Recent Federal Elections Commission filings show that former GOP House candidate Richard Iott donated the maximum amount to John Boehner’s political action committee earlier this year. Boehner accepted the funds. Why is this now a controversy?

“In the midst of last year’s election season, the website of the Atlantic revealed that Richard Iott, then Republican nominee for Ohio’s 9th Congressional District, had an unusual hobby. He liked to dress in SS uniforms.” That’s from “Reenacting Evil,” an article written by Robert A. Slayton in COMMENTARY’s October issue. Slayton goes on to decipher the significance of this particular brand of World War II reenactment and home in on the exact nature of Iott’s offense:

Iott is not, in either his political or recreational capacity, a neo-Nazi. Rather, he is a World War II reenactor, one of thousands of Americans who devote extraordinary amounts of time and resources to the meticulous simulation of key moments from that war. Whether dressed as storm troopers or G.I.s, reenactors produce exquisitely detailed battle facsimiles that are (in their minds) divorced entirely from politics, ideology, and the larger currents of history. Obsessed with the minutiae of period military life, they show up to look, sound, and act like the fighting men of an earlier generation—nothing more. Carl von Clausewitz’ famous line, “War is the continuation of politics by other means,” does not resonate with Iott and his fellow hobbyists.

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