Book Trailer The Noble Train

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Joe the Plumber is Running for Congress

Remember the plumber in the last election who asked candidate Obama about his economic policies and then went on to become the populist face of the Republican party if not the McCain campaign? Joe the plumber popped up everywhere the republicans needed him to show they were really the party of the people. This was before Union busting and the campaign to eviscerate medicare and medicaid and the revelation that republicans have one constituency called the one percent.

Joe the plumber was the perfect foil: the bareheaded everyman. He soon got a book deal and went on talk shows espousing his political views. He didn't really care about being a plumber anymore. In fact it was kind of a drag. Crawling under peoples sinks and replacing toilets with those nasty O rings that slide around after you seat the toilet. Or using his snake to rod out sewer pipes that have tree roots in them or fixing broken old stacks in basements, swapping out iron with PVC.

I mean come on. One minute he was signing books and the next minute he is trying to get a kids plastic solider out of the J turn in the bottom of a  toilet. So Joe figures his fifteen minutes is not up yet. He is running for Congress as a republican of course. Forget that his union along with every other union is under attack now by his party, Joe needs that cocaine of cheap fame to nourish his working man soul. And even if he doesn't win there are lots of interviews.

And Joe the plumber will not win. He is proving the Sarah Palin pedagogy by rising to his level of incompetence. He might have been able to pull it off if people still believed his party gave a rats ass about working people, but even then it would have been a hard slog. Joe's biggest problem is he will have to morph from a plumber to an informed politician without gagging on his pipe wrench.

But like most people who touch fame he is addicted. One day he is just another smooth headed journeyman plying his trade. The next he is on stage in front of thousands of people. Life is like that. You go from rodding toilets to talking trade agreements. But no matter. Joe will get some glitter from his campaign and that might be enough for the man who will one day be under a sink again with a flashlight in his mouth, staring up through the bottom of a drain, muttering, "I should have run for President."

Books by William Hazelgrove