Political Points — Iott not to be in this picture


Welcome to Political Points — where whatever happens Tuesday, the Party of Puns wins, wins, wins!

**Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the minority leader who would be Speaker plans to appear at a rally with … Rich Iott, the GOP candidate running to unseat Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), and better known as the guy who spent three years of weekends dressing up as an SS officer? Rich Iott, denounced by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the minority whip who swears he would not be Speaker?

Seriously, I’m wondering, wondering … why hasn’t anyone come up with this pun until now? Is it because "I ought" as a grammatical construct is going the way of "Shall we?"

Is it because no one remembers Bugs Bunny? ("That rabbit?" my 10 year old asked, raising an eyebrow, when I brought it up. "That rabbit." I’ve failed as a father.)

Anyway, I thought I’d better get it into the Googleverse first.

As for Boehner  … well, he’s raising eyebrows at the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants. Here’s Elan Steinberg, the group’s vice president:

We ask Congressman Boehner to understand our pain and reconsider his  appearance  at the side of an unrepentant Nazi re-enactor.

Congressman Boehner your place is at the side of the victims of the SS –  civilian adults and children, Allied and American POW’s – not with someone who dresses up in the garb of mass murderers.

We know that Rich Iott is not a Nazi.  But his failure to apologize for  his Nazi role-playing demonstrates a profound failure of moral judgement  and sensitivity which cries out for a response.

Naturally, Democrats can’t resist this one. Here’s Ryan Rudominer, the spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:

Not only has John Boehner recruited and financed a disgraced Nazi enthusiast running for Congress, but now even more outrageous Boehner is attending a campaign rally with him. John Boehner clearly needs a history lesson. John Boehner’s stubborn embrace of this Nazi enthusiast insults the memory of the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust and our nations’ veterans who sacrificed to defend our freedom.

Boehner’s office, per the Huffington Post, goes the way of This Is Just Another Rally:

Leader Boehner will be rallying Republican volunteers at the Lucas County Victory Center to support the local Republican Party’s get-out-the-vote efforts. Boehner has been on the road headlining rallies for Republican candidates in Ohio and across the country, and he’ll continue his busy campaign schedule into the final weekend before Tuesday’s referendum on Democrats’ jobs-killing policies.

You know, I don’t know if, considering any proposition that includes within it the faint whiff of SS uniforms, one ought (that ought again!) to talk about "jobs-killing."

Just saying.

**What is it with Ohio and abuses of Nazi imagery? From the Dayton Daily News, Democrat Joe Roberts, hoping to unseat Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), apologizes for a campaign mailer to Dayton-area Jews which slams Turner for appealing at a rally on health care where a few in the crowd held signs likening health care reform to the Holocaust.

Roberts is Jewish: In the e-blast, he appeals to others to "elect a Congressman who will not tolerate the defamation of our people."

The local ADL reached out to Republicans who had appeared on stage at the rally, some of whom expressed regret at not speaking out against the signs. Because it’s just a few days before voting, the ADL will not say how or if Turner responded. The Roberts email said Turner turned down the request to express regrets.

In any case, it is Roberts who is now expressing regrets:

“It was not written the way I would have liked it to be written,” said Roberts, who is running against Turner in the 3rd Congressional District. “What I would have said is I am a Jewish candidate running for office and I would like the support of the Jewish community.”

Larry Skolnick, who directs the local fed, says Roberts was out of line:

“For one candidate to infer that another candidate is ‘no friend of the Jews’ or is an anti-Semite is a very serious accusation, and in this case one leveled without any basis,” Skolnick said.

**Jewish Values Online gets a Reform, a Conservative and an Orthodox rabbi to answer a question about whether voting is a Jewish duty. Click through to the answers, but here’s a clue: There’s a reason why Jewish turnout is disproportionately high, and it’s not because we’re naturally inclined to sin.

**Anything beginning "Mainstream Faith Community" is unlikely to end in a punchline ("A Reform, a Conservative and an Orthodox rabbi," on the other hand….)

In any case, Faithful America, which includes among its partners the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, is joining this weekend’s faux protest on the National Mall, "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear," headlined by Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart (Sanity) and Stephen Colbert (Fear).

And within that context lands in my inbox an email from Jewish Funds for Justice, subject-lined — you guessed it — "Mainstream Faith Community Mobilizing at Stewart-Colbert Rally, Deploying Humor and Hope to Denounce Fear-Mongering."

JFJ is rallying troops with the video below, "Al Tirah" ("Fear Not," in Hebrew.) Here’s the website.

I know, a laugh riot. It includes howlers like "designed to concretize an economy of empathy."

Here’s the thing: God can be funny. That whole Abraham-Isaac prank — well, I mean, from His perspective.

And Jews, Jews definitely are funny. 

But God and Jews…

Just saying.

Keep ’em coming to rkampeas@jta.org.

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