things go poorly
Jay Riemersma to run for Congress
...does that mean his jersey number is automatically retired?
(See #48, of course)
all alumni need to vote for him, regardless of political affiliation.
FWIW, Brady says he want to run for some political office when he's done with football.
OMG politics on MGoBoard! Flame War begin NOW.
or maybe he'll like die from a heart attack or something, do us all a favor...
But Coolidge has been a puppetmaster president this whole time anyway. I think the entire administration is corrupt. Not to start a flame war or anything, but vote DEBS in '24!
He actually wants unions! What's next, welfare and integration? Not on my watch.
but the dude is further out there than pat robertson.
But not as insane as Nancy Pelosi.
I don't know about Riemersma's politics, but any run for office as anything other than a Republican up there is a losing proposition. Even Pelosi would have to run as GOP to win.
Warning: I'm going to talk a bit of politics and religion here. I'm not going to take sides between parties, or even take sides between factions within one party. Ditto on religion. But they're going to be discussed as they relate to Michigan football.
The reason this bothers me is because I think there's several ways this could play in state politics, and one of those ways could have a big effect on Michigan's brand (and thus recruiting).
Between his Bills career and this recent announcement, Jay became a high school football coach for a new during a school realignment out there (he went 0-9 FWIW, and seemed on track to eventually be a DeBord assistant).
He also had an Evangelical Christian blog, which wasn't updated very often. This in itself isn't that noteworthy -- this is a decent guy of Dutch descent from the west side of the mitten state who played football -- chances of his religion being Evangelical = good. But if I recall correctly, the blog was a little beyond the typical religious fare and delved into very non-mainstream politics (e.g. calling out "liberals" for "brainwashing"). His primary focus was on banning gay marriage, but abortion and evolution were hot topics.
This is just from memory of the site which I can no longer link to -- it seems it was taken down -- so sodium chloride recommended. I think I read the whole thing once (wasn't that much to back-track through) then revisited for new material maybe twice. I might have linked once on the mgoblog.blogspot site if anyone wants to go looking.
Here's an example of his politics, from a letter much circulated during last year's election:
God’s word is clear: Life begins at conception (Psalm 139) and marriage is a God-ordained institution between one man and one woman (Genesis 2). While no candidate is perfect, it is our responsibility as Christians to choose the candidate that best represents our core values.
Political blog "Roll Call" did a discussion of that seat a little over a month ago:
“As it stands now, this race is a true tossup and three-way race,” the operative said. “Riemersma could campaign as an outsider with Christian conservative values, which [would] sell on that side of the state, and do quite well.”
A friend of mine spent years working for a Republican state senator, and before that he went to Little Brother. And he's brought up Riemersma's politics to me on a number of occasions to piss me off, particularly during the last election. The sense I've gotten from his is that his state party, at least, sees Jay as kind of a joke. Bill Huizenga is already locking up guys from Bill Broomfield's old (Oakland County) posse. He's also the guy it seems the national party is most interested in promoting. The Western Michigan DeVos/Posthumus machine has its guy in Wayne Kuipers.
I don't know if any of you remember John Hochstetler -- a one-time opponent of Alma Wheeler Smith. John came into his Michigan Daily endorsement interview (with a really cool Petoskey stone pin in the shape of Michigan) expecting to be eaten by Satan-worshipping, drugged-up hippies (no offense Woomer). He pointed a finger at a little Jewish sophomore girl who asked a question about intelligent design in publicly funded schools and said she was going to go to hell.
Hochstetler became, for a time, a local joke.
That's not to say Jay Riermesma = John Hochstetler. But I see a lot of similarities between their respective approaches to politics, particularly in that they both have positioned themselves as staunch advocates for some unpopular, religiously infused politics (Hoch with Creationism, Jay with Opposition to Gay Marriage).
Anyway, Huizenga's still the leader and the national GOP darling, which signifies that Jay isn't getting the creme de la creme of the Michigan Republican Party.
As a Michigan fan, and a fan of Jay during his playing days in Ann Arbor, I wish him luck. But it's my sense that he's seen by the bigger whigs in his party as a joke. His politics play well with some people in his district. But be careful of overrating the power of the Dutch Conservatives in Ottawa County. You've also got Muskegon and Grand Haven and Ludington and Cadillac. It's a sure-fire Republican district, so the winner of this 3-way thing is almost guaranteed the final seat.
Whether Jay wins or not isn't at issue here.
What's at issue is that he's almost sure to be packaged not just as Christian Right alternative, but as a Christian Right Alternative who played Football at Michigan.
This is a big recruiting area of the state. It's also a big area for Meijer Michigan Fans. And most importantly, it's an area known for some dirty primaries.
I'd keep an eye on this one and see how it plays out over the year. What I don't want to see is the "Michigan" candidate being billed as the crazy religious guy who wants to beat up your gay son. Jay, as a football guy, seems like a pretty good fella. He was an All-Star student during his time at M. He's one of the guys you could see ending up a Tight Ends coach in Ann Arbor had the Bo/Carr regime not been upended. But politics is an ugly business. It has a tendency to take true passion and screws that into "hates children." And what's more, it has a track record of iconoclasm -- if there's something in your opponent's past, that thing must be bad by association.
Where does this lead? High schoolers and their parents care about this kind of stuff, or at least they do when it gets on TV. Jay still has connections to M football. He's still a face of our franchise. And I highly doubt he'll leave the Block M at home as he tries to parlay his name recognition into political capital. But his politics -- whether you agree with them or not -- turn off a lot of people even when said in his own words. Allow those same politics to be twisted in a campaign and then given the incredible mouthpiece that the DeVos crew and the national GOP machine have in that region, and it could get really really ugly.
And that's just if he loses. What if he wins? A seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is a huge stage, and not one like the NFL where a person's personal life only really gets people interested if it's got violence or sex in it. Imagine recruiting in California, when the biggest anti-gay advocate in the House is an affiliate of the program? Does anyone else think this could be, at least, kind of damaging?
And I agree with virtually everything you're getting at here, but I should note that I think you're overstating the degree to which being anti-gay marriage is (at least currently) an "unpopular" stance. The numbers in California, for example, are about 50-50. In Florida, last I saw, they were more like 55-45 against legalization. I have no idea what they are in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania (our other general recruiting hotbeds), but my hunch is that gay marriage isn't super popular there quite yet.
Obviously, the trend lines for the popularity of gay marriage (especially among the young people we'd be trying to attract) lead inexorably towards legalization, I'm just not sure that we're there yet or will be there in the near future.
That's not to say I don't find his stance personally distasteful, mind you. I'd certainly prefer that he was more into Loving thy Neighbor (and not in that way, pervs), I'm just saying that I'm not sure how much that particular issue is gonna hurt us, at least in the short term.
I think that he was trying to say that condemning people to hell based on their sexual preference is becoming less fashionable these days. No doubt there's a large group of people (majority?) who are not for gay-marriage, but are at least capable of an intelligent discussion on the matter and cringe at the sight of that pastor who protests military funerals out in witchita.
I don't know that i'm too worried that Riemersma will become a true 'face of the program' and scare off recruits, though...
kidding. nice well thought out post, actually.
to answer your question at the end: No. I cant imagine 18 yr old yutes giving a crap about the politics of an alum.
Madonna going to UM or mikey moore and his state hat (haha) had no influence on my choice of UM.
the black vote in cali is what did in prop 8 <./hot button flame war comment>
California has a large latin population as well, who most of which are Catholic. I think that also played into Prop 8 being passed.
you should consider your own blog.
i'm not being sarcastic, either. i don't always agree with your posts here but they are extremely well thought out and entertaining.
It's not Michigan. It's not local. But it has mustaches.
Great post and I also agree. I read something of his right before the most recent presidential elections basically saying if you are a good Christian you will vote Republican and if you vote for Obama you are a horrible Christian. If I can find it I'll link it. I vommed a little bit after reading.
No, not at all.
That was some roundabout stuff there. I see where your train of thought is going but I think you're putting a little too much into what a high schooler thinks on politics. If they deem UM their ticket to millions I doubt they'll care that 20 years ago some guy with differing opinions played there.
so that it's the parents that care and they influence their kid... IDK. how many redneck NRA kids has M lost b/c UM is a liberal hippy campus? how many america hating socialists has ND lost b/c they are a conservative campus?
count it. republicans don't lose in ottawa county. i'm pretty sure it's the most or 2nd most republican county in the country by voting %
they pretty much run unopposed for local elections. I write in my buddies and people like Maury Povich in protest.
I fucking hate our local political scene. There's a hundred of us that meet in black hooded robes in anonymous basements across Ottawa county. We drink copious amounts of alcohol, wife-swap, joke about Dick DeVos' bitch wife and her saggy fucking tits, and piss in Amway jugs.
No, Jay Riemersma, third-alternate chosen son of God will not be getting my vote for anything.
AA doesn't scare away conservatives and there's no way that Jay would scare liberals away from AA. Don't mean to be too controversial here, but if you're one of those that voted for Granholm and after years of her governance still blame Engler for our state's woes, then we have only Michigan football in common and that's fine... Hearing about the "Republican Machine" in Western Michigan makes me laugh when you consider that it only takes several union-filled welfare-supported counties on the east side of the State to determine our National representation... I'm not at this site for politics, regardless of how well thought out a post is. When it comes to football, I'm all-in.
I don't wanna argue semantics, by which I mean I'm gonna go ahead and argue semantics...
When I mentioned the Western Michigan "Political Machine" I was referring to a group of people, some of whom I know personally, who refer to themselves as such.
I think you're taking a partisan, i.e. two-party, view of Michigan politics and thus missing the entire point. There's a lot more that goes into politics than Republicans and Democrats. Within, or even straddling, the parties, are power bases, some based in old interest groups, some in more recent ones, some in cultural groups, etc. These "political machines" do much of the recruiting and grooming of up-and-coming politicians. They have the donor databases, and know how to raise money from their people.
No one political machine controls a party in this state. Because they're the only ones that matter pretty much in MI-2, I'll stick to the Republicans.
This is a gross oversimplification, but the major splits in the Michigan GOP mirror the East/West cultural divide in the state. Oakland County has an old power base (e.g. Joe Knollenberg) that reached its height in the latter 20th century. A lot of the people elected as Republicans in that area came up under Bill Broomfield, a giant in state politics in his time, who was a very influential U.S. Representative. Broomfield's group is still around, and have strong connections to the national party structure. Their political base is generally "McCain" Republicans (again, an over-simplification), socially liberal, economically conservative. They're backing Bill Huizenga.
The West-Side machine pre-dates this group -- they are the remnants of the 19th century East/West political divide. While the Dutch conservatives of Ottawa County play a big role, their power base is actually out of Traverse City. This is the group that my friend worked for (and will probably again next cycle), so they're the ones I know the most about. The DeVos family have been key people of this power base for the last few decades. They found, recruited, groomed, and are now running Wayne Kuipers.
Political machines aren't evil. They're an essential part of our political system. And it doesn't mean everyone from one political machine is going to act the same: Granholm and Kwame Kilpatrick were from the same machine, as was Gary Peters, and they're all VERY different people. On the other hand, Dingell and Conyers and Kildee, as well as Blanchard and a slew of others, all come from that other (usually Dem) machine, which is heavily union.
Back to Jay, the point is that he's going up against two very strong power bases, both of which are well-practiced at playing dirty.
please tell me W Mich is looking to secede, b/c there's only 2 things i hate... people who hate other people, and the dutch.