2023 Man of the Year: Derrick Van Orden

Rep. Derrick Van Orden (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
December 30, 2023

Teenagers are the worst.

They're whiny, spoiled, and, in the case of the Free Beacon interns, they can't seem to grasp the fact that "two creams, one sugar" means "enough Wild Turkey to kill a rhino."

But we digress.

As a Navy SEAL and grandfather of eight, Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R., Wis.) knows how to set disobedient young people straight. So when he saw a group of teenage Senate pages lying on the floor of the Capitol Rotunda late one evening in July, he sprang into action, calling the loiterers "lazy shits" and telling them to "get the fuck up."

What did the freshman congressman get for valiantly defending the sanctum of American democracy? The dorks at POLITICO copycat Punchbowl News tried to shame Van Orden by reporting that he had been drinking on the night in question, and the even bigger dorks in the U.S. Senate lined up to scold him for scolding their layabout indentured servants.

We expect that kind of nonsense from the media. But senators should know better. The Upper Chamber was once home to statesmen like the late Dianne Feinstein, a 2020 Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year who showed no mercy to a group of sniveling little twerps who invaded her office to kvetch about "climate change," whatever that is.

In a just world, Van Orden's colleagues would be lining up to buy him a round of whatever he was sipping the night he bravely beat back an onslaught of TikTok-loving insurrectionists. And while we can't make Congress grow a pair, we can honor one of the few congressmen who already has one.

For preventing an attack on the U.S. Capitol without losing his buzz, Derrick Van Orden, you are hereby named a Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year.