Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nazis and Dragons and Congressional Candidates, Oh My!

Sometimes I get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of April that I completely forget Hitler's birthday. Tony Zirkle, Republican congressional candidate in Indiana, clearly has no such problem.

Ordinarily, a politician giving a speech in front of a giant portrait of Hitler, surrounded by people wearing swastika armbands, would be hard to beat for news value. The real fun here, though, is that Zirkle is now spinning like he was caught in a sex sting. So far, his excuses have been:

  • They're not Nazis, they're just regular old National Socialists!
  • He doesn't "know enough about the group" to judge them. I always thought that there were two kinds of people in the world: on the one side, there is a relatively small handful of fascist, hateful loons who are in favor of Nazism, and on the other side are the non-crazy, non-racist reasonable people who take the anti-Nazi stance. Zirkle is apparently in the lonely position of still waiting for all the facts to come in before he makes up his mind.
  • "I'll speak before any group that invites me." After all, it's just rude to turn down speaking engagements! They may be hate groups, but they still need to obey common courtesy. Still, it's hard to doubt Zirkle's word here, since he added, "I've spoken on an African-American radio station in Atlanta." Kudos, sir! That's sort of like Jesse Owens running in the Berlin Olympics, except with the roles reversed, and nothing else in common either.
  • He was only trying to warn people about the great porn dragon. Say that out loud: Great Porn Dragon. It's beautiful, isn't it? I'm going ahead and calling that the phrase of the year. (This is not to be confused, of course, with dragon porn.)
Still, even with all of the jaw-droppingly bizarre twists to this story, my favorite detail is the "Happy Birthday" banner that the Nazis must have picked up at Party City before their little shindig. You're quite a ways from the grandeur of the Third Reich, fellas. I'm sure Adolf would have appreciated the thought, though.

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