Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas is missing. He hasn't been seen in public since January 14. Reports that he traveled to Egypt couldn't be confirmed by another congressman on the trip -- or by Stockman's own office, where the person who answered the phone simply said, "That's the first that I've heard of that." It was probably the Daily Beast's Ben Jacobs who first realized that Stockman had vanished. On Tuesday, Jacobs pointed out that Stockman ... had been missing votes on Capitol Hill and campaign events back in Texas. Stockman hadn't shown up for a vote since January 9, Jacobs wrote, noting that Stockman didn't even vote against the budget bill he pledged to oppose.
In early December, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas), one of Congress' more colorful characters, announced unexpectedly that he's running for the U.S. Senate. Shortly before the filing deadline, the right-wing lawmaker said he would take on incumbent Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R), one of the Senate's most conservative members, in a Texas Republican primary.
As a rule, candidates for statewide office try to maintain a fairly high profile in order to connect with voters. But Stockman, for reasons that are unclear, appears to have gone missing. Indeed, no one, including his aides, is willing to say where the congressman is.
We can say with some certainty that Stockman was, in fact, in Egypt last week. Our pal James Carter flagged this tweet, which features a photo of the Texas lawmaker meeting with Egyptian officials over the weekend, as part of a congressional delegation. According to a report in the Egypt Daily News, Stockman was accompanied by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), Paul Cook (R-Calif.), and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.).
But that raises some additional questions.
First, why would Stockman's office on Capitol Hill refuse to acknowledge the congressman was in Egypt, even after the fact? Second, if Stockman was in Cairo last weekend, where is he now?
And finally, why does Congress keep sending our nuttiest lawmakers to the Middle East?
Remember, Stockman isn't a garden-variety conservative -- this guy is special. He has a record of over-the-top extremism that's unique even by contemporary GOP standards. Stockman also has multiple, ongoing campaign-finance controversies, and an unfortunate history with "anti-government militia groups" that came to light in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing.
We already sent the Bachmann/Gohmert/King trio to Egypt last year, where the right-wing lawmakers appeared eager to undermine U.S. foreign policy. Did we really have to subject Egyptians to Steve Stockman's creative wisdom, too?