After last week's reemergence of the Hitler Zombie from his underground crypt to snack on the brains of a couple of political consultants in my home city of Detroit, my sister kindly sent me this link, which explains a bit more of the background.
It turns out that the HItler Zombie may be cleverer than even I thought. The use of Hitler imagery, besides being inspired by a chomp on the brain by the Hitler Zombie, appears to have a definite purpose beyond simply being over the top and offensive:
What is really going on here?
Here's a pretty well-informed guess. Everyone in Detroit politics knows that Adolph Mongo is always for sale, but he has never fit the classic definition of an honest politician as one who stays bought. He's been for Kwame and against Kwame; for Geoffrey Fieger and against him.
But the ad packed a powerful message apart from the silly picture of Adolf Hitler. What the words said was that the Democratic Party, and by implication the governor, takes African-American voters for granted.
Everyone knows that at some times and in some places, that has certainly been all too true. And Republicans are eager to capitalize on that. You don't have to be James Carville to know that there had to be well-laundered GOP money behind that ad.
Mongo certainly did not use his own scratch. Just before this ad broke, there was a vigorous Internet discussion among members of Men of Wisdom, a black grassroots political group. One of them claimed Mongo recently had a problem leaving tip money on the table of a downtown greasy spoon. So, somebody bankrolled this ad.
Detroit's mayor and its voters never have had much love for Granholm. She finished third in the city four years ago, remember, behind Jim Blanchard and David Bonior. Worse, she clearly wanted Freman Hendrix to win the mayoral election last fall.
So the mayor wouldn't mind teaching the governor a lesson. Presumably not too much of a lesson: Everyone remembers that Coleman Young got mad at Blanchard, in 1990, and didn't turn out the vote. The result was that Michigan got John Engler, not a man who did much of anything for black folks, or Detroit, a fact that Mayor Young came to regret. Nobody in Detroit who is lucid and operating with the brainpower of a nine-volt battery, thinks DeVos would be good for them.
What Kwame Kilpatrick really wants is for the governor to come to him, beret in hand, and make nice, make concessions, flatter, promise stuff. Then he will go to work and turn out the troops. Mongo may be reactivated; before the election, another ad may be placed, equating Dick DeVos with the Antichrist, or worse yet, George W. Bush.
That's how the game of extortion, oops, politics is played. The mayor knows all about this, by the way; last fall, Mongo was Kwame's pit bull when the infamous "Media Lynch Mob" ad (I was the ugliest one) appeared in both the Chronicle and another marginal newspaper, the Michigan Citizen.
Ironically, in that case as in this, the rest of the media are far more to blame. Had they not jumped all over the story, the influence of both ads would have been limited to those newspapers' 14 or so readers.
Yet by trumpeting the fact that somebody had -- shriek -- put a picture of Adolf next to one of Jenny, Mongo got hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of publicity for his keepers' few bucks for a cheap newspaper ad.
Whatever names our local Adolph deserves, stupid is not one.
No, not at all, but what was the media supposed to do? That's one reason the Hitler Zombie's tactics are often effective. The outrage they provoke brings more attention to the user than he might ever have gotten otherwise, rational discourse be damned. The interesting thing is that Adolph Mongo seems very adept at playing both sides off each other, raking in profits for himself either way.