Big mistake, but, hey, if you want to lose an election . . .

Byline: | Category: 2008 Presidential Election | Posted at: Thursday, 16 October 2008

The New York Times and Barack Obama himself are now tearing into their biggest threat:  Joe the Plumber.

I warned you.  But you wouldn’t listen.  You may be ahead by only two points, but in the last 24 hours one of your biggest supporters called half of a state that you must win “racist,” while you’ve torn down a middle class private citizen in a state that, if you win it, makes you President. 

Let me tell you a little secret:  John McCain couldn’t win this election.  He was certainly poised to lose it by a much smaller margin than any of his other Republican peers could have done, but he couldn’t win it.  To win, he needed you to lose it.  And now you just might have done it.

Losing it required you making the same mistakes you guys always seem to make.  Step 1: nominate an aloof, out-of-touch politician.  Step 2: put him in a situation where his aloof out-of-touchness is obvious.  With Gore it was his “earth tones.”  Four years ago, it was Kerry’s goose hunting trip to Ohio.  This time it was your stroll through a Toledo middle class neighborhood.  What could possibly go wrong? 

What could possibly go wrong was that you assumed that everyone in that neighborhood thought alike, that everyone in that neighborhood knew that what was best for them was what you deemed was best for them.  Three times in a row your party nominated the only guy who could possibly blow it.  If I didn’t know any better I’d swear that it’s Republicans who are nominating Democratic presidential nominees.

Idiots.  What could go wrong was that you, with cameras in tow, could be caught having to answer an honest question.  Joe the Plumber didn’t set you up; you came up to him. At his house. And he asked you a question.  You have only yourselves to blame.  Of all the neighborhoods in all the counties in Ohio, you had to come in to Joe’s.

And now you and your media allies are tearing him apart for all the things that people hate about big government liberals:  simple licensing that is too restrictive, unions who pretend that they hold the only keys to authority, and a media that treats you like a criminal . . . unless you’re, well, an actual criminal.

Twice  John McCain has been saved by others:  Sarah Palin and now Joe Wurzelbacher.  It’s not that he picked them, but that they picked on them.  But there’s another they, the most important they–the ones who are deciding this election–and they don’t like it

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22 Responses to “Big mistake, but, hey, if you want to lose an election . . .”

  1. ed Says:

    actually, that video is clipped and doesn’t show obama’s full remark. In fact, he is saying it is absurd that McCain claims to be fighting on behalf of plumbers, when it is he, obama, that is fighting for the middle class worker.

  2. Johnny C Says:

    Somebody needs to tack onto the end of that video the clip from Red October …

    “You arrogant ass, you’ve killed us all…”

  3. JorgXMcKie Says:

    One can only hope. I get so tired of hearing those claiming to “fight for the little guy” belittle those same people when they’re not present. Happens all the time where I work.

  4. MPCT Says:

    When the media reported that Joe the Plumber was not actually licensed, my first thought (not to excuse his apparent lack of license) was how quick the same people, who see this as a gotcha, defend clearly unlicensed ‘undocumented workers’ who stream across the border.

    Ed: Actually there is an excuse for his lack of a license. He doesn’t need one in the township where he lives.

  5. Sean Braisted Says:

    Yeah, it doesn’t help Obama either than Republicans have no scruples and will take a quote completely out of context to suit their political needs.

    “He’s trying to suggest that a plumber is the guy he’s fighting for,” Obama said. “How many plumbers you know that are making a quarter-million dollars a year?”

    Ed: $40 an hour for 40 hours a week and another 20 hours at time and a half is: $145,000 a year. Marry him to an ER nurse or a school principal, put them in an expensive city on either coast where an average home is over a half-million dollars, give them two kids getting ready to go to college, and congratulations, you’ve got a “rich” middle-class family making over $250k. And that’s just working for himself. If he owns two trucks and hires a couple more plumbers, and you’ve got a small businessman who is getting screwed by Barack Obama.

    BTW, virtually every plumber, electrician, and skilled laborer I know who works a lot of overtime is bringing in six figures.

  6. Dean Says:

    “He’s trying to suggest that a plumber is the guy he’s fighting for,” Obama said. “How many plumbers you know that are making a quarter-million dollars a year?”

    You should do some research in what the tax law is for small business owners, and how it works.

    If they have an LLC (Limited Liability Company), a LOT of plumbers do this. After expenses, that tax burden gets passed back to the owner of the LLC. Save money so you can build up next year? Joe gets taxed on that money, even though it’s going to go back into the company next year so he can hire more workers.

    Again, a LOT of small business owners are in this situation.

  7. Tony Says:

    “Yeah, it doesn’t help Obama either than Republicans have no scruples and will take a quote completely out of context to suit their political needs.”

    And this is different from Democrats, how? exhibit 1: 100 years of war in Iraq

  8. Martin Nesbitt, the treasurer of Obama’s campaign, has tax liens. So do his companies, but by all means, let’s go after Joe The Plumber! | Right Voices Says:

    […] BobKrumm.com » Big mistake, but, hey, if you want to lose an election . . . […]

  9. Jim Treacher Says:

    If they stop trying to destroy a plumber from Ohio, they’ll have to start coming up with excuses why Obama didn’t really out himself as a socialist. You can imagine their dismay at this Catch-22.

  10. Links « I Think ^(Link) Therefore I Err Says:

    […] The Anchoress on Joe the Plumber. Michelle Malkin on Joe the Plumber. Bob Krumm on Joe the Plumber. ………….. Charles Krauthammer on […]

  11. Sean Braisted Says:

    Bob,

    $40 an hour for 40 hours a week and another 20 hours at time and a half is: $145,000 a year. Marry him to an ER nurse or a school principal, put them in an expensive city on either coast where an average home is over a half-million dollars, give them two kids getting ready to go to college, and congratulations, you’ve got a “rich” middle-class family making over $250k.

    Say what? Alright, assuming he’s married to an ER nurse making 105K per year, when you factor in the home mortgage deduction and tuition tax credits, he’s making less that 250K in taxable income.

    Ed: When did Obama ever say that the threshold was $250k in taxable income? He’s never been specific on any point about his tax proposal. It’s a plan based on two numbers plucked out of thin air: 95% and $250k, because they sound good. Read this for more about how amorphous the details are.

    Also, the average annual wage of a Nurse Practitioner is $81k. A nurse anesthetist can make up to $120k. If you’re a senior specialized nurse you are probably in the $100k range. That $250k number includes a lot of normal families who aren’t rich.

  12. Sean Braisted Says:

    Bob,

    Well, all the Government is concerned with is taxable income. If he’s going to structure a tax code that focuses on those who make less than 250K, its kind of hard to do that in any way other than focusing on taxable income.

    Yes, the average salary for a nurse can be 80K or so, the average salary for a plumber is around 40K. In fact, your wage estimation for the plumber assumes he is working for a plumbing company and getting paid for 60 hours a week at $40 per hour. A freelance plumber might make that, but he wouldn’t get time and a half, and chances are he wouldn’t be working 60 billable hours a week due to drive time, etc…

  13. w3bgrrl Says:

    Sean,

    Now it’s Barack who is lying. Joe never claimed to be making $250K. He said he wanted to buy a business that would earn him over $250K. If he did that he’d be a guy who set appointments for a lot of plumbers.

    But the point here, really, is that Obama, who claims that things said about man should be said to his face, didn’t tell Joe that his income, not his revenue, would have to be over $250K or that one plumber can’t make $250K. What Obama told Joe was that his view of taxation is that the government is there to take from the rich to give to the poor.

    That’s what he said. Joe didn’t make him say it. Obama’s worldview did.

  14. Sean Braisted Says:

    didn’t tell Joe that his income, not his revenue, would have to be over $250K or that one plumber can’t make $250K

    I don’t understand…Obama didn’t explain to Joe that his tax plan effects net income, and not gross sales? Should he also baby-step him through how a graduated tax system works?

  15. JB Says:

    Obama should simply explain that 40% of tax filers pay 0 income tax and receive net payments form the govt. Obama would like to increase those net payments by raising taxes on people who earn over 250K per year. That’s called fairness where Joe Biden comes from.

    The top 25% of earners pay 85% of income taxes. The bottom 50% of earners pay about 4%, and the middle 25% roughly 11% of income taxes. Seems like the “rich” pay a good amount of tax.

  16. Vol Abroad Says:

    If they have an LLC (Limited Liability Company), a LOT of plumbers do this. After expenses, that tax burden gets passed back to the owner of the LLC. Save money so you can build up next year? Joe gets taxed on that money, even though it’s going to go back into the company next year so he can hire more workers.

    Ehhh, maybe it would and maybe it wouldn’t be going back in the business. In the UK, you can defer taxation until you take the money as “personal income” for a similar kind of business entity. A friend of mine who was making 3 times as much as me on contract consultancy was taking about my salary as her personal income (basically just below the US taxation threshold, as we’re both expats). The rest was “business capital”. Nope, she just moved offshore again to do an MBA and took some of that money to live off. The rest of the money will be used just as anyone would use personal savings, down payment, for major purchases, etc.

    Kinda burned me that I was paying more tax than she was and she had more disposable income. If I wanted to save up to go back to school, I wouldn’t be able to defer my income to a no-income year. Nor am I able to defer income until the time – when -and it’s possible – I’m out of a job.

    Just sayin’

  17. Just Some Crap About Obama « The Reluctant Optimist Says:

    […] Did the main stream media make a fatal mistake attacking Joe the Plumber? Maybe. There’s a lot of Joe the Plumber-types out there who were probably on the fence and […]

  18. Webutante Says:

    Every word, well said, Bob. There’s still hope after all.

  19. Rose Platt Says:

    Joe does not need a license to do plumbing, and McCain was not talking about plumbers, he was using Joe and the average citizen of the United States which is about right. Plumbers make about the average wage of most americans

  20. Jesse Says:

    Didn’t I hear the Oh, Most Holy One Obama making fun of Joe the Plumber in a clip today? He ridiculed Joe before a raucous mob of O’sycophants loudly proclaiming something along the lines of who does Joe think he is that a plumber can hope to make 250k out of his garage?

    What arrogance! So maybe the plumbing business is not destined to be the next Apple, Google, or Microsoft, but if memory serves, at least two of these three businesses were birthed in…garages.

  21. Mays Says:

    I do find that only a Republican can say with a straight face that $250K a year does not make one rich.

    If “Joe” was going to buy a business earning him (net?) $250K a year, that would have to cost like, oh, over a million dollars. I’m not really sure why “Joe” doesn’t work his way to the top the way bootstrapping young Republicans are supposed to and just start a business from scratch instead of buying an already successful company. Who does he think he is, Paulson? Must be all that bad influence of the liberal media, huh?

  22. Steynian 271 « Free Canuckistan! Says:

    […] THE NEW YORK TIMES and Barack Obama himself are now tearing into their biggest threat: Joe the Plumber …. […]