Joe the Plumber: Don’t Vote for Republicans

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This just in. Joseph Wurzelbacher, the Ohio fellow who became oddly famous during the 2008 campaign as “Joe the Plumber,” is joining the “Take Our Country Back Tour,” the conservative political calvacade that has featured Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, and right-leaning country singers. These rallies, according to organizers, are intended to encourage Americans to vote for candidates who believe “in the right of the American people—and only the American people—to determine the course and destiny of the United States of America.” The next of these conservative shindigs is scheduled for June 26 in Oklahoma CIty. Beck and Karl Rove are headlining the gig.

A press release announcing Joe the Plumber’s participation includes this quote from the right’s favorite Everyman stand-in: “We need to elect ‘Americans,’ not Republicans or Democrats.” The press release did not explain why JTP chose to put single quotation marks around the word “Americans.” Nor did it note whether Karl Rove will present this same message, when he and JTP share the stage in OKC.

The press release also included this remark from the Uncertified Plumber Formerly Known as Wurzelbacher:

Growing up, my dad regularly had me read the newspaper,. With the dictionary right next to me, every time I didn’t know a word he would say, ‘Look it up.’ That is part of my message to the American people: Stop listening to other people and ‘Look it up!’ You were blessed to be born in this country, with this blessing comes responsibility.

Yet last year, JTP hardly celebrated the importance of newspapers and the media. While covering the Gaza crisis for Pajamas Media—yes, you read that correctly—he said that reporters should not be allowed to cover wars:

I don’t think journalists should be anywhere allowed war [sic]. I think media should be abolished from, you know, reporting… I think the media should have no business in it.

Wurzelbacher’s main focus now, the press release stated, is “to bring back ‘American pride’ through individual responsibility, accountability, and self-education.”

JTP in the Middle East:

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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