Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Firestorm Over Hoekstra, Chrysler Ads Show Republicans Don't Get It

The post-game chatter over two ads from Sunday's Super Bowl -- the Chrysler ad featuring tough-guy Clint Eastwood talking about the toughness of Americans and Pete Hoekstra's ad making fun of Asian Americans -- both carry the same message about today's Republican Party.

Republicans are out of touch with average Americans. Not just in the way Republicans, with their focus on the wealthy, are always out of touch, but in a new way.

The Republican attempt to tie politics to Eastwood's ad for Chrysler talking about the determination of an American company and its workers to rebound comes across as sour grapes. In their hatred of President Obama, Republicans have decided to attack everything, even basic American values, if it will hurt Obama. And that's what the Chrysler ad was about -- the value of hard work, of sticking to it when the going gets tough, of pulling together as a community when part of it needs help. Republicans used to value those things about America, but since supporting those values might possibly imply something good about Obama, they now have to attack them.

Hoekstra's ad is also out of touch. The candidate for the Republican nomination to oppose Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan relies on racial stereotyping while apparently forgetting that few Americans find racial stereotyping acceptable anymore. Ethnic humor has been out with comedians for years. Who tells jokes to their friends about the Polish, for crying out loud? Young people today are growing up in a world where those sorts of boundaries between people are much less important. Their world is more diverse than their grandparents' world and they are comfortable with it. Support for diversity is becoming a basic American value.

Republicans seem to be decades behind the rest of the country in that regard, judging from the way Hoekstra is continuing to defend his ad.

Who would have thought that the party which prided itself on support for American values would find itself attacking so many of our values?

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