Stranger Fruit

May Der Zirkle be unbroken …


Remember Tony Zirkle? He’s the Indiana Republican who cavorted with Hitler-worshippers at the Saddest Birthday Party Ever and claimed that he didn’t "know enough about the group to either favor it or oppose it." Well, May 6th saw his defeat in the Republican primary. But get this, he got 16% of the vote.

Strangely, Zirkle sees his defeat as a victory and steals some rhetoric from the Discovery Institute playbook:

However, with respect to the social issues, when it comes to who was most successful in placing their ideas on the public record, I can claim an incredible victory. I, myself, have been extremely pleased at how well my plan worked to get my message out for public consumption. I obtained national coverage from numerous Internet blogs, Fox National news, CNN, MSNBC and nationally syndicated radio talk shows. I’ve said from the beginning that my primary purpose was not to win, but to educate and inform. To that end, I can claim this campaign as a tremendous success.

How many time have we heard that from DI flacks?

(HT to Orac)


  1. #1 AndyB
    May 10, 2008

    One can only wonder if the scandal had *some* effect- after all, in 2006, he got 30% of the vote.

    (As per the IN Secretary of State)

  2. #2 John Lynch
    May 10, 2008

    I’m not sure that’s comforting.

  3. #3 Gerry L
    May 10, 2008

    He was the incumbent, right? Some (too many) people just check off the name they recognize. Not a justification; just an explanation.

  4. #4 OriGuy
    May 11, 2008

    No, Zirkle wasn’t the incumbent. In the previous election, the Republican incumbent, Chris Chocula lost to the Democrat, whose name escapes me.

  5. #5 crf
    May 11, 2008

    Apart from his love of nazis, there are probably a lot of unrelated policy positions he holds that reasonable Republicans might agree with. However it is asking a lot of the credibility of the state Republican party that 16 percent of its supporters would hold those positions with such high regard that they cancel out his nazi demerits (assuming next to no one the party actually agrees nazism: which is not an unwarranted assumption).

    It is possible that some of those who supported him didn’t know of his respect for Nazis. But that also tarnishes the credibility of the Republican party. The party ought to have so vigorously and publicly disowned him that no one in the state would be ignorant about his views.

  6. #6 Tony Zirkle
    May 12, 2008


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