Samuel Wurzelbacher -- better known to the public as “Joe the Plummer” -- is now a member of a union.
Wurzelbacher, who became a conservative hero during the 2008 elections, announced on his blog that he’s taken a job at Chrysler and that he has subsequently joined the United Auto Workers. Wurzelbacher admits that it might sound like hypocrisy for a man who rallied against government spending to take a union job from a corporation that received $1.3 billion in bailout money from the government, but he says that’s just the way it is.
“In order to work for Chrysler, you are required to join the Union, in this case UAW,” Wurzelbacher wrote on Joe for America. "There’s no choice -- it’s a union shop -- the employee’s [sic] voted to have it that way and in America that’s the way it is.”
Wurzelbacher went on to say that because UAW is a private union and not a public union for federal workers, he has no problem with being in it.
“Private Unions, such as the UAW, is a choice between employees and employer,” he wrote. “If that is what they want then who am I to say you can’t have it?”
Wurzelbacher admits that while he’s fine with the idea of being in a union, not everyone at the Chrysler plant is a fan of him. The man who once wrote “America needs a white Republican president” and supported Mitt Romney, a wealthy man who wrote an op-ed titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," may not be seen as a hero in a working-class environment where many of his colleagues are African-American.
“I had three days of orientation, and now I’m ‘on the job’ over here at Chrysler and on Day 4, I’m outside on a break smoking a cigarette and right on cue -- some guy calls me a ‘teabagger,’” he wrote.
Wurzelbacher went on to define “teabagger” as a “gay slur.”
“Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Democrats and liberals, who are supposed to be so tolerant and enlightened regarding homosexuals have for three or four years now, have been using a gay slur to describe people who they think are associated with the Tea Party,” he continued. “'Tea Bagger' has traditionally been a derogatory slur used to intimidate, put down, humiliate and otherwise taunt, smear, bully or just discriminate against gays -- usually gay men -- based on a sex act that gay men apparently made popular.”
Wurzelbacher became a conservative celebrity during the 2008 elections after he questioned Obama on his tax policies at a campaign stop, to which Obama replied, in part, that “when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
Three days after Wurzelbacher confronted Obama, John McCain dubbed Wurzelbacher “Joe the Plumber” during a debate with the president (he worked at a plumbing company at the time) and extolled him as an everyday American who stood up to Obama’s economic policies. Since then, Wurzelbacher has appeared at Republican campaign events and staged a failed 2012 campaign for Congress.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.