Samuel Wurzelbacher aka Joe the Plumber, that reluctant and self-effacing, or is it self-impaling for at times I cannot tell, hero of the American conservative movement has given an interview to that erudite journal of evangelical conviction, Christianity Today. Mr. Wurzelbacher certainly is one for new careers, perhaps all best filed under the rubric of prostitution, for since his fortuitous encounter with Barack Obama back in October that lifted him to these heights of conservative fancy he has played at being a war correspondent, an author and a pundit. And he has been an epic fail at all of these for it seems conservatives these days are all about self-flagellation for they keep on trotting him out for another bout as a whipping post. He must enjoy playing the fool for he sure does excel at it.
He is first asked what about conservatism appeals to him as a Christian. He replies that conservatism "is about the basic rights of individuals" adding the "God created us" and that "the Founding Fathers based the Constitution off of Christian values." They go "hand-in-hand" he assures us. Damn better make sure the President adds him to his short list for the Supreme Court. Joe the Constitutional scholar. He further adds that he feels a connection to the Republican party "because individual freedom should not be legislated by the federal government."
More "Joe" the "Plumber" FAIL. Remember that anti-Employee Free Choice Act tour of Pennsylvania that Joe was going on at the behest of Americans for Prosperity? Yeah, well, that's not going so well.
As ThinkProgress reported, Wurzelbacher faced a tough crowd near Pittsburgh on Monday, where union members rallied against him. He faced a similarly critical audience in Harrisburg yesterday, and then "skipped a subsequent rally in Philadelphia."
Pressed on the specifics of the law, Mr. Plumber repeatedly refused to answer, and finally lost his cool, telling his questioner: "Drop it, brother, drop it. I never said I was an expert, man."
Meanwhile, the Patriot News reports that union members who were bussed to the rally jeered and heckled Mr. Plumber.
"Rat! Rat! Rat!" some shouted. Another yelled: "Real plumbers are for card check!"
According to the Patriot News, Mr. Plumber admitted at one point that he hadn't read the bill.
The tough time Mr. Plumber endured was apparently too much for him. He was scheduled to appear at a subsequent rally against EFCA in Philadelphia, but according to the SEIU, which had several organizers on the scene, he was a no-show.
Usually, Joe's worn his ignorance as a badge of honor, could it have become too much for him? Could he be realizing that the right is just using him to pretend they care about the average worker? Did he experience some cognitive dissonance at the fact that real average Joes -- his people, supposedly -- were protesting him? Ehh, probably not.
Watch the cringe-inducing fail of Mr. Plumber below:
AFP urges Senator Sen. Arlen Specter to vote against Employee Free Choice Act
Which, of course, is a position Specter has already announced he will take. So, great work, Joe the Plumber is a huge success even before he's begun!
Greg Sargent dug a little deeper into the strategy behind the choice of Joe the Plumber to get their message out.
"The public loves Joe the Plumber," the spokesperson, Mary Ellen Burke, claimed to me. "They see him as a role model."
Asked whether Joe the Plumber had any particular knowledge or expertise about EFCA that might explain the decision to enlist him, Burke said that he was being enlisted to provide a "grassroots perspective" and "the working perspective" on the measure.
Pressed on whether Joe the Plumber has any particular claim to being a spokesperson on the issue, Burke replied that "he represents the American worker."
I checked in with Rick Terven, the political and legislative director for The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada...He tore into his high-profile plumber colleague as follows:
Joe the plumber is selling out real plumbers. Right now, labor law is stacked against real plumbers. Real plumbers want and need the Employee Free Choice Act as a way to empower themselves to join a union, without fear of intimidation or losing their jobs. Joe the Plumber doesn't speak for real plumbers.
Terven claimed that the Plumbers Union, which says it has over 300,000 members, had done a survey of non-union plumbers finding that 70% of them wanted to join a union if they could do so without fear of retribution, though I couldn't immediately get the details of their survey.
Actually, a real plumbers for EFCA tour throughout Pennsylvania isn't a half bad idea.
I am glad GOP is continuing it's tail spin. Joe the plumber is becoming a crack war reporter.
Here is the story:
Joe The Plumber is putting down his wrenches and picking up a reporter's notebook.
The Ohio man who became a household name during the presidential campaign says he is heading to Israel as a war correspondent for the conservative Web site pjtv.com.
Samuel J. Wurzelbacher (WUR'-zuhl-bah-kur) says he'll spend 10 days covering the fighting.
He tells WNWO-TV in Toledo that he wants to let Israel's "'Average Joes' share their story."
Wurzelbacher gained attention during the final weeks of the campaign when he asked Barack Obama about his tax plan.
He later joined Republican John McCain on the campaign trail. At one stop, he agreed with a McCain supporter who asked if he believed a vote for Obama was a vote for the death of Israel.
This is hilarious. "Joe the Plumber," currently on what I guess is sort of a pre-book release tour (his "Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream" comes out later this month,) appears to be throwing John McCain under the Straight Talk Express. On Glenn Beck recently, Wurzelbacher had some choice words about the man who cynically and cringe-inducingly made him famous.
"I honestly felt even more dirty after I had been on the campaign trail and seen some things that take place. It was scary, man," Wurzelbacher said. He told Beck he asked McCain "some pretty direct questions" about the bailout, and wasn't pleased with the response. "They appalled me, absolutely. You know, I was angry. In fact, I wanted to get off the bus after I talked to him."
The reason he didn't jump off the bus? Well, turns out he felt McCain was the lesser of two evils. And hey, can you really blame Joe? The guy had a book deal and a fledgling country music career to nurture.
But as surprisingly sober, discerning anad dare I say reality-based as Joe's up close take on McCain appears to be, it looks like those qualities didn't translate to his opinion of Sarah Palin.
You know, I only got to spend a short amount of time with her but, you know, it was been asked if I felt any presence when I was with John McCain or Barack Obama. You know, with Sarah Palin, I don't want to say I felt a presence but she definitely had energy and she definitely went to work for American people...It's just, you know, she really wants to work for America and I mean, I wish people would listen to her and let them, and let her work for us. You know, she wants to serve us. She's not looking for power.