Earlier this week, I posted about Rich Iott, who is the Republican candidate for Congress for some district in Ohio. And the reason I posted about him was because he and his friends like to dress up in Nazi uniforms, which is something a candidate for high office probably shouldn't do (IMHO).
And just to remind you, I posted a picture.
Well, Iott's campaign team wants the public to be aware of a distinction.
"Rich Iott doesn't have an anti-Semitic bone in his body," [said Iott's spokesperson], who sought to distinguish between a Nazi uniform and an SS uniform, which he said is what Iott is wearing in the now-famous image.
The Nazis were Adolf Hitler's party — and became shorthand for the German military under his rule — while the SS was an elite squadron of soldiers and law enforcers responsible for a variety of war crimes.
So first of all, I erred when I wrote that Iott was wearing a Nazi solder's uniform. He wasn't. It was an SS uniform. He wasn't posing as one of Hitler's regular soldiers, but as a member of Hitler's elite soldiers and law enforcers. Specifically, Iott engages in re-enactments where he portrays himself as a member of the Waffen SS — specifically, an SS officer in The Wiking SS. The Wiking SS was part of the 5th Panzer Division that fought bloody battles on the Eastern Front. That division was responsible for rounding up Ukranian and Hungarian Jews and murdering more than 700 in games of bloody and torturous inhumanity. Joseph Mengele was a member of that unit. And this candidate for the U.S. Senate likes to dress up as one of them and not as a regular Nazi. So I stand corrected.
Secondly, I may not be the world's highest authority on politics, but it seems to me that if your campaign spokesman is making the distinction between whether the candidate was wearing a Nazi uniform or an SS uniform, it's probably time to fold it in.