Politics & Policy

Rich Iott: Historical Re-enactor

The Marcy Kaptur campaign in OH-9 has released what can only be its October surprise: Republican challenger Rich Iott is a historical re-enactor…of the Nazi invasion of Communist Russia. And he reenacts the Nazi side. Yeah.

Now, I’m all for two evil totalitarian superpowers killing each other, but Americans romanticizing it by reenacting it? That’s a little dodgy. Iott’s campaign puts out the following statement:

“Anyone who knows me would tell you that I am a proud American who loves this country and loves Freedom and those who have died fighting to preserve it. The despicable accusations and distortions of the truth that have been leveled at me, sadly exemplify why people have lost faith in the political process and with the media as well.

“Never, in any of my re-enacting of military history, have I meant any disrespect to anyone who served in our military or anyone who has been affected by the tragedy of war. I have immense respect for veterans who served our country valiantly, particularly those who fought to rid the world of tyranny and aggression by relegating Nazism to the trash heap of history. In fact, my respect for the military and our veterans is one of the reasons I have actively studied military history throughout my life.

“Historical re-enacting is a hobby enjoyed by millions of men – and women – around the world. I have been involved in historical re-enacting from many different eras since I was in college. When my son was old enough to participate, it became a hobby that the two of us could do together and I’m grateful for the father-son bonding we shared as we participated in the events.”

“This election needs to be about issues, not false character attacks. Middle class families are struggling and honest people are out of work, which is why I hope my opponent will join me in condemning these blatant distortions and attacks and pledge to focus on the issues that Ohioans so desperately want Washington to address.”

David Frum suggests an interesting title for Iott’s next ad: “I’m not a Nazi…I’m you.”

In all seriousness, though, this is bizarre at bare minimum. I understand it’s Halloween, but come on, guys. There’s a story here, which is that Iott is clearly a flip-flopper. I mean, look at this line from the Atlantic’s article on the subject:

He added that he has participated in re-enactments as a Civil War Union infantryman, a World War I dough boy and World War II American infantryman and paratrooper.

Marcy Kaptur needs to get on this — I’m sure that somewhere, there’s another reenactor willing to talk. Start a “Fake Nazis for Truth” group already! Did Rich Iott serve in the fake war on the Russians, or was he in fact a World War I dough boy? These are the big questions we must be asking!

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