Joe the Plumber, Congressman?
FlaglerLive | March 7, 2012
Congress is a strange place these days. Rep. Louie Gohmert, the Texas Republican, is talking about caribou’s sex habits along the Alaska pipeline while the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee takes sexism to new lows by holding a hearing on contraception not only with a male-only panel, but with a majority of clerics on that panel. It’s only natural that the place is both magnet and maw for denominators commonly referred to as low, lower and lowest. To wit: Joe the Plumber. He’s back. The symbol of the McCain-Palin campaign’s arrested development never really went away, thanks to the running gag known as Fox News. It didn’t matter that he was a bogus plumber all that time, or that he’d evaded paying the very low taxes he was complaining about. McCain-Palin wanted their symbol, he’s the best they got. He’s still milking it.
From Politico: “One of the biggest — and most overlooked — surprises of Tuesday night was in a northeast Ohio Republican congressional primary. There, Samuel Wurzelbacher, who is better known from campaign 2008 as ‘Joe the Plumber,’ almost lost his House bid to an obscure auctioneer named Steve Kraus — when the dust settled, Wurzelbacher escaped with a narrow 51 to 48 percent victory. [...] Wurzelbacher hasn’t exactly been embraced by the Republican establishment, largely because GOP officials regard the northeastern Ohio-based 9th District as tilting heavily Democratic and an unlikely November pickup. The National Republican Congressional Committee hasn’t bothered to add Wurzelbacher to its “Young Guns” program for top recruits. After Kaptur beat Kucinich, “Joe the Plumber” will now face the veteran Democrat in the fall. Still, Wurzelbacher’s candidacy has been greeted with enthusiasm by some conservatives. Late last month, Herman Cain came to Ohio to campaign for him.” Not that Cain has much else to do after his own caribou-courtship with Republicans’ infinite weirdness pipeline.
In the Democratic primary in Ohio’s same 9th congressional district, 15-term Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur defeated that other veteran, Rep. Dennis Kucinich. Wurzelbacher has no chance of beating Kaptur. From the Christian Science Monitor: “Kaptur’s seniority translates to power in Congress. She is next in line to be the top Democrat of the influential House Appropriations committee, which holds the federal government’s purse strings, after top Democrat Norm Dicks of Washington announced his retirement. In his election night victory party, Wurzelbacher promised a clean campaign. ‘Bottom line, I won’t run a character assassination type campaign. As an American I am tired and disgusted of seeing those kinds of ads going on radio or TV and I won’t practice in it. If anyone comes out on my side and tries to practice it, I will denounce it. I am going to run on facts.’” That, of course, would be a first.