"Quantity has a quality all its own."
Ohio's voter registration deadline has passed Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher by, and he's not actually registered to vote. So you have to wonder how sincere his question was. Fortunately, he's given us something to go on in that regard:
JOE WURZELBACHER: Initially, I started off asking him if he believed in the American Dream and he said yes, he does — and then I proceeded to ask him then why he’s penalizing me for trying to fulfill it. He asked, “what do you mean,” and I explained to him that I’m planning on purchasing this company — it’s not something I’m gonna purchase outright, it’s something I’m going to have to make payments on for years — but essentially I’m going to buy this company, and the profits generated by that could possibly put me in that tax bracket he’s talking about and that bothers me. It’s not like I would be rich; I would still just be a working plumber. I work hard for my money, and the fact that he thinks I make a little too much that he just wants to redistribute it to other people. Some of them might need it, but at the same time, it’s not their discretion to do it — it’s mine.
PM: Now did Obama tell you that you would receive some sort of tax cut?
JW: He talked about suspending capital gains to a certain amount… To be honest with you, I don’t want to say I tuned him out — because as he started, he pretty much regurgitated what he said in his debate, first one, second one, and a lot of his rallies. What he said to me was pretty much word for word what he’s been saying for the last couple months. So when he started down that path, it’s like, ”Okay, I’ve already heard this, Obama, give me something different.”
PM: There was nothing new in his answer?
JW: No, there was nothing new. You know, I didn’t appreciate that, actually.
PM: Do you think your question surprised Obama, caught him off guard at all?
JW: Well that was actually my intent. Most people, you ask them “do you believe in the American Dream?” Nine times out of ten they’ll sit there and go, “Yeah, of course!” That’s where he messed up, because as soon as I asked him that, his answer shows that he doesn’t believe in the American Dream. You know, like the question you asked before — he pretty much contradicted himself. “I don’t want to punish you but — “ Well, you’re going to anyways.
So, Joe, the point of the question was to give yourself a platform for making a statement about your own beliefs, not to inform your choice as a voter by actually finding out what Obama's were -- you already knew that, so when he told you, you tuned it out. Fair enough. We live in a culture where attention-whoring is regarded as not just a valid lifestyle choice, but everyone's god-given duty. (It's one of the ways that Americans tell if they're members of the elect. And like the good neo-Calvinist you seem to be, what's most important to you is that everyone see that you are among that elect.)
But at least pretend to be honest about it, OK?
But hey -- he sounds just like a pundit, so I guess he's doing something right.
ADDENDUM: He might be registered, after all, as a Republican. But there's so much more to this story it deserves a new lead....