Tuesday, February 18, 2014

This is a good course to take

Joe the Plumber' takes a union job at Chrysler

'Joe the Plumber' takes a union job at Chrysler

by Laura Clawson Feb 18, 2014 6:49am PST

The wingnut welfare must have run out for the man who became famous as "Joe the Plumber." Samuel Wurzelbacher, his real name, has had to get a job that involves something other than performing the role of the regular blue-collar white guy on the Republican speaking and media circuits—and it's a union job at Chrysler. Wurzelbacher took to Facebook sounding a wee bit defensive:

“In order to work for Chrysler, you are required to join the Union, in this case UAW. There’s no choice – it’s a union shop – the employees voted to have it that way and in America that’s the way it is,” he wrote.

(Not actually true. You're required to pay a fee covering the union's cost of representing you, but you don't have to join the union.)

"Private unions, such as the UAW, is a choice between employees and employers. If that is what they want then who am I to say you can’t have it?" he said.

Somehow I don't think the "who am I to say" logic has applied to most of what Wurzelbacher has said over the past five years. But for Republicans who are furrowing their brows at that last bit of convenient self-justification, never fear:

"Yes, I have a website that puts out conservative news. Yes, I am part owner of a gun company. Yes, I’m a Republican who was cast into the limelight for having the temerity to confront Barack Obama on the question of redistributing wealth… But I’m a working man and I’m working,” he wrote.

Oh, the temerity. Remember, too, that Wurzelbacher's initial question to Obama "on the question of redistributing wealth" involved the business he was supposedly about to buy that would leave him making $250,000 or more and therefore taxed at a higher rate under Obama's plans. In the grand scope of Republican scams, the ones built on this man's image are relatively minor, but let's not forget that the whole reason anyone ever cared about this guy is that he supposedly represented upward mobility, and some vague notion that guys making a lot of money shouldn't be taxed more if they had only just started making a lot of money ... or something like that, it was always incoherent. But even for someone who was taken up by the Right as a voice and a champion, upward mobility was out of reach. To make a living for the long term, he's turned to a union job, and I bet he knows he was lucky to get it.