Pete Winitnot

In other news involving ethnically insensitive Republicans named Pete, former congressman Peter Hoekstra, who’s running for the U.S. Senate, is getting some serious heat for the Super Bowl ad his campaign ran in Michigan media markets.

I thought about embedding the ad here, but didn’t have enough hand sanitizer. It’s offensive not only to Asian-Americans, but to basic good taste.

It’s not clear exactly which hammer-headed media consultant first came up with the idea of associating political opponents with cheerful furriners thanking them for their treachery, but he or she is probably going to hell. Hoeckstra’s “Thank you, Debbie Spenditnow” spot ranks right down there with Jim Bunning’s infamous “Muchas gracias, Senor Baesler” ad in the hall of shame; indeed, it was probably inspired by it.

Michigan voters now have a special responsibility to reward Hoekstra–who calls himself Pete Spenditnot in the ad–for his contribution to the tone of American politics by making him Pete Winitnot. He should have a fine retirement career back home telling racist jokes down at the barbershop.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.