Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Eric Cantor Helps Smear Another Republican

Eric Cantor needs to go. The supposed wunderkind Congressman from Virginia simply doesn’t have what it takes to lead a political party, especially one that can’t rely on a collaborating media. I’ve criticized him twice before, once for his pathetic condemnation of fantasy Tea Party “vitriol that could lead to assassinations” which Pelosi claimed to have heard, and once for his participation in the pathetic and cowardly Republican Pledge. Now he’s shown a lack of leadership again, this time in relation to a smear against a Republican candidate.

This Democrat-generated scandal arose when Ohio Democratic incumbent Rep. Marcy Kaptur attacked her challenger, Rick Iott, for “wearing a Nazi uniform.” That sounds kind of bad, until you realize it was part of a World War II historical re-enactment.

For those who don’t know, our country is awash in historical re-enactors. All over the country, people re-enact everything from the Revolution to the Civil War to colonial living. Recreationists study the history of a particular period or event, typically a military battle (but not always), then they collect clothing, uniforms and equipment from the period. Every so often, they venture into the field to reenact the event to the enjoyment of the assembled crowds -- if you’ve ever seen the movie Gettysburg, then it might interest you to know that all those civil war soldiers were not actors or CGI, they were re-enactors. And when they aren’t out re-enacting a battle or village life or Indian dances or famous American speeches or even Renaissance faires, many of these people visit schools to provide history lessons.

Republican candidate Rick Iott is a re-enactor. He has played the role of American soldiers in World War I, World War II, both sides in the Civil War, and. . . to the media’s ignorant horror, a German soldier in World War II. He apparently has been doing this for 30 years along with his son, both of whom are history buffs. He says that he participated as a Nazi soldier for about three years in total, and when he did, he would visit local schools to discuss the war:

"We talked about the atrocities that were committed and it was a horrible, horrible part of history. But we can't forget about it or, you know, sweep it under the rug. Because those who forget about history are destined to repeat it."
But looking for anything to exploit, Kaptur tried to portray this as Iott “wearing a Nazi uniform,” thereby suggesting that he was a secret Nazi. Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida cited this as an example of GOP candidates with extreme views when she recently appeared on Fox, again clearly meaning to imply that Iott has an affinity for the Nazis. Of course, other leftists have piled on, including Elan Steinberg, the vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors, who called Iott’s “actions” “a profoundly disgraceful expression of anti-American values.”

This is utter nonsense. Are we seriously to believe that re-enactors should re-enact only one side of a conflict lest they be considered sympathetic to the other side? And if that’s the case, then what are we to make of ultra-liberal Hollywood? Hollywood loves the Nazis. Every actor in Hollywood is craving to put on a Nazi uniform, because they think they will look cool. And usually these films entirely lack even a hint of historical merit; they certainly have less than the re-enactors. So should we conclude that Hollywood is crawling with secret Nazi sympathizers? What about Steven Spielberg, who has made at least four films that were awash in Nazis? Should we consider Spielberg’s films “a profoundly disgraceful expression of anti-American values”?

This is misleading mudslinging. This is as bad as false allegations of affairs or lies about anonymous sources claiming all kinds of perversions or hidden crimes. This is McCarthyism with his secret list of communists. What’s worse, this is exploitation of a horrific event, WWII, to score cheap political points. This is using Hitler as an advertisement. These people should be ashamed of themselves. They are a disgrace.

And that brings me to Eric Cantor. Cantor was asked about this on Fox News, right after Schultz blathered on about this. Was his response to point out the ludicrousness of tarring millions of Americans and exploiting one of history’s greatest crimes to try to save a failing candidate? No. His response was what his responses have always been: he repudiated Iott. After saying that he would not support someone who would dress in Nazi attire, he said, “You know good and well that I don’t support anything like that.”

Here’s the thing Eric. This is a Democratic smear. They’ve taken a valid and much-participated-in hobby, which is intended to honor the history of our country, and they’ve twisted it into something that it is not, so they can scare their base. And you fell for it Eric.

If you didn’t know the facts of this situation, then you should have made that clear and you should have begged off on condemning anyone until you knew the truth. . . because you know the Democrats lie and distort for political gains. Your instinct to throw a member of your own party under the bus on the distorted word of a Democrat is shameful and tells me that you are incapable of leading conservatives.

And I'm glad to say that Iott called you out on this: "What Cantor did is exactly the illustration of why people are disgusted with politicians. He made comments and took a position that was good for him at the time, regardless of whether it was good for anyone else or good for the voters."

What’s more, if you did know the truth Eric, and you still chose not to stand up for Iott and the millions of others out there who have participated in this hobby, then you’re an elitist a~shole who doesn’t understand anything about the history of our country or the respect that these people have for it, and again, you are not capable of leading a party that represents average Americans.

I also question why you couldn’t get yourself to make the obvious connection that what these people do has much more historical merit and purpose than Hollywood dusting off their Nazis uniforms because they think they look cool. Why do you instinctively condemn your own side, yet ignore the same thing you condemn when it’s done by the other side?

In any event, Mr. Cantor, you are tool and you should step down.


Unknown said...

Andrew: Well, let's face it. The Nazis had the best uniforms, all thanks to the couturier to the SS--Hugo Boss. These Hollywood fruitcakes can't wait to get into some of Hugo's best creations without giving a second thought to what it represents or why they're wearing it. It's just really cool drag.

As for Cantor, he needs to take a chill pill and retire. If there were anything legitimate to the story, I'd be right there with him denouncing the candidate who dons Nazi garb because of unpardonable political views. But a re-enactor? Get a grip Cantor. At least he wasn't wearing the favorite garb of the Democrats--a Che tee-shirt.

StanH said...

I know! Eric Cantor snivels, and has the charisma of a CPA. Our spokesmen need to be agile counterpunchers, not apologist for the liberal invective of the day. I’ll have to say that the left has trained the Republicans well, they spew, the Republicans apologize, it’s pitiful. We have much work to do.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Same here. If this guy spent his time wearing Nazi gear or insignia (as so many on the left do with history's other great butchers. . . Stalin, Mao, etc.), then I would condemn him as well. But that's not the case.

(Good point about Hugo Boss.)

And for Cantor to instinctively condemn this without having any idea what he's talking about really shows the problem with him -- a problem that he's demonstrated more than once. He jumped up to denounce the "vitriol" that Pelosi claimed to hear coming from the Tea Party, when everyone knew she was just smearing them. He also ran around the country warning people not to engage in "extreme rhetoric" which seems to have been code for "anything that upsets Pelosi."

This guy is not a leader.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I couldn't agree more. It's time to get rid of all of these people who've played this game so long that they no longer know what's right and what's wrong or how to defend it.

It's pathetic, and it needs to stop.

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, I've just seen (on the front page of Yahoo) that this "scandal" has made it into The Atlantic which describes the group as one "that pays tribute to the exploits of the lethal German Waffen SS unit."

So I guess I should correct my article to note that all those films Hollywood produce are "paying tribute to Hitler."

Unknown said...

Andrew: Hollywood likes Nazis so much that they put them into scripts where they don't even belong. Case in point--The Sum of All Fears. In the book, the terrorists were very realistic Islamists. In the movie, they were neo-Nazis working to restore the old order. Hugo Boss has yet to come up with a really cool Islamic terrorist outfit, so they have to go with what they know. Maybe Cantor could become an "adviser" to the Hollywood set (at least he could help them balance their books).

Game Master Rob Adams said...

I do Pirate and Southern/Union ACW reenactments. I also wargame and play various factions including my own designs for my own Victorian Science Fiction game. Does that mean that I am a Separatist (kinda), Nazi (nope) or will somehow side with the Martians instead of Tom Cruise when they attack? Does that mean that I will follow the Green Men on Barsoom to attack the Media Giant in Helium? No. Does that mean that the Media will obviously print these stories against me? You betcha. Why? It's the media and it's what they do. Leap, write the story, then correct the errors. Makes perfect sense.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I don't think anyone is going to come up with a really cool al Qaeda costume... even Hugo Boss! Plus, actresses won't look cool with the beards!

Good point on Sum of All Fears by the way. And don't forget that every SciFi show has it's Nazi episodes and even when aliens aren't Nazis, they sure look it.

If this really is an issue and not just another convenient liberal smear, then Hollywood has a lot to answer for!

Game Master Rob Adams said...

"al Qaeda costume"... and even if you did you would be told you were being openminded... :DF

Joel Farnham said...


The Tea Partiers have no use for Cantor. He is just returning the favor. Tea Partiers won't forget.

This is another fake controversy like the Whitman one. Hopefully, the only blowback from this is Cantor loses his position in Congress.

AndrewPrice said...

ACG, I know who not to trust when the Martians show up! LOL!

Seriously, historical recreation is hugely popular in several places I've lived (though I've never participated) and none of those people are sympathetic to the bad things that one side or the other represented. In each case, they had an interest in history and wanted to honor the people who fought.

The idea that somehow this was meant to promote Nazism or slavery or piracy is ridiculous. And you're right, this is a great smear for the media to use this week. Next week, when it's a Democrat, the same reporters will do a piece on how it's great the Democrat wants to keep history alive.

It's pathetic and hypocritical.

What bothers me is that someone in the Republican leadership would fall for this obvious smear.

AndrewPrice said...

ACG, Isn't that the truth. They would do stories on how great you were because you were trying to "understand" a "misunderstood people"

. . . who are trying to kill us and impose a repressive religion on us.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I honestly hope so. Every time Cantor has opened his mouth I've gotten upset. He is the classic example of a guy who has been so corrupted by the system (assuming he didn't come to Washington that way) that he can no longer be trusted. His entire judgment is to act as the lapdog of the Democrats and to stall, slow or destroy the efforts of his own side.

It's time for a little addition by subtraction by send him packing.

BevfromNYC said...

This is one of the most ridiculous issues/smear attempts of the entire campaign seaons.

BTW did anyone ever ask Iott which battle they were re-enacting and if it was one the Nazi's won? That might have been a clue.

Well personally, I think it makes much more sense to do re-enactments with only the Allies, the North, the American Patriots because the day is just so much shorter.

"Look, we made the other side runaway, the [Nazi/Rebel/Tory] scum! Okay, anyone want to get a beer?"

Very Interesting. I did not know that Hugo Boss manufactured Nazi uniforms.

Game Master Rob Adams said...

"Very Interesting. I did not know that Hugo Boss manufactured Nazi uniforms."

I wonder where I can get mine!

BevfromNYC said...

ArmChair - I would bet you cash money that somewhere in Hugo Boss' archives they still have the original patterns...

AndrewPrice said...

Bev and ACG,

Wow, shows you what I know! I was going to comment that Hugo Boss made the uniforms for Tom Cruise's movie Valkyerie, not the real thing. But I decided to look it up to make sure.

Sure enough, from the L.A. Times:

The German clothing factory that eventually became the international menswear powerhouse Hugo Boss manufactured Nazi uniforms during World War II and most likely did so using slave labor.

The revelation appeared in the latest issue of the Austrian current affairs magazine Profil. A statement from Hugo Boss AG, which is based in Metzingen, Germany, details and confirms much of the account.

AndrewPrice said...

Here's the link: Hugo Boss story

CrispyRice said...

Gee, thanks, Eric! >>eyeroll<<

What do we have to do to get rid of HIM? Ugh...

Unknown said...

Andrew: I assume that means you will never doubt me again, infidel!

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, I don't know, but I do know that I will support anyone who runs against him from the right.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Nope, won't doubt you. Well, actually, I still doubt that Boss could create a cool al Qaeda costume. LOL!

T_Rav said...

What an idiot. By that logic, re your picture, I guess Tom Cruise and every other actor who has donned a Nazi uniform is also a Nazi sympathizer.

This bothers me more than that the Democrats made the charge in the first place--it's par for the course, after all, and they clearly don't have anything better to attack Iott with. But that Cantor would go along with it? (smacks forehead) Of course, I'm still a little annoyed that he was brought on Hannity with Ryan and the other guy not too long ago as one of the GOP's "Young Guns." If that's the case--no thank you.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, Agreed. It doesn't surprise me that the Democrats would make this charge -- they'll say anything no matter how stupid or vile. But that Cantor fell for this or played along is what bothers me!

And you're right about the young guns. I like Paul Ryan a lot, but I do not respect Cantor at all and I would be very leery of any group he supposedly leads. (I couldn't pick the third guy -- Kevin McCarthy -- out of a line up.)

Tennessee Jed said...

he has certainly hurt his chances as a young rising star. the quick renunciation is what i would expect from obama's white house.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I know. And this isn't the first time either. That's what's bothering me. Everything he says seems to be the exact knee-jerk response the liberals want from him. That's a troubling trait for someone who wants to lead a conservative movement.

Joel Farnham said...


Cantor doesn't want to lead conservatives. He wants to lead liberal Republicans.

A rising young star? That is like the stuff being told about Obama, our first post racial president. Rising young star is just hype from the Republican Elites.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, It seems that way. I see Paul Ryan as a rising star. He's bright, he's solidly conservative, he's strangely charismatic and people everywhere are taking note of him.

But Cantor doesn't fit any of that. He seems like a guy who simply moved up by serving time, and now needs to find a public relations reason why this wasn't just time served. That's why it always struck me as strange that he was part of this "young guns" group -- especially since he's never held a real job outside of politics and he seems to have been a hanger on for a decade now.

That's more like a "second tier insider" than a "young gun."

T_Rav said...

Andrew, does anyone even know who Kevin McCarthy is? I was so unsure I deliberately left him out because I wasn't sure that was the right name.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I know absolutely nothing about him. I guess I could look him up, but if I have to look him up, then he's not exactly setting the world on fire.


Soooo, I looked him up. Turns out he's a career politician with little to commend him except that's worked for other politicians. In fact, his claim to fame seems to be helping to produce the 2008 Republican Platform. . . . which was such a pathetic joke that it actually got me started blogging just so I could tell the Republicans to f..k off.

Ed said...

What a load! The Democrats must be hurting to try to turn this into something, and Cantor is an idiot for stepping into this.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Agreed on both points.

Ed said...

I saw an article on this today and they tried to spin this as "belonging to a group that celebrated Nazi achievements." I repeat - what a load!

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, That's the spin they want to put on this. That's why people like Cantor need to learn to stand up and call "BS" on these types of allegations.

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