John McCain has got to be the biggest moron this side of stoopidville. For so many reasons. The latest is his very public cozy-ing up to the now famous “Joe the Plumber.”

We are at war in two countries. The economy is in a state not seen since the beginning of the Great Depression and no one really knows why. America’s standing in the world is at a nadir, at a low point never ever seen in our entire history. And the best John McCain can do in the final debate with his Democratic opponent is to leverage the yahooistic ramblings of a man named Joe who claims to be a plumber but is not, who claims to be ready to buy his own business but could not possibly given his financial situation, and who claims that Obama’s tax policy is unfair, but who himself owes the IRS a significant sum in back taxes.

But even without these truthless absurdities, even if Joe the Plumber was really for real, McCain is a moron for toting out a plumber to ally himself with so that people might like him! I mean, have you ever SEEN a plumber? Here’s a picture of one:


And they smell bad and they charge you $250.00 per hour to do what is probably the easiest category of home improvement job: twisting little pipe thingies together until it all fits. It does not even have to look good because almost all plumbing is hidden from view by carpenters!

This is crazy. He is crazy. Let’s spend a moment to make fun of the crazy people:


  1. #1 llewelly
    October 17, 2008

    Look. Plumbers are people too. They don’t deserve hate and garbage from random bloggers. It’s bad enough that they’re being associated John McCain.

  2. #2 greg laden
    October 17, 2008

    Lighten up. Some of my best friends are plumbers. In fact, there’s a plumber sitting right here right now laughing at this post. And self consciously hitching his pants up.

  3. #3 Yoo
    October 18, 2008

    When I heard McCain mentioning the plumber, my first thought was “there are plumbers who make more than $250,000 a year?”. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one …

  4. #4 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    October 18, 2008

    You, are you one of the elite plumbers?

  5. #5 James Pence
    October 18, 2008

    Jim the Democratic plumber

  6. #6 Eric
    October 18, 2008

    I would be willing to bet there are quite a few plumbing companies that earn more than $250,000 per year, which I think was the main point of the debate regarding Joe the plumber. Likewise, I’m pretty sure there are a number of plumbers out there who wear belts and smell at least as good as Greg Laden. Nevertheless, none of this is particularly relevant to the trip down the plumbing this country is presently in the midst of.

  7. #7 Jamoan
    October 18, 2008

    Is the left so completely divorced from the concept of private enterprise that they cant make a distinction between a plumber and someone who owns a plumbing business?

  8. #8 Yoo
    October 18, 2008

    Maybe the left are as detached as Jamoan says. But McCain was obviously mentioning Joe the Plumber in the context of “an average American trying to achieve the American dream”, and if the average plumber earns more than $250,000 a year, I’m in the wrong field …

  9. #9 Orac
    October 18, 2008

    That was pretty low, Greg.

  10. #10 Kate
    October 18, 2008

    Turns out Joe is not a member of the Plumbers guild, he’s not making 250K per year, and he’s not in any financial position to buy a business. He’s a Republican far right wing wack job who thought he could “catch” Obama with his comments.

    As it turns out, Joe is a FIRST TIME VOTER, only registered last month (as a Republican of course) has several liens against him for back taxes.

    Here’s more on Joe’s ideologies (which are pretty far out there) as printed in the LA Times:

    Thoughts from Joe the Plumber
    In his brief time in the national spotlight, Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher — known now as Joe the Plumber — has been asked his thoughts on a wide range of public issues:

    “I’m not sorry that we’re in Iraq. . . . We liberated another country. I mean, freedom. Things that every one of you guys take for granted, everything that Americans take for granted, I mean these guys haven’t had it. Now they’ve got it. I mean, that’s an incredible thing. That’s almost — I don’t know if you guys are Christians or not, but that’s like somebody coming to Jesus and becoming saved. These guys have freedom.”

    Social Security
    “Social Security is a joke. I have parents; I don’t need another set of parents called the government. You know, let me take my money and invest it how I please. Social Security I’ve never believed in, don’t like it. I hate that it’s forced on me.”

    “The politicians are the nobles. We are the serfs. OK? . . . I mean, we are the peasants as far as they’re concerned. You know, they take, and they give us back a little bit.”

    America’s stature
    “I’m tired of people downing America, saying that we’re this bad country. . . . We are the greatest country in the world. Stop apologizing for us. I mean, really, I get real mad about that.”

    His own fame
    “I’m a flash in the pan. You know, I’m just a novelty. You know, Joe the Plumber. It’s going to be fun for a couple days, and then it’s going to go away.”

    Source: Times research

  11. #11 jafabrit
    October 18, 2008

    I see nothing wrong with the question itself but it was dishonestly stated by a person who doesn’t have a plumbers license, doesn’t have the income to buy a business, and hasn’t paid his taxes.

    If politicians are going to use regular hard working Americans as examples it behooves them to pick people who have a genuine struggle, are not lying about it, and pay their taxes. If a plumber earns over $250,000 then he isn’t suffering too much eh;)

  12. #12 Andrew
    October 18, 2008

    Jamoan: The left? Jamoan, Do you mean the right? John McCain is confusing a guy who is not a plumber who does not own a business and makes less than 50 thousand a year with a business owner who might have some of the tax break he’s been getting at the expense of the rest of his returned.

  13. #13 greg laden
    October 18, 2008

    Orac: Not a low as Joe’s pants!?!?!?

    But seriously ….

    Low because I call McCain on his bullshit and you like McCain? I find that hard to believe. Or low because I diss (in good humor) plumbers? I’m sure the plumbers can take care of themselves. I’m thinking ‘low’ because you miss my point that I can’t understand why a politician would pick a widely distrusted and often reviled category of person to hitch his dimming star to?

    Let me make it more clear so that you can understand …. this was one of those posts I sometimes write that require a little more work to “get” for some readers.

    So, when was the last time someone … a regular person, not a guy who owns 11 homes, or a rich doctor, or whatever .. .a regular person who dreads things like having to have plumbing done because they can’t afford it … had a non-personal conversation about a plumber in which their high cost, tendency to overcharge, or at least fear of overcharging the average person for the average job, and, often, the butt-crack, does not come up.

    Now think of trying to find a category of American that everyone likes or respects or has positive feelings about, to bring to the big room in which you are making a speech so you can pause and point to the balcony and say something like: “And here, I’ve brought some actual first responders along with me so that you would like me…”

    You (not you, Orac, but John McCain or some other politician) would NOT bring a plumber to the big speech because the average American, while convinced that First Responders are like angels and shit, the average person does not feel good about pipes, problems with pipes, plumbing, or plumbers. Or paying plumbers. Or the butt cracks.

    Are we getting it now? Are we getting the absurdity? the parody of it all? It is, I admit, a class thing. Not everyone is going to get this because not everyone lives in fear of their pipes breaking. because the pipes are about to break, and we have a sense that the fucking plumbers overcharge.

  14. #14 eric
    October 18, 2008

    All I know is that I’m going to start researching becoming a plumber. With a 250k/yr income I could work 9 months a year in New England then go to the mangroves for three months to do research. Publishing would be tricky with no PhD and no major funding, but I’d get to research whatever I wanted, and I could feed myself and my family RealFood™® instead of dehydrated fried noodles for breakfast lunch and dinner (except Fridays).

  15. #15 Ron Sullivan
    October 18, 2008

    Plumbers do make good money and they deserve it. (OK, the competent ones deserve it.) Plumbing has preserved at least as many lives as medicine over the last few centuries.

    Sing Ho! for the garbage collectors, while you’re at it.

    I do think is should be a job requirement that plumbers have cute butts, tho’.

  16. #16 mark
    October 18, 2008

    Didn’t Nixon’s plumbers earn a lot of money?

  17. #17 Mad Hussein LOLscientist, FCD
    October 18, 2008

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!! MY EYES!!!!! You owe me an eyeball transplant, Greg!

  18. #18 Mad Hussein LOLscientist, FCD
    October 18, 2008

    Oh, and let’s not forget: McCain not only mentioned Joe the Plumber 21 times in the first place; he gave out Joe’s e-mail address and called for his supporters to send Joe encouraging e-mails – then accused Obama of violating Joe’s privacy! Talk about reality-challenged……….

  19. #19 Michael
    October 18, 2008

    I thought liberals were for the little guy and here they are trying to rip “Joe the Plumber” apart…lol…Oh it’s not really Joe is it, it’s really McCain, your just using Joe to rip McCain…Don’t think so, Joe doesn’t seem liberal, therefore liberals rip him.

    The funny part where is the quote of a conservative who said Joe was making 250,000 a year? Trying to buy a business at a certain price in this case 250,000, doesn’t mean the person makes that income a year. Who has ever bought a house? When you bought a house, were you making the same amount every year? I think most who buy a home do not make that yearly income.

    Could have Joe bought a 250,000 business let’s say making about 40,000 a year? Unlike buying a home, a business can produce income to pay off debt. Also, he could have gotten other investors. It’s possible that he could have purchased a business.

    Joe the plumber ripping from liberals means it was effective…lol…

    As far as taxes, Obama can tax the oil companies because they made 12 billion dollar profit. Profits are going down, oil is dropping like a rock as world economy is slowing and if you have so many people depended upon profits and those profits are going down, the source has to come somewhere, namely more income taxes or sales taxes or fee hikes.

    Obama Years = Jimmy Carter Years

  20. #20 Aquaria
    October 19, 2008

    Uh, Michael… You might want to take a look around at what we have now. The Carter years look pretty damned good.

    And, by the way, it’s already a given that the next President will have to clean up the huge mess Bush has made of every part of America. Someone like you wants to make it more years of idiotic policies and senseless wars and more division of America. That’s all the Republicans have done for us.

    Of course, the Republicans are the ones who say that government can’t work, then go out and prove it with the way they run government. Maybe it’s time for them to step aside and leave the grown up work of governing to adults who know how to make it work.