By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)
The US Senate race between John James and Sandy Pensler gives Michigan Republicans two great choices to take on Debbie Stabenow.
Both candidates have great resumes: Pensler is a biz wiz who specializes in turning around failing companies, James is charismatic Iraq War Vet who helps run his family business.
The strategy has paid off for Pensler, who consistently leads polls by double digits, though a recent poll gives James his best numbers yet.
However, yesterday at the WJR debate between the two, James crossed a line I don't care for: he accused Pensler of being racist.
Why? For running an ad spotlighting a donation John James made to a radical Detroit Democrat who has led the fight to keep the "D" a sanctuary city.
If John James responded to Pensler with facts, like his claim he donated for business purposes, that's fine. I get that.
If John James responded to Pensler and wanted to note that a couple of Pensler's dozens of donations over the years have been to Democrats, no problem.
If John James responded that this was kind of a distraction from the real issues facing Michiganders, I wouldn't totally disagree.
But Mr. James decided to take a page right out of the liberal playbook, he playd the "race card," crying racism to deflect from his donation.
James outrageously claimed Pensler's "subtle racism in recent ads is intended to be a dog whistle." Wow. That's what the far left would accuse conservatives of when they didn't agree with President Obama! :(
This is not acceptable. Resorting to racially charged leftist talking points and taking ques from the Rules For Radicals playbook is immensely disturbing to me, and it should give all Republican voters pause.
If anyone thinks Debbie Stabenow will get played like that, they are enormously mistaken. She will have a laundry list of "accomplishments" she will point to for the black community, believe that.
James may be frustrated with the ad, but his response at the debate was horrendous.
Unfortunately, James has invoked race before. A few weeks ago, he sent mailers asking Republican voters to look past his race.
Excuse me? Why the hell would you assume that is an issue for me? There is no doubt racism exists, but indiscriminately blanketing voters with accusations they are racist is as bizarre as it is unwise.
James is immensely talented and will have a bright future. He has passionate supporters, as well as a great resume, but he just doesn't seem like he is ready for prime time against Debbie, who is sitting on $10 million, if race based attacks is his chosen strategy to win the primary.
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.