FOR ONCE, MAYBE WE SHOULD PLAY INTO THE RIGHT'S HANDS
Many people have pointed out the racism of Pete Hoekstra's "Debbie Spend-It-Now" Super Bowl ad, but now we're being warned -- by Chris Hayes on Rachel Maddow's show last night, by Mistermix today -- that we could be doing just what Hoekstra wants us to do, by making him (in the eyes of right-wingers, at least) a victim of liberalism and "political correctness." Yes, that's worth noting -- Politico reports that Hoekstra is claiming a serious uptick in fund-raising since the ad went public. (All this is happening even as we get yet another opportunity to point out the Hoekstra team's racism -- we're learning that the HTML code on Hoekstra's site refers to the Asian woman in the ad as "yellow girl.")
I see the point Hayes and Mistermix are making -- but for once I'm optimistic. This seems to be a year when the public is becoming sick of the GOP rage machine and might be turning back to Democrats for a little uplift and comity (and a little common decency).
What Hoekstra's doing is certainly going to work for him with his fellow Republicans -- although why he's bothering with it when he's all but assured of the GOP Senate nomination in Michigan I don't know. Going into the general election, however, I think the racism itself could be a liability. Even people who usually shrug off or overlook racist dog whistles (including barely coded ones) seem as if they might be sick of the all-attacks-all-the-time style of the Republicans; they seem as if they might vote against divide-and-conquer politics this year. So why not point out the attempts to divide? If voters are getting fed up with the vitriolic, maybe it's a good idea to shine the light on the vitriol.