In the end, the Kaptur-Iott race embodies everything that's wrong with American politics. It's not just enough to defeat someone in the arena of ideas...no, no. You have to personally destroy people. Up to this weekend, Iott ran a solid campaign going up against an entrenched incumbant who's built a formidable political appuratus to keep her in the House. However, Iott should have known better. Nazi imagery...no matter how innocent it might seen...is still Nazi imagery and still sparks a visceral reaction. Iott had to have known that given the uber-toxic atmosphere of our political landscape, that the nanosecond he became a reasonable threat to her, left wing operatives would be digging for any dirt and ammunition to use on him.
However, this is not a turning point in the national picture. Real Clear Politics still had the ninth district in the safe column for the Democrats and every indication was that Iott was probably running about 10 points behind. The big loser in this whole Iott-Nazi story is the voters of the Ninth who deserve a chance to make a choice on their ballot. They're the ones who are being deprived and disenfranchised from having the choice they deserve.
We are well, well, well past the point where someone needs to have a Joseph Welch moment, stand up, and declare: "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"
Who in their right mind would want to run for public office given this actuely poisonous atmosphere? Why would anyone subject themselves to this process when apparently everything is an open book and your personal life nothing more than a talking point and a soundbite for your opponent? Politics has become pro wrestling...no wait, it's become worse. It's become Bloodsport. And this weekend, Marcy Kaptur and her supporters backed up by Big Labor and the Teacher's Union went Chong Li on Rich Iott and delivered the killshot.
Is this what being in, or attempting to be in, public life has come to? The personal destruction of a perceived political 'enemy.' Have we sunk this far? Ideas trumped by political thuggery of the nth degree? Running for office not an exercise in trying to help others but to cultivate, project, and eventually prosper from the power you gain?
Is it no wonder that Toledo is a city rapidly spiraling downward and imploding like the festering black hole it's become and taking all of Northwest Ohio with it?
Who will stand up to Marcy and her special interest groups who rule the city with an iron fist and grind anyone into the dirt who stands in the way with their jackbooted minions?
Who will be the one to stand up and say, ""Have you no sense of decency, ma'am? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"