The obligatory “FBI investigated GOP rep for skinny-dipping in Sea of Galilee” post

posted at 4:41 pm on August 20, 2012 by Allahpundit

Is this story still a thing after 18 hours or has public interest already evaporated? Normally a splashy GOP scandal piece will keep for at least a day on the news shelf, but thanks to Akinmania and the fact that the “scandal” here seems to consist of a few minutes of congressional full-moonage, I’m thinking we may have already passed the expiration date.

Bummer for whichever Democratic oppo person leaked this to Politico in hopes of dominating the slow late-August news cycle for a few days with a bit of subject-changing indignation. Although, thanks to Todd Akin, it worked out pretty well for them anyway.

During a fact-finding congressional trip to the Holy Land last summer, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) took off his clothes and jumped into the sea, joining a number of members, their families and GOP staff during a night out in Israel, the sources told POLITICO. Other participants, including the daughter of another congressman, swam fully clothed, while some lawmakers partially disrobed. More than 20 people took part in the late-night dip in the sea, according to sources who were participants in the trip…

These GOP sources confirmed the following freshmen lawmakers also went swimming that night: Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and his daughter; Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and his wife; Reps. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.). Many of the lawmakers who ventured into the lake said they did so because of the religious significance of the waters. Others said they were simply cooling off after a long day. Several privately admitted that alcohol may have played a role in why some of those present decided to jump in…

The FBI looked into whether any inappropriate behavior occurred, but the interviews do not appear to have resulted in any formal allegations of wrongdoing.

But Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who was the senior most GOP lawmaker in Israel on the trip, was so upset about the antics that he rebuked the 30 lawmakers the morning after the Aug. 18, 2011, incident, saying they were distracting from the mission of the trip.

And? A drunken lark on a diplomatic trip is embarrassing but Cantor chewed their asses out for it, as well he should have, so this isn’t even a “GOP leadership losing control of its caucus” story. (And yes, despite its religious significance, the Sea of Galilee is used to swimmers.) Is there anything more to it, maybe something genuinely insulting to Israel? Did Yoder do a keg stand on the Temple Mount or something? As Conor Friedersdorf says, the most alarming part of the story is probably the fact that the FBI actually spent time investigating it. Either (a) there was some sort of allegation of criminal wrongdoing that we’re not being told about — and if there was, I can’t imagine why Politico’s oppo source wouldn’t have mentioned it — or (b) the FBI has way more free time on its hands than we thought. Which is it?

Update: A gentle FYI from Noah Pollak to the fake-outrage crowd:

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RushBaby on August 20, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Beautifully stated.

kekelaward on August 20, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Incredible abuuse of authority. I’d be calling for the impeachment of a Republican president who did this.

Buddahpundit on August 20, 2012 at 8:31 PM

If the fbi is investigating fundies excitingly jumping into waters they read about in their religious books, then I think we’ve discovered somewhere we can make the dreaded budget cuts.

Buddahpundit on August 20, 2012 at 8:52 PM

The FBI is investigating swimming? Really? Since when is THAT a potential crime?

Most of Europe is probably laughing at such false outrage. Americans are really weird about nudity (only one man was nude) considering the Hollyweird free-for-all in behavior.

How about the FBI investigate Fast and Furious instead?

Common Sense on August 20, 2012 at 8:59 PM

This is ridiculous.
Lame for Dems to make anything of this.
Not everyone carries a bathing suit with them.
And it most of the world, this would be considered sensible…not shocking.

verbaluce on August 20, 2012 at 9:06 PM

If the fbi is investigating fundies excitingly jumping into waters they read about in their religious books, then I think we’ve discovered somewhere we can make the dreaded budget cuts.

Buddahpundit on August 20, 2012 at 8:52 PM

You have a bad experience at the Bay of Fundy?

TugboatPhil on August 20, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Interesting. The local FOX affiliate here in Phoenix covered the story and interviewed Ben Quayle, who was among the, er, “fact-finding” group to the Sea of Galilee. They also reported that Quayle said there was never any investigation into this, and that he was never questioned.

Rufus Wilson on August 20, 2012 at 9:32 PM

This is ridiculous. Should Israelis now be concerned about insulting Christians by going swimming in the only fresh-water lake in the country?

Phoenician on August 20, 2012 at 10:26 PM

Theodore Roosevelt was known for taking foreign ambassadors on hikes, which often required swimming across streams. And the President was accustomed to stripping to the skin and holding his clothes above the water as he swam.

Just a little perspective here.

njcommuter on August 20, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Here’s hoping Representative Yoder flashes his junk at your teenage daughter

plewis on August 20, 2012 at 4:47 PM

LOL! The party of OWS sex in public shows extreme modesty for special occasions.

Night Owl on August 21, 2012 at 1:46 AM

Had this been Democrats, the story never would’ve hit the news stream.

jinx_mchue on August 21, 2012 at 1:57 AM

The investigation is related into a probe over an undisclosed trip to Cyprus by one of the reps.

lexhamfox on August 21, 2012 at 1:00 PM