Joe the Plumber apparently knows how to fix the economy now; he's advising Congressional Republicans on the jobs bill.
The Senate staffers who showed up at 9 a.m. for the closed-door meeting refused to leak the contents of their discussion with the tradesman-cum-strategist, but Wurzelbacher himself revealed that the advice they soaked up was just good, old-fashioned "common sense."
Wurzelbacher opposes the stimulus and said he questioned why the government can't just cut its bills like other people do. He also advised staffers to take a harder line on the legislation: "Republicans on the Hill are afraid of saying too much," he noted.
Further recommendations from the Karl Rove of the Commode included having "someone go in there and kick some ass."
Everything about this person is simply ridiculous, and his opinions about economics are idiotic (maybe we don't treat the government like a family budget because it isn't a family budget?). But could you imagine a lesbian with absolutely no qualifications to speak on this topic just walking into Congress and giving her opinion to deferent staffers?
It really should go without saying that the Joe the Plumber phenomenon could only have happened in a specific context. A black man, a woman (especially a young woman), an LGBT person, a disabled person walking into Congress and advising elected officials on the economy, without any qualification to judge what's good and what's not for the economy in a macro sense, would all be laughed out of the room. But get a conservative, white, heterosexual male in there who's been officially labeled a "real American" by a failed presidential candidate, and, voila, people actually listen to his ramblings.
Wesley Denton, communications director for Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), whose office coordinates the group, said, "I think staffers were happy to have him there and hear his perspective. He's an interesting person for staffers to hear from, and it certainly helps us get an understanding about how the stimulus debate is playing out in the country with regular folks."
Right. Because Joe the Plumber is more representative of "regular folks" than any person of color, woman, non-Christian, or queer out there could be. If he is, then God help us all.
Fortunately, in a bizarre sense, it doesn't matter here because Congressional Republicans are already selling the same snake oil when it comes to the economy - times are bad, so we have to cut spending and give people a tax cut. Since military, prison, and police spending is untouchable, the spending cuts will have to come from programs that actually improve lower-income people's lives. And since a refundable tax credit is a sin the First Randian Church of Republican Economics, the tax cuts will have to go to the wealthy.
But how can anyone accuse Republicans of trying to redistribute the wealth upwards?