If you've been on the internet in the last day or so, you've no doubt seen discussion of Congressman Pete Hoekstra's ridiculous ad in which a young Asian woman with a straw hat around her neck rolls up on her bike next to a rice paddy and talks about incumbent Democratic senator Debbie Stabenow in broken English: "Debbie spend so much American money, you borrow more and more from us. Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good." And so on, including bestowing the nickname "Debbie Spenditnow" on the senator. Zing! Yes, of course it's absurdly racist, trying to get Michigan voters to fear the yellow menace. But my problem is this: does it have to be so amateurish?
First off, there's the fact that the ad appears to be set in...Vietnam. At least that's what Americans think when they see rice paddies and conical straw hats. And most egregious is the fact that the actress in the ad is obviously American. She doesn't have a noticeably regional accent - she could be from Michigan, or Los Angeles, or New York. But she sure as hell didn't grow up in China.
If we want America to be great again, we just can't tolerate this kind of sub-par demagoguery. This is a United States Senate campaign, not some race for middle school vice-president. God gave America the most awesome entertainment industry ever seen on the face of the Earth, and we're forced to watch this crap on our TVs?
Political advertising is more art than science -- it's often hard to predict how people will react and which message is going to resonate. And one can argue that Hoekstra has gotten more than his money's worth in publicity out of this ad, given all the abuse it has taken online. But if you were watching a scripted drama and a character came out claiming to be from Shanghai,but she sounded like she hailed from Sheboygan, you'd change the channel. Republican media consultants really ought to show some pride in their work.
Here's this turd of an ad, if you haven't seen it yet: