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Who is Joe?
January 30, 2010 2:33 AM   Subscribe

Whatever happened to Joe the Plumber? Is he, or rather the representation espoused by him, relevent anymore to American politics?
posted by Funmonkey1 to Society & Culture (9 answers total)
 
Yes, he is still relevant.

As long as the Republican Party wishes to market itself as the place for "real" Americans, the "average Joe" trope will continue to be wheeled out by GOP strategists to enforce the message that Democrats are the natural home of elitists. And uppity black people.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:40 AM on January 30, 2010


If you search news stories for him, you find he's still involved.
posted by Houstonian at 4:06 AM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


The bastard was in my hometown earlier this month stumping for some jackass.
posted by cropshy at 4:58 AM on January 30, 2010


Isn't he basically the proto-teabagger? His espousals are still relevant in that context...
posted by the christopher hundreds at 5:02 AM on January 30, 2010


I don't know about he, himself, but the "Joe the Plumber" meme-family is actually key to Republican prospects in the next two elections.

We need to reforge the alliance between our two key constituencies: professionals, executives and entrepreneurs, on the one hand, and the rural and exurban middle class, on the other hand. "Joe the Plumber" is a bridge between them: a message that sounds both on economic freedom (from taxes and regulation) and rural / ex-urban self-determination free from the suspect values of leading Democrats.

The Sarah Palin iconography and message is a good example of something that has not managed to bridge that gap yet. She stands for the rural / ex-urban value system like nobody's business ... but has yet to find a way to make her message resonate with the professional / executive / entrepreneur constituency.

The last leader to bridge these two groups well was Reagan. Unfortunately, we have the problem (a high-class problem, obviously, but still a problem) that the Reagan era saw the destruction of the two great enemies Reagan used as a rallying cry: the Soviet Union, and the most toxic legacies of 60s radicalism in public policy.
posted by MattD at 5:59 AM on January 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Joe the Plumber is still out there, working smaller venues to keep the party regulars whipped up.

In reference to MattD's comments, the GOP may well need to do all of that. But if they continue with the style over substance parade-of-symbolic-people (Palin, Plumber, Jindal, token Black guy, etc) and the flip flopping on issues when the Democrats start to embrace them, they never will. Quit focusing on iconography and return to the pre-Reagan party. IMHO, the chaos the party is in is a direct result of a generation of Reagan-trained politicians of the "do as I say, not as I do" ethic.
posted by gjc at 6:20 AM on January 30, 2010


[few comments removed - lulzy answers not helpful.]
posted by jessamyn at 6:34 AM on January 30, 2010


Figures like Joe the Plumber will always be relevant in the U.S. inasmuch as reactionary politics, "common man" populism and small-R republicanism are relevant as national storylines.

You can blame Andrew Jackson and host of others for this.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:59 AM on January 30, 2010


I dropped in to mention that he's been campaigning for conservative candidates, but cropshy covered it. Laurence Verga is one of the more tea-party-ish folks running in a 7-way (I think - the number keeps changing) Republican primary, and is second in fundraising, just slightly behind the more moderate party favorite Robert Hurt. This seat is expected to be a top focus for the NRCC in 2010.
posted by naoko at 9:34 PM on January 31, 2010


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