This week TSM is shocked to see a Republican running for Congress behave in such a racist way that he earns the Bigot of the Week Award. Former Representative Pete Hoekstra of Michigan lost the Republican primary for Governor to the odious Rick Snyder. Now that he’s trying to unseat Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow, he seems to have decided that he needs to be as nasty a human as possible to win.
In an ad his campaign rolled out on Superbowl Sunday, Hoekstra attacks Congressional spending and the current jobs and borrowing policies involving China. Those are perfectly reasonable issues to raise in a Senate election. Not content to raise them, however, Hoekstra set up a website and an advertisement that are aggressively, disgustingly racist. A Chinese woman dressed in yellow and riding a bicycle thanks Sen. Stabenow (called “Debbie Spenditnow” how cute) for making China stronger. She uses horribly accented pidgin English throughout the ad. The website is even more horrific. The racism is so blatant that even Republican strategists and politicians were shocked.
It is also important to put this advertising in context. Because of tensions around the auto industry, anti-Asian sentiment in Michigan is easy to inflame. Hoekstra also has made veiled racist comments in other contexts, such as his defense of the terrible Arizona immigration law when he was running for Governor. All-in-all, this is a remarkably bad package from a politician who seems determined to continue driving down the political discourse at the expense of oppressed populations. Hoekstra: another Republican that loves seeing so many white faces.