How did three weeks before the election did everyone become obsessed with Joe the Plumber? And what does this whole episode reveal about how the left will go after someone who happens to make The One look less than swell?
Remember this guy didn't seek out Barack Obama, Obama was doing a photo op in his neighborhood and Joe came out to ask a question. And now we're at the point where journalists and liberal bloggers are swarming all over this guy's personal background with an avidity that they haven't shown about Barack Obama's record and associates. Does he have a license? Is he registered to vote? Does he have tax liens? Is he related to Charles Keating? Is he a Republican?
They even posted his address on the internet. How low will these guys go to attack anyone who says anything that makes their guy look less than awesome...
For those on the left who think that this whole story is about Joe's personal background, let me put in in terms they should understand. Think of Joe as a symbolic construct whose situation is "fake but accurate." The left always seems to like that sort of approach to what they regard as underlying truths. Think of him as the left thought of Rigoberta Menchu, the Guatemalan writer who won the Nobel Prize for literature with her autobiography of how, as an indigenous Mayan, she and her family had suffered at the hands of the Guatemalan army. Except it turns out that many of the details in her autobiography were fabrications. That didn't matter to the left or the Nobel Prize Committee because they regarded her story, true or not, as an essential expression of suffering that could have been true.
What is the real story here?
What matters is how Obama answered his question and what it revealed about his approach to redistribution of wealth. We're not about to elect Joe the Plumber.