Pete Hoekstra Runs Disgusting Racist Ad During Super Bowl
Vile ex-congressman and corporate lobbyist Pete Hoekstra has decided that the way to beat Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow in this year's Michigan Senate race is to run a racist ad on Michigan TV during the Super Bowl broadcast:
The advertisement, which will run in Michigan during the Super Bowl and afterward, features an Asian female with a conical straw hat riding a bike through a rice paddy field.
"Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good [sic]," the actress says, in broken English.
"Thank you Michigan Senator Debbie 'Spend-it-now'. Debbie spend so much American money [sic]," the actress says, without a Chinese accent. "You borrow more and more, from us... we take your jobs. Thank you Debbie 'Spend-it-now.'"
See it below or at debbiespenditnow.com (a Hoekstra for Senate page full of scare headlines in faux-Chinese lettering).
Really, what's the difference between that ad and this one?
I'm sorry there isn't a larger Asian-American community in Michigan to raise hell about this -- people of Asian descent make up 2.4% of Michigan's population, which is half the national average, though why any decent person of any ethnic background should fail to be outraged by this, I don't know. Of course, Hoekstra has to win a Republican primary first, so decent people are in short supply in the electorate that will vote on him next.
This ought to be Hoekstra's "macaca moment" -- although George Allen, who had the original macaca moment, nearly won the 2006 Senate election in Virginia and is a strong contender for the seat this year. (Nothing ever permanently disqualifies a Republican.)
One irony: Hoekstra, in the ad, says he wants to be thought of as "Pete Spend-It-Not" -- but he's airing this ad during the TV coverage of the Super Bowl at the exorbitant cost of $150,000, which means he's eating up 10% of his campaign's cash on hand just to run one ad briefly ten months before the election. Way to show your fiscal prudence, Pete.
And yes, this is a shameless attempt to defend the ad:
The Hoekstra campaign called the advertisement "satirical" and explained the broken English in the video as a reflection of China’s increasingly competitive education system.
"You have a Chinese girl speaking English -- I want to hit on the education system, essentially. The fact that a Chinese girl is speaking English is a testament to how they can compete with us, when an American boy of the same age speaking Mandarin is absolutely insane, or unthinkable right now," Hoekstra spokesperson Paul Ciaramitaro told POLITICO. "It exhibits another way in which China is competing with us globally."
Well, 60,000 American students were learning Mandarin in 2007-2008, so it's not "unthinkable," even though that's a very low number. But why am I arguing? That's a transparently phony explanation for what this ad is about. (Though it does suggest that Hoekstra and his spokesperson think teaching a foreign language to students is some sort of educational miracle that only a turbocharged superpower could accomplish -- though they're Americans, so I suppose you can't blame them for feeling that way.)