Joe the Plumber and privacy

This is a very specific issue that I haven’t noticed on any other JTP thread, so apologies if it’s just my inattentiveness, but it seems that I’ve heard complaints from Pubbies the last few days IRL (and, I think, from McCain himself on TV though I’ve got no cite handy–will chase on demand) that Obama has done something scurrilous by putting poor JTP in the spotlight, exposing him to inquiries about his licensure (and lack thereof), back taxes, etc.

Three letters: WTF?

OBAMA made Joe a public figure? No, Obama answered his (mostly lying) question on the stump, where he would have faded promptly back into obscurity but for McCain’s making him into a public figure, subject to media investigation, by invoking his name a few dozen times on national TV in a debate.

Is this just Pubbie RO? Or is this perhaps the most blatant example of Pubbies complaining bitterly about a problem they’re 100% responsible for causing? When a guy’s a public figure, the gloves are off, and his life is subject to ruination. If he didn’t want to have questions raised about his business or his taxes, he should have shut his mouth in public, and if he has has any claims to privacy that are being forfeit, he has McCain to blame for that forfeiture.

Or am I completely insane?

disclaimer: my grandfather’s name was Joe and he was a plumber, but he paid his taxes and held a license.

I’ve seen it raised where he doesn’t have a plumber’s license, he owes back taxes, and his name is Sam instead of Joe. So what?

Fine him the 10 bucks for not having a license. Don’t vote for Joe the Plumber for President. WTF does any of this matter as far as McCain is concerned?

JTP asked a simple question to Obama. What if he does get to the point where he might buy the boss’s business. Should he get a tax increase for being successful?

Yes! That is just what Democrats want to do, tax people for being successful and that’s just what the OP was about. JT, you really need to work on your analytical skills…

I wish I was supposed to pay a million in taxes. That would mean I had money up the wazoo. I would gladly accept that onerous burden.

He appeared on the new “Huckabee” show on FOX on Friday. He was sitting in the front row wearing a suit and they were all fawning over him. The musician who was there said (with awe in his voice) “I can’t believe I’m in the same studio with Joe the plumber.” So the guy isn’t exactly spurning all the attention, so he gets the bad with the good, and it falls into the category of “blame McCain for bringing it up in the first place 20-some times in the debate”.

It’s a weird situation, and I feel a bit conflicted about it.

It is inappropriate that people are putting Joe Wurzlebacher through public scrutiny. The guy just asked a question. I disagree with his views, but he has the right to express them.

OTOH, McCain has made Joe the Plumber the centerpiece of his campaign. He’s using him as a symbol, and it’s entirely predictable and inevitable that people would want to know more about the real Joe and try to knock down Joe the symbol by attacking Joe the man. The Democrats are pulling the trigger, but McCain put him in the line of fire.

ETA: But I think Joe’s fifteen minutes of inafamy are about over. Powell’s knocked McCain off the headlines again, so it’s time for that campaign to shift to something new.

While I certainly hope that McCain’s campaign checked with Joe before making him the centerpiece of the debate, it doesn’t really matter. Had he not wanted to make a fuss, he simply could have refused interviews, and his 15 minutes of fame would have been over in, well, 15 minutes. Instead, he’s glorying in being a seven day wonder, and bad, as well as good, comes with that.

In short, no, it’s not Obama’s fault.

Joe has his own wikipedia entry now.

This one.

It is a very Rovian tactic. Accuse the other guy of doing something that you yourself are guilty of. It throws the other party on the defensive from the get-go, and blunts any attack they may have.

Is anyone in the Democratic Party attacking Joe The Plumber™?

Well, a quick google search for “Democrat attack Joe the Plumber” show that McCain and Palin and Rush Limbaugh are saying so. Here’s a sample hit from Michelle Malkin that contains loads of links. As I said, it’s complete crap–they claim it’s scandalous that anyone, including the press, write about him in any way, shape or form other than how McCain spun his story, but they’re sure agitated about it.

Yes, that vast left wing conspiracy known as The Liberal Media. They are but puppetmasters to the mighty behind the DNC’s doors.

Regarding this initial response to the OP, I’ve been wondering what a Pubbie would make if some black woman had made up shit about her own personal tax situation and put McCain on the spot by claiming that that she would suffer under his plan? If the press then exposed her falsehoods, dug into her personal life, financial records, voting history, etc., where exactly would you say they had crossed the line?

I do not see a tax increase as being because one is successful. The so called successful people get their money by charging huge fees to people who must pay them large sums of money for a service or product.

Strange, but the early Christians were expected to share what they had with the poor. The Bible tells of one couple who held back and was struck by lightening.

If one looked at Charities today they would see that the percentage of money given for good causes is just as high in the poor as in the wealthy. As an example a person making $5.00 an hour many times gives more than 10% to a Charity, but a person of great wealth may give as little as 2% but the sum is larger because they have millions compared to the poorer person.

If I made $250.000 a year I would happily give more in taxes than if I make $30,000. Greed helps no one.


The idea that Joe The Plumber is being attacked by the horrible Liberal Elite Media is ridiculous, and just another example of McCain’s “blame the media” theme he has going on here lately. McCain mentioned the guy a dozen times in the debate, so naturally people are going to be curious about him. He not only granted every interview requested of him, but he seems to be genuinely happy for the opportunity to share his little opinions with everyone.

BTW, “undecided independent voter” my ass. So far he has stated that Obama tapped danced around his question like Sammie Davis Jr., that America rocks so we need to stop apologizing for it, and he’s not sorry we’re in Iraq, because we gave them the most precious gift of all: freedom. He’s a right-wing talking point spouting robot.

The last election where Plumbers had a significant impact was, I believe, 1972. Y’all may remember the name of the building housing the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the time.

Yes. I really wonder where the Sammie Davis Jr. reference came from.

Let me think. Who is Sammie Davis Jr.?

Oh. Right. The first name in tap dancing.

Part of me feels sorry for the guy. Ask a question, have the media dredge through your personal life. But I’m not blaming the Democrats for much of it. I’ll blame the media, and I’ll blame McCain’s team for not vetting him before making him a case study (McCain’s team seems to have a real issue with vetting). This is not the first time a private citizen has fallen to political shrapnel. He seems a little naive - owning back taxes and criticizing the tax system publicly (yeah, like the audit team is going to be sympathetic in the future), being a plumber without training or a license and pissing off the union. Putting his boss’s business in jeopardy because neither of them understood licensing requirements.

Agreed. If you want to chase your 15 minutes of fame, that’s fine, but you accept the consequences of public life. And you’re asking for trouble by trying to sell a sympathetic story that turns out to be (at least partly) BS.

Joe could have tamped it down by just saying, from the start, “I’m not interested in getting into this. I asked a question of Senator Obama and you guys have the tape.” Instead, he happily did the interviews, accepted flights to New York to hit the media, etc.

Interestingly, I haven’t seen any of this Republican outrage directed towards the case of George Obama who has said that the Vanity Fair story misrepresented him, he was proud and happy with his life and just wanted to be left alone. Yet we still have knuckleheads trying to inject themselves into his life and use him as a pawn to embarass Barack Obama.