Gail Collins Goes After John Boehner, Joe the Plumber, and Pool-Hall Owners
Gail Collins' Thursday column "Show Me Your Insiders," is an attempt to invoke the purportedly humorous side of Missouri voters having stuck with established politicians when they went to the polls on Tuesday.
But Collins, the paper's editorial page editor from 2001 to 2007, went on to mock the state for voting to nullify a cornerstone of Obama's government-health-care law, as well as two Republican majority leaders, past and present, "the disgraced Tom DeLay and the disgraceful John Boehner."
She also took some snobbish shots at the owner of a pool hall and Joe the Plumber, whose given name is actually Samuel. It's an issue the Times cares deeply about, judging by their hysterical coverage after the Toledo, Ohio plumber had the audacity to question Obama's tax plan to the candidate's face.
The Republican nominee is Roy Blunt, who has served seven terms in Congress and is the father of a former Missouri governor. In the House, Blunt was the interim majority leader between the disgraced Tom DeLay and the disgraceful John Boehner. Also, his wife is a lobbyist. This man is so far inside he could be a coal miner.
Meanwhile, more than 70 percent of Missouri voters endorsed a measure that would wipe out the part of the new federal health care law that requires people to have insurance. They were unswayed by the fact that the proposition was almost certainly unconstitutional and unenforceable. This was a chance to send a message that voters are fed up! With government and insiders - unless they're running for the Senate.
But it also seems fair to interpret the vote as a ringing endorsement of Americans' inalienable right to avoid buying private health insurance and instead get medical care from public emergency rooms where the cost will be passed on to the taxpayers. Maybe it's time to rethink the single-payer plan now that we have evidence that 71 percent of Missourians support the concept of socialized medicine.
The Tea Party candidate running for the Senate against Roy Blunt, Chuck Purgason, had pinned a lot of hope on this tactic. In a late-breaking coup, Purgason received the endorsement of "Joe the Plumber," the conservative Ohioan who became a Republican icon after he dissed Barack Obama during the presidential campaign. And who, of course, is actually a guy named Samuel Wurzelbacher.
Even the people who did manage to make their videos hits in the Web world came to grief. In Alabama, Rick Barber, a right-wing pool-hall owner, became famous for an ad in which he sat around haranguing George Washington about the income tax and health care reform, until the father of our country announced himself ready for a new revolutionary war. In a whole new standard for over-the-topness, this one was denounced as too extreme by Glenn Beck.
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