America’s Grand Old Party has long been known for its many rich idiots, but there has never before been a Republican like Rich Iott, candidate for U.S. Congress from Toledo, Ohio. I struggle just to type the man’s name, which sounds like a set-up for nearly any satirical campaign slogan: “Rich Iott. If he had an ‘idea,’ he’d be Rich Ideaott.” (Which is to repeat the previous gag, sure, but wordplay this juicy is always worth an encore.)
And then there’s that Toledo connection. Think of Toledo, and you can’t help but recall comedic actor Jamie Farr, who played Cpl. Max Klinger, the homesick cross-dresser from the M*A*S*H TV series, who was always pining for his hometown on the banks of the Maumee River, the local Toledo Mudhens ball club, and, of course, Tony Packo‘s famed hotdogs (order ’em here.)
I’m guessing there’s something in the Maumee River water that makes middle-aged male Toledoans want to dress up, Klinger in his frocks, and Rich Iott — dig this — in the uniform of a Nazi stormtrooper. Word emerged on the weekend that the candidate from Ohio’s 9th congressional district likes to unwind after hours by goose-stepping around the Schutzstaffel re-enactment circuit, with likeminded enthusiasts of the “SS.” These would be well-meaning, decent-minded family guys who eschew the traditional weekly bowling night, in order to make believe that they are the lads who carried out the Holocaust.
This macabre hobby doesn’t necessarily define Rich Iott as a practicing Nazi, but it does qualify him as being at least 36 different categories of sick bastard, based on his explanations of his attraction to the stirring imagery and heart-quickening pageantry… behind that old-time Third Reich barbarism. The idea that the candidate would take time away from noshing hotdogs at Packo’s, kissing babies over at the Botanical Gardens, and routine speechifying, to explain why he feels the need to prance about in a stormtroopers’ get-up leads me to think he needs to follow, to the very last chapter, the example of the late Führer, and toddle off toward the bunker to let his pretend-sidearm settle accounts with his over-heated noggin.
However, insisting that one shouldn’t hold a make believe Nazi to the standard of the real Von McCoy, candidate Rich Iott says he will keep his spiked helmet in the ring, at least long enough to see what Ohio voters make of his way-out recreational habits. In most election years, you’d only have one, or perhaps two, costumed characters with entertaining names offering themselves as prospective Congresspersons. This isn’t most years, and Republican Rich Iott is joined by Democrat Krystal Ball (for that is her real name), a high-spirited 28-year-old businesswoman and mother who aspires to represent Virginia’s 1st district. Krystal Ball is not a Nazi re-enactor, although, like many, she celebrates the American version of the traditional German holiday of Yule.
Six years ago, she made the evident mistake of posting to her Facebook page several photos of herself dressed in the manner of the Yuletide season. There’s nothing too very wrong with donning the gay apparel of a Santa hat at Christmas, except for what’s going on under the headgear, which is that she’s kibbitzing around with the engorged crimson marital-aid that somehow became attached to her hubby’s nose. Go ahead and be critical: you who have never hit the martini station just a bit too hard at a previous Christmas office party. It is undeniable that you can’t legislate good taste, along with acceptable behavior, or common sense — which raises concerns regarding why someone such as Krystal Ball, lacking in all those qualities, would ever consider joining the legislative branch of government.
This year, election night in America will occur a full 48 hours after Halloween, so numerous candidates across the nation will need to pay late-return fees to the costume rental agencies. To the east of the Buckeye State Goose-stepper, and the Old Dominion Randy-Santy Claus, you find Christine O’Donnell, the Delaware Diabolist, who is back-peddling after telling talk-show host Bill Maher that she once practiced witchcraft. “I am not a witch,” she explains in a much-discussed series of campaign commercials. (Even conservative apologist S.E. Cupp called the ads “asinine.” Those are strong words, and bring attention to the fact that while Christine O’Donnell is not an especially funny name, now that you mention it, S.E. Cupp certainly is.)
Well, this is well beyond the pale. The United States is a bountiful and enduring nation, and the mighty republic will not suffer irreparable harm, even if electors happen to choose as their leaders the occasional faux-stormtrooper, or inebriated Kris Kringle, or an entire coven of hags and harridans (along with their bubbling cauldrons.) I’m certain, however, that if Christine O’Donnell, as she insists, is me, and she heads off to the United States Senate, the country will be utterly screwed. That’s because power corrupts — and it probably doesn’t help if, as in the case of me and my new doppelganger Christine, you have a couple of corrupt tendencies to begin with.
Speaking for my own legislative agenda, the first thing I would wish to achieve, immediately after being sworn in to office, is introducing and ensuring the passage of the Let’s Force General Motors to Bring Back the Corvair Monza Convertible Act of 2011. This would be followed by the Bill to Amend the Corvair Monza Act to Provide Congressman Shannon and His Family and Friends with a Lifetime Supply of Free Corvair Monzas Convertibles. After which, I’d allocate large portions of the stimulus fund to build in my congressional district sufficient drive-in movie theatres that only show double-bills of the congressman’s favorite films, “Sweet Smell of Success,” and a different Jack Webb movie each evening, and provide free admission and complimentary popcorn to anyone driving a Corvair Monza.
You’re me? Oh, you’d better hope not, sister. Otherwise, you’ll be standing to attention and saluting when the 112th Congress introduces the new national anthem to replace the “Star-Spangled Banner.” And what will it be? The gentleman from Ohio is bound to propose “Deutschland Uber Alles.” The honorable lady from Virginia will breathlessly suggest, “Merry Christmas, Baby.” But seeing as how you’re me, Christine, let’s crank up the volume, raise the flag, and kick off the 112th Congress with our brand new anthem.
“I Put a Spell on You,” by Screaming Jay Hawkins.