Monday, October 11, 2010



You saw the headlines over the weekend, and perhaps this morning, wailing that GOP congressional candidate in Ohio and, the headlines rarely fail to add, tea party favorite Rich Iott, once wore a Nazi SS uniform. One would get the impression, from glancing at such headlines, that Mr. Iott, in his spare time, likes to parade around adorned in iron crosses and swastikas while pledging eternal fealty to Adolph Hitler and Heinrich Himmler, and one would be expected to conclude that the tea party movement, and perhaps the entire GOP, is infested with neo-Nazis. Democratic Congressperson Debbie Wasserman-Schultz cited Mr. Iott’s wearing of the uniform as an example of the extremism that permeates the Republican Party. But the Democrats were not alone in excoriating Mr. Iott. None other than Republican GOP House Whip Eric Cantor, showing the type of courage that characterizes the modern politician quickly distanced himself from Mr. Iott and piously proclaimed “I would absolutely repudiate that (wearing a Nazi uniform).”

Taking the time to read the entire articles following the blaring headlines that provoked such breast beating among our public servants, one would learn that Mr. Iott wore the SS uniform as part of various historic reenactments of World War II battles. Given that World War II, for those congresspersons, and those who elect them, who think that history started sometime around 1995, was fought with the, inter alia, British, Russians, and Americans on one side and the Germans and the Italians on the other side, it would be difficult to conduct an historic reenactment of any battle in the European War without actors’ depicting German soldiers. And given that the SS were, in addition to their despicable crimes against humanity, among the Reich’s crack troops and thus were involved in most of the European theater’s epic battles, it would be difficult to accurately reenact virtually any decisive battle without actors depicting SS troops. If one presumes, as we apparently are expected to presume, that Mr. Iott were eager to don the SS regalia out of some deep-seated sympathy for their cause, that would be certainly be worthy of the attention Mr. Iott has drawn. Further, he showed some incredibly poor judgment donning the SS garb a mere handful of weeks before an election. But there is no evidence that Mr. Iott’s wearing the uniform was the result of anything other than a fealty to historic accuracy, a concept that, admittedly, is being tossed aside routinely in the interest of political correctness.

Mr. Iott, if he were anything other than the mealy-mouthed, lily-livered politician he claims to so despise, should have dismissed this entire “controversy” simply by saying something like “It was a reenactment, you pack of idiots! Get off your high horses, ditch the disingenuous discordance, and read the whole article!” But he didn’t. Instead, in the typical politico-speak his tea party movement claims to so stridently oppose, he sycophantically babbled the following platitudes

I have immense respect for veterans…particularly those who fought to rid the world of tyranny and aggression by relegating Nazism to the trash heap of history.”

with all the originality of a hand puppet. He doubtless thought that, by taking a courageous stand in favor of the veterans who helped quash Nazism, he was rallying the populace against the legions of Nazi sympathizers and veteran haters out there who, Mr. Iott may next tell us, support his opponent.

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