Ah, Florida Man. A day without you in the news is like a day without sunshine in the Sunshine State.
Luckily, Ted Yoho (R, FL 3rd District, A Pirate’s Life For Me) didn’t let that happen. Appearing on MSNBC of all places, he had this exchange with Craig Melvin as they were talking about Democrat demands that Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, recuse himself from the investigation of purported Russian ties to the Trump transition team:
YOHO: "[Nunes] answers to the president".
MELVIN: Does he? Or does he work for constituents?
YOHO: "Well, you do both." pic.twitter.com/rbeeBiqNFa
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 30, 2017
Here’s the money quote:
“You gotta keep in mind who he works for,” Yoho told MSNBC earlier on Thursday. “He works for the president. He answers to the president.”
“Does he?” MSNBC’s Craig Melvin challenged. “Or does he work for the constituents of his district?”
“Well, you do both,” Yoho shot back. “But when you’re in that capacity — you know, if you’ve got information — I’m OK with what he did.”
Um, there’s a very simple answer to that.
Civics 101, kiddies: Congressional representatives are answerable to the constituents in their home districts–and that’s pretty much it. Sure, they have certain obligations to their parties, and if you’re a deep-pocket donor, we’ll let’s just say you’ll get all kinds of TLC. But this business about working for the president? Not so much.
Moreover, Nunes’ position on the Intelligence Committee actually puts him in a position of oversight with the president. After all, the intelligence agencies work under the authority of the Executive Branch, and it’s the Committee’s responsibility to make sure that there isn’t any hanky-panky going on between the White House and the intelligence community. That’s why Nunes is looking into the possibility that the Obama administration was eavesdropping on Trump & Co. for political purposes.
Yoho (how I love typing that name) obviously understands this, which is why he’s walking back what he said. And I’m willing to cut him a little slack, because when you’re in the public eye and yapping to reporters day in and day out, you’re bound to insert your foot in your mouth from time to time. Still, it’s a little disturbing that such a thought would have ever even have occurred to Yoho. When you speak off the cuff, what you say is often what you really mean (in politics, this is known as “accidentally telling the truth”). If this is what Yoho secretly believes, then I’d say he’s in the wrong business.