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Sat., Oct. 18, 2008

Smart bombs

Circling the drain

The pundits were wrong when they predicted John McCain would throw everything but the kitchen sink at Barack Obama in the final debate. He threw the sink, too. So what if Joe the Plumber turned into Joe Isuzu. It’s a better fit for the Straight Talk Express.

Plus, it’s not hopeless now that it’s been revealed that Samuel J. Wurzelbacher isn’t a licensed plumber, wouldn’t be making $280,000 if he bought that business and wouldn’t be dinged by the Barack Obama tax plan. (Then again, with his history of nonpayment, no tax plan could touch him.)

Let’s make lemonade from this lemon!

“Why should the nanny state decide who can crawl under my sink!”

“You can have Joe’s pipe wrench when you pry it from his cold, dead fingers!”

“First it’s the tool belt, then it’s his guns!”

A different tool. Enough with Joe, what about the issue? Raising taxes on those who make $250,000 a year and giving tax cuts to those who make less? That’s commie talk! Here’s my response:

“Yes, Joe, higher taxes. Think of the increasing concentration of wealth in this country as an accreting hairball that’s blocking the S-trap. The Bush tax cuts have not unclogged the pipe. In fact, the sludge has backed up and spewed all over the kitchen. That’s because no water is trickling down. We’re going to approach the clogged pipe from the bottom this time. It worked in the 1990s. It can work again.”

Cartoon network. Local politicians would be smart to tap into the blue collar/everyman phenomenon. Developers aren’t the most popular people, but who can resist Bob the Builder? Sure, he’s fictional, but so was Joe.

“Hi, everyone! Some politicians want to spread the wealth around by charging me impact fees. You know what that would mean, boys and girls? Home prices so high that you couldn’t afford them even with a subprime loan! Or, I suppose, I could lay off Lofty, Scoop and Roley. No more American Dream for them.

“So tell the candidates and elected officials that there is another way. We can have roads and schools without sending Dizzy and Dodge to the poorhouse.

“Can we do it? Yes, we can!”

Just win, baby. There’s a campaign bromide that explains why politicians would bring up flimsy guilt-by-association issues that force opponents into defensive crouches.

It’s something like: “If you’re explainin’, you’re not gainin’.

Apparently, a corollary to that is: “If you’re not lyin’, you’re not tryin’.”

Smart Bombs is written by Associate Editor Gary Crooks, who can be reached at garyc@ or (509) 459-5026.

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