Here’s another story for the “What-the-hell-wasthis-politician-thinking?” file.
Popular 3rd District U.S. Congressman Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., the master fundraiser and one of the shining young stars of the Republican Party, went to Israel last summer as part of an official government delegation. After a late night of drinking, the party shifted to the Sea of Galilee for a dip in the water where the Bible claims Jesus walked on water.
Yoder didn’t just swim, he stripped down taking off even his skivvies and went skinny dipping — nude — in his birthday suit — in the Sea of Galilee’s holy waters. You can read the story by clicking here.
Yoder was reportedly severely reprimanded by GOP leaders, especially House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, who apparently was “livid” with Yoder’s dip in the water.
Well, no, given the history of embarrassments involving both parties.
Remember Weinergate when Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner, NY, was outed for sexting (sending photos of his, well, of his body parts) to a 21-year-old woman. He resigned.
Then there was Congressman Mark Foley, R-Florida, who in September 2006 was investigated by the FBI and House Ethics Committee opened investigations into allegations that he sent suggestive emails and instant messages to teenaged current and former House pages. He resigned.
And remember Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho? Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in an incident involving foot-tapping to a police officer while in a bathroom stall at the Minneapolis airport. Craig said at the time that it was a misunderstanding and that he was not gay. He also resigned.
But there is hope for Yoder to save his political career.
A scandal didn’t seem to hurt Sen. David Vitter, R-La. He admitted to committing a “very serious sin” when his phone number appeared five times in the records of what federal authorities say was a Washington call-girl operation. He didn’t resign and has since been re-elected.
A person’s actions speaks louder and clearer than the word that come from the mouth.
Yoder told The Kansas City Star it was dark, no one was around to see him and that he had only been in the water 10 seconds. (And President Clinton never inhaled!)
Yoder, who was president of the student body while he attended the University of Kansas, used to be a Democrat. To achieve his political ambitions and increase his chances of a political career in Kansas, he became a Republican and first won election to the Kansas House in 2002 where he served four terms.
In February 2009, Yoder plead guilty to refusing a roadside preliminary Breathalyzer test, following a 2:31 a.m. traffic stop on the K-10 expressway. Yoder reportedly was pulled over for speeding and, after declining the officer’s request to take a roadside breath test, Yoder took and passed a field sobriety test. The officer cited Yoder for speeding and for refusing to take the breathalyzer test, and then the officer let Yoder drive himself home. The speeding charge was later dropped as part of a plea agreement. Yoder pleaded guilty to refusing law enforcement’s request for a breath test and paid a $165 fine.
And now, he goes skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee while officially representing the United States, and Kansas, on a “fact-finding” trip to Israel. It’s legal to swim in the sea but it’s illegal to be nude and the incident still could generate an investigation if charges are filed, said an Israeli official.
Now that the story has gone public, Yoder is in damage-control mode. He is scheduled to be on Steve Kraske’s Up to Date tomorrow, Tuesday, Aug. 21, on KCUR 89.3 FM. Maybe we’ll find out:
* who paid for this trip: taxpayers or lobbyists?
* what are the benefits to those that funded the trip?
* why go to Israel rather than stay home and work to create more jobs in Kansas?
* what he thinks of “legitimate” rape?
* did he pee in the Sea of Galilee?
* and will he resign?
Yoder is not going to resign — at least not over skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee.
Nor should he.
That is unless a picture or video of him swimming in the nude appears on the Internet.