MCCAIN’S ‘ROLE MODEL’…. This presidential campaign has featured more than its share of absurdities, but the McCain campaign using Sam “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher as some kind of mascot has been one of the most inane.

Yesterday, this became farcical.

On Thursday, [Wurzelbacher] had a candidate for president calling for him at a rally where he was not present. At the next John McCain rally, he got to offer a civics lesson to the crowd about how they should educate themselves before voting. Then, at the final rally of the day, he had a crowd chanting his name. OK, they weren’t chanting his real name, Joe Wurzelbacher. They were chanting, of course, “Joe-the-plumb-er!” in the same rhythm usually reserved for sporting events.

If that wasn’t enough, McCain introduced Wurzelbacher as “an American hero, a great citizen of Ohio and my role model.”

On Tuesday, Wurzelbacher endorsed the insane idea that a vote for Obama would be “a vote for the death of Israel.” On Wednesday, Wurzelbacher played political scientist, saying the notion of progressive taxation is “honestly right out of Karl Marx’s mouth. No one can debate that. That’s not my opinion. That’s fact.”

And on Thursday, McCain believes Wurzelbacher is an “American hero” and his personal “role model.”

As John Cole concluded the other day, “The McCain campaign is now a surrealist farce. Or maybe I meant surrealist force.”

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.