Kevin Yoder went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee

Gage Skidmore/flickr

A brief timeline:

2010: Kevin Yoder was elected to Congress from Kansas’ 3rd district, where I now live.

2011: While on a “foreign policy fact-finding mission” to Israel, Kevin Yoder went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee, earning a rebuke from Congressional Republican leadership.

2017: Kevin Yoder voted for the American Health Care Act.

These are the relevant events for this story.

Today, Kevin Yoder voted for a bill that would cause tens of thousands of primarily sick, poor and old people to die, so that rich Americans would get a big tax cut. I had called Yoder’s offices several times asking him to vote against this bill, and I was upset. I called again after the vote and left an angry message with a staffer. I went for a short walk, fuming with anger that I did not know how to direct. But by the time I returned to my desk, I had achieved a clarity of purpose.

I knew what I needed to do. I needed to share some news: that Kevin Yoder went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee. I had to tell people that Kevin Yoder went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee, including Kevin Yoder — especially Kevin Yoder. So I did.

Why did I feel the need to share the fact that Kevin Yoder went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee? I was angry. I was angry at Kevin Yoder (who, you might not know, once went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee) for voting for this frankly immoral bill that seemingly every major healthcare organization opposed, that the majority of voters in Yoder’s district opposed, and that the Congressional Budget Office had not even finished reviewing yet. I intend to work to unseat Yoder by supporting the campaign of his general-election opponent for whatever office he runs for next. But I also wanted to do something to unseat him now. I settled on this: Do my best to make as many people as possible spend as much time as possible thinking about the time Kevin Yoder went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee, because it is almost certainly the most embarrassing incident in Kevin Yoder’s life. You’re thinking about it now, aren’t you? Good.

Is it vindictive for me to tell people about the time Kevin Yoder went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee? Yes. Is it civil? No. Does it have strategic value? I suppose not, though it certainly can’t help his future electoral prospects. But it does provide a cleansing relief in this time of anger — not unlike the refreshing waters of the Sea of Galilee, in which Kevin Yoder skinny-dipped once.

But not only do I plan to continue letting people know this news (that Kevin Yoder went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee); I am also asking you to join me.

Kevin Yoder and his fellow Congressional Republicans voted for a bill that would cause tens of thousands of people to experience physical suffering and die. This is an act of mass violence. That the act is dressed up in yeas and nays and suits and ties does not make it less so. Civil debate, rules of order, and other such formalities serve only to cover up this violence. When you strip away the suits and ties — in much the same way Kevin Yoder stripped off his clothes when he went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee — you are left with the truth: People will die.

To explain his vote, Kevin Yoder released a statement that is a focus-grouped, overcooked mound of spaghetti bearing no relation to the truth. My message may be impolite, and a touch crass, but it is extremely, 100 percent true. My message, again, is that Kevin Yoder went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee.

I plan to tweet a link to this New York Times story about the time Kevin Yoder went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee at Yoder’s official Twitter account every day until his term is up, and comment with the same link on every Facebook post he makes. Maybe I will do something more; maybe I will make a sign saying “Kevin Yoder went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee.” We’ll see.

I invite you to join me. Post on Facebook or Twitter that Kevin Yoder went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee. Remind Kevin Yoder on his official social media accounts that (on official Congressional business) he went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee, in case he forgot. In conversations with your friends, casually mention that Kevin Yoder went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee. Together, we can fight ignorance of the fact that Kevin Yoder went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee by telling as many people as we can.

Also: You can donate to this fund, which will go to the campaign of the Democratic candidate for Yoder’s seat in 2018.

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