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10/16/2008

Obamian triumphalism and the rise of the citizen politician

Pascal_couchepin

Do you know this man?

Don't feel bad if you don't.

He's Pascal Couchepin, the current president of Switzerland. And, even in Switzerland, he's not exactly what you'd call a big deal. After all, Swiss presidents only serve for a year. And under the Swiss Federal Constitution, they don't get much power.

Mr. Couchepin is tall. And he likes to walk fast. Members of the media complain that they have a tough time keeping up with him.

Reporter: “Do you think the reporters need more exercise?”

President Couchepin: “I think that they need it definitely. But not just journalists. Everybody must make more exercise.”

Spoken like a man who's genuinely concerned about his country's health. And he's not afraid to take the bull by the horns when he has to.

Now I'm by no means advocating that we turn the United States into Switzerland.

But the idea of human-scale government seems to have returned with a vengeance this election season, even as some politicians stage their speeches in front of oversized Styrofoam columns and carry their campaigns to the agora of foreign cities. (In a continuation of Premature Inauguration Syndrome, the Obama campaign is planning a blowout party on election night too.)

But Joe Blow has struck yet another blow against the imperial pomp that seems to be the necessary backdrop for Big Government's triumphal return.

Or rather,  Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher.

"I'm not trying to make statements here, but, I mean, that's kind of a socialist viewpoint. You know, I work for that. You know, it's my discretion who I want to give my money to, it's not for the government decide that I make a little too much and so I need to share it with other people. I just -- that's not the American Dream."

That may not be great oratory, but, hey Joe, you've got my vote.

It's not looking too good right now for citizen politicians.

But come 2012, I'd be proud to support a Palin-Wurzelbacher ticket.

"Caribou and Wurzelbacher too."

Sounds like a winner to me.

UPDATE: Joe "The Pro" Biden takes on Joe the Plumber (and completely misses the point). Sorry Joe, but there are plenty of small businesses that earn more than $250,000 a year. And your tax plan will hit them hard.

Posted by Rodger on October 16, 2008 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

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