by Chris Haire
It happens every year. A cast member on MTV's The Real World confuses their 15-minutes of fame with the start of a life-long career as a member of the red carpet walking dead, those hollow-eyed soulless brutes that inhabit our television sets and haunt our movie screens.
And if it's not a Real World vet, it's a contestant on Big Brother or Survivor or The Bachelor.
But the result is always the same. At best, the wannabe in question never makes it out of straight-to-video land or they end up shooting commercials for for-profit colleges and local cable TV providers. At worst, their 15 minutes is extended to 16 when a honeymoon-night sex tape surfaces or they end up strung out on Celebrity Rehab and on the death pool lists of the morbidly curious.
Heidi Montag and Spenser Pratt.
The chick that shit in the hallway on Flavor of Love.
Jonny Freakin' Fairplay.
The political world has its fair share of 15-minute men and women, those who had their moment in the political spotlight but who refuse to leave the stage.
You can add Samuel Wurzelbacher to that list. Or as he's known to most Americans, Joe the Plumber.
Apparently, Joe has decided that he wants the U.S. House of Representative seat currently occupied by Dennis Kucinich.
As expected among substance-lacking Tea Party-style upstarts, he believes the path to victory is not necessarily to attack his opponent, but to let everybody know that he's not afraid to go toe-to-toe with Obama himself. Oh and to repeat a bunch of purposeless vague GOP talking points.
Here's what he has to say in a press release announcing his candidacy:
On October 12, 2008, I was playing football with my son in his front yard at the time when Barack Obama came through my neighborhood on a campaign stop.
I took the opportunity to tell Obama that his tax plan would be at odds with the American dream. I did not hesitate to stand up to Barack Obama that day, and I won't when I am in Congress. That's why I am writing you.
President Obama told me that day that his plan was to "spread the wealth around" and that's what he's tried to do since he got to Washington: imposing higher taxes, installing crippling regulations, and picking winners and losers in the market...
I asked Obama that question because I think American citizens should hold their politicians accountable for what they do. I never expected that asking Barack Obama a question would throw me into the national spotlight.
I stood up to Barack Obama once before, and I will continue to do so until he is out of office. As a United States Congressman, I'll fight to preserve our shared commonsense, conservative beliefs by advocating for "We, the People" - not the special interests or party bosses who currently run our nation's capital.
Surprisingly, Joe has picked up a rather notable endorsement, that is among the men and women of the 15 Minute Club: Herman Cain.
I wanted to let you know that I am honored to have received the endorsement of Herman Cain. I have signed on to Herman’s 999 plan because I believe the IRS needs to be abolished NOW.
Yes, he's one of those guys.
Now, I don't want you to get the wrong impression here. Joe doesn't solely attack Obama. He actually has a few choice words for Rep. Kucinich:
You might know my opponent, Dennis Kucinich. He's one of the most liberal members of Congress. He ran for President twice. During the Bush Administration, he regularly introduced a bill to have George Bush and Dick Cheney impeached. He's totally out there, and he's completely out of the mainstream of the people in my Congressional district.
Kucinich votes in lock-step with Barack Obama. The only time he opposes Obama is when he thinks Obama isn't being liberal enough! Think about that for a second. He is a radical, liberal extremist, and he needs to be retired.
Well, good luck, Joe. You're right when you note that Dennis Kucinich is even more liberal than Obama and is "out there." I'm not going to argue with you. But remember, you're not running to win the votes of rabid Republicans in South Carolina.
If you want to win on Election Day, you're going to have to win over the men and women of Ohio's 10th Congressional District. And I hate to break it to you, buddy, but they seem very comfortable with Kucinich's "radical, liberal, extremist" ways. After all, they've voted him into office time and time again, even after he tried to impeach Bush and Cheney.
It might be a good time for you to consider that you are the guy in this race who is outside of the mainstream.