Pete Hoekstra was a congressman from Michigan's second district from 1993 to 2011. He won re-election several times by large margins. He then ran for governor, but lost in the republican primary. Now he is running for the US senate in that state. Yesterday he put his foot in it.
His campaign ran an ad in Michigan during the super bowl that just about everyone with functioning brain cells are calling at best stupid and at worst outright racist.
The ad is an attack on democratic senator Debbie Stabenow and shows an Asian woman riding a bicycle over a levee separating rice paddies. She pulls to a stop in front of the camera and in broken English says, "Thank you Michigan Senator Debbie Spend It Now. Debbie spends so much American money you must borrow more from us. Your economy get very weak, ours get very good. We take your jobs."
Subtlety apparently is not one of Hoekstra's strong points.
GOP consultant Mike Murphy wrote on twitter, "Pete Hoekstra super bowl TV ad in MI senate race really, really dumb. I mean really."
Jazz Shaw wrote on the conservative blog, Hot Air, "The team describing it as satire, but there is absolutely no way this doesn't just fan the flames and come off as racist."
So if that is what his comrades in politics are saying you can just imagine what everyone else is calling it.
To be honest I'd never heard of this clown before today. I looked him up on the Internet and there are all kinds of things to say about him. When he was in Washington the committee he chaired was accused of creating erroneous and misleading reports about Iran's nuclear capability. He and our old pal, the soon to be former presidential candidate, Rick Santorum claimed five hundred chemical weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq. The claims were repudiated by both the pentagon and intelligence sources.
Then there is that whole who is really shipping jobs overseas question. The reality there involves corporations who, not to survive, but to increase their bottom lines, are the laying off Americans and setting up brutal sweat shops from Hanoi to Beijing.
Yes I can write about those things all day. The real issue here though is that when in a pinch this coven of republicans aim straight to the xenophobic and racist heart of conservative white Americans. Denials will come flying, but the truth of the matter is that a large part of the shrinking white Anglo Saxon segment of this society see their grip on power and influence slipping away to people they've looked down on all their lives. An African American is in charge, Hispanics are flowing across the boarder, so are Muslims. The days of the old white guy giving orders are numbered. Barbarians are clamoring at the gates. The ghost of Crazy Horse is howling with laughter.
To many this change is nothing more than a tectonic plate shift of epic proportions. The poles are reversing. The Mayans were right. The world ends in ten months because a guy named Hussein is president. Anti-Christs are everywhere. To quote Bill Murray in the movie "Ghost Busters", "Dogs and cats sleeping together!."
Yes, hysteria is common place and the appeal to it is cynical, cruel and ruthless. Guys like Hoekstra exploit it like McCarthy did back in the early fifties.
We are lesser as a nation because of people like him. Hopefully we'll prove ourselves better as a people by sending him and those like him into the ignominy which they so richly deserve.
It is time for a martini and a cigar. One can deal with this venomous nonsense for only so long.