Poor Sam, I mean Joe… the er, hyphenate Wurzlebacher. Rising to fame amid the hype that surrounded the heated, high-profile contest between John McCain and Barack Obama, Joe quickly became one of the GOP’s best gimmicks (among a sea of gimmicks). His name was magical, his pronouncements, battle cries; his name rolled off the lips of millions. Signs and banners promoted him in rallies, the press corps constantly followed, eager to publicize every nuance of his “everyman” persona. America HAD to know, “WWJD-What would Joe do?”
This was heady stuff for an underemployed bald guy from Toledo that overnight went from “Hungyman” frozen dinners to room service in 4-star hotels. Soon, there were reports of a recording contract and book deal.
Teeming masses followed, similar to the runners who followed Forest Gump, seeking his wisdom as he kept running. The GOP invited him to speak at key closed-door strategy sessions on Capitol Hill. He was hired to go to Gaza as a correspondent. He inspired millions. The future was so bright, well you know the rest. Wurzelbacher is a phenomenon, a cottage industry.
I heard him recently on Thom Hartman’s talk radio program actually answering plumbing problems. Callers were honored to have their questions answered by this Shaman of snakes, this prince of plungers, this Goose-neck Gandhi. I actually fixed my flapper after this interview. Thanks, Joe!
His book tour was underwhelming but who among us has co-authored a book? I mean, Holy Cow! Give the man some love. He co-wrote a freakin’ book! How many plumbers do that?
It now seems that real plumbers are a bit put off by Mr. Wurzlebacher. Why? Because he’s again traveling for the GOP to discourage passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that intends to make it easier for workers to join labor unions.
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette writes:
“Joe Wurzelbacher, the Toledo man who became a conservative icon when Sen. John S. McCain made him the offstage star of the final presidential debate last year, was to appear at the Green Tree Radisson Hotel at an evening rally in opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act, known to its detractors as card check. In a preemptive rebuttal, union officials gathered this afternoon at the headquarters of Plumbers Local 27 in Coraopolis, denouncing Mr. Wurzelbacher and calling for the enactment of the measure, which is designed to make it easier for unions to organize.
“Thomas Bigley, the business manager of Pittsburgh Plumbers Local 27, said he was angered by the post-debate notoriety conferred on Mr. Wurzlebacher.
…It’s definitely a slap in the face to every real plumber out there,” he said, arguing that the he should be regarded as “Joe the imposter,” as he is not in fact a licensed plumber.”
Enough is enough! PLEASE…these contemptuous attacks on a national treasure, “America’s everyman,” Sam “Joe” Wurzlebacher simply must cease. Sam/Joe’s just flesh and blood… just a mortal man. He’s not even a union plumber and it’s hard work for him to keep playing one on TV.
Why must we castigate “Joe” so? I think that we insult Joe because in him, we see ourselves. In his smooth, shiny, bald head, we see our collective reflected failures; we confront lives lived in shadows and opportunities lost. In Joe’s success, our own miserable misfires are mercilessly magnified.
This MUST STOP! There are a LOT of good Joes out there. My dad was a good Joe and could plumb with the best of them. In fact, I gotta’ say, (here I go) I’ve known hundreds of Joes in my lifetime and the overwhelming majority of them are/were righteous, awesome dudes. Look at Jesus’ dad! Now that’s one “stand-up” Joe. Joseph accepted Jesus, stood by Mary and taught his foster child everything he could about wood. That’s what Joes do. They don’t even want credit for it. It’s part of their “Joe-ness”. Do it for them. Be a mensch. Get some counseling if you must but please, I beg of you, PLEASE leave poor Mr. Wuzlebacher alone!