Yesterday, in the last of the debates between Barack Obama and John McCain, McCain brought up one "Joe the Plumber" (Joe Wurzelbacher ) some two dozen times, using him as an example of hard-working American small businessman. Only, it turns out that "Joe the Plumber" is not a plumber, and he's not even a licensened plumber's helper. In possible contravention of Ohio state or local laws, Joe the Plumber performs plumbing work without ever having been formally trained to do so at all.
The point is not that he shouldn't perform plumbing work (that's for the local authorities to decide), but rather that John McCain should get his facts straight before he makes an obscure and unlicensed laborer into the centerpiece of his argument for his presidential campaign, while exaggerating Joe's professional qualifications to the American people.
We cannot help but remember when George W. Bush and his cronies filled the airwaves with false claims about Iraq, evidently caring little that they were easily disproven. The problem isn' that John McCain doesn't know the truth. The problem is that John McCain doesn't care about the truth.