Waaa-aaait a minute…
I hadn’t realized this until MaddowBlog retweeted me yesterday, but the media company that created the train wreck of a racist ad for Pete Hoekstra is the same company that did two other catastrophic train wrecks: the infamous “Demon Sheep” ad for Carly Fiorina in California and Christine O’Donnell‘s legendary “I Am Not a Witch” ad.
The creator is Fred Davis of Strategic Perception Inc. from California. When you consider the impact that these three ads have had in reshaping the conversation about these candidates into something completely unintentional, you really have to wonder: Is Fred Davis a Democrat??? I mean, really. After the Demon Sheep ad, all anyone could think was that Carly Fiorina had gone cuckoo for Coco Puffs. And the conversation after O’Donnell’s witch ad had nothing to do with the issues that she was trying to get the country to talk about but, rather, just exactly how out to lunch she might actually be.
Hoekstra seems to think he has reshaped the conversation about his candidacy into a “big spending Liberal” vs. “tightwad fiscal Conservative”. Laura Conaway at MaddowBlog reports that he is now trying to raise money off it, in fact:
Pete Hoekstra tells the Detroit Free-Press today that his icky, Demon Sheep-lite Super Bowl ad in the rice paddies “has been very, very effective.” Hey, the local paper sent a reporter today to talk to him! On video! This afternoon, predictably, he was raising money off his ad being called an example of racism.
“And don’t even get me started on the dump truck full of cash that radical left-wing groups like MoveOn, Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and corrupt Union Bosses plan to drop on my head,” he writes.
But the reality is that all anyone is talking about is how much of a damn racist he is for running his ad.
I’m becoming convinced that Fred Davis is a wizard who has hypnotized Republicans into thinking that he will help them while he blatantly sabotages their candidacies. It’s brilliant, really. Absolutely brilliant.
(I’m obviously not serious about this. Davis also did Rick Snyder‘s “One Tough Nerd” ad, which also ran first during a Super Bowl. That one was, to my great sadness, quite successful thankyouverymuch.)
Here’s The Rachel Maddow Show segment on Hoekstra from last night (with Chris Hayes in for Rachel):
Hayes points out (as I did yesterday) that China actually owns about 8% of our national debt. He also helps make the point made by the Michigan Democratic Party’s website hoekstrahoax.com, that Pete Hoekstra is, in fact, a lying hypocrite.
One more thing: for those of you who contend Hoekstra’s ad isn’t racist, it’s nice that you think that but Asian Americans across the country are quite offended by it, I assure you. The actress in the ad is clearly an American woman intentionally speaking with a broken “Engrish” accent. It recalls posters like these, portraying the Japanese as hideous enemies during World War II:
[H/T Daily Kos user puakev]
Hoekstra’s team has even said that it was meant to be “satirical” so any claims that they were not making fun of Asians simply fall flat. So, please, spare me the whining about Democrats pulling the racism card whenever they don’t have a good argument. We have a strong, compelling argument, as Chris Hayes so deftly points out. Also, too, we pull the racism card when someone is actually being a racist – like Pete Hoekstra and this ad.
Update: Dave Weigel, someone I normally like quite a bit, has this to say in his piece “With Negative Ad You Get Eggroll” at Slate.com:
Here’s where Hoekstra loses me — the poor-little-candidate act. He’s not a racist, and only the slowest critics are saying he is. He’s a Senate candidate looking for a way to stir up voter anger about the debt (which, according to exit polling in GOP primaries, is fading somewhat as an issue), and doing so with… an ad in which a smug Chinese lady brags about how she’s going to bury us. (Is this going to happen before or after her ride on a hastily-built high-speed train?) He knows that a lot of Americans worry about this, possibly unreasonably so. And he’s taking advantage of that.
This raises the question, “If someone does something racist, does that make them racist?” My answer: Yes, of course it does. Your mileage may vary but if you do something racist, in my book, that makes you a racist. Period. Sorry, Dave, you’re wrong about this and that doesn’t make me a “slow critic”.