Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the Plumber? Joe the TOOL

Since McCain brought up “Joe the plumber” in the debate the guy, inevitably, has become a media darling. It seems this is precisely what the McCain plumbers unit wanted. Upon closer scrutiny, though, certain inconvenient facts have emerged to cloud Joe the plumber’s “everyman” image:

1. Though he claims to be “undecided” Joe, whose first name is Samuel, is a registered Republican and voted in the Republican primary.

2. Joe the plumber reluctantly admitted that he’d actually benefit from Obama’s tax cut. Joe the TOOL then went on a tirade that he’d have to buy equipment from other businesses that would presumably be taxed under Obama, thus hurting poor widdle Joe. Aww… either Joe the INGRATE is an economics wiz schooled in the the specious intricacies of trickle-down, or, more likely, he got the TALKING POINTS. Hey Joe, that’s above your pay scale, pal. Literally and figuratively.

3. Joe doesn’t have a plumber’s license, a requirement in Toledo, although he says he doesn’t need one.

4. The state of Ohio has imposed a lien on Joe the plumber for over $1,100 in unpaid back taxes. Seems as if you could use Obama’s tax relief, Joe. That is, unless someone else is picking up the tab.

5. In a call-in to Katie Couric, Joe the plumber said his intention was to get Obama to talk about his tax plan (presumably beyond what Obama had been patiently explaining at the greeting line), and not “tap dance” around the issue. Then he added rather gratuitously that Obama did "a tap dance...almost as good as Sammy Davis, Jr."

This language comes very close to outright racism. Sammy Davis Jr. was never known in his illustrious career simply as a tap dancer. Such references can very easily be interpreted as code for the worst kind of bigotry.

It turns out, according to the AP, Joe the plumber “had something of a debate Sunday as [Obama] walked house to house on Shrewsbury at the start of the candidate's four-day visit in the Toledo area.”

The New York Times reported:

Mr. Wurzelbacher told Ms. Couric that his encounter with Mr. Obama was a matter of impulse.
“Neighbors were outside asking him questions, and I didn’t think they were asking him tough enough questions,” he said.

He went on, “You know, I’ve always wanted to ask one of these guys a question and really corner them and get them to answer a question,” he said, “for once instead of tap dancing around it, and unfortunately I asked the question, but I still got a tap dance.”

He added, “Almost as good as Sammy Davis Jr.”


Here’s a brief history lesson of Jim Crow racist stereotypes, like tap dancing:

“The onset of Jim Crow laws and customs rested upon the racist characterization of black people as culturally, personally, and biologically inferior. This image functioned as the racial bedrock of American popular culture after 1900, especially manifested in minstrel shows, the vaudeville theatre, songs and music, film and radio, and commercial advertising."

Ronald L. F. Davis, Ph. D.

4 comments:

Rousing Rabble said...

Also of note, in a published story, "Joe" went over to engage Obama because he thought that he could "corner" the candidate. I just love the result. Not only did Obama score points by illustrating how his policies would make things better for all the Joe the Plumbers" of the world, but the glare of the media spotlight has opened up a can of whup-ass schadenfreude...

Anonymous said...

"Though he claims to be “undecided” Joe, whose first name is Samuel, is a registered Republican and voted in the Republican primary."

So? In the past months I've read dozens of articles filled with registered Democrats and Republuicans who are still undecided.

"Joe the plumber reluctantly admitted that he’d actually benefit from Obama’s tax cut."

I dont recall him admitting that. But then I dont claim to have read everything on joe the plumber. That aside, Joe would benefit from Obama's tax cut. But Obama isnt going to give a tax cut. He's just promising one to get elected.

"Joe the TOOL then went on a tirade that he’d have to buy equipment from other businesses that would presumably be taxed under Obama, thus hurting poor widdle Joe. Aww… either Joe the INGRATE is an economics wiz schooled in the the specious intricacies of trickle-down, or, more likely, he got the TALKING POINTS. Hey Joe, that’s above your pay scale, pal. Literally and figuratively."

Criminy. What Joe said is true. He would have to buy supplies from such companies that will be forced to raise the prices on their products. You think they;re just going to sit there and take it on the chin? Joe will be paying their tax hike for them.

"Joe doesn’t have a plumber’s license, a requirement in Toledo, although he says he doesn’t need one."

He doesnt. As long as he is not self employed and as long as he works on residential places, not commercial

"The state of Ohio has imposed a lien on Joe the plumber for over $1,100 in unpaid back taxes. Seems as if you could use Obama’s tax relief, Joe"

Obama's tax relief isnt going to happen.

"In a call-in to Katie Couric, Joe the plumber said his intention was to get Obama to talk about his tax plan (presumably beyond what Obama had been patiently explaining at the greeting line), and not “tap dance” around the issue. Then he added rather gratuitously that Obama did "a tap dance...almost as good as Sammy Davis, Jr."

Know any good white tap dancers?

"This language comes very close to outright racism."

No it doesnt.

"Sammy Davis Jr. was never known in his illustrious career simply as a tap dancer."

True. Sammy was a singer, comedian, actor, etc. But the metaphor "tap dancing" fits when refering to someone talking while trying to "dance" around the truth.

"Such references can very easily be interpreted as code for the worst kind of bigotry."

True.

"What was Joe the plumber doing at an Obama rally?"

He wasnt at an Obama rally. The guy was playing football in his own front yard when Obama came to him!

http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081016/NEWS09/810160418

Quote:
Mr. Wurzelbacher was playing football in his front yard with his son, Joey, on Sunday afternoon when Mr. Obama made an unscheduled stop to go door to door greeting voters and asking for their support.

I'm Not Ned said...

Anonymous said:
"But Obama isnt going to give a tax cut. He's just promising one to get elected."

You're confusing him with "Read my lips" Bush.

Get current; Republicans tax, spend and grow government to the benefit of their friends. The data doesn't lie. It's why I can't vote Republican until they understand that "conservative" doesn't mean "narrow minded, freedom hating homophobe".

Carlos said...

Obama “came to him”? Not quite, but thanks to "anonymous" for pointing this out. Correction made. The other “anonymous” observations don’t merit a reply from me, except for this one:

“Know any good white tap dancers?”

Excuse me. Have you ever heard of Fred Astaire? Or Mikhail Baryshnikov?

See the post for a link to the history of Jim Crow racist stereotypes.