See if you can find the Republican U. S. House of Representatives candidate in this photo:

Image courtesy The Atlantic

The individual second from the right in the photo is Rich Iott, a Tea Party favorite who happens to be the Republican nominee for Congress from Ohio’s 9th District. As first reported by The Atlantic, for years Iott donned a German Waffen SS uniform and participated in Nazi re-enactments. As noted by Charles W. Sydnor, Jr., a retired history professor and author, re-enactments like the Wiking group’s are illegal in Germany and Austria, and “If you were to put on an SS uniform in Germany today, you’d be arrested.”

In explaining his participation in the Nazi reenactment group, Iott said he joined the group over five years ago “as a father-son bonding thing.” Now maybe I’m crazy, but of all the possible father-son bonding activities I can think of for my son and I do to together, joining a Nazi reenactment group isn’t on the list.

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84 Responses to Find the Republican in this photo

  1. Proud Progressive says:

    “tea party favorite” speaks volumes…

  2. Proud Progressive says:

    He was part of Paul Ryans “young guns” also…

  3. Notalib says:

    WOW did you get your DEMOCRATIC TALKING POINTS WEEKLY EMAIL late this week? This is old news on all of the progressive blogs and OBAMA MEDIA OUTLETS, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC,they have beat this non story.

    Is this the best you progressives can do?

    I guess living in your sheltered world you never attended a civil war reenactment, did you know that there are people who dress like Confederate soldiers, we all know how you hate anything related to the south during the civil war. Since you have never been to that I assume you also have never been to a WWII re-enactment…..this may surprise you because we know how the left likes to re-write history but there was actually someone besides the US involved in that war, so in order to have a reenactment you would need people who play that part…..but I am sure this is going a little over your closed minded points on the top of your heads so I will just let you go back to making jackasses out of yourself with this issue.

  4. Proud Progressive says:

    if thats the case nota, why did Ryan/cantor scrub him from the young guns website???

  5. Proud Progressive says:

    Yes, the same reason that the Walker campaign scrubbed Jill Baders racist tweets when Obama was in WI. Because they are racist and disgusting and they dont want to be associated with them.

  6. Mark says:

    Since when did portraying a German soldier in a WWII reinactment immediately mean you are a racist? I guess Tom Cruise (who played a German soldier in some crappy movie recently) is also racist?

    Proud, this is a red herring, and continues to show just how far you will reach to “prove” racism.

    I dressed up as a Native American during Boy Scouts as we did traditional dance reinactments. So I’m a racist as well?

    What’s next, grade school pictures of Ron Johnson in a Halloween costume?

    Pathetic.

  7. Anon says:

    My grandfather was a German soldier in WW2 and I’m certain he would have a few (or more) choice words for these clowns. Some things should not be reenacted.

    • Mark says:

      You have GOT to be kidding me. You get your undies in a bundle because someone dresses in military uniforms to REENACT military battles, and equate this to being a skinhead. So, do we bar theaters from using German military uniforms?

      Heck, what about Civil War reenactments, want to bar those as well?

      Have you EVER been outside your little woe-is-me bubble long enough to attend one of these reenactments? It’s a big acting session, no more.

      However, being that you have NO OTHER ARGUMENT to back up your candidates, you continually lob sh!t to hope it sticks. Again, pathetic.

      • Anon says:

        Mark…are you on something?? Where in my comment did I ever mention skinheads?? Do you think you can stop making things up and putting words in my mouth??

        • Mark says:

          Then why the outrage? For some reason you think that just because someone wants to dress up and do a battlefield reenactment that it’s akin to believing what the German army stood for. No, you didn’t use skinheads, but you and Proud have certainly insinuated that just because someone attends these events they are somehow racist.

          The first post put this as a NAZI reenactment, which it wasn’t.

          Again, pathetic.

          • Anon says:

            Again…Mark…what are you on??

            • I believe Mark may be trying to make the same point I made below.

              • Anon says:

                Mr. Melnick…if you are making the same point as Mark you must be on something too.

                Oh…BTW…a little off topic…but since you were talking about others being hypocritical…I have to ask…don’t you think it’s a little hypocritical for you to reap the benefits of belonging to a union while being employed by the government all the while criticising others for doing the same…??

                • A single line insult from you and I’m the one who’s “on something”?

                  If you had a better argument, perhaps you wouldn’t need to sidetrack the discussion by being “a little off topic”, but since you feel the need to go there…I’ll respond…

                  If I were, I would be…but since I haven’t, I’m not. 🙂

                  Being hypocritical would be watching subordinates take furlough days, while refusing to do so personally…like Lil’ Johnny Weishan.

                  • Zach says:

                    Refresh my memory….did Scott Walker take furlough days along with all those county employees he furloughed?

                    • Notalib says:

                      When I had to take furlough days at my job I was not allowed to use holidays we had tuo use actual work days, once again governemnet workers get catered to with no real suffering line real world workers

                    • Zach says:

                      Notalib, exactly which government workers were allowed to use holidays in place of furloughs? It’s an honest question, because policies may differ, but I can speak with certainty that my furlough days were unpaid days off; I was prohibited from using “holidays” in place of a furlough. What’s more, my loss in pay due to the furlough is taken out of my checks, so I’m clearly seeing the effect of furlough days.

                      Not sure if furlough policies differ from agency to agency or at the county level, and that’s why I asked you to cite a specific example.

                    • Zach says:

                      Oh, and you didn’t answer my question, Notalib. Using Roland’s example of County Supervisor Weishan, should we also expect Scott Walker to have taken a commensurate amount of furlough days as his subordinates? If Roland’s making the argument that County Supervisors should be willing to feel their subordinates’ pain by taking the same number of furlough days, then we should hold Scott Walker to the same high standard.

                    • Actually, Walker goes beyond what any other County worker does. He gives back his pay without taking the time off that goes with furlough days. For several years, he took a 40% pay cut while still working full time. Refresh my memory please…how many furlough days did County workers get this year? 10? 20? If it was 20, that would probably amount to a 10% pay cut. At least they got time off. Walker didn’t. To this day, I believe Walker forfeits 10% of his pay.

                  • Anon says:

                    I have a perfectly good argument. I wrote two sentences and neither one of them had the words “racist” or “skinhead” or “Nazi” in them…so if you are making the point Mark is making then you are also way off.

                    I wouldn’t have to go off topic if you’d just answer a simple question without dodging it. You are a government employee and a union member…right? I dare you to deny it.

                    • “I wouldn’t have to go off topic if you’d just answer a simple question without dodging it. You are a government employee and a union member…right?”

                      Nope.

      • Zach says:

        I guess I don’t understand why anyone would want to act like a Nazi, especially considering the atrocities committed by the Nazis.

  8. PartiallyBlue says:

    Unless and until there is more to this story then make believe, I’ll reserve judgement. There are many pretenders in the world. Like the dudes in Satanic cults who have horns surgically planted on their skulls. Disgusting and damnable but unless there is evidence of emulation, I’ll just figure this guy is weird and not evil.

  9. Military re-enactments, like Star Wars or Star Trek scene re-enactments, are kinda dorky in my opinion. But for a lot of people, it’s a serious endeavor. Ever see a large scale Civil War re-enactment? Would you label all of those who put on Confederate Army uniforms as racists? As supporting slavery? As supporting secession from the US?

    In all honesty, I never even heard of Rich Iott before reading this story. I know nothing about him. That said, I think there’s a difference between re-enacting WWII military engagements and dressing up in Nazi garb to spout racist, supremecist rhetoric. If this was a White Supremacist club meeting, I doubt they’d have some dude in a British Air Force uniform in their midst.

    Zach, I once asked you why you hadn’t criticized a Democrat from another area of the country. At the time, your excuse was that you don’t comment on politicians and their races if they aren’t your representative. Apparently, your hypocrisy doesn’t apply to cheap shots on Conservatives/Republicans/Tea Partiers regardless of their constituency.

    • Zach says:

      If I recall correctly, I said I don’t focus my attention on politicians and races outside of Wisconsin, which I don’t…..this story just happened to catch my eye.

    • Proud Progressive says:

      I do not think this is a cheap shot at all, I think it speaks to the whole body of work of the tea party nationwide.

      When Freedomworks and the Koch Brothers tapped into the anger they had no idea what they were unleashing. They were able to control most of it but not all of it.

      • forgotmyscreenname says:

        You really need to move beyond your Koch Brother conspiracy theory. Millions of people (not just those who showed up at rallies) don’t rise up and tap into the same anger/frustration/disapproval because 2 rich brothers made them.

  10. Proud Progressive says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/10/eric-cantor-rich-iott_n_757235.html

    House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) sought on Sunday to quickly and clearly distance the Republican Party from a GOP candidate whose past participation in Nazi re-enactments surfaced this weekend.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/10/rich-iott-defends-nazis-he-dresses-up-as-they-were-doing-what-they-thought-was-right-video.php

    Rich Iott Defends Nazis He Dresses Up As: ‘They Were Doing What They Thought Was Right’ (VIDEO)

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/39623800#39623800

    “I Don’t want this to become the new normal.”

    I agree with you completely Mark….PATHETIC!

    • T. says:

      Whoa whoa.

      But seriously? I was agreeing with PartiallyBlue a bit before, but reading that article and seeing this?

      “I don’t think we can sit here and judge that today. We weren’t there the time they made those decisions.”

      No we can judge those decisions with no problem because we should think and be aware what lead to that. I don’t care if the justification is “Some of them had good intentions!” – regardless of ‘good intentions’ terrible things were done. I’m not saying every person who was with the Nazis was a monster, since that’s a broad brush – but if you justify it was ‘oh they did what they thought was right’ with a small shrug towards the millions that died?

      Disrespectful.

  11. Notalib says:

    Eric Cantor is currently the only Jewish Republican in the United States Congress so he would distance himself from it. Not a surprise.

  12. forgotmyscreenname says:

    I guess you’d also have a problem with the History Channel that has many re-enactments, Steven Speilberg (Jewish I believe but didn’t have a problem with people putting on Nazi uniforms in several of his movies), Mel Brooks, etc, etc, etc.

    It’s not about him wearing a costume/uniform, but the context of it.

    • T. says:

      … But it is the context.

      He brushed over the fact that millions died to just say, “I don’t think we can sit here and judge that today. We weren’t there the time they made those decisions.”

      • forgotmyscreenname says:

        You talk about context… and then take a quote out of context. I’m not going to defend this guy because I don’t know a thing about him, but I think all you guys are making an issue out of nothing because Democrats are desperate. Here’s the full context, T. You can see he was talking about rank and file fighting the Soviets. I don’t know that I would go so far as to praise them for valiance, but are we really debating WWII this election year?

        ———————————
        Ohio Congressional candidate Rich Iott got grilled by Anderson Cooper
        last night on his rather unusual hobby of dressing up as a member of
        the 5th SS Wiking Panzer Division, a unit in the German army during
        World War II.

        Iott defended the members of the unit, who he said “wanted to fight
        what they saw as a bigger threat to them than Germany,” so they joined
        up with the Nazis to fight the eastern front of the war against Soviet
        forces.

        “I don’t think we can sit here and judge that today. We weren’t there
        the time they made those decisions,” he said.

        Iott called “what happened in Germany during the second World War one
        of “the low points in human history,” but defended the Wiking Division
        when Cooper referred to them as collaborators:

        “I don’t know that I would put that label on them. They were doing
        what they thought was right for their country. And they were going out
        and fighting what they thought was a bigger, you know, a bigger evil.”

        Iott also contended that “this particular unit was one that was never
        charged with war crimes,” though Cooper pointed out that one member
        was recently charged with the murder of 58 Jews.

        Iott replied:
        “The war on the eastern front was extremely brutal on both sides.
        Nobody was lily-white, that’s for sure. Horrible things that happened
        on both sides.”

        Cooper also asked about the reenators’ website, which he said
        describes members of the Wiking unit as “valiant men.”

        He asked Iott if he believed these were “valiant men.”

        “I think that they thought they were fighting for their homeland,”
        Iott said.

        When pressed further, he replied:
        “I don’t think we can sit here and judge that today. We weren’t there
        the time they made those decisions.”

        • “…are we really debating WWII this election year?”

          Desperate times call for desperate accusations.

          • Anon says:

            This isn’t a debate about WW2. Try to keep up.

            • forgotmyscreenname says:

              Right I know, it’s about picking out obscure facts on Republican opponents trying to somehow tarnish them because Democrats have no real agenda to run on. “I hear Candidate X likes Dutch apple pie… that must mean he favors liberalized drug laws.” With under 3 weeks to go, it will come to that. Laughable. If you guys didn’t care about Jeremiah Wright and all that stuff, I don’t see why you should care about anything of this.

        • T. says:

          I’ve read the whole context of it. That was just the point I had a kneejerk reaction.

          However what he is doing is putting a label on them himself. It’s his wording that is ridiculous, he’s saying it in a romanticizing way that the Nazi’s themselves tried to sell themselves.

          Many times, it’s not like that. Sometimes it a lot like what happens in the United States. A lot of these people go into the military to supposedly have a chance at a better life, to get away from something. A lot of them went to fight because they had no other choice. Or didn’t know what they were getting into in the first place and were brainwashed.

          As I said before, it is the context of it that bothers me. It’s the fact he’s romanticizing ‘fighting for the country’ and them being ‘valiant’. Even if many of those people were genuinely good? Good people can do terrible things. Also I get on this case for the Soviets too, who were also terrible. I will say nobody in War is pure as a white lily – but the way he justified it is what bothers me.

          Frankly, I rarely get into the discussion of Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies – it always goes downhill fast. ( And trust me, get miffed at the left who toss FASCIST and NAZI – which is why I can’t always stomach Keith Olbermann. He brings up good points, but sometimes … no. )

  13. Nope not debating WWII at all, what we are showing is the people behind the tea party “movement”

    • Notalib says:

      Oh so now he is BEHIND the movement OMG you progressives are hysterical with your desperation. were you all this up set with KKK Byrd was wearing a white sheet terroizing blacks, probablynot.

    • forgotmyscreenname says:

      Proud, so you disagree with President Obama?

      Asked about the tea party during an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today, Obama stated, “I think that it is a still loose amalgam of forces,” and “[t]here are some folks who just weren’t sure whether I was born in the United States, whether I was a socialist, right? So there’s that segment of it which I think is just dug in ideologically, and that strain has existed in American politics for a long time.” Obama added, “Then I think that there’s a broader circle around that core group of people who are legitimately concerned about the deficit, who are legitimately concerned that the federal government may be taking on too much.” He further stated: “I think those are folks who have legitimate concerns. And so I wouldn’t paint in broad brush and say that, you know, everybody who’s involved or have gone to a tea party rally or a meeting are somehow on the fringe. Some of them, I think, have some mainstream, legitimate concerns.”

      • I disagree somewhat with president obama here. He gave the politically correct answer because he has to. I would bet they have a different view of them behind closed door. That being said I do think many of them have mainstream legitimate concerns, unfortunately they are directing that anger at the wrong people.

        also FYI its not a theory that the koch brothers bankrolled the tea party,its pretty well documented.

  14. Notalib says:

    Everytime the DOT is closed for furlough its always a holiday if it is different for you Zach I then aplogize, I was at the understanding all governemnet workers had the same furlough schedule, Again I apologize to you.

    • Zach says:

      Notalib, I think you’re confusing things just a touch. I – along with thousands of other state employees – was furloughed yesterday, which just so happens to have been Columbus Day. However, despite the furlough being mandated for yesterday, none of us were paid holiday pay. The powers that be decided for us which days we’d be furloughed, and in many cases the days that were chosen were picked so as to coincide with federal holidays or days of lower volume, such as the day after Thanksgiving, Columbus Day, etc.

      Rest assured, state employees who are furloughed (at least in my agency) are actually taking a pay cut as a result of the furlough, as it should be, otherwise we’d be defeating the point of furloughs as a cost-saving measure.

      And there’s no need to apologize to me; I just wanted to clear up any confusion so that we’re all on the same page about how furloughs have been implemented.

  15. Byrd quit the KKK in 1952, quite a few years before i was born and FYI he is dead now. I, understand that it is the one thing you have to hold onto to prove equality so by all means continue….

    and no Iott is not behind the tea party, we know the koch brothers are the ones behind the tea party….he is just one of the fan favorites…

    • Notalib says:

      I see so because it was before you were born and he is dead its a forgotten atrocity. I guess then since WWII happened before you were born and they are all dead now again it should just be wiped from the history books in teh world of the progessive

      • Actually no, but I will explain it in simple terms, although I am sure we will have to re-visit this next time another republican does or says something racist. It is about a full body of work. Byrd while we he did in the 40’s was abhorrent he them went on to do some good things in the Senate. Although I probably would of never voted for him so I will not defend him too strongly.

        Now contrast that to the “tea party” and while they have racist undertones, they did some good things…..hmmmm i will have to think on that one…

  16. Notalib says:

    Did Tom Barret take any furlough days or is this just for county workers

    • Zach says:

      I don’t believe Barrett took any furlough days, and if memory serves me, my County Supervisor (Pat Jursik) had some bogus explanation for why she wasn’t taking any furlough days along with county employees.

      • Notalib says:

        Then why just single out Walker?

        • Zach says:

          For the same reason Roland singled out John Weishan.

          Ultimately though, I really don’t care what political party elected officials belong to; if they’re going to furlough their subordinates as a cost-saving measure, then they should be willing to hold themselves (not to mention their senior managers) to the same standard.

        • Singling out Weishan made sense because he is unwilling to make any personal sacrifice.

          Singling out Walker for not literally taking furlough days is ridiculous. The salary Walker forfeited voluntarily amounted to taking two furlough days every week of every month of every year…only Walker worked those days.

  17. Notalib says:

    Hey did you guys see the miners are coming up, now that is something that really has meaning and puts the petty squabbling here into perspective.

    • T. says:

      I really hope nothing actually goes wrong since Chile has one of the most deadly records for mines.

      The third one was just coming up now from what I last checked.

  18. Anon says:

    Has anyone noticed Roland Melnick hasn’t answered my question yet?? I wonder why? It’s a simple question…Roland. Are you a government employee who belongs to a union??

  19. I think you’re on something, “Anon.”

  20. What are you talking about? I haven’t dodged anything.

    • Anon says:

      Well…perhaps I’m not understanding you. My question to you is: Are you a government employee and a union member? Try a “yes” or a “no” so there won’t be anymore confusion on my part. Thanks so much.

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