Gov. Palin as provincial, Klein casually dropped a reference to a party he recently attended in the Islamic Republic of Iran:
As he appeared as a guest on Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC to discuss Joe the Plumber’s recent criticism of the Republican party, Newsweek’s Richard Wolffe started off by suggesting that Republicans had "lost their heart" in the 1980s and had "lost their mind" in the 1990s. Wolffe: "You know, if they lost their heart in the 1980s, and they lost their mind in the 1990s, what we've seen in the 2000s is Republicans losing their image, and they lost it on national security."
Hear all that shattering glass? That's David Shuster's house. The MSNBC host threw his latest rock when he snidely thanked Samuel Wurzelbacher, Joe the Plumber for a "lesson in tolerance" during the 11:00 hour of MSNBC's live news coverage on May 5.
And now a lesson in tolerance from Joe the Plumber. In an interview with Christian [sic] Today, he says we're supposed to love everybody and accept people, even has some friend who are gay. But he says he doesn't let his gay friends, quote, anywhere near his children. Oh, and according to Joe, queer is not a slur. It just means strange and unusual. Thank you, Joe the Christian.
Christianity Today asked Wurzelbacher about his views on same-sex marriage at a state level and he responded:
We just received word that C-SPAN 2 is going to air a "slightly abbreviated version" of the Media Research Center's 2009 Gala and Dishonors Awards dinner.
It should start airing at 1:26 p.m. EDT.