Mild-mannered U.S. Congressman Kevin Yoder was outed by a blog that while on a “fact-finding” trip (paid for by the lobbying group American Israel Education Foundation) to Israel last year with his wife and colleagues (and even children) that he went skinny-dipping after dinner in the Sea of Galilee— one of the most sacred religious areas in the world.
Once his actions came to light, he immediately issued this apology:
“A year ago, my wife, Brooke, and I joined colleagues for dinner at the Sea of Galilee in Israel. After dinner I followed some members of Congress in a spontaneous and very brief dive into the sea and regrettably I jumped into the water without a swimsuit. It is my greatest honor to represent the people of Kansas in Congress and [for] any embarrassment I have caused for my colleagues and constituents, I apologize.”
But, as the Kansas City Star’s editorial columnist Yael Abouhalkah pointed out, the apology was rather, pardon the crudeness, rather half-assed.
“Note: He’s not apologizing for doing something wrong,” wrote Abouhalkah. “He’s apologizing if anyone thinks he has done something wrong.”
Yoder has now tweaked his apology and has done a better job with his latest version reported by The Hill:
“I feel incredibly remorseful that I have caused embarrassment to my constituents and I have caused folks who believe in me to be disappointed,” Yoder told the Kansas City Star. “The gravity of the situation and the actions I’ve taken are not lost on me, and I feel certainly regret at what has occurred, and I just want to apologize to my constituents for a momentary lapse in judgment.”
As my Congressman, Kevin, yes, I really think you did something wrong. When I voted for you for Congress I didn’t think you were actually thinking the job was the same as pledging Sigma Nu Fraternity. You were elected to the House of Representatives, not Animal House.
Not only am I upset that you would in any way think skinny-dipping was appropriate for a Congressman who talks about family values and such, but it is worrisome your esteemed colleagues were able to keep this incident a secret all this time. That really is a pretty tight club you belong to.
In the next few weeks more and more information will be revealed about this trip, including who was picking up the tab for the junket. We can only hope some of your colleagues did things even more embarrassing than you and the spotlight will shift the focus on them.
In the meantime, he will be going on Steve Kraske’s KCUR radio show today. Here’s hoping you will admit without reservation that it was wrong to go skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee. He has also been booked to go on KMBZ’s RadioActive program today at 2:30. Those are wise moves to try and win back the public.
And please keep in mind when you go on these junkets you not only represent your constituents, but the United States of America. It’s a big responsibility, and you were put into office because people felt you were up to the task.
Prove us right.