Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher filed his candidacy to run for Congress in Ohio’s 9th District. This is great, terrible news.
Remember Joe The Plumber? He’s the Ohio man whom John McCain co-opted after The Plumber, née Wurzelbacher, asked then-candidate Barack Obama about his tax plan.
Wondered Wurzelbacher, “I’m getting ready to buy a company that makes 250 to 280 thousand dollars a year. Your new tax plan’s going to tax me more, isn’t it?”
Obama explained that an over-250,000 revenue would incur new taxes, with the following explanation: “My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody.”
This of course lead The Plumber, and eventually John McCain, to claim that a hypothetical President Obama would tax the rich, a meme that exists to this day.
Now, after more than 15 minutes in the political sun, Wurzelbacher has quietly filed a challenger’s campaign against Ohio Democrat Marcia Kaptur, who has held the 9th District campaign since 1983, Politico reports.
As a native Ohioan and American, I find Wurzelbacher’s candidacy both unsettling and somewhat heroic. I find it unsettling because Wurzelbacher does not appear to be an exceptionally qualified or competent political figure. Aside from his shot to fame during the 2008 election, Wurzelbacher has no political experience. He even lacks a personalized plumbing license.
He is less qualified for political office as another upstart — and under-educated — person, deadbeat dad Joe Walsh. But, then again, who am I to judge someone on their education? That’s unfair. Abraham Lincoln lacked the elementary and practical experience to be president, yet became one of this nation’s greatest, most legendary leaders. This brings me to the heroism part of my argument.
Our nation was founded on the idea that any Tom, Dick or Harry [or Theresa, Roberta or Harriet] can run for office. One needs nothing more than passion, interest and votes to ascend to a political office. That is what makes our country great — this is the same argument I used in defending militias and gay Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger — and a democratic truth that should be shared the world over. If people are smart — or stupid — enough to elect a person, said candidate deserves the position for which they’ve run, and the people what they get.
Joe The Plumber’s candidacy is more than just a fluke or a publicity stung. It is a display of patriotism in its most pure, most unadulterated form. He is an American trying to make a change from the ground up, just like our forefathers.
I wish him the best of luck, but also hope he doesn’t win.