(Editor’s Note: Here’s the latest guest post from our long-time reader and PeteHoekstra.com contributor, “Steve.”)
It’s just an hour-long drive from Pete Hoekstra’s hometown of Holland to Kalamazoo. But as the rural highway slides southeast through the state’s dope growing capital, Allegan County, the further Hoekstra gets from his element. No, not K Street.
Kalamazoo isn’t in his old 2nd Congressional district. These two West Michigan cities, Holland and Kalamazoo, are more second cousins than brothers. The scion of of one of Holland’s fortune’s, Erik Prince, is loathed across the globe as a war criminal. His Kazoo equivalent, billionaire Jon Stryker, is a whipping boy (not literally, though that may be his thing) for some on the right because of the money he throws into pro-gay politics via the Arcus Foundation. That, and ape preservation.
Holland’s greatest contribution to the sporting life? Articulate and chaste Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins. From Kalamazoo, Hall of Fame shortstop and a Manhattan bachelor with his own “herpes tree,” Derek Jeter. Cousins, like Hoekstra and Prince, graduated from Holland Christian High School. Just down the road, Holland High is a national power in swimming. K-Central? Two-time state hoops champ in the state’s largest division. ”Ghetto ball,” the upper level of the decaying Holland Civic Center gym might call it.
Hoekstra’s local college alma mater, Hope, doesn’t let gay movie directors speak on campus. It’s eponymous neighbor in Kalamazoo, K College, is an effete liberal arts campus of the type that may allow only gay movie directors First Amendment rights. Next door to Hope’s campus, Holland’s yuppified downtown (recently dry on Sundays) has a brewpub where the service meanders at a pace where only a school girl could cop a buzz. Kalamazoo is home of the renowned Bell’s Brewery.
Holland Public Schools is apparently just discovering that pesky “achievement gap” between white students and their minority counterparts. Kazoo? Screw it. You graduated high school? Your college is paid for (via an anonymous donor, believed to be the Stryker family). No idea who any of the commencement speakers were for Holland’s five high schools in 2010. At Kalamazoo Central, just Barack Obama. Thursday, Kalamazoo was blessed with another black politician and great alleviator of white racism, this of the more honest right-wing type, Herman Cain. The apparently not too disgraced former GOP presidential candidate, and fleeting primary favorite, Cain showed up with Hoekstra on a quick campaign tour of Michigan. Two for one? Too much to pass up. Patriots for Pete. Catchy. I’m all in, and found myself in the Radisson in downtown Kalamazoo.
Apparently Hoekstra didn’t bring along Cain just because he’s a “good talker,” (though it would be tough not to be more charismatic than Pete), and he was met with an in-tuned and agreeable audience whose age skewed towards Ron Paul’s, if away from that of Paul’s supporters’. Hoekstra said he supported the Pizza Man’s 9-9-9 tax plan. The one where, if you turn it upside down, Michelle Bachmann’s head does a 180 and Rick Santorum stars seeing pentagrams on Penn State’s football helmets. Linking himself to Cain also helps Hoekstra with Tea Party bona fides, as it’s somewhat laughable for the nine-term former Congressman turned lobbyist to color himself a Washington outsider.
Ignoring the idea of Republican primary opposition, Hoekstra went right after incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow. He stayed on message. Cain? He took a similar stance, attacking Obama and linking him to Stabenow. They’re the “stupid people” running America. He said he respected Hoekstra’s positions on energy independence, national defense and “tax replacement.” But then, no, not the … Super Bowl ad, wich Hoekstra said he had “moved beyond.”
While Hoekstra apparently admires Cain’s maverick political spirit, Cain said he loved that Hoekstra’s controversial and racially tinged Super Bowl ad (now disappeared from Hoekstra’s site, and the “Chinese” actress — or “little girl” as Cain called her — apologized for her appearance), that it was a sign of chutzpah in defiance of the politically-correct agenda, and was not racist. He said actually, it was factual.
The real victim of racism was not Asians-en masse via the Super Bowl ad, Cain said, but Cain himself. He said that, as a black conservative, he was castigated as a sell-out and “Uncle Tom” during those heady campain days. But unlike the Asian community (which, remember, shouldn’t have been insulted in the first place), he didn’t have any defenders from the bleeding hearts, civil rights crowd, or the perpetually offended chattering class.
While he may be done with Michigan, Cain will remain on the road. His next endorsement? Ohio, for Joe the Plumber.
Thankfully, the hotel had a bar.