Going to the well a little too often

GOING TO THE WELL A LITTLE TOO OFTEN…. It was the basis of a debate message. And a stump speech. And an ad campaign.

And now it’s a tour.

Central Florida is getting ready for another visit from Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

McCain is set to take part in a “Joe The Plummer” tour rally Thursday.

Yes, that’s right, John McCain is kicking off a “Joe the Plumber” tour. Seriously.

This is terribly odd for a variety of reasons, but the problem that stands out for me is that McCain has chosen a man to be his mascot who doesn’t actually prove McCain’s point. If Joe Wurzelbacher was a small businessman whose taxes would go up under an Obama administration, all of this would make a lot of sense. It’s about attaching a real-life person to a policy point the campaign wants to emphasize. In this case, McCain desperately wants regular folks to think Obama will raise their taxes, reality notwithstanding.

But that’s just it — McCain is exploiting Wurzelbacher for no reason. Under Obama’s tax policy, Wurzelbacher would get a tax cut, not a tax increase. Indeed, I don’t know the details of Wurzelbacher’s finances, but there’s reason to believe he’d end up far better off under Obama’s tax plan than McCain’s.

So why is it, exactly, that McCain sees the need for a “Joe the Plumber” tour? I’ve never seen anything like this level of inanity.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.