Talk about a strange personal vendetta by the media…. Maureen Dowd goes on vacation, and sitting in for her is a petty and/or menopausal Timothy Egan, lashing out at Joe the Plumber for having the audacity to write a book.
The unlicensed pipe fitter known as Joe the Plumber is out with a book this month, just as the last seconds on his 15 minutes are slipping away. I have a question for Joe: Do you want me to fix your leaky toilet?
I didn’t think so. And I don’t want you writing books. Not when too many good novelists remain unpublished. Not when too many extraordinary histories remain unread. Not when too many riveting memoirs are kicked back at authors after 10 years of toil. Not when voices in Iran, North Korea or China struggle to get past a censor’s gate.
I’m not sure why Egan’s got a problem with American entrepreneurialship, but I daresay Joe Wurzelbacher will not be the first citizen to cash in on his reluctant public 15 minutes of fame. Gennifer Flowers did well with Passion and Betrayal about her affair with Bill Clinton. Anita Hill has done an effective job changing from law professor to authoress… all starting with her sexual harrassment accusations against Justice Clarence Thomas. No doubt they have had ghost writers in tow.
It can be said that if you sleep with the right people, not only publishers, but all of Hollywood will kneel at your feet for the rights to a juicy movie of scandal. At least Joe’s book isn’t founded on a leap to 15 minutes of fame based on sexual interactions with a famous partner….
Egan gives a pass to Obama, another non-writer. Tho the President-elect penned nothing as editor of the Harvard Law Review, he felt the need to write (or perhaps by an uncredited Bill Ayers ghost writer) a couple of autobiographical books quite early in his life. Whether BHO had won the nomination or not, his choice to be a candidate (whether deliberately or not) placed him in the position to gain financially. His candidacy propelled the sales of his books – going from $1 mil income in 2006 to $4.2 million in 2007.
But Egan – ready and willing to give a pass to other non-writers who’ve capitalized on their experiences – isn’t content to whine merely about Joe’s career change. He also assails him on his owed back taxes… labeling him “no good as a citizen”.
Joe, a k a Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, was no good as a citizen, having failed to pay his full share of taxes, no good as a plumber, not being fully credentialed, and not even any good as a faux American icon. Who could forget poor John McCain at his most befuddled, calling out for his working-class surrogate on a day when Joe stiffed him.
With a résumé full of failure, he now thinks he can join the profession of Mark Twain, George Orwell and Joan Didion.
Egan, like too may journalists, hasn’t done his homework and figured out that plumbers can plumb in Ohio without licenses. Since deficient and fraudulent info is common in the journalism profession nowadays, who can be surprised.
Joe, who also pays child support, has a lien for owing Ohio approx $1200 in income tax. Who knows his budget vs income. But at least he placed priority on taking care of the child support over Uncle Sam.
But to seize on owing taxes as the foundation of his personal assault on Joe’s character?? Woof…
This “no good as a citizen” status places him with some illustrious company who’ve also been (or are currently in) the same boat… i.e. Walmart, Fat Joe, New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter, Al Franken, Al Sharpton, and…. ta da… ACORN.
Where’s the outrage and personal assaults there, Mr. Egan? Oh wait… perhaps they agree with you politically. Obviously Egan’s disdain is reserved for a special class of American citizen of a particular political flavor.
What Egan misses is that, with a book deal, Joe’s going to become not only a model citizen by paying his arrears taxes – with interest – from the proceeds, but step up into a new tax bracket and easily slide over the top of Obama’s every morphing threshhold of “rich”.
Perhaps Egan is too consumed with envy to see the bright side, eh?