Early A.M. Tea Party Was SRO

A standing-room-only crowd of 50 attended this morning’s post-election meeting of  Philadelphia-area tea party groups  for a panel discussion moderated by journalist Chris Freind at a conference room at The Union League of Philadelphia.

The panel was Diana Reimer of the Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots, Jennifer Turner Stefano of the Conservative Leadership Coalition, Lisa Esler of  Delaware County Patriots, Diane Canney of Valley Forge Patriots, Teri Adams of the Independence Hall Tea Party Association PAC, and Kevin Kelly of The Loyal Opposition, which hosted the event.

Before the discussion started the group was given a bit of good news from the Washington D.C.-based Americans for Tax Reform which reported that it was expecting the Bush tax cuts to be extended, in their entirety, for two years.

Much of the panel discussion involved the problem of Philadelphia which gave the Democrats 280,000 more votes than the GOP on Nov. 2. It was noted that if Philadelphia margin had been the same as it was during recent presidential elections — Democrat votes in the city exceeded Republicans by 478,000 in 2008 and  412,000 in 2004 — Democrats Joe Sestak and Dan Onorato would have won the senate and governor races respectively.

The last time the Democrat margin of victory in the city was less than 300,000 during a presidential year was in 1988 which was the last time the Republicans won the state.

Kelly, who has been battling the city’s Republican establishment, again expressed his belief that Philadelphia Republicans are not interested in winning due to a corrupt and cozy patronage relationship with the Democrats in power.

Members of the audience involved in city politics expressed agreement.

The generally collegial event ended in fireworks when Dr. Robert Sklaroff blasted  Kelly and Freind for refusing to condemn military re-enactor Rich Iott who was the unsuccessful GOP candidate in the Ohio 9th District congressional race and who was photographed wearing a Nazi SS uniform for one of his re-enactments.

Mrs. Stefano pointed out to Dr. Sklaroff that military re-enactments require the enemy to be depicted as well. This, however, did not appear to appease the good doctor.

Update: There is a report that Iott socialized dressed in his SS uniform. Depending on the context of the socialization — how long it occurred after the re-enactments and such — perhaps Dr. Sklaroff might have a point.

10 thoughts on “Early A.M. Tea Party Was SRO”

  1. The good doctor needs to understand waht ‘reenactments” are or maybe he was a plant!!!Would he rather the reenacter support anti Israeli groups ,as Joe Sestak did!!!

  2. In my opinion, Chris Freind was way off base and completely missed the point. Neither Tea Party nor the Republican Party cant be associated with anyone who thinks wearing a Nazi uniform is anodyne.

    Nazis are bad. Nazis were, and are, the bad guys. Is there an argument about this? It is very disturbing that Chris Freind would attack Rep. Eric Cantor as a hack for dissociating the Republican Party from the Nazis.

    “Reenactment” was a cover for a shallow, thoughtless act that makes Nazis and their ideology appear to be history to be forgotten and rewritten. Nazis are bad people and there should be no criticism of anyone, particularly, an elected official for saying so.

    As dr. bob points out, Mr.Iott went far beyond re-enactment which could be justified as a means to learn the mind of the enemy to openly publicly without embarrassment or explanation wearing a Nazi uniform. What is one to think of someone laughing and smiling while wearing a murderer’s uniform.

    Thanks bill good blog. Please keep me informed. Your blog is incentive to press this issue. Chris Freind needs to “clarify”, a polite way of saying rescind his comments and make clear that Nazis are bad guys. They killed a lot of Americans. Remember “D Day”? Who was killing Americans. This was, most definitely, not a Jewish War despite what Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul may be, snidely, inferring.

  3. –Part I–

    This was more than a re-enactment because Iott was photographed carousing with his pals–beer-bottle in-hand–in direct violation of the organization’s bylaws.

    Furthermore, rather than recognizing the sensitivities of the people involved–during an interview with Anderson Cooper of CNN–he was clueless.

    I will provide documentation of each of these points in subsequent uploads, recognizing one omitted-little-factoid from the reportage of this event…that there are plans to launch a PAC [“just give us $10 a month, because you won’t notice it on your credit-card-bill”…a comment starkly reminiscent of what was said [spitefully] by a NYTimes salesman about the newspaper’s subscribers….


    “Times ‘New Media’ Editor Suggests Print Subscribers Are Suckers”

    What is happening, here, is the local manifestation of a national phenomenon, captured in yesterday’s editorial by Erick Erickson of Red State:


    Malicious Mendacity in the Tea Party Movement [UPDATED]

    The driving-force behind the TPM has been its grass-roots character; this was well-articulated by Sarah when she spoke in February to the “Tea Party Nation” @ the Grand Old Opry in Nashville [Saturday p.m. speech for which she netted $100 for her PAC].

    ANYONE who claims “I’m the leader” is actually problematic, moreso when he refuses to recognize essential truths.

    Iott not only erred, but [as is typical when the adage is noted: “he fell because of the coverup”] he was so AWOL during the CNN interview [despite softball queries intended to “help” him recognize his gross insensitivity] that he failed to rectify his error.

    All he had to say was something akin to “I didn’t realize I might hurt people and I apologize to those who might feel that this reminded them of painful thoughts.”

    Instead, these people are praised for their valor…and he refused [listen to the transcript, hyperlink to-follow] even to tread beyond the [liberal] ethical relativism [“both sides committed atrocities”] instead of noting that the SS-Wiking housed Mengele, etc.

    ANYWAY, before providing a copy of my handout [provided to 25 “lucky” people], understand that I am not in-favor of allowing KK/CF to feel they can rule-the-roost under such circumstances, inertially creating a PAC without specifying its governance, intended to encompass all of the TPM-entities in the Delaware Valley.

    Certainly, Philly “needs work,” but the alliance of TPM entities can maintain success, whereas creation of a national superstructure threatens to crush its NON-astroturf nature!

    Available upon request is page #1 of the handout, which advises that people nominate the TPM as “citizen of the year” [as per an editorial in the Wednesday Inqy]…for reasons directly related to why Time Magazine in 2006 depicted “You” as its “Person of the Year.”

    –to be continued–

  4. –Part II–

    the TPM must discipline its ranks, lest it become vulnerable to characterization as a right-wing, neo-fascist threat to fundamental American “Enlightenment” ideas/ideals. Indeed, the perception of tolerating neo-Nazi conduct—rather than condemning it—must be confronted and resolved, even if it reaches into the leadership of the Loyal Opposition. Prior e-mails have warned that this behavior would be “outed” if not somehow rescinded, and this approach has been buttressed by personal conversations with one perpetrator and with a half-dozen colleagues who had promised to intercede [albeit after the elections].
    On 10/8/2010, The Atlantic published “Why is This GOP House Candidate Dressed as a Nazi?” [http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/10/why-is-this-gop-house-candidate-dressed-as-a-nazi/64319/]. Replying to this revelation about the GOP’s Rich Iott [Ohio-9, Toledo], [soon-to-be-Majority-Leader] Congressman Eric Cantor [on Fox News Sunday, 10/1//2010] replied to an ambush-gambit by colleague Debbie Wasserman Schultz that, indeed, he would be deleted from the “Young Guns” campaign-advocacy web-site were this to be confirmed…and when it was, it was. Chris Freind wrote a blog on this event “Eric Cantor Demonizes Republican Rich Iott” for Philadelphia Magazine, which went viral [http://www.newsmax.com/Freind/Eric-Cantor-Rich-Iott/2010/10/14/id/373735]; therein, he accused Eric of being a “garden-variety political hack. And that’s being kind.”
    The Waffen-SS performed atrocities, as is depicted in the article in The Atlantic thusly:
    Nazi Germany had no problem in recruiting the multitudes of volunteers willing to lay down their lives to ensure a “New and Free Europe”, free of the threat of Communism. National Socialism was seen by many in Holland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and other eastern European and Balkan countries as the protector of personal freedom and their very way of life, despite the true underlying totalitarian (and quite twisted, in most cases) nature of the movement. Regardless, thousands upon thousands of valiant men died defending their respective countries in the name of a better tomorrow. We salute these idealists; no matter how unsavory the Nazi government was, the front-line soldiers of the Waffen-SS (in particular the foreign volunteers) gave their lives for their loved ones and a basic desire to be free.

    –to be continued–

  5. –Part III—

    The video-sites were captured [

    and http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/politics/2010/10/12/ac.candidate.ss.soldier.cnn], while Iott’s lame-defense was noted [http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/10/rich-iott-defends-nazis-he-dresses-up-as-they-were-doing-what-they-thought-was-right-video.php] and his direct reply to what had transpired disappeared from the Internet within hours after it had been detected [http://swampbubbles.com/20101011/statement-congressional-candidate-rich-iott-regarding-eric-cantor-r-v]. A series of e-mail exchanges with the KK/CF yielded the counter-accusation that raising this issue was “Booooooooring!” and that the author feels “My columns are never written to be provacative; rather, the views I express are, overall, unique in the media landscape (since I have no sacred cows)….Give it a break!”
    This conduct violated the bylaws of the “parent”-entity [World War II Historical Re-enactment Society] [http://www.wiking.org/], which state [Article XIII, Rule #18] this point of etiquette: “When traveling to or from any event, do not display weapons or WWII German uniforms where they may be seen by the public.” Further, Iott was totally-clueless when interviewed by Anderson Cooper [CNN] as to his lack of fundamental sensitivity [comparable to the lack of wisdom promulgated by the Ground-Zero Mosque proposal], and there is no further comment on this issue on his website [http://www.voteiott.com]. Thus, CF/KK must recognize the danger of failing to condemn his possibly-covert Nazism.

  6. I might add that the ruckus generated by my comments included information [from me] and ad-hominem attacks [from defenders of CF/KK]; curiously, the protagonists hid behind others, instead of defending themselves directly.



    And They Knew It!

    In my extemporaneous remarks, I noted the need for the TPM not to allow itself to become self-intoxicated.

    Now that I ponder the situation further, I recall how often MSNBC plumbed the depths of what transpired during the campaign season, always trying to ID any effort to create a “TPM Political Party.” The Lefties failed miserably in this effort, and it would not be desirable to hand them a target for future reference.

    I omitted 95% of the rhetoric that was exchanged regarding this issue via e-mails that were sent directly to KK/CF…who were provided informed consent that this issue would be brought out publicly if they failed to honor it with appropriate attention.

    I also cited a scholar, who wrote of the atrocities specifically of this SS-unit; Yevtushenko’s “Babi Yar” also comes to mind.

    The lamest excuse was that historical re-enactors need more than a phantom enemy; forgotten was the fact that these guys are REQUIRED to LEAVE THEIR UNIFORMS ON THE BATTLEFIELD!

    Iott didn’t.

    BTW, I was asked if Eric Cantor’s response would have been identical if this Iott-Creature had any chance of winning; I neither knew nor cared, and jumping-to-the-conclusion that Eric was a “political hack” based upon this reflex abhorrence for ANY effort to legitimize “collaborators” [Anderson Cooper’s term].

    Just know that I distilled 20 pages of e-mail data into one side of one page.

    The TPM’s success was based on fragmentation and local-governance, and it must not forget its origins in CONSTITUTIONAL “limited-government” […and this warning should also be applied internally, eh?]

    More discussion of this issue [and its ramifications] is available upon request.


  7. I know full-well what they are, but they AREN’T carousing in SS-uniforms.

    I am never a “plant” for anyone, anytime.

    I railed against Sestak’s brand anti-Semitism.

    I would condemn the re-enactor regardless of party-affiliation.

    Tom, you are invited to read my multi-part posting…and to call me if you disagree with any portion thereof.

    BUT, unlike those who criticized me yesterday, please first READ THE BYLAWS [one sentence] and LISTEN TO THE CNN INTERVIEW [7 1/2 minutes].

  8. To the Webmaster:

    After having reviewed my database, I would appreciate reading an update of your update.

  9. Additional information regarding this issue has been received confidentially, some of which can be conveyed orally to anyone who wishes to assess the data/spin distinction independent of the “players.”

    1. I will simply recap from the Waffen-SS website [Iott’s organization]:

    “We salute these idealists; no matter how unsavory the Nazi government was, the front-line soldiers of the Waffen-SS (in particular the foreign volunteers) gave their lives for their loved ones and a basic desire to be free.”

    2. I will then note Iott’s violation of his organization’s Bylaws:

    “When traveling to or from any event, do not display weapons or WWII German uniforms where they may be seen by the public.”

    3. I will next advise experiencing the excruciating CNN interview, during which Anderson Cooper [inapposite to the customary interviewer] tried/failed desperately to HELP Iott demonstrate a trace of sensitivity to victims of the Shoah.

    4. Finally, I will advise anyone who concurs with my interpretation to chat with CF/KK…ASAP…because I must uphold my reputation as a mongoose [who does not let-go of what sticks in his craw…mixing metaphors]…and grass does not grow underfoot.

  10. As a direct result of the aforementioned, Kevin Kelly sent the following e-mail [forwarded directly to the Webmaster for verification purposes] to Guzzardi and to myself:

    “I am hereby severing any relationship or partnership I have with Bob Guzzardi and Robert Sklaroff. I will not work with them on any political endeavor from today forward. They are no longer welcome at Loyal Opposition events.”

    I’m told KK was born Roman Catholic and has been reborn as a Christian; I would aver that he has evinced the moral/ethical fiber of neither of these religions.

    Regardless, this brief-exchange illustrates, to me [and, perhaps, to those who adopt a disinterested viewpoint until they read the bylaws and attempt to watch the Iott interview] how very deep runs the grip of anti-Semitism…and those who would defend it…and those who would oppose those who oppose it.

    Assume arguendo that one tired rationalization that has been harbored by CF/KK is that “The Jews forget that non-Jews also perished in the Holocaust”; also assume arguendo that another tired disclaimer is that “The Russians were also beastly.”

    This does not excuse-away the atrocities committed by the SS, nor does it empower CF to state that he admires the “commitment” of these mass-murderers.

    Einstein’s dictum [quoted by others, perhaps originated by others, too] is apt: “Sunshine is the best disinfectant.” Thus, when I disseminate this information and Guzzardi “seconds the motion,” is that sufficient justification for KK to issue summary “excommunication”???

    I did not invite this conflict, and multiple opportunities were afforded CF/KK along-the-way; all they had to do was to recognize that, perhaps, Iott had demonstrated insufficient sensitivity to the feelings of the victims of the Shoah [and, in the case of CF, of the 9/11-attacks].

    I fear that window-of-opportunity has now been shut, and both CF/KK will be sent a hyperlink to this site so that they can be provided an opportunity to clarify their thoughts/statements/actions.

    Inherent in the philosophy of the TPM is freedom-of-speech, and raising concerns about neo-fascist apologia certainly falls within that realm, particularly when exhaustively documented AND left without cognizable refutation.

    True leadership entails adherence to this fundamentally American idea/ideal.

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