The Quasqueton American Legion Post’s endorsement of a local resident running for Congress in the 1st District is having unintended consequences.
American Legion Post 434 endorsed Ben Lange, a Republican who grew up in the Buchanan County community and hopes to win the GOP nomination for 1st District Congress.
“It is our privilege to endorse Ben Lange as a homegrown Iowan, as an authentic and steadfast citizen, and as a trusted gentleman who will stand firm for the cause of freedom,” post commander Cleon Ohrt said in a recent announcement. Lange faces three other Republicans in the party’s June 8 primary to choose a nominee to face Rep. Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, in November.
There’s just one problem: the American Legion doesn’t endorse political candidates.
“Never, never, never have we endorsed candidates,” said John Ross of Osage, a past American Legion state commander and now a national executive committee member. “This really floored me.”
This feels a bit like when an attorney asks a leading question of a witness, designed to create an idea in the jurors’ minds, and the opposing counsel objects and the objection is sustained. The judge can tell the jury to disregard the question, and the idea it suggested, but jurors can’t unthink thoughts their minds have already considered.
“The voters will disregard the American Legion’s endorsement of Ben Lange.”
Lange’s campaign also has a pretty cool web video that reminds me of a theatrical trailer. I kept waiting to hear Nancy Pelosi bellow, “Unleash the Kraken!”