Not much time to post tonight. I suppose that's just as well. Given the topic -- Obama surrogates' strenuous efforts to assassinate the character of a certain plumber from Ohio, for the sin of asking a question about The One's tax plan-- I do not trust myself to stay civil. So, instead of going on at length about the sheer nauseating spectacle of these supposed champions of the Common Man digging through the dumpsters of this common man's life, in order to discredit his credentials to question their plan for distributing wealth from those who earn it to those who don't (for the Common Good, of course), I will merely link to some words by those who have gone on about it themselves.
Mark Steyn does it with his signature withering snark.
Iowahawk does it with righteous rage and a call to action.
Neo-Neocon and Ed Morrissey do it with passionate but thoughtful appeals to the implications for free speech and the right of dissent under a putative (and punitive) Obama Administration.
Socialist redistributionism of the kind that was revealed when Joe met O and the mask slipped, is the ultimate disincentive for industry and entrepreneurship. It punishes those who strive to advance their interests by their effort and ingenuity, and who dare to hope for the chance to maximize and deploy their energies (including capital) as they choose. It punishes them by siphoning off those energies without their consent...you know, so as to "spread the wealth."
Now, in its pure form, capitalism can be a brutal, anarchistic jungle in which innocents get stomped by the strong and unscrupulous. But capitalism in its pure form is rare, and is unlikely to exist in this nation (especially now!). It has been and must be tempered by mechanisms which check the most predatory of behaviors and protect those who would still like the opportunity to rise through the system and realize their dreams (antitrust and some labor laws, for example).
However, socialism has been pretty thoroughly vetted by history, and has been found wanting. Indeed, it has accumulated quite an impressive stack of examples of the ways in which it muffles prosperity, stifles creativity, tramples on liberty, and ultimately arrogates to itself the right to manage the lives of its hapless subjects...up to the point where -- in its most 'pure' forms -- it assumes the right to give and take life itself (for the benefit of all, of course).
If there is one thing which the tale of Joe The Plumber has shown us, it is the methodology by which those of a socialistic bent will spring into action to preserve their narrative of Fairness. "Thou Shalt Not Question" is the prime lesson we can take away from this, and if an Obama administration would constitute the skinny edge of such a wedge, then the Universe save us all if we should allow that hammer to fall.
UPDATE: Even more shameful than it had originally seemed. According to Hot Air's Ed Morissey, it was not simply the Obama-boosting media which went digging around in Joe the Plumber's septic tank, but an Ohio public official used the resources of her office to lend a shovel!
When last we heard from Helen Jones-Kelley, the director of Ohio’s Job and Family Services Division insisted that she has everyone who gets public attention checked to see if they owe family support. Now, with more details about the searches performed on Joe Wurzelbacher becoming public, Jones-Kelley acknowledges she didn’t quite tell the entire truth at first. Her department also ran checks on taxes and welfare payments to see if they could catch Joe the Plumber cheating the system
This is simply outrageous. The man asked a question, and the candidate's answer alerted many to the underlying redistributionist philosophy of that candidate, and thus created a backlash among those who would rather not have the Government telling them when their level of hard-earned success becomes "unfair," like someting out of "Harrison Bergeron." For the crime of asking that question, sympathetic government operatives have misused their power to facilitate a media hatchet job on this plain-spoken, hard-working citizen.
And the country appears to be teetering on the brink of placing that candidate at the helm of an undivided government, composed largely of people who would see no problem with this sort of behavior...for the Greater Good, of course.
Here's a thought experiment: Imagine if it had been a Rebublican-friendly government official who had dug into government computer records to impugn the reputation of an Obama-supporting citizen who asked Sarah Palin a question whose answer made her look bad.
Pretty hard to imagine, yes?