The "Joe the Plumber" Debate

11/15/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

John McCain apparently loves workers now (except for those in Columbia who are being killed trying to form labor unions). He brought up the apocryphal demographic, "Joe the Plumber," and then accused Barack Obama of "class warfare." He was condescending to working people and to women. It's an outrage that after a Republican administration that McCain voted with 90 percent of the time has waged an unremitting class war against the working people in this country -- robbing their earnings, their retirement accounts, and their children's futures --, here's John McCain tonight denouncing the idea of "spreading the wealth around."

McCain said: "I'm proud of the people who come to our rallies" (even the ones who scream racial epithets?). And then he segued into another yawner on all his "veteran" buddies who love him so who show up. He said that ACORN is "destroying the fabric of democracy" (by registering poor people to vote?). He repeated the talk radio lie that Obama "launched his campaign" in Bill Ayers' living room. McCain was petulant (as when he cried again about how Obama forced him to go 100 percent negative because he dissed his phony "town hall" ploy). McCain said that Sarah Palin is a "role model for women" (some role model). He dismissed the equal pay for women case, Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., as if it were totally irrelevant, exposing once again his deep-seated misogyny.

John McCain tonight was facetious, smirking, sarcastic, disrespectful, brooding, dismissive, rude, mean, condescending, and wound up tight. Talking to "Joe the Plumber," he said: "Hey Joe, you're rich! Congratulations!" Coming from a guy who married into a $100 million fortune that's pretty weird. He's an elitist. His true self had shown brightly tonight and I bet most people were pretty turned off.

But most importantly, McCain is wrong on all the issues. He feigns compassion for Americans who are "hurting," but he offers only warmed over Republican "free market" policies. The corporate media have seized upon McCain telling Obama: "I'm not George Bush." But McCain's economic policies -- deregulation, tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, cutting social programs with a "spending freeze" in a time of growing poverty and unemployment -- are all George W. Bush's policies. AND THEY ALL FAILED!

We have just experienced the worst financial crisis in 70 years. The stock market lost $3 trillion in the last three weeks. Millions of baby boomers close to retirement have been forced to recalibrate their plans for their "golden years." Eight hundred thousand people have lost their jobs in recent months. And all McCain wants to talk about is Bill Ayers and ACORN?