Myths and Symbols

After Sarah Palin, you would think that they would have learned their lesson. It seems that the McCain team still has problems vetting people before dropping them into the limelight of the Republican campaign.

Looking for a 2008 version of Reagan’s mythical Chicago Welfair Queen, McCain found Joe the Plumber. It is useful for politicians to have a “joe sixpack” or “average American” to point to. These common folk become case studies or symbols for how their campaigns are going to help you.

Unfortunately, the symbol doesn’t match the reality. Joe has been opened up for public scrutiny. He even has his own wiki page. Turns out he wasn’t getting ready to buy a business, that he would have paid less taxes under Obama, he does like taxes to the point that he still owes over a thousand dollars in back taxes, isn’t even licensed to be a plumber (required in his county), and at the time of the last debate; not even registered to vote.

Now McCain has called this scrutiny “attacks” on poor Joe, never mind it was McCain’s 20+ references in his final debate that thrusted the would-be plumber onto the national stage. But then again, McCain thinks asking if Sarah Pallin is qualified is a sexist question.

What really baffles me is how McCain’s supporters brush off the reality in favor of the symbol.  McCain.com has an article about Joe. McCain supporter have Joe the Plumber t-shirts and wave plungers at his rallies. The symbol came up empty. No increased taxes for small businesses. Yet, they wave their plungers to symbolize Joe to symbolize that they don’t care. Truth be damned, we’re voting for Joe. (Of course, these are the same people who think Sarah Pallin WAS cleared of wrong doing in Troopergate because she said, “read the report.” None of them did.)

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