Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Congressional daredevils threaten the Republic

May 16, 2024, 6:00 AM

FILE - President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress, a...

FILE - President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 7, 2023. The State of the Union speech is one of the biggest pieces of political theater every year. But in modern times, it's a televised extravaganza where every detail is carefully scrutinized. This is Biden's third State of the Union and it will feature the third House speaker to hold the job since he was elected. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — NASA’s Ambassador to Utah has given me a standing invitation. Patrick Wiggins promises, “Jeff, just say the word” and I’ll take you skydiving.

Patrick, I know that plummeting to earth at 120 miles an hour is probably the only time you feel alive, but it’s a hard no. I am perfectly happy to live my days within a stepladder’s distance of the ground — and you know what? That alone would make me a great Congressman. 

As you might be aware, the Republican party has one of the slimmest House majorities in history. Five lousy votes. If five Republicans miss work — like Oklahoma’s Frank Lucas who got kicked by a cow and broke his hip — the Democrats can defeat any measure to come to the floor. 

And that is why Republican leaders are nervous about “the daredevils.” House members like Rudy Yakym of Indiana who spends his weekends skydiving.

The Wall Street Journal said when he touches down, his first text is to a Party leader — some of whom are quietly worried about a group skydive next month.

To mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day a dozen Republican lawmakers are planning to jump out of a World War II plane and parachute onto the beaches of Normandy. A patriotic tribute, that must be driving House Speaker Mike Johnson nuts.

So, averse as I am to free falling, I  should volunteer to become a member of Congress. The only problem is, then I’d be a politician. Given a choice between the two-faced world of politics, and skydiving… I’d choose to jump out of a plane. Without the parachute. 

Jeff Caplan is the host of Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News on KSL NewsRadio. Follow him on Facebook and X. 

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Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Congressional daredevils threaten the Republic