I love Obama's face when he says, "And he's trying to suggest that a plumber is who he's fighting for" (I would consider it a classic Professor Cassidy face, along with Jessica Valenti's wonderful rendition), though I do think Obama needs to watch Moonstruck if he doesn't believe plumbers can make that much money ("We should have been plumbers like Castorini"). Beyond that, and the reason for this post, is that I am impressed by Chris Hayes' take on the matter of Joe the Plumber. When he said:
There is a tremendous gap between the mythical creature "Joe the Plumber" and the real life guy. And we see this time and time again. Sarah Palin's a perfect example. And what it shows is that the modern Republican Party and the McCain campaign and the right wing are so much more heavily invested in a caricature of ordinariness than they are in actual, real-life ordinary people,I was nodding vigorously.
And on his own blog, he said he agreed with Atrios' take that "I really don't think the fact that someone talks to a political candidate and then gets mentioned by another political candidate in a debate is license to make every detail of this guy's life national news". I wonder how much of his position comes from the same selfish place I come to the Joe the Plumber controversy from -that being a deep sense of apathy about Joe as an individual and a resulting cynicism about mainstream media's frenzied feast:
along with a healthy sense of despair that the name "Joe" will never again simply be a nickname for Joseph (the most ironic part of the Joe the Plumber storyline so far has been that his first name is actually Samuel, with his middle name being Joe). And while I agree with Michelle Malkin in this instance, I can't help but feel as if Jesse Taylor hits the nail on the head by saying,
It isn't just the pot calling the kettle black, it's the pot wandering into the pot store and declaring all other pots black-tinged traitors to our great nation, then offering to run the pot reeducation camp to bring them in line with acceptable and decent container values.My animosity toward Malkin has been years in the making, as she is often featured in my paper's editorial section. And maybe I should be kinder to her hypocritical turn around. After all, it is one thing to attack a side one hates with the fire of a thousand suns with such complete and utter tripe and defend it by saying, "asking questions and subjecting political anecdotes to scrutiny are what journalists should be doing". But it is quite another when a person you agree with is the political anecdote subject to scrutiny. However, this sort of thing makes me see red, and has the unfortunate tendency, given my temperament, to make me want to take the exact opposite position Malkin holds due to her double standards. But in the spirit of Chris Hayes and the Daily Show and just wanting Not-Joe the not-Plumber (apparently, he doesn't have a license) off of my television screen, I will actually maintain my philosophical viewpoint and state that Not-Joe really doesn't matter. We've lost a day in the news cycle clamoring over the facts and fictions of this one Ohioan, and I for one want it to stop. It is possible to give credence to Not-Joe's concerns, if they deserve such attention, and debate those on a national level without declaring fact or fiction about this one guy. Because I for one don't care about his record of paying taxes, whether or not he is actually buying the plumbing business, what his real first name is (okay, I'll admit to liking that one), or how much money a year he's making. Because suddenly, it isn't Not-Joe's economic philosophy that is the story, and neither is whether Obama's tax plan is or isn't bad for small businesses. It is just about Not-Joe. He should have faded away by now. So let's allow him to do that.