Tom Watkins, a former Michigan state superintendent of schools, took to this forum Tuesday for the purpose of criticizing former Congressman Pete Hoekstra’s Super Bowl advertisement. Lost in that commentary was any recognition of our federal government’s dysfunctional relationship with China. That’s unfortunate because, at the hands of President Obama and Debbie Stabenow, the relationship has gotten worse.
It’s no secret that our federal government is addicted to borrowing and spending. We are currently $14 trillion in debt, and around 25 percent of that sum is owed to China, a habitual currency manipulator with a deplorable human rights record. That fact, as opposed to a 30-second television commercial, should outrage Mr. Watkins, who in past columns portrayed himself as an advocate for trade reforms. Instead, Mr. Watkins invites us to sugarcoat that disturbing reality and, presumably, the fiscal recklessness of Stabenow and her colleagues in the Democrat-controlled Senate, who haven’t bothered to pass a budget in 1,000 days. That is an invitation a growing number of Americans feel compelled to decline.
Congressman Hoekstra was right to challenge Stabenow’s abysmal record on the economy. It’s also hard to take Mr. Watkins’ purported outrage seriously; after all, in 2006 his computer keyboard was tightly locked when “Hurricane Jenny” Granholm ripped then-candidate Dick DeVos for doing business in China. Apparently, it wasn’t culturally insensitive when Ms. Granholm, the architect of 600,000 vanished jobs during Michigan’s lost decade, bemoaned Amway for doing a little business in China, while ignoring the hundreds of workers they employ in Michigan. Mr. Watkins would do well to remember that, in editorial commentary, as in politics, consistency is key.
Finally, Mr. Watkins’ suggestion that Congressman Hoekstra, who emigrated from the Netherlands, is a xenophobe should be seen for what it is: unfortunate hyperbole. The people of this community won’t be fooled by that baseless charge. In fact, Congressman Hoekstra’s consistent voting record and wide-ranging base of support substantiate what we’ve known for years: He is a man of the highest personal integrity. We need a senator who is willing to speak the truth; not one who would ignore the origin of our recession in the name of political correctness.
I’m proud to stand with Congressman Hoekstra in his bid to unseat Debbie Stabenow, and encourage everyone to do likewise. It’s time to get serious about our economic challenges. It’s time to get this nation back on track.
— Adam Tountas is chairman of the Ottawa County Republican Party.