BRIDGE TO SOMEWHERE 3: Joe the Gay Porn Star

Two more weeks of nail biting and
backbiting (an ongoing weekly summary of the presidential campaign).

 

By Ben Westhoff

 

October 20, 2008 – Hunt for the Red in October:  It’s about time for a good old fashioned October
surprise, no? Though it seems unlikely
arms-for-hostages deals will be made or any old drunk driving charges will be
brought to light (the former works much better than the latter, by the way),
the desperate Republican brain trust is surely plotting overtime how to put out
Barack Obama’s fire or sink his ship or fry his noodle, or whatever.

 

But while we await an Al Qaeda attack on Scranton, or for claims from an anonymous
interstellar source that Obama has extra-terrestrial blood, the best John McCain
could come up with this week was Joe the Plumber. An ostensibly undecided voter
from outside Toledo
who had questioned Obama about his tax policy at a recent rally, Joe wanted to
start his own plumbing company, you see, and worried that Obama’s tax plan
would fuck him up. Never fear, Obama told him, patting his bald dome and
rubbing his belly simultaneously; spreading around the wealth would be best for
everyone.

 

This was a rare gaffe on Obama’s part, and McCain referred
to old Joey Lead Pipe’s story ad nauseum during Wednesday’s final debate. Obama’s plan to raise
taxes on those making over 250,000 grand would initiate class warfare to a
level not seen since Che Guevara was riding Harleys around South
America, McCain went on. (He later called Obama a socialist and
said his welfare-promoting economic
plan would result in a buncha government cheese Chicago ladies driving around in Aston
Martins sittin’ on dubs.)

 

The only problem with all this is that Joe isn’t a licensed
plumber, his name isn’t Joe, and he’s actually a Republican. His handle is
Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, it turns out, and more importantly he surely wouldn’t
make enough to be affected by Obama’s plan even if he did start his own
business.

 

So with poor Joe’s story ripped apart he was forced to appear
on television next to a once-fat ex-governor of Arkansas. (Not Bill Clinton but Mike
Huckabee, star of new Fox News show Huckabee.)
McCain’s camp was left to regroup, but all they could come up with was putting Sarah
Palin on Saturday Night Live
. The
show’s thirst for ratings trumped its ideological bent, but the result was a
total dud, capped by the uncomfortable spectacle of Alex Baldwin insulting Palin
to her face and then telling her she was hot. Whereas Hillary Clinton’s visit
to the set worked because Amy Poehler’s portrayal of her came from a place of
love, it’s fairly certain Tina Fey’s comes from a place of fear and/or anger.
Call it a net loss for both sides.

 

In any
case, the polls weren’t quite as friendly to Obama supporters this week as
they were last week
. West Virginia now
appears to be out of
play
, and North Dakota
seems unlikely. But a polling breakdown of individual swing counties appears to
show just how deep Obama’s support is, as he boasts solid leads in those areas
in states like Maryland,
Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania
.

 

But while
liberals will probably still get the opportunity to feel swell about themselves
come November 4, they should not get cocky. John Kerry won some of those same suburban
counties four years ago, after all, and polls have historically erred on the
side of Democrats. In fact, polls seem especially suspect this year for a
number of reasons. Some, like Zogby’s, try to duplicate the voting demographics
of the last election. Others focus on “likely” voters. But by all indications
turnout won’t mirror previous votes. I predict that at the end of the day we
will be surprised not by the Bradley effect, but by
the high rates of Black people showing up at the polls. (A trend born out by
some early voting tallies.)

 

Here’s betting
Obama does Lil Wayne-type numbers. After all, Wayne is someone else who does quite well
among both the urban poor and educated white liberals (aka music critics), as
well having vague affiliations with Martians and other unsavory characters.

 

Who knows,
an October surprise may end up fucking up the Republicans more than the
Democrats. You can bet on a blue filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, say,
if it turns out Joe the Plumber is actually the gay porn star his name implies.

 

 

Backtrack:

 

Bridge
To Somewhere Week 2: Something in the Ayers

 

Bridge
To Somewhere Week 1:Dizzy with spin

             

 

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