Thursday, October 14, 2010

Yesterday Belongs to Them

(With a little help from D r i f t g l a s s)

That's really the only difference between the Republican and Nazi Parties: The Nazis thought the future belonged to them. The Republicans, starting with Reagan, think the past belongs to them.

Take the case of Rich Iott. Now, those of us who are history buffs can appreciate the thrill of putting on period costume and to more or less walk in the jackboots shoes of those who'd trod before them in desperate battle. Civil War re-enactors do it all the time and we don't vilify those who put on Confederate uniforms because someone has to play them. After all, there was an enemy for the Union to fight, right?

But it comes off as looking typical, if not outright stereotypical, when you see a Republican and Tea Bagger favorite like Rich Iott dress up as a Nazi. After all, we all know the foundation for the right wing think tanks that would eventually write policy for Republican administrations were generously seeded with Nazis smuggled into our government and industry by Republicans who nonetheless shared an ideological kinship.

Which is at stark odds with the Republican Party's love-hate relationship with Nazis and Hitler as they automatically dust off and wave around the swastika flag at Democrats, liberals and anyone else they feel the need to smear. And this beggars the inevitable question: If the Nazis were such loathsome chaps, then why dress up like them, study their history, bring them to the seat of our federal government, introduce them to US industry and even speak at their functions?

Plus, one would be a fool to completely dismiss Naomi Wolf's 2007 top 10 list. Our nation had already become a fascist/Republican dictatorship under Bush years before then, starting with them creating bogey men a little more common and relevant than scorched Nazi skeletons.

There's also an infuritating double standard at play here: When Obama was whipping people into a pre-election frenzy, it was derided by the Little Goebbels at Fox "News" as a mere cult of personality. His rally near the Berlin Wall was compared to speeches given by, you guessed it, Nazis. It was generally agreed upon by right wing mouth-breathers like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity that if a black man proved to be popular, then there was either something wrong with America or the black man was "indoctrinating" right proper white folks with something sneaky and underhanded. One Tea Bagger doctor even suggested it was mass hypnosis not unlike the bad guy's plan in Halloween III.

Oh, but when greedy, self-dealing corporations and special self-interest groups Republican statesmen whip Tea Partiers into a frenzy, it's termed "stirring the patriotic masses" or whatever bilge that spews from Karl Rove's fax machine.

Pay no attention to the fact that Obama's supporters weren't guilty of hurling racial epithets and calling McCain a terrorist and screaming "Kill him!" or holding up misspelled signs ridiculing McCain or Palin as being the racist scumbags they really are.

Liberal enthusiasm: Mass hypnosis, indoctrination, cult of personality.

Conservative enthusiasm: Patriotism and passion.

Got it?

So what are we to do with Nazi-loving bags of pus like Rich Iott and Tony Zirkle, who thinks we're so stupid as to believe that he can stand before a huge portrait of Adolph Hitler and address neonazis in full uniform on Hitler's birthday and not know what they stood for?

Why dress up in the uniform of the Nazi SS Waffen, part of the same Einsatzgruppen who were guilty of rounding up dozens of Jews and killing them before tossing their bodies in a mass grave? They were our sworn enemies and a political/military movement that still makes the skin of every Jew crawl whether or not they lived through the Holocaust, putting dread and loathing of the Nazi Party on an atavistic level. The confederates did none of those things.

Yet somehow, Iott, with typical or stereotypical Republican obliviousness, doesn't understand what all the fuss is about even when his own party beginning with Eric Cantor is turning their back on him (putting Iott in the nearly pathetic position of going on CNN and counter-denouncing Cantor, calling him "a Democrat.").

Let's get one thing straight: It wasn't a case of Iott reluctantly wearing a Nazi uniform because someone had to play them: Iott expressed a fascination for the Wiking regiment without knowing or caring that the real life version of the SS Waffen murdered innocent Jews. He also thought it would make for a wonderful "bonding experience" with his son.

Personally, I don't see the thrill of re-enacting wars. I've worn the uniform and I've killed for my country. There's nothing glorious about it. But civilians seem to seek that vicarious thrill as long as they get to shrug off the costumes at the end of the day and go back to their plasma screen TVs and iphones. Republicans also like to live in the past except they also choose to go back in the Nazi past and it just comes off as stereotypical when they choose to walk in the footsteps not of the American GIs who really did defend our liberty but the Nazis who would've taken them from us.

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