Friday, October 08, 2010

Tea for Adolf

Y'know, you can't paint that whole reactionary Tea Party with the racist paintbrush. But sometimes...the story just writes itself:

The Atlantic's Josh Green reports that millionaire businessman Rich Iott, the Republican nominee challenging Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D) in Ohio's Ninth District, has an unusual hobby: He likes to pretend he's a Nazi.

Iott, a tea party-backed candidate, spent time fighting another battle before he hit the campaign trail against Kaptur as a member of the 5th SS Wiking Panzer Division, a group of Ohio World War II reenactors.

According to their website, the Wikings strive to "salute" the "idealists" from occupied northern Europe who saw the Third Reich as "the protector of personal freedom and their very way of life" and signed up to fight for the Wermacht and "gave their lives for their loved ones and a basic desire to be free."

I'm guessing that we can say Mr. Iott's Congressional hopes...auf wiedersehen?


Mark Moran said...

Seriously?! I know Richard Iott - he was one of the executive producers and financiers of Beautiful Boy! He's also put up money for a number of other indy films. He was on our set several times and seems like a really nice and smart guy.

Are you sure he's not just interested in history and thinks reenactments are fun? After all, if you're going to reenact WWII, someone has to be the Nazis.

I encourage your other readers to read the whole article. I don't think it's quite as extreme as your edits make it out to be.

Mark Netter said...

It's unfortunate that Iott may be a nice guy and a funder of independent films but has been painted with such a brush. And I think his statement in response seemed honest. It's just that the organization he's a part of is named after a terrorizing arm of the SS, their site minimizes the actual horrors of the Holocaust, and it appears insensitive or ignorant at best. And now even now his own Party is running away from him.

That's politics -- I recently spoke with someone who loves Tiger Woods because of an extraordinary day he provided for a Make-a-Wish child. It proves there are many sides to all of us...but some just make for a lousy political profile.