As Anne Laurie notes, Pete Hoekstra’s video (tagged “yellowgirl” on his site) is raising outrage at its overt racism. Judging from Hoekstra’s latest fundraising letter, he got exactly what he wanted:
Here we go again. We dared to take on Debbie Stabenow and China, and the liberals are doing what they always do–crying racism.
If there’s any question whether Hoekstra knew what he was doing, here’s a comment from a Republican strategist who gets whats going on:
Liberals are without doubt hyperventilating over the racist implications of Pete Hoekstra’s political ad against Debbie Stabenow. But believe me, that’s not a very effective way of attacking Hoekstra. Most of his potential voter base (including socially conservative industrial union members in Michigan) simply won’t care, and he will in any case spin it that he is being persecuted by the politically-correct thought police.
The more interesting angle is one of hypocrisy. Hoekstra voted for permanent MFN for China in 1999, and China’s creditor status vis-à-vis the U.S. simply reflects all those good-paying union jobs Hoekstra shipped there (yes, I know international economics is more complicated than that, but would certainly put Hoekstra on the defensive.)
This guy says “liberals are hyperventilating” because for him “liberals” and “media” are one group. Of course that’s wrong — in the case of the Hoekstra video, the outrage was pushed forward by traditional media who smell transgression from the norm, along with liberals on the Internet who see the obvious racism of the spot when the video goes viral (including me). But the rest of what he says is spot on, especially when he observes that you should push back with something more than “Hoekstra’s a racist”.
In other words, the racism shouldn’t be ignored, but don’t focus on the racism to the point that you miss the weakness of the rest of the message. It’s a lot more powerful to say “I see what you’re trying to do, but I’m not going to fall for it” than to just call someone like Hoekstra a racist and make him the victim.
But Mittens had a photo oops and the truth got out.
It was shopped :(
It is a truly depressing commentary on where we are as a people that airing an overtly racist ad is a net positive for your senate campaign. I already wanna drive back into bed.
Yeah, one of the problems we have is often making the case that whatever our objection is to an event should be everyone’s objection. These sorts of dog whistle (hell, this isn’t even in that range – its overtly racist) is a set up because they knew they would get this reaction & that allowed them to fund raise off the reaction.
Liberals need to try and think more about the audience they have to win (the low information, angry, working whites) and how they see these things. Racism is not a problem for them (except when it gives their jobs to them colored folks). Send jobs to them colored folks IS an issue & Petey can be hit there.
@Lee: It was shopped :(
I don’t believe it! I believe FSM ordered them this way as a sign.
Racist ads work to get to certain segments of the population.
Most of the same people, who reacted favorably to the Wilie Horton ad probably aren’t dead yet.
Just some food for thought.
I am sorry. I refuse to believe that we should allow obvious racism in our society to go unchallenged simply because some of the electorate are sociopaths.
It’s only depressing when they are successful.
I can’t “this” this enough (although I would expand the audience of low information voters beyond whites). I think liberals too often want other voters to relate to us, instead of us finding ways to relate to other voters.
It’s about focus, not silence.
Every time I load this site by typing in the URL, I get the PNW Garden post at the top of the page. Only by clicking on the tag link at top can I get to new posts. I’ve cleared my cache. Any ideas?
The Other Bob
I love the “you are playing the race card” defense that Republicans use these days when they fall back on the southern strategy. I am trying to come up with a come-back that doesn’t sound like: “No, you are!”
This is a pattern in Michigan. I was also uncomfortable with some of the ads run against Michigan Gov. Snyder (R)in 2010 by the Democratic Party. Snyder sold Gateway Computers to a Taiwanese company. The ad said something like:
“He fired a bunch fo American workers before selling the company to the Chinese.”
It wasn’t that he sold it to a Chinese company that bothered me. It was that the ad implied that he sold a company to those dreadful orientals (who were actually Taiwanese). Our trade policies with China, Japan and other countries outside of Asian are pretty dreadful and unfair, but my complaint isn’t about the people.
Seriously? At what cost? Do we want two Republican parties now?
Sorry, but I’d rather have the choice to vote for a party that doesn’t pander to Bubba “Hog Holler” Sixpack’s belief that Jesus rode around on a fucking dinosaur.
Really? You think liberal Democrats have nothing to offer these folks?
That strategist, whoever he is, has a good point. The rethugs are masters at throwing the latest shiny object of poutrage at the left/dems and make them miss the wood for the trees. Take the fucking contraceptive ‘war’ for instance. (pun intended). At the end of the day, the fucking church can do jacksquat about it, so why give that issue undue attention? It should be the fucking dem surrogates, who should be having the obama’s back on this, instead we have the base taking up the cudgels.
“the outrage was pushed forward by traditional media who smell transgression from the norm”
Mistermix, please stop inserting opinions of the media’s motives. Facile (and needless) explanations of media’s actions are providing benevolent cover for what evidence indicates is actually overt propaganda. We don’t know what/whether they ‘smell.’
The media gave it this bit of agitprop a huge free boost, putting it out to the mainstream with little or no context that it was actually the Conservative Republican Party under Bush that sold our nation to communist China to pay for war.
We need to call out racism when it happens because, unfortunately, racism is an effective tactic. If the ‘low-information’ voter wasn’t being distracted by the yellow peril, maybe he’d notice that his pocket is being picked.
@Baud: No. I don’t. The “What’s the Matter With Kansas” approach is a fool’s errand. You’re not going to reason rednecks into voting for Dems. When you see someone like Palin pander to these voters (effectively), how much logic do you see? How much reason?
Actually, Gov. O’Malley has had Obama’s back on this. He forcefully defended the decision the other day. Maybe others have as well, but he’s the one I know about.
@Baud: jesus, anyone who is swayed by that fucking ad can go fuck themselves as far as I’m concerned. The Democrats have something to offer those people, but they aren’t going to take it because it would require them to stop being racist assholes.
I think this ad will only appeal to people who are already going to vote for this pinhead no matter what. I’d say Hoekstra is the one who needs to think about the audience he needs to win. And that’s the middle not the balls to walls racist fuckwits who are already lined up behind him.
Liberals lost the angry white vote a long time ago, along with the evangelical vote (Jimmy Carter was the first openly evangelical candidate to run for President).
I don’t see liberals winning those groups back.
Also, too I think there’s a certain cross section of conservatives, who will approve of anything that gets liberals mad. If this ad pisses off liberals (the right people), they will think it must be good by default, even if they don’t like the content.
I think Fallows and Weigel are more accurate. Its not racist-its just plain inaccurate. The “rice paddy” venue is not representative of China as it really is-nor does it highlight the background of US cooperation that was the enabler of Chinese policy. ( They are just doing what you would expect the Chines to do).
Ivan Ivanovich Renko
Frankly, I don’t give a good goddamn about those neo-confederate assholes. They’ve been at war against black people since the mid 1600’s, and they’re not about to stop now.
Fuck ’em, the bastards. I’m not the least bit interested in finding some accomodation with them, any more than they’ve ever given a flying fuck about accomodating anyone who is not white.
I think we get too caught up in demographics sometimes. I agree Dems aren’t going to win a majority of working class whites anytime soon. But if Dems can make even a 3-5% inroad into that group of voters the impact on elections can be significant. I don’t think Dems need to resort to racist dog-whistling to do that.
The point of the ad was not to win anybody to a side nor to persuade in the least. The goal is to increase voter cynicism and apathy. When voter cynicism rises, turnout decreases and that benefits the GOP. (Not to mention the damage done to people’s perceptions of government and politics. When that goes negative, the GOP wins.) The goal is to disgust enough people that only your rabid base need turnout. Yes it is a racist ad. There really is no need to point it out because it’s obvious to anyone with half a brain. And our side is never going to win those without that half a brain.
@Baud: One swift doesn’t make the spring and all that. Where the fuck are dems like kerry, reid, some congress critter ?
The point of the ad was to piss off the GOP base in Michigan to vote.
@amk: I don’t know and haven’t focused on it. But I’ve never been one to believe that Dem leaders have to come out en masse to defend every good decision–I actually prefer it when the rank and file does it. Maybe if the controversy escalates, the calculus will be different.
Yes. Not every Republican is racist; but they are also the people who have trouble believing things have gotten as bad as they are. It’s like talking to a parent on the phone for a long stretch… and then visiting and finding a dead horse in the living room and they’re wearing a SuperHero costume to bed.
Of course we have to call out racism; that keeps the ones still capable of shame from being as supportive and vocal than they would otherwise be.
Also, too: the Republican strategist quoted above is telling the opposition the weakness with the racists.
I hate when that happens.
February 7th, 2012 at 8:32 am
This, all the way.
And further, the Democratic Party does not need to sway all white lower class voters. The fucking unicorn/magic pony “Reagan Democrats” are not the demographic group we should give the most attention to.
Absolutely, there is no question which party offers them better polices – but as said above, these are not people who vote based on reason. We have to get the fuck over that idea. Na ga happen.
you all can point out the ‘ underlying hypocrisy’.
I’ll point out that the ad is a bunch of racist ass shyt.
There are plenty of independents, who are bitter and cynical about the system and the state of things.
They tend to vote against Democrats for various reasons.
The screw up that was the Bush, Jr. administration turned many of them to the Democrats in 2004, 2006 and 2008.
The goal would be to pick off more of these voters.
Unless Republicans really go after the livelihood of the socially conservative, white, blue-collar worker, like they are doing in the industrial mid-West, I don’t see these voters voting for Democrats.
They don’t identify with Democrats anymore. In the end, we like to identify with people, who are like us or at the least “speak our language”. The GOP has mastered how to convince these voters that they and Republican candidates are from the same “tribe” and share the same values.
I’m not sure, if Democrats can “speak their language” unless the GOP over reaches and shows they really aren’t part of the same “tribe” as the working class.
EDIT post 30:
For example, if you are a Christian, who feels atheists are going to hell and need to be converted to believe in Jesus, you won’t identify with a Party that isn’t as openly hostile to atheists as you are.
The economic arguments of why people should vote Democrats get drowned out by the “familiarity” Republican candidates achieve by criticizing the lack of school prayer and other things this subset of people values.
The same goes for many affluent Democrats, who may get a better tax deal under Republicans, but don’t want religious folks trying to bust them for their lack of deeply religious beliefs.
@Zandar: Doesn’t the gop base do the goose step marching in voting as long as there is a R ?
willard doesn’t count since he never made the cut.
Shawn in ShowMe
I think the Clint Eastwood Republicans alone are enough to put this puppy to bed. Thanks Chrysler.
@Schlemizel: I agree and sadly racism plays well in Peoria, so to assume everyone will be appalled just because they should be is a mistake.
I wonder if running an ad like this will bring Stabenow more donations (from people all over the country) than flows into Hoekstra’s coffers?
Kind of refreshing that Hoekstra attached his “spend it not” name to it at all.
Isn’t this the kind of advertising that is mostly done behind the veil of SuperPACs?
Ad’s ugly. We will see in time if it’s effective.
@Comrade Javamanphil: I’m not sure apathy was the point of this ad. I think it is more likely an attempt to fearmonger among low information conservatives who are already prone to panic over loss of the imaginary White, middle class ethos. I doubt Hoekstra’s goal was to inspire cynicism. He wanted to scare the sh*t out of people.
I don’t give a damn whether Hoekstra is “really” a racist (although I think so) and I’m beyond being “pissed off” by the ad. I’m sure the ad will “work” on the group for who it’s intended; the only thing left is to make the blatant racism of the ad as visible as possible for any voters who care. I confess I am shocked that essentially no deniability garnish was added.
OT: Patrick Buchanan, of all people, in a near-endorsement (if not a direct, clear one) of Obama.
OT, but this is just too delicious…
Doug Jarvis Green-Ellis just won a Moore Award:
It would, of course, be better coming from Sully himself, but since he’s in Old Blighty where they apparently have no series of toobs, he gets it from one of the minions.
@Baud: Really? You think liberal Democrats have nothing to offer these folks?
You mean the same way FDR got Social Security through, by keeping blacks out in order to win the agreement of southern congressmen? Because that’s the only way you can get something through to these people; give in to their bedrock prejudices.
@liberal: Good ‘ol Pat. Sigh. But I suppose a vote is a vote.
@Emma: No, I mean by putting a message that addresses the legitimate concerns they have in common with other Americans, including those of color, instead of reacting to whatever offensive messaging the GOP puts out. Would that sway everybody? No. But we don’t need everybody to defeat the GOP.
As I said, waste of time.money and energy. Better they are spent on gotv.
Shawn in ShowMe
The recent State of the Union registered at an 8th grade reading level. Hoesktra wanted to leave no room for doubt so he crafted a message even a kindergartner can understand.
Unfortunately for Hoesktra, a beautiful Asian woman with a pleasant demeanor doesn’t exactly inspire fear. Surely he could have found a more menacing surrogate to deliver his message.
“DougJarvus Green-Ellis, Balloon Juice, trying to milk what should be an apolitical protest for all it’s worth.”
That’s pretty rich. It’s only “apolitical” when those bitches lose. Good. I hope they didn’t learn anything.
@amk: Agree. GOTV is most important thing.
In 2004, I think he pretty much said directly that the election was a referendum on the Iraq debacle, but IIRC endorsed Bush anyway. So it’s not like he’s both honest and rational.
Also, while I agree that the Republicans (with the exception of Ron Paul) are more hawkish toward Iran than Obama, it’s not clear to me that e.g. Romney would start a war. (Gingrich, who knows—he’d perhaps blow up the entire planet for any old reason.)
I have not experienced it, but I have heard that if you type in just “balloon-juice.com” without the “www” prefix you don’t get the latest and greatest.
By longstanding habit I type “balloon-juice” and press Ctrl-Enter, which fills out the complete address (in Firefox and Internet Explorer) and does give you the latest page version.
Not unchallenged but acknowledged later in the attack with the main thrust being at things that matter more to those uncommitted folks. Its not giving up the fight its recognizing that getting an amen from the choir is not going to win elections.
I’m sorry you can’t see any alternative other than to be GOP-lite. We all know the ad is racist but pointing that out in very loud voice is not going to win a new voter. Pointing out that Pete is a liar & a hypocrite, oh and we suspect a racist also just might. Thats a hell of a long way from the GOP.
Well, we have proven over 30 years that we are not going to win them back by pointing out that the GOP is a racist, misogynistic, homophobic and despicable party – what would you suggest? Wait another 30 years until they are gone? I don’t have that kind of time left & I fear my grandkids don’t either.
@Baud: But if Dems can make even a 3-5% inroad into that group of voters the impact on elections can be significant. I don’t think Dems need to resort to racist dog-whistling to do that.
I know not many people saw it because it was on opposite the Stupor Bowl but Bill Moyers had an interesting guest SUnday. I have to get his name & his book but it studied in depth how conservatives & liberals view the world. I disagree with some of what he had to say (he is sort of in the both sides do it camp of polite moderates) but the key take away was that conservatives have been successful by crafting their message to reach those folks out there that they really want to screw over & liberals are failing simply because thy think being right and having good ideas will win.
Edit: Pasta-damned WP put me in moderation because I linked to all of you in one post!
Perhaps WP-Super-Cache doesn’t update the page https://balloon-juice.com correctly, but is working with https://balloon-juice.com
REALITY: some Republicans and many independents will be ashamed to associate themselves with Hoekstra now
That’s the truth about Michigan and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise; it’s racist, but it isn’t this racist, not even the South is this racist when it comes to TV in 2012 (trust me, I am aware of all TV advertisement traditions)
My whole comment is stuck in moderation hell because I tried to answer everyone in one post. You are on to something in yours that we need to take seriously.
The guy Moyers had on Sunday was Jonathan Haidt and his book is “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion”
I’ll have to read it but if you can find the video online it is worth watching. Ignore his ‘both sides do it’ brand of moderate BS but pay attention to what he has to say about crafting a message to reach a wider audience.
Great piece up at TNR about how Rove’s boo-boo face about Chrysler and Clint means the GOP is scared. Hahahahah!
Love it. And Mittens is out there on the hustings saying that America is still crap because of Obama. He’s got nothing better than those lies, and here’s why they wont work:
I think this is exactly right. Yes, the ad is racist and Hoekstra should be condemned for that. But where he should really be attacked is in demagoguing against a problem he helped create.
He voted for the Bush tax cuts, Medicare Part D, and for the Iraq war. Those are the three largest drivers of the deficit over the past decade. Plus he voted to give China most favored nation trade status. Put all those together and Stabenow could cut an add with a GM factory worker blaming Hoesktra for putting us into hock to China and shipping good American jobs overseas.
I love the people who are like “we can’t just let racism pass silently!” as if somehow, the outcome of the Second Civil Rights era hinges on how long we can keep up the same old Lee Atwater circle-jerk in the Balloon Juice comments.
The racism here is patently obvious. You don’t need to go through hunting through the HTML tags for it, that’s for sure. The only people who will miss it are the people who choose to miss it, and there’s no talking to them.
Set aside the racism for just a moment and note that the ad makes an underlying claim that is economically illiterate: federal government spending is weakening our economy and strengthening the Chinese one. Now, don’t get so busy yelling about the racism that you neglect to debunk the underlying point.
Once racism stops being a sure winner for the GOP they will rely on it much less so it becomes a win-win-win for us.
I can’t imagine why anyone finds the ad racist.
What is it that people find offensive? The stereotype that Chinese women wear straw hats while riding bicycles through rice paddies? Or is it that a woman in China who speaks English may have a slight Chinese accent?
Please give me a detailed account of what you find racially insensitive.
Excellent point. Hoekstra’s minions may be smarter than he looks. Racism as camouflage. What will they think of next?
Thanks, I think we all needed that good laugh to help cleanse our spirits after being washed over by that assholes ad. You could also have added “I have been blind since birth, describe blue to me”
Ivan Ivanovich Renko
@MarkJ: Because even non-racist white people don’t really give a fuck if something’s racist.
Once again, don’t talk about the bastards’ obvious fucking racism, we might offend some of their racist fellow-travelers.
Well guess what, kiddo– those fuckers are NEVER going to vote for a Democrat any more than they’ll EVER fucking vote for near President. Period.
At this point, some Republican politician could run an ad featuring Mr. Bojangles and a group of black-faced white actors singing “Mammie,” and crooning about the good life “way down in Dixieland.”
The politician would indignantly deny any allegation of racism, Dave Wiegel would agree, smirking that only the “slowest critics are saying he is,” James Fallows would decry its inadequate historicism, and liberals would be rebuked for not supporting the American cultural tradition of minstrelsy.
Racism must be called out and denounced, and politicians who employ it must be ridiculed and shamed, regardless of whether they might derive some fractional electoral benefit among voters whose intractable prejudice it affirms. Mistermix is certainly right that exposing a politician’s racist tactics may not be sufficient, but it must never be allowed to appear without vehement and sustained challenge.
“Macaca” may have worked for George Allen in addressing that particular audience at that 2006 rally and among like-minded confederates, but “Macaca” doomed the racist Allen in the general election because of the outcry and its amplification and repetition.
So what you’re saying is that there is nothing in the ad you can point to and explain why it’s racist, but you just know racism when you see it.
Does that about sum it up?
I’m honestly trying to understand why this ad gives liberals the vapors.
The Moar You Know
@MattF: Sometimes I despair of my fellow Juicers. These people aren’t stupid. They know their pockets are being looted. And they know by who.
The problem is, to them, the existence of the yellow/red/black/green peril is more objectionable than the Wall Streeter robbing them blind.
Racism is real, it is a problem with an absolute majority of society (talk to Hispanics about blacks sometimes and you might be forgiven for thinking you’re in Georgia somewhere) and you can’t just say “fuck those people, we’ll just deal with non-racists” because there’s more racists than non-racists in America.
The Moar You Know
@rlrr: Not working with either one, at least on my mega-communist Opera browser.
Don’t you think that something so “blatant” and “obvious” should be relatively easy to explain?
That would indeed be sage and wise counsel if the endgame was to claim victimization by “mean old liberals” because of some “good ol’ boy values”.
I mean sure, the wingnuts will whine their fool heads off as if that was the big trap, but let’s be honest, calling them out on racism has nothing but positive effects. The people who think that calling racism is the worse crime and that liberals need to be pissed off will follow the initial racism into the darkness and don’t need the follow-up to commit. And the mushy moderates are the ones who can be reached and constantly reminding them that their natural inclination is probably the racist one is kinda necessary to undo all the propaganda.
And besides, the big end game isn’t the “PC attack” angle.
The actual end game is creating a world where everyone who would call out racism and speak up on behalf of racial minorities (especially from the position of cultural power of being a racial majority) double checks themselves and abdicates the fight because they don’t want to be seen as “PC crusaders” or otherwise unfair.
In short, it’s working the refs (that old GOP standby) to try and get well-meaning white liberals to start thinking that it’s worse to be “over-PC” than to be a racist dickwad and that it’s worse (or not smart) to call out racism than to be racist.
That way they can sell things like calling out racism as just the dusky brown hordes agitating for white goods instead of a social battle that the Right lost decades ago and have been slowly bleeding power over as more and more people not only abandon racism as a positive trait, but also introspect and discover what racism is beyond “supporting slavery was wrong” or “lynching a black boy for winking at a white woman was wrong”.
Cause yeah, the point is that currently racists are the shamed population and they are trying to co-opt civil rights language in order to get a lot of white people who care about civil rights to shut up and stay quiet so they can start building up naked and obvious racism as the “majority position” of “right-thinking Americans” again.
If Hoekstra comes out with an ad that shows a black person speaking in Ebonics saying: “I be vot’in for my man Barack and sister Stabenow ‘cause I needs me mo welfare”, I would see the negative racial stereotypes and agree the ad was racist. However, what the left sees in the ad in question escapes me.
This question should be a slow, easy softball that even neophyte liberals could hit out of the park, but apparently, there isn’t anyone at Balloon Juice who can explain what they find offense or racist in Hoekstra’s ad.
@jwest: Y’all got a rusty pitchfork comin’ your way.
Nah, ya’ll got hit in the head by the come backer through the box.
The Moar You Know
I agree wholeheartedly with jwest. Racist? Pete Hoekstra? THE SMARTEST MOST WISEST NON-RACIST REPRESENTATIVE EVER? Simply not possible.
“Yellowgirl?” I’m sorry, but that’s fucking racist and that’s the first thing I’m going to say about it, before I get to the multitude of other issues. If that allows Hoekstra to play the victim in front of other fucking racists, well, I just don’t give a damn.
Shawn in ShowMe
Nah, there just isn’t anyone interested. So I guess you can declare victory.
The argument I’d like to see is:
The problem with racism is it short-circuits your brain.
As shown by this ad, it makes you incapable of understanding economics or even basic math.
@Skippy-san: I agree with Weigel and Fallows. I didn’t see the ad until yesterday evening as I was absent from the TEEVEE on Sunday attending the out-of-town funeral and burial of my last surviving Uncle. So I missed it as well as the Clint Eastwood ad. I thought the former was simply lame and just plain wrong and the latter was true, uplifting, and an altogether unintentional skewering of the GOP meme for the whole of Obama’s Presidency: if Obama’s for it, they are reflexively opposed to it even if that opposition runs counter to reality and the facts on the ground.
You do realize that the “Yellowgirl” reference was something in the HTML code assigned by someone involved in the processing of the commercial, right? You do realize that the next ad may have someone in a red shirt and have “Redguy” in the HTML code?
Admit it. You were told to be outraged by this ad, but for the life of you, you can’t figure out why.
Isn’t it embarrassing to realize that you simply accepted the meme that somehow this ad was racist without actually thinking about it yourself? And now that someone is asking for an explanation about what is offensive, no one here can think of anything?
Why not avoid that feeling next time and think about whatever the subject is instead of just accepting the view of the mob? Naturally, you should stand up for what you think is right, but just like how the OWS crowd failed, you should think through what your position is prior to commenting.
@The Moar You Know:
Jesus Christ, you have to be kidding me. The people that voted for Palin, the only VP candidate in modern history not to give a press conference, who nodded in agreement when she repeatedly asked “what don’t we know about Obama” aren’t stupid? The people who think that cuts to NPR will significantly reduce the deficit aren’t stupid? The people who claim not to trust the government, yet get their scientific “knowledge” from right-wing pols aren’t stupid? I could go on, and on, and on.
Give me a break.
Depends how you define “stupid,” I guess.
What always comes to my mind in the are-they-dumb-or-what argument is the moment from “To Kill A Mockingbird” when Atticus explains to Scout that no one in the jury box actually believed Ewell’s horseshit story. But, of course, they all voted for him anyway.
I always think of that when I hear about how the Angry White Conservative demographic’s being “manipulated” by ads like this or bullshit populism like Palin’s. I’ll agree that they’re idiots for putting their tribal identity ahead of their economic interests. But it’s not that they’re being duped, exactly. Plenty of them are aware of who and what the 1% are and what they’re doing to them. They just have other people they hate even more.
The Moar You Know
@jrg: They are voting their interests. Their interests are neither rational nor self-serving, but human history is full of people going to their deaths for causes that could not possibly benefit themselves, their heirs, or their countrymen.
So yeah, I’m actually not willing to chalk up the head-bobbing approval of Hoekstra’s viciously anti-Chinese ad to stupidity. The people who that ad is aimed at would rather give the bird to Chinese people than feed their kids. And if you subscribe to their belief system, that’s neither stupid nor crazy, but merely a worthwhile sacrifice to “take your country back”.
Does the woman in the ad need to have big buck teeth for you to see that this is racist? She’s talking like Hop Sing in the old Bonanza show, for fuck’s sake.
You’re probably a troll but here’s why this ad is racist to an Asian man like me:
-broken, ungrammatical English
-exaggerated Chinese accent
-“Debbie SpendItNow” Are you freaking kidding me?
-invoking of yellow peril fear with her slightly villainous dialogue
-odd use of a rice paddy rather than a factory or cityscape if the idea is to make a point about industrious Chinese stealing American jobs.
It seems to me that one could make a point about the hazards of outsourcing or the Chinese owning so much of our debt without trying to scare people about how different and smug the Chinese people are.
@Chris: It’s pretty clear that we have a different understanding of the word “stupid”.
Under my definition, if you believe that Jesus rode a dinosaur, gays getting married hundreds of miles away will threaten your marriage, and Obama is setting up death panels, you’re shit-for-your-brains, window-licking stupid. Straight up.
Actually, this isn’t an either/or issue, but a therefore issue. For example: “Because Hoekstra believe China should have most favored nation status, it’s obvious he’s attempting to use racism as a tool.”
@VincentN: While this is a good answer, I was sort of enjoying watching the troll have a massive sad at the fact that no one cared to engage with him.
Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor
I know this thread is technically about racism, but I see these issues as entwined (ie tribalism).
The contraceptives issue has legs. I spent a couple of hours last night lurking on newspaper comment threads, and 1930s Catholic fascism is in full, angry bloom. These people are just waiting for The One to come and call them to violence. Even on the left, Catholics are being whipped up by ultra-conservative bishops on this issue.
I try to be a good little liberal and respect others’ religious beliefs… but seriously, contraception!? Griswold v CT was almost half a century ago. You’ll side with the party of the rich against the poor; the party of pointless, endless war for pure profit; the party of the death penalty (which few right-wing Catholics seem upset about, despite the position of their church)… over contraception? Seriously?
I am beginning to hate these people, not least of all because the more noxious brand of Hawkins/Harris atheism is starting to appeal to me these days.
If those bishops manage to push Obama out of office, I’m done with “tolerance” of others’ superstitions.
The AA+ Bonds Vicious Conspiracy Theorist Supertroll Recommendation:
FOCUS ON THE RACISM
Because the message is “fear China”, and that works on the right and the left, but the racism won’t work on the left and it won’t work for a select few on the right
And let me tell you, the white racist yuppies in Michigan would be terribly embarrassed to be associated with something like this that is so painfully public and over the top
From the Atlantic link Doug used:
“The more interesting angle is one of hypocrisy. Hoekstra voted for permanent MFN for China in 1999, and China’s creditor status vis-à-vis the U.S. simply reflects all those good-paying union jobs Hoekstra shipped there (yes, I know international economics is more complicated than that, but would certainly put Hoekstra on the defensive.).”
Here, I think we run into what might be called “Thomas Frankism.” How do we punch Hoeskstra hard enough in the mouth so that he is made to look not only like a hypocrite on the grounds of his voting record, but as someone who, in his bones, doesn’t care about union jobs, but only about the primal scream that comes out of that ad, and how do we paint Hoekstra this way without criticizing union voters for voting against their interests? Put another way: can Democrats stir up passionate anti – Hoekstra feelings among union voters without stooping to the level of his racist ad?
I wish someone like Dick Trumpka, the burly AFL – CIO head, would go down to Michigan for this race and do what he did for President Obama in 2008: speak honestly to union members about any lingering racism in their movement while adding that it can and should be overcome.
Appearances matter. Symbolism matters. I think a meat – and – potatoes, hardhat – looking guy like Trumpka would do alot more for unionists than a bunch of bloggers.
It’s not a Chinese accent. It’s an American, non-Chinese speaker talking in a “ching-chong” Charlie Chan accent.
“Funnily” enough, the anti-China doesn’t even hold up, the landscape and the dress don’t look like free economic zones of China, but Vietnam. But who cares, ALL THEM AZNS LOOK ALIKE AMIRITE?
Fuck off, jwest.