HOEKSTRA TAKES HEAT OVER CRAVEN SOLICITATION…. Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee and a Republican gubernatorial candidate in Michigan, sent out a fundraising appeal this week, hoping to exploit the Abdulmutallab terrorist plot for financial gain. Even by the standards of House Republicans, it was an ugly, craven move.

Dems are starting to pounce. Hari Sevugan, the DNC’s national press secretary, issued this statement this afternoon.

“It was shameful that Republicans like Mr. Hoekstra would attempt to play politics with our national security at all, but raising money off it is beyond the pale. Republicans are playing politics with issues of national security and terrorism, and that they would use this incident as an opportunity to fan partisan flames and raise money for political campaigns tells you all you need to know about how far the Republican party has fallen and how out of step with the American people they have become.

“The American people simply will not tolerate the likes of Mr. Hoekstra and the Republican Party playing politics with the serious issues of national security and terrorism — especially after the mess they left this country in both domestically and on national security after eight years of failed leadership.”

Around the same time, Ryan Rudominer, the DCCC’s national press secretary, also took a swing.

“Time and again, Congressional Republicans refuse to back up their tough talk about national security with a vote to actually keep Americans safe. Instead of shamelessly trying to raise campaign cash off the plot to blow up a plane and kill innocent Americans on Christmas, Ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee Pete Hoekstra should look in the mirror and ask why he and 107 of his House Republican colleagues recently voted against strengthening airport security.”

Also this afternoon, a spokesperson for Michigan Republican Rick Snyder, a Hoekstra rival for the state’s gubernatorial nomination, said, “It is extremely disappointing that [Hoekstra] would us a potentially tragic incident to raise money for his political campaign. In these troubling times, words can’t describe how sad it is to see an attempt to politically capitalize on a failed terrorist attack just three days after it happened.”

In general, lines of decency and mainstream norms don’t really apply to House Republicans, so if Hoekstra actually pays a price for his genuinely pathetic display, I’ll be very impressed. There are certain things politicians just shouldn’t do. Trying to raise money off the attempted murder of hundreds of innocent Americans should be one of them.

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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.