News & Politics  |  Opinion

Ted Yoho, It’s Been a Week and You Still Haven’t Apologized for Loving Your God, Your Country, and Your Family.

Shame on you

Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr.

Last week, after US Rep. Ted Yoho called his colleague Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a “fucking bitch,” his subsequent statement of contrition included this qualifier: “I cannot apologize for my passion, or for loving my God, my family, and my country.”

I disagree. Congressman Yoho, it’s time for you to apologize for your love of God, family and country. Right now.

Oh, people might say you’ve suffered enough—after all, your semi-apology turned you into an internet laughing stock and motivated Ocasio-Cartez to take to the floor to chastise you with a speech that broke C-SPAN records. You even got kicked off the board of the Christian charity you support. 

But if you’re thinking that the spectacle around your insufficient apology for what you said would make me forget about your non-existent apology for loving God, country, and family, you’re dead wrong. After all, you at least pretended to be sorry for cursing your fellow legislator. By contrast, you actually went out and proclaimed your refusal to ask forgiveness for your faith, your patriotism, or your familial loyalty. It was right there in your statement! Have you no shame?

Now, I know you probably thought it would be easy to get away with this unapologetic stance. After all, people across the country, and across the political spectrum, were loudly criticizing you for using a gendered slur against a woman colleague. And I also know that, as best anyone can tell, roughly zero people have asked you to apologize for your deeply-held devotion to the Lord, the United States, or the Yoho family of Alachua County, Florida. But a true gentleman knows that the best apologies are those that come before you’ve been asked. It’s time to make it right. 

Also, it’s not like you can say your love of God, family, and nation is unrelated to the inappropriate way you spoke to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. I know this from personal experience. Before I had the good sense to renounce my country, become an atheist, and disown my children, I too used to demonstrate my patriotism, faith, and family values by randomly calling women politicians bitches. Maybe you look down on that great silent majority of Americans who have come to understand that there’s nothing more despicable than loving the savior, the USA, and the members of your own household. 

Congressman, you’ve had a distinguished career, bravely taking stands like opposing a bill to make lynching a federal crime. Americans are a forgiving people. We’ll surely let a bit of casual misogyny slide. We might even let you get away with not apologizing for your “passion.” But God, country, and family? Come on, man.  

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Editor

Michael Schaffer has been editor of Washingtonian since 2014. A former editor of Washington City Paper and editorial director of The New Republic, Michael is also the author of One Nation Under Dog, a 2009 book about America’s obsession with pets. A DC native, he currently lives in Chevy Chase DC with his wife and their two daughters.