Monday, February 06, 2012

Me GOP, Me Make Joke, Me Make Racist Ad For Hoek

It wouldn't be an election-year Super Bowl without at least one eye-poppingly awful political spot.

This year's winner is Michigan Republican Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra, who rechristens his Democrat opponent Debbie Stabenow as "Debbie Spenditnow" via a young Asian woman who parks her bike in a rice paddy (really) to thank "Spenditnow" for selling America out to China in overly-accented "me so horny"-style broken english: "Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good. We take your jobs!"

Yeah, but there's no racism in the Republican Party. Zip. Zero. None at all. All made up by the Liberal Media. Yup.


Angry Man said...

I also find it hilarious that the dubbing was off. Not sure whether it was intentional like a bad asian movie, or just a technical issue with the video

David said...

You have to be kidding me...

9jack9 said...

You gotta love how petty they get using a what appears to be a stereotype peasant. Forget the image of a modern financial tycoon from Bejing or something even slightly relevant to macro-economics, Nope but fuck those peasant! trying to work their way out of poverty!

Wendy said...

I notice you didn't pitch a fit about Joe Biden talking with an Indian Accent during a recent speech.

I alos notice you didn't stand up for Colonel Allen West when racist pig of a congressman Jim Moran said West 'Wasn't representative of the african-american community" Funny how the political spectrum that believes in being Pro-Choice doesn't think black folks are allowed to wander off the democratic plantation.

And then there was Herman Cain, a highly intelligent man bashed over the head with sexual allegations so flimsy that Bill Clinton would have laughed them off in the span of a weekend while Monica blew him. Nothing to say there, Bob?

Now, the commercial itself is pretty fucking stupid and insensitive. Doesn't undercut the facts though. I probably shouldn't bring up facts here, though. The best way to anger a conservative is to tell him a lie; the best way to anger a liberal is to tell him the truth.

Peter T said...

They seriously went there? Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Yes, because someone doing or saying something stupid is equivalent to paying lots of money to air a thought out and calculated racist ad because you view your base (regardless of their actual beliefs) to be a bunch of uninformed racists.

Typical though, someone does something inexcusably racist on the conservative side so just blame bias.

Derek said...


I'll note that when Bill Clinton got nailed to the wall over his affair, a dozen other women didn't come out of the woodwork. Cain never wanted to be President - he wanted to sell books and fill his Self-Help lectures. Which is why when the going got tough, i.e., he was subject to the kind of scrutiny to be expected of a Presidential candidate, he quit. And by the way, someone who can't keep track of the President's positions on foreign interventions in the Middle East, and who characterizes former Soviet states as "Uzbeki-beki-stan-stan" in a one-on-one interview, and who answers direct questions by repeating his slogan, and who doesn't understand what a regressive tax system is, doesn't get my vote for sharpest tool in the shed.

Btw, your unequivocal dismissal of liberals doesn't help persuade anyone of the validity of anything you're saying. It just gives me a reason to dismiss your argument out of hand. So, grats!

Daniel R said...

Oh God!

This can exist?!

You can make a commercial this insensitive and you don't suddenly vanish into the aether!

Yeah, Cain's Sexual Allegation Scandal weren't anything. He just sexually harassed three women, offered a fourth a job in return for oral sex, and denied ever consummating a 13 year affair.

Unlike Clinton who committed the unspeakable act of having sexual relations with that woman.

Say what you will about Bill, at least his allegation was consensual!

Dave from canada said...

I seem to recall another similar ad posted on this very blog a few months ago.

Never thought I'd see yellow peril come back in my lifetime.

Wendy said...


I care.

Sylocat said...

Fun fact: The law firm that Pete Hoekstra is affiliated with is named "Dickstein Shapiro."

If Charles Dickens and Aaron McGruder collaborated on a book, I'm pretty sure this guy would be one of the main villains.

David (The Pants) said...


1. She's not dressed like someone who'd be out in the rice fields, is she? Because if she isn't then is she going into a city or something?

2. Her accent was too American to be making those grammatical errors. Egregious.

This is a horrible commercial. 2/10

Mads said...

How is this racist exactly? She's the symbol of prosperous china, right?

What would be a non-racist way to symbolize prosperous china and anthropomorphize it? Remember, it's gotta be able to speak.

Just so we're clear on exactly what the error here was.

Anonymous said...

The most appaling thing about this commercial was the fact that the message is presumptious and misguided.

Fact: China only owns roughly 8% of US debt.
Fact: the candidate in this add helped add to that debt by supporting the Iraq war and both rounds of the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

Benfea said...

Wow, it only took four posts for some knee jerk protofascist to chime in with one of those "libruls iz ezzaklee as bad!!!" double fallacies.

First of all, the examples given are never as bad, and secondly, even if they were, there's still a tu quoque fallacy at the bottom of the argument. Even if liberals were exactly as bad, that wouldn't make the fascists right.

biomechanical923 said...

@ Mads
" What would be a non-racist way to symbolize prosperous china and anthropomorphize it? Remember, it's gotta be able to speak. "

You dont. You don't use the concept of China being prosperous as a fear tactic in a political smear campaign.

The message by this advertisement is simple. "If you vote for my opponent, China is going to take all your money. Look at the Chinese woman laughing at you"

It's an appeal to emotion and racism, and unacceptable at any time.

Mads said...

You can safely ignore wendy. I mean, I read her posts, but she doesn't engage in discussions beyond making a comment or two. They're mostly here because Bob is a liberal, she's a conservative, and this is a fine place for practicing political speech; at least that's my guess. Bob has a few such commenters hanging around, people who are exceptionally stringent ideologues. It's the internet, and it's not really that harmful to be exposed to other oppinions than your own, contrary to popular belief, but you'll probably be ok if you just skip what she writes.

Firstly, I'm obviously on the wrong page of the book for even asking that question.

Reddit blew up over this, I scoured the first 20 top comments, and _everybody_ thinks its racist, but for some reason, my mind just didn't sound the alarm bells when I saw the ad. Maybe it's because I live in a country where I've only been exposed to racism targeted at asians maybe 3 or so times in my whole life. I don't know why I didn't react.

So as I said, it's obvious that I'm in the wrong for just presenting such a question; but to most people, the racism is so obvious that they never go into the specifics.

Anyway, so about the ad. I get that it's a political smear campaign and that it's factually incorrect. China only possess 8% of US loans, and the loans don't actually make China prosperous. They are, however, an economic superpower that will soon take over the US in total GDP. And the US does import massively from Asian regions, which does weaken the US economy.

The way I see it, the linking of this to his political opponent, and to government spending in particular, is a smear action and immoral, because it paints a completely false image.

This part, I understand. Now about the racism. In a certain sense, chinese prosperity is a threat to the US economy, in the form of the imports I mentioned. People in the US, by all rights, should be concerned about this development: China is not exactly a democracy, and allowing them to become an economic superpower does pose a threat to the american military hegemony. The Soviet Union, after all, had it's military power undermined by economics. And American jobs _are_ moving to china.

It's a real issue, and I'm not sure why a politician shouldn't try to discuss it as part of his election strategy, per default. I mean, here it's a plot (that's obvious), but if he was being honest about wanting to solve the issue, isn't that fair game?

That's why I asked the question. How do you bring that issue to the table in a political ad?

I mean, suppose it wasn't a smear campaign, for just a second. Suppose he didn't link his political opponent to it, or even government spending and loans to the issue of chinese prosperity. Would it _then_ be racist? Is it racist because it's a part of the smear campaign?

Should he have gone without any person in the add? Should he have filmed a chinese skyscraper instead of a rice paddy? A railroad for the bullettrains they're designing? Because a lot of chinese do look like the woman in the video to westerners, and there is a crapton of rice paddies, and most chinese do speak in engrish or with a clear chinese accent? Is it wrong because people are inherently scared of asian-looking women? Where's the issue with the actual content?

That's the point I feel like I'm missing.

biomechanical923 said...

@ Mads

First I want to say that I was in no way accusing you of racism. I just wanted to make sure that was clear.

If American businesses were really so concerned about China becoming too prosperous, you would think that they would stop buying so much from China.

The fear of China (or any other country) getting "too prosperous" comes from an antiquated idea that the US should be the only world superpower. It's part of the "American Dream" fairy tale that we keep telling ourselves about American Exceptionalism, that no one else is as fit to rule as we are.

I'm no economist, but I believe there's really nothing wrong with our economic decline. It's a fact that the planet does not contain enough resources to allow for everyone to have the standard of living that is enjoyed in the United States and western Europe. I don't believe it's any coincidence that the standard of living is slowly declining in the "first" world and increasing in places like Brazil, India and China. I think that globalization is causing a sort of equilibrium in the standard of living for everybody involved.

My thoughts are beginning to ramble a lot more than I had hoped. I guess what I'm really saying is that when business owners and politicians start preaching populism that all our money and jobs are going to China, India, etc.., I think it's both disingenuous and predatory, because THEY are the once screwing over Americans because they're butthurt that they have to pay their share in taxes. In this way, corporations are holding the American economy hostage, and forcing the Federal government to come up with the ransom.

Anonymous said...

The thing that politicians don't seem to understand is that those manufacturing jobs are never coming back to america. Ever. Labor is simply too cheap overseas and american workers would never accept the sort of wages that overseas factory workers get paid. Obama asked Steve Jobs what it would take to bring back Apple's overseas jobs to the US and Jobs flatly told him that it just isn't possible.

Anonymous said...

FYI the next thing to go will be retail. It's already started in some niche markets with sites like Hobby King that sell products for a fraction of what it would cost at a local RC hobby shop. If they get overseas shipping times down and shipping costs more reasonable then retail for non perishable goods will go down the same road that manufacturing has.

Sylocat said...

Our economy was doomed the instant we shifted the center of American business power from manufacturing to retail (thanks, Wal-Mart). And now that retail jobs are going to, what we're left with is the "Service Economy."

I'd give it about five years before this country collapses like a wet taco. You cannot base an economy off of people asking each other if they want fries with that. It just isn't possible.

I'm this close to sitting back and WELCOMING our new Chinese overlords, and I pray that when the EU collapses, Scandinavia and Germany can piece themselves back together and form their own union to provide competition.