My BFF "Pete Robinson" (Unwittingly) Helps Me Shill For My Consulting Business

As I write these opening words, it’s a little after 2 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, October 17. I mention this by way of setting up a whiny rant about how hard it is for a new blogger to get noticed.

There’s an editorial [free link] titled “A Liberal Supermajority” in today’s WSJ [today’s!! I’m on top of this!!] providing what may be the most deeply-informed, tightly-argued description of the consequences of an Obama victory. Marshalling fact after fact, deploying beautiful, lean, unfussy prose, the editorial explains why such a sweeping Democratic victory would do grave and lasting damage to the Republic.

How do I know this? Oh, I read about it in a blog post in The Corner by former Reagan speechwriter Peter Robinson, who now is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. [He actually wrote the eloquent words that make up the meat of the prior paragraph — I used his words without quote marks to make a point, but I’m disclosing the deception in the same post. If I were Catholic, that would be one Hail Mary, one Our Father.] Mr. Robinson’s description was posted less than half an hour [half an hour!!] before I started writing.

Pete [Hey, we’ve never met, but can I call you Pete? I could have written, “Pete Robinson nails it when he describes today’s WSJ editorial,” pretending like we’re BFFs and all, but with my luck it would turn out that your REAL friends call you Peter.] Let me switch to third-person and start again.

Mr. Robinson, who turns out to have been born just one year before me [so maybe it WOULDN’T be unthinkable that I could call him Pete some day!! Unless he goes by Peter] , is a person of substance — beyond just the long-ago credential of having written speeches for President Reagan. [Hey, *I* wrote speeches for a President, too!! OK, I wrote speeches for Dan Tully, who in the 1990s was President (later Chairman) and CEO of a once-iconic securities firm that is being swallowed up by Bank of America. But dammit, he WAS a President.] Seriously, he’s worth listening to — I’ve watched several of Peter Robinson’s Uncommon Knowledge interview segments. They’re quite good, and he has a knack for setting up commentary in an evocative way.

So when Pete told me [OK, I read it in The Corner — this interior dialogue is in danger of becoming tedious] that this is a Pulitzer-worthy editorial, I knew I had to read it right away. Right after I knock out this “quick” blog post. [Damn, I hope it really is a good editorial… otherwise I’m going to look silly.] Maybe THIS will be the blog post that gets me my first InstaLaunch! [Google it your own damn self.]

Uh oh… it just dawned on me that if Mr. Robinson has had time to write an evocative post for The Corner, other bloggers may also have seen the editorial, and have sucked all of the oxygen out of the blogosphere already. Let me get one of my 20-something assistants to do a little research. [Oops, the assistants were on standby back when I worked for a New York PR agency — they commanded salaries in the “mid-five-figures,” (in NYC!!) far more than I can pay now, even in Jersey.] OK, I’ll do my own research.

It turns out that when I started writing this at 2:09 p.m. [the lying Blogger timestamp, below, uselessly records when you start typing, not when you post], there were 93 blog posts about “A Liberal Supermajority”. [There will be more by now if you follow this link.] And, there were more than 400 moderated comments on the WSJ article itself, a number that also will have grown by the time you follow this link. [The WSJ comments app is not paging properly, but there are 14 comments on a page, and there were 29 pages when I checked — do the math if you think I might be winging it. “Moderated,” BTW, means that a person in NYC making mid-five-figures has glanced at each and every comment to make sure it doesn’t misspell “fuck” in a headline. Sorry for dropping the f-bomb without warning in a previously PG-rated blog, but it evokes an old copy desk saying I made up more than 20 years ago while I was on a copy desk, and it would lose verisimilitude [look it up] if I went with f***.] So it looks like my 15 hits of blogger fame will have to wait for another day.

Time to wrap this up. [I can hear you now, mocking me… “wassamatta, Kirk, you’ve got all this time to blog because things are a little slow with your consulting business?” Hm… Are you asking that because I might be able to help your company or organization meet your communications needs?] Besides, it’s almost time for dinner — right after I read the WSJ editorial.

Joe the Plumber Becomes Collateral Damage

Obama talks with Joe Wurzelbacher, who should not have had any reason to fear that his life was about to change.
(Photo: Jae C. Hong / AP)

The snap judgment about Wednesday night’s Presidential debate, according to headlines all over the Internets, was that “the big winner of the debate was Joe the Plumber.” The line brought a smile to my face, and I daydreamed about how he could build a marketing campaign around it.

Not so fast.

HOLLAND, Ohio — Joe the Plumber’s story sprang a few leaks Thursday.

Turns out that the man who was held up by John McCain as the typical, hard-working American taxpayer isn’t really a licensed plumber. And court documents show he owes nearly $1,200 in back taxes.

“Joe,” whose name is Samuel J. Wurzelbacher…

The implication here is, this guy lied about being a plumber, he’s a tax cheat, and his name isn’t even Joe. I’ll be damned before I’ll post any links to the left-wing fever swamps (or the right-wing fever swamps, for that matter), but if you search for a bit you’ll find all of these allegations and more, stated explicitly. The reality, of course, is much more nuanced, and you can find those details elsewhere.

My point here is that this feeding frenzy is the blogospheric equivalent of a rapist’s defense attorney grilling the victim about her sex life on the stand.

An unidentified emailer on The Corner summed it up better than I can:

That said, the way the pro-Obama media and bloggers, and Obama himself, have responded to Joe has got me nearly shaking with rage. They are attempting to destroy a man — a private citizen — who had the audacity to ask The One a question. Mind you, Joe was on his front lawn playing football with his son when Obama strolled up to give him his hopenchange spiel. Obama approached Joe, not the other way around. And Joe asked Obama an honest question. And Obama gave him an honest — and very, very revealing — answer. Again, mind you, the embarassment was on Obama’s end, not Joe’s. It wasn’t a gotcha question.

And yet, for that Joe is being pilloried, every aspect of his private and professional life being sorted through and exposed.

It wasn’t a gotcha question, but to be clear, it certainly was a challenging question. It was the kind of question an ordinary citizen might ask if he’s trying to decide which candidate to support. It was the kind of question candidates ought to hear. If McCain had strolled up to Wurzelbacher’s front lawn, Joe might have asked, “is Sarah Palin really ready on Day One to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency while we’re fighting two wars?”

Through absolutely no fault of his own, “Joe the Plumber” was mentioned 11 times during the debate (if I remember correctly from something I surfed past and can’t find right now). And what was the result?

Reporters camped out by his house overnight and by midmorning there were 21 people on his driveway surrounding him, holding cameras and notebooks.

Thought experiment: Is there any aspect of your life that you would prefer not to have to explain and defend to reporters on your driveway? Yes, I’m talking about that incidentthat one, right there. [Me? I’ve got a whole menu of choices.]

Because of that incident, you know better than to run for President — or, if you’re running for President, you’ve had plenty of time to think about how to explain away that incident.

But it turns out that if you truly want to safeguard yourself and your family, you’d better not have the audacity to question The One.

Update from the Comments: SuDoNum said [in response to another commenter]I am a small government, low tax, personal freedom/responsibility conservative. What this administration has done in the last 7 years is a travesty. Torturing US Citizens? You condone that under any circumstances? BS, I don’t care what crime you have or may have committed, if you are a US citizen you are entitled to all the rights provided under the Constitution.

It’s pointless to debate you. Arguing over the internet is an exercise in futility. My advice to you and all “conservatives” is quit making excuses for the impending avalanche. We are reaping what we sowed.

Chris said… Obama’s “spread the wealth around” slip still stands. Although Obama’s fans in the media and on forums worldwide tried to bury it with “Joe’s not a plumber and he doesn’t pay his taxes” tabloid fodder, that one comment keeps popping up, haunting the biggest socialist to have a good chance at the White House since FDR….

We already have too much socialism in our system. We don’t deserve to “reap” more, regardless of anything the current administration has done.