I Like Elite Everythings
October 28, 2008
Joe the Plumber announced last week that he is considering a run for congress. Joe has never worked in government, but he imagines he’d make a pretty good legislator. “I’d be up for it,” he told radio host Laura Ingraham.
That assumption does not go both ways. There aren’t many members of Congress who imagine they could be plumbers, and for good reason. Plumbing is complicated. Screw it up and there are consequences: sewage backups, ruined carpets, flooding.
You’ve got to know things to be a plumber, by law. We don’t trust anything that important to amateurs.
A wise president would break the cycle, soliciting help on day one from seasoned Beltway hacks.
No one’s suggesting vocational schools for political candidates, or at least I’m not. [Why not? I am.] But it would be nice if we stopped pretending that anyone can run the government. Anyone can’t…
I can’t think of any work that needs to be done well that one wouldn’t prefer an elite to do. The only thing America wants soccer moms and dumb plumbers to do is run the country.
This is a list of professionals I’ve come in contact with today: dry cleaner, print shop guy, taxi driver, cooks (pasta and kimchi rice), elevator repair man, gym trainer (not mine, he was just hanging around), public bath house cleaner of baths, barista, bar tender. I’d prefer that all of them were elites, and it often shows when they’re not.
Who can honestly say they would want Palin running the country? They wouldn’t let her make their coffee. Or Joe the Plumber anywhere near Washington? Joe the Plumber it turns out isn’t even a very good plumber. Well, if we can elect a less-than-elite baseball team owner whose less-than-elite intellect became more and more apparent over eight years (and it started pretty apparent), then why not a crappy plumber in Congress?