As you’ve no doubt seen and heard, several thousand people came to Lansing today to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home order.
I’m not here to debate the specifics of her order or whether the protest was a good idea or a bad idea. There are plenty of debates raging on Facebook and Twitter right now about those topics, so if you’re in the mood to debate that, feel free to jump into one of those discussions.
Rather, I’m here to discuss the actions of Mike Detmer, a Howell resident who is an announced Republican candidate for the 8th Congressional District. Detmer showed by his actions today that he is not in any way fit to be a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
There’s every reason to believe that Detmer won’t make the ballot anyway. With less than a week to go before the April 21 filing deadline, Detmer is still online begging for signatures, so we’ll see if he even makes it.
I hope he doesn’t. He doesn’t deserve to be a candidate for Congress and he isn’t fit to serve in Congress. Based alone on what happened today, he isn’t fit to serve in any office. He did today the single most idiotic thing I’ve ever seen any political candidate do in Livingston County or anywhere else.
Here’s what happened:
This morning on his Facebook page, Detmer posted a selfie of himself with about a dozen people. The photo has since been taken off his Facebook page, but you see it here.
It’s important to remember this fact: Detmer himself took this photo, and Detmer himself posted it. He was obviously very proud of it.
Two things are very wrong with this photo:
- We’re in the middle of a pandemic, where everybody is supposed to be wearing masks and social distancing, and here’s a candidate for the UNITED STATES CONGRESS who is proudly posing for a photo with a whole bunch of people huddled around him, none of whom have been quarantining with him, and none of whom are wearing masks. The photo was not taken at the rally, by the way. It was taken this morning in Howell, as Detmer and his group were preparing to leave for the rally.
- At the back of the photo is a guy who’s wearing a “Proud Boys” mask and flashing a white-power hand sign. According to Wikipedia, the Proud Boys are a far-right neo-fascist organization that admits only men as members and promotes political violence. Mike Detmer took a photo with this guy and posted it on his Facebook page.
Well, WHMI got a hold of the story this afternoon and then some other media folks picked it up, and pretty soon, Mike Detmer found himself in the middle of a firestorm.
After letting the story sit out there for a few hours, Detmer took to his Facebook page AGAIN tonight to offer up an explanation by way of a video he shot in his truck. Not an apology, mind you. He’s apologizing for nothing. He just wanted to explain what happened, and his explanation just makes it all worse.
Here, in his own words, is how Detmer explains the photo:
“I posted a selfie photo on my Facebook feed this morning. In Howell, there was a staging point where people were instructed to show up to be part of the caravan. It got a little chaotic. Most everybody there, though, was wearing masks and gloves. There was one brief moment when people where out of their cars because there was confusion about which way we were going to load onto Grand River. I took the opportunity to ask if they wanted to take a quick selfie. Masks came off, we took a quick shot.”
AND YOU THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA, MIKE? Let’s all take our masks off and huddle together real quick for a selfie? And the only guy who WAS wearing a mask was the Proud Boys guy?
Is that how the coronavirus works, Mike? If you huddle together real quick and only take your masks off for a second, the virus won’t go from one person to another?
Ah, and then we have the white-power guy. Detmer’s explanation to that? He was photobombed. Again, in his own words:
“I have no idea who the guy is. I’ve never even heard of the organization they’re saying he belongs to. Trying to label me as a white supremacist is absolutely absurd.”
OK, I’m willing to grant you that you had no idea who that guy was and that he just popped into the photo. Fine. So why did you let that photo sit on your Facebook page for several hours until you took it down? Until WHMI called to ask you about it? You have a guy in your photo making a very well-known white-supremacist hand signal, and you leave that photo on your Facebook page? And then you don’t even apologize for it?
Based on his Facebook posts today, Mike Detmer was really happy that he went to Lansing today to protest the governor.
Sorry, Mike, but the only thing you did today was kill your campaign.