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October 10, 2010

GOP PRETENDS NOT TO KNOW RICH IOTT.... Late Friday, The Atlantic's Josh Green had a rather amazing scoop about Republican congressional candidate Rich Iott, running in Ohio's 9th District. It was serious enough that yesterday, his party decided to put some distance between Iott and the GOP.

If you're just joining us, Iott, a Tea Party favorite, spent several years participating in Nazi re-enactments, dressing up like a German Waffen SS as part of his "hobby." Making matters worse, Iott's little troupe said it was created in part to "salute" the "idealists" and "front-line soldiers of the Waffen-SS" and their "basic desire to be free." It also characterizes Wiking volunteers as "valiant men," overlooking the minor detail that they also rounded up Jews to be slaughtered.

Apparently unable to think of a compelling defense, Republicans, by mid-day yesterday, pretended not to know the candidate they recruited for the race.

Until last night, the GOP included the candidate, Rich Iott, on a list of promising potential members called Contenders -- a notch below their so-called Young Guns. Now he's gone, without a trace.

You can get away with a lot in conservative politics these days, but it turns out spending your weekends dressed as a Nazi, celebrating the brave Waffen 5th SS Panzer Division is still a bridge too far.

For his part, Iott issued a statement late yesterday, condemning "blatant distortions and attacks." While he didn't apologize for his recreational activities, Iott did insist, by way of a defense, that he participated in re-enactments of other wars -- the Nazi uniform, in other words, wasn't the only one he wore -- and never meant "any disrespect" when he pretended to be a German Waffen SS.

The explanation doesn't seem to have had much of an effect -- the NRCC wouldn't even talk about Iott in the wake of the controversy.

I heard from DCCC spokesperson Ryan Rudominer yesterday, who said, "Message to John Boehner and the House Republican leadership: the least you can do is apologize and take full responsibility for recruiting and then embracing a Nazi enthusiast running for Congress, instead of remaining silent and deceiving voters by sweeping it under the rug. The extremist and fatally flawed candidates that House Republicans have been propping up speak volumes about the reckless leadership they're offering voters."

That seems like the relevant theme here. Democrats are anxious to show voters that a radicalized Republican Party is running fringe, extremist candidates. A guy like Rich Iott was probably going to lose anyway, but the revelations nevertheless make the Dems' job easier.

Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (18)

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Comments

Iott in Nazi togs, Vitter in diapers- what up with these Republicans playing dress-up?

(I'll be wearing my Phillies shirt tonight, in front of the TeeVee. . .)

Posted by: DAY on October 10, 2010 at 8:10 AM | PERMALINK

So the GOP recruited a woman to run for Senate in Delaware who has "dabbled in witchcraft" and who thinks the government has a secret lab containing mice with human brains. The Republicans have recruited a man to run for the House in Ohio who is a Nazi re-enactor and a woman running for Senate in Nevada who thinks we should barter chickens for cancer treatments. Leading House Republicans have pledged to shut down the government if Obama doesn't fund $700 billion more in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and repeal health care for the poorest.

Jesus said, "Whatever you do for the least of my brothers you do unto me." If this is the best the Republicans can do we truly are spiritually empty, an empire in decline.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on October 10, 2010 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Since Iott is white, it stands to reason that the media be all over the Republican party's other white candidates -- if any -- asking if they repudiate Iott. I'm sure it will be the number one topic on today's talking head shows.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on October 10, 2010 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

Regrettably for the GOP, the memory hole doesn't actually work like it did in the book.

Posted by: Daniel Kim on October 10, 2010 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

"Democrats are anxious to show voters that a radicalized Republican Party is running fringe, extremist candidates."

Likely voter: "Wow. That's so weird. I mean, I'mma vote for the Republicans ennyway, but thanks, dude."

Posted by: jprichva on October 10, 2010 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

Would have been even more interesting if he had dressed up as Eva Braun...

Posted by: Athena on October 10, 2010 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

So, the murderous Nazi vermin leadership of the Republican Party denied Iott:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InsspuvAmBs

Posted by: John Thullen on October 10, 2010 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

Well, now we know what's it takes for a Tea Partier to be too extreme for the Republican party.

Posted by: a different phil on October 10, 2010 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Now, an interesting re-enactment would be to see Rich "Mengele" Iott and his co-horts attempt to stop a T-34 coming at them with live ammo.

Posted by: berttheclock on October 10, 2010 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

In his defense, Richard Iott stated that he only played the part of a Waffen SS oficer because he "liked the black/field grey uniform, it was so slimming." Iott had apparently put on a few extra pounds plotting how to create more living space in the backwoods of Ohio for himself and his followers in the backwoods of Ohio.

Posted by: broken arrow on October 10, 2010 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

I honestly read the headline as "Republicans Pretend not to Know Rich Idiot" and thought "huh ?wha ? I thought the Republicans were dedicated to serving rich idiots."

Posted by: Robert Waldmann on October 10, 2010 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

i wonder if there are any photos of the guy running around playing nazi? it would be a perfect addition to the "they don't want you to vote" video.

and of course it would make an ironic counter to the nut jobs who call obama a nazi.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on October 10, 2010 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

I know everyone is tired of this argument, but I can't help wondering what the media reaction would be to news that a Democrat had been a Nazi re-enactor ...

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on October 10, 2010 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Finally, we can sincerely compare Tea Baggers and Nazis and not break Godwin's law.

Posted by: Steve on October 10, 2010 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Wait a minute--if he's a Nazi, doesn't that make him a liberal? :)

Posted by: Nancy Irving on October 11, 2010 at 5:32 AM | PERMALINK

You know, before you describe him as a Nazi it might be worthwhile finding out what his 'extremist' positions are.

Still, obvious loser.

Posted by: Lance on October 11, 2010 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK
You can get away with a lot in conservative politics these days, but it turns out spending your weekends dressed as a Nazi, celebrating the brave Waffen 5th SS Panzer Division is still a bridge too far.

Oh, just give 'em a bit of time to think it over & the R's will be polishing (id)Iott's jackboots.

BTW, does he also like to re-enact the Scourging & Nailing down of the Jesus while dressed as a Praetorian Guard?

Posted by: cwolf on October 11, 2010 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Does Iott pass out generous supplies of S'more Schnapps to his fellow re-enactors?


Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on October 11, 2010 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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