Sunday, October 10, 2010

Reenactments Participation really campaign fodder?

Wow, I really mean WOW!!!! It is Sunday morning and along with it brings tea, making breakfast for the family and reading the Star Tribune. It did not take long in reading the paper this morning to find a story that has no purpose in the election process. The story was one transplanted from the Washington Post with the tag line "GOP candidate wore Nazi uniform at reenactments". Democrats are truly worried about losing the House of Representatives, rightfully so, and have done a hit piece on Republican challenger Rich Iott. According to the article, Rich Iott participated in reenactments, with his son, of 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking as they fought the Soviets.

Rich Iott defended himself by saying, "Never, in any of my reenacting of military history, have I meant any disrespect to anyone who served in our military or anyone who has been affected by 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." Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Ryan Rudominer stated, "It sends a chilling message to all Americans, especially to our veterans and to those of the Jewish faith, that John Boehner and the Republican leadership in Washington would actively seek out a candidate like this and embrace him." Rich Iott, as of yesterday, was listed on the Republican's website as one of the "Young Guns". Is this really an issue in the campaign? Does participating in a reenactment translate to a character flaw for office?

Every year, up and down the East Coast reenactments of the Civil War takes place. Does that mean that every person that fights on the side of Johnny Reb is a racist, bigot and insensitive to minorities? This attempt to smear a challenger is why so many Americans are turned off by politics. Is Rep. Marcy Kaptur really in that much trouble of losing her House seat that she needs to campaign on a non-issue of reenactments? I am running for City Council in Hamburg this year. Granted we are talking about a small community, to many in Hamburg I am still an outsider even though I have lived there for nearly 8 years. While those seeking re-election have made decisions that I don't agree with, I will not use inflammatory attacks on their non-council decisions to win an election. I will stand on my own two feet and state my vision, principles and thoughts of what can move Hamburg forward and if that is not what residents of Hamburg seek then life will go on.

For politicians that seek to use the smear campaign or supporters of said candidates is a weak attempt and indicates, to me at least, that their candidate doesn't have the mustard to hold office. So, does it really matter that Rich Iott participated in reenactments of WWII as a SS solider?