The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) apologized today for skinny dipping at the holy site of the Sea of Galilee during a Congressional trip to Israel last August. Yoder, a Tea Party freshman, was one of about 20 visitors who joined the late night swim. According to Politico, however, Yoder was the only one who jumped in without any clothing.

“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,” Yoder said in a statement to Politico. “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.”

Yoder is hardly the only Tea Party freshman to get into trouble in his first term, however. Here are five more cases of Tea Partiers behaving badly:
Ben Quayle

Arizona Rep. Ben Quayle, who was on the Israel trip with Yoder, almost had his 2010 congressional campaign derailed due to an embarrassing scandal of his own. Quayle was caught posting to the site “Dirty Scottsdale” — which featured sexy photos of women and salacious gossip about the city’s nightlife — under the name “Brock Landers,” in a reference to porn star Dirk Diggler’s sidekick in the movie Boogie Nights.

Joe Walsh

In addition to being a dirty campaigner (and possibly unstable,) Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh was a deadbeat dad. Last June his former wife sued him for $117,000 back child support, which Walsh had not paid despite loaning $35,000 to his own campaign.

Sean Duffy And Friends

In July, Think Progress reported that seven supposedly budget-conscious GOP freshmen — Reps. Chip Cravaack (R-MN), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Bill Flores (R-TX), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Mike Pompeo (R-KS), and Steve Womack (R-AR) — collectively spent over $100,000 in taxpayer money on cars for themselves.

Duffy may be the worst offender. Despite making a $174,000 yearly salary and getting a $24,525 vehicle courtesy of the taxpayers, he told a constituent in March that “I struggle to meet my bills right now.”

Photo by Gage Skidmore via

Michael Grimm

New York Rep. Michael Grimm, who took part in Yoder’s late night swim, has spent much of his first term in office under investigation for various campaign finance offenses. Just two days ago, his top fundraiser Ofer Biton was arrested on immigration charges.

Ironically, before running for Congress Grimm served as an FBI agent.

Allen West

Allen West’s entire tenure in Congress has been one long string of bad behavior. Claiming that he is the “modern day Harriet Tubman,” suggesting that Al-Jazeera tried to kidnap him, complaining that liberal women are making men “subservient,” and declaring that Joseph Goebbels would “be very proud” of Democrats — among many other outrageous statements — West topped strong competition to distinguish himself as the craziest Tea Party freshman.

No wonder Sarah Palin wanted Mitt Romney to pick West as his running mate.

Photo by Gage Skidmore via

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

The late Sen. John McCain

I don't know Kyrsten Sinema, but I did know John McCain. Not at all intimately, to be sure, but just enough to say -- despite her pretensions and the fantasies of her flacks that she is the reincarnation of the war hero in a purple wig -- that Kyrsten Sinema is no John McCain.

Lately Sinema has advertised herself as a "maverick," by which she means that she flouts the positions and policies of her party's leadership, and is supposed to pair her with McCain, who sometimes strayed from the Republican party line. Her most notorious attempt at imitation occurred last year with a gesture on the Senate floor marking her vote against a minimum wage increase. Her coy mimicry of the admired war hero was synthetic, leaving an unpleasant odor in its wake. When McCain delivered his bold "thumbs down" on gutting Obamacare, he was protecting Arizona's working families – not betraying them.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}