BUFFOON WATCH…. Some have wondered this year if, in the case of a deadly terrorist attack, Republicans could bring themselves to put patriotism over party, and rally behind a president they disagree with.

I think we’re getting a sense of the answer.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) said Sunday that it is fair to blame the Obama administration for the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight bound for Detroit on Christmas Day.

Hoekstra, the top Republican on the House Select Intelligence Committee said that the administration has not taken the threat of terrorist threats on the U.S. seriously.

Asked by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace if it is fair to blame the Obama administration for the attacks, the Michigan Republican replied “Yeah, I think it really is.”

Not quite 48 hours after a Nigerian man — who got a visa to enter the United States from the Bush administration — unsuccessfully tried to kill Americans, Pete Hoekstra, one of Congress’ more offensive buffoons, is going on national television to blame the Obama administration.

I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but this is nauseating.

To rationalize his insane criticism, Hoekstra said he felt comfortable blaming the administration for an attack that didn’t occur because, “The Obama administration came in and said we’re not going to use the word terrorism anymore, we’re going to call it man-made disasters, trying to, I think, downplay the threat from terrorism.”

By any reasonable measure, this is breathtakingly stupid. Putting aside the fact that Hoekstra, as a factual matter, isn’t even close to reality — the White House uses the word “terrorism” all the time, whether Hoekstra keeps up on current events or not — the argument itself is ludicrous. Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up an airplane based on Obama administration rhetoric? Is that really the line the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee wants to share with a national television audience?

Let’s be clear. First, the Obama administration’s record on counter-terrorism is very impressive. Second, Pete Hoekstra’s record on national security issues is so ridiculous, it’s hard not to point and laugh. And third, Hoekstra’s attempts to exploit an attack that failed is almost certainly motivated by an effort to impress right-wing primary voters in advance of his gubernatorial campaign, making his attacks against the president cheap and disgusting.

What an embarrassment.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.