Question of the Day: WWJTPD (What Would Joe the Plumber Drive)?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

God knows some journalist somewhere is checking to see if Joe the Plumber paid the vehicle tax on… whatever it is he drives. OK, so the profile: plumber, aspiring licensed plumber, aspiring licensed plumber aspiring to own his own business (I’m sure Joe’s boss was a bit nonplussed by that one). Does he need a worktruck? If so, his boss would probably provide it (and claim it as a depreciating asset). So what do we reckon Joe makes a year now? Fifty k? And let’s say his wife works too. Does he even have a vehicle of his own? And if he did, what would it be?

Join the conversation
4 of 32 comments
  • Whatdoiknow1 Whatdoiknow1 on Oct 20, 2008

    Wow, all this hey being made over a tap-dance comment! Go figure. I just finished reading another post were someone commented that the Nigerians should stick to "spears" before they try their hand at restoring automobiles.......... Why dont you guys debate the merits of that comment, you will probably have a bit more fun with it!

  • Durishin Durishin on Oct 20, 2008

    @John R, How is: "I’ve always wanted to ask one of these guys a question and really corner them. Unfortunately, I asked the question but I still got a tap dance… Almost as good as Sammy Davis Jr" tacitly racist?

  • Geeber Geeber on Oct 20, 2008
    John R: What prejudices? How is pointing out a statement is tacitly racist prejudice? Are you assuming that I’m racist against Blacks? That’s interesting as I am Black. You are ASSUMING that Joe the Plumber had a racist intent when he made the remark. Which means that either you are skilled in mind-reading, or can automatically assume that referring to tap dancing and Sammy Davis, Jr., make any remark such as this racist in nature, both of which are quite a stretch. John R: So instead of the comment being an insult to Barack its actually a compliment to Sammy Davis? Okay… Let's go back to the beginning. This was your original question: I am aware there are white tap-dancers and that Sammy Davis tapped danced so the question is why Sammy specifically? Why not someone else? Sammy Davis, Jr., is by far our nation's best-known tap dancer, even though he has been dead for years. Anyone making an off-the-cuff association with tap dancing would more than likely have his name pop into their head, not because they are closet members of the KKK. Please note that during the interview, the press didn't say to Joe the Plumber, "Here are our questions in written form, you can go inside and research the internet to craft politically correct answers while we wait." Tap dancing is an appropriate metaphor for the song-and-dance routine that many politicians - not just Senator Obama - engage in rather than simply answer the question. This may come as a shock, but newspapers and editorial writers use that example ALL the time when describing answers provided (or, more accurately, not provided) by politicians, celebrities, athletes, etc. it really that hard to understand? Senator Obama certainly danced around the question, but to assuage any easily offended sensibilities, I will say that he maneuvered around the question like a tuned Honda S2000 - lest the thought police come after me, too. John R: The debate here isn’t about how modern film techniques were developed. Its about how Tap and Sammy Davis are being used to create tacitly racist allusions. You alleged that because tap dance had its roots in vaudeville and black-faced routines, it is therefore inherently racist, and anyone who uses this as an example must have a racist intent. I therefore brought up these other examples to show you that many sports and forms of popular entertainment had unsavory roots, and it should not disqualify us from enjoying them, or using them as examples in a discussion. John R: What do these things have to do with anything being discussed here? Aside from the fact that Tap, NASCAR, modern film and the Christmas Holiday all contain improbable trivia in their histories? See above. John R: Tap, black face and the minstrel show are relevant because I allege that Tap and a Black entertainer was used to craft a racist remark. Again, see above.

  • Brettc Brettc on Oct 21, 2008

    Joe should be driving a Sprinter. If I was a plumber or in a trade of some sort, it's what I'd have. They're even using Sprinters as ambulances where I live.