by Steven Hale
What a disappointment.
When U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder leapt naked into the Sea of Galilee, showing true freedom to the Middle East, along with around 20 other people who were reportedly clothed, East Tennessee congressmen Scott DesJarlais and Chuck Fleischmann had already retired to bed.
Both East Tennessee lawmakers were on the fact-finding trip to Israel with other freshman members of Congress and their families. But they said they did not participate in the questionable swim, which, according to a published report, may have been fueled by alcohol consumption and led to an FBI inquiry.
"While the congressman was on the trip to Israel reinforcing our nation's relationship with this important ally, he was not involved in the incident in question," said DesJarlais' spokesman, Robert Jameson.
Asked if the Jasper Republican had witnessed the activity, Jameson said, "The congressman did not see the incident."
Fleischmann's office also said he "neither participated, nor was aware of, any of the activities" in question.
"In fact, during the night in question, Congressman Fleischmann participated in a conference call with reporters, after which he and his wife retired to bed," said Fleischmann's spokesman, Alek Vey.
Instead of making sure we know they weren't involved, maybe these two should be explaining to their constituents why they weren't. When I read about Yoder's nude congressional jaunt it was the first time I've been able to relate to a politician in as long as I can remember. As far as I'm concerned, DesJarlais and Fleischmann missed an opportunity here.
Conservatives are always saying that they're just one of us. Well, gentlemen, one of us would have been in that sea, with a beer in each hand, and an American flag draped around our body. Like Thomas Jefferson famously said at a Virginia rager, before doing a naked cannonball into the Atlantic — "He who governs best, governs wearing least."
But it's not too late. Congressmen, with respect: Find the nearest body of water, take off your tie at least, quit apologizing for America, and dive in.