Let’s review. You remember Samuel Joseph (Joe) Wurzelbacher, right? Back in ’08, Samuel was standing in an outdoor Holland, Ohio line, awaiting the appearance of, and confrontation with, the nation’s soon-to-be first black president, Democrat, Barack Obama. The date was handy. It was three days prior to the presidential debate. Also handy, a plumbing company Wurzelbacher was allegedly planning to purchase, just happened to allegedly take in more than $250,000 in profits, the very amount that would see a tax increase. Obama’s plan would lower taxes for those earning less that 250K. BTW, Republican candidate, John McCain’s people admit to calling Wurzelbacher prior to the event.
Sam was immediately dubbed “Joe the Plumber” by conservative wordsmith consultants and used as a walking propaganda robot for the duration of the 2008 presidential election and thereafter. He was especially key to McCain, who claims that HE named Wurzelbacher, “Joe the Plumber.” Lie detector test, anyone?
Cursory research would have revealed that Joe was a lackey for a small residential plumbing company and didn’t even have a license. He briefly left plumbing for other work, returning after a divorce. We know “Joe” didn’t buy the company in question, if it ever existed. So, what does a political opportunist do after burning through his 15 minutes of fame? Well, he frantically searches for another 15 minutes and another. Joe did the Fox turn, wrote a book, went on speaking tours and ran for Congress in 2012 where Ohio’s Marcy Kaptur edged him, 70,897 votes to 26,373. That’s over 70% for Marcy. In 2012, the political slug slimed all over horn dog candidate, Herman Cain, who ended up dropping out of the primary because the “rumors of sexual impropriety had worn on him, his family and his campaign.”
You don’t get more hypocritical than Wurzelbacher. He constantly moaned about having to direct taxes of hard working folks to welfare recipients. Guess who was once on welfare? Guess the union hater now belonging to the UAW after being hired on at Jeep? Associated Press uncovered $1,200 in personal income taxes he failed to pay in Ohio. And how about the time he stiffed a hospital for a like amount?
Joe has a website, heavy on Obama criticisms, the worship of guns, and sales of ‘Joe the Plumber’ trinkets. He filled in as a talk host a few times at Toledo’s WSPD and was seeking a full-time gig. Don’t know what happened there.
Not wishing to deprive true believers of Joe’s deep wisdom, I will tell you that you can buy Joe’s 2009 book, “Joe the Plumber; Fighting for the American Dream” in hardcover at Amazon. Used prices begin at one penny; yes, you CAN pay a penny for someone’s thoughts. If you go whole hog and spring for a new copy, it’ll set you back $1.07.
The Amazon reviewer tells us to “Get ready to get Angry, Laugh out loud, Cry, Shout, and Get Involved in the Future of the United States of America!” The reviewer hit the nail on the head. I’m still angry. I cried after I shouted, “A penny for this piece of…?”
That brings me full circle to the matter of the dramatic survival story of Louis Jordan. The 37-year-old lived aboard a 50’s vintage 35-foot sailing ship, the “Angel”, docked at Conway, just outside Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Jordan was reported missing in late January. He wasn’t found until 66 days later by a German-flagged container ship. He was 200 miles off the North Carolina coast. While 66 days is a frighteningly long time to be dead in the Atlantic waters, a couple of fishermen once survived 117 days at sea and a Mexican sailor in a 24 foot fishing boat was lost for a total of 16 months, having traveled an estimated 8,000 miles and losing a companion in the process.
But 66 days is no picnic, and most folks would not have survived such an ordeal. Jordan, possessed of advanced survival skills, relied mainly on rainwater and fish trapped in the clothes he rinsed and dried by draping them over the side. A couple of hours after the initial rescue, Jordan was ‘uploaded’ to a Coast Guard rescue helicopter where a Petty Officer 3rd Class said “We were expecting the worse, with blisters and severe sunburn and dehydration.” A later hospital examination showed no such ill effects. Quite remarkable, considering the boat, while found upright, had flipped over three times.
The critical event of the saga occurred early on. Jordan said his boat capsized after he set out to look for a good fishing spot in the Gulf Stream. He was sleeping at the time of the accident. In the capsizing process, he broke his shoulder. All electronic and directional equipment was lost. As the boat tipped over the mast snapped and with his injury, Jordan was unable to repair the damage. Jordan had packed about a month’s worth of provisions but failed to file a float plan.
The shoulder injury must have been extremely frustrating and initially quite painful. In order for proper healing, it is recommended the injured party wear a collar and cuff for six weeks. Activities are restricted for a period of time. Various medical sites suggest no manual labor for upwards of three months. So, it appears that Jordan was either a one-armed sailor for most of the journey or experienced extreme discomfort while using both arms.
There are some interesting quotes on CNN’s site from an interview by Wolf Blitzer with Jordan’s father, Frank and a later statement by Jordan, himself. “He’s got a very strong constitution and (is strong) not only physically, but spiritually,” Frank Jordan told Blitzer. “And he told me on the phone that he was praying the whole time, so I believe that sustained him a great deal.”
The son’s quote was similar. “I was utterly thankful and grateful to the people who rescued me, and I was grateful to God that my parents were not going to be worried about me.” A later quote started with; “I feel blessed and I feel full of love.” Not exactly a Jesus freak, but close.
So how am I relating a borderline hustler with a heroic preserver of his own life? I strongly suspect Jordan is headed down the same political path trod by Wurzelbacher. Louis is southern and quite religious. That likely makes him a far-right Republican. Some ultra-conservative Republican presidential candidate is going to claim Jordan as his own. A clever religious line or theme will be developed by those same wordsmith consultants and Jordan will be seen everywhere in the media and possibly by the sides of the likes of either Santorum, Huckabee, Carson, Rubio, Cruz, Christie, even Bush; well, maybe all of them, frankly.
I could be wrong, but I suspect Louis Jordan will be sailing into murky political waters very soon.