What to make of the long-running (about
to become longer) national gag that has become the Larry Craig story?
Not much really; there is no way out for the toe-tapping Senator from Idaho.
The disgraced Senator from Idaho
admitted pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly
conduct in a Minnesota airport men's room on August 28th, 2007. The police allege he attempted
to solicit sex from an undercover police officer.
Craig is a right-wing Republican who
voted for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), has been a vocal
supporter of anti-gay bills, and supports a Constitutional amendment
to ban same-sex marriage.
Within days, Republican allies became
foes calling for his resignation; Craig acquiesced by the coming
Saturday and promised to step down effective September 30th, 2007.
Yet this week Craig returns as he has
decided to fight the conviction to which he had previously plead guilty.
I applaud this decision. For Craig is
a victim of an overzealous, homophobic system fueled by anti-sex
hysteria. What crime has Craig committed here? He did not have sex
in public and he did not expose himself to the arresting officer.
What happened with the toe-tapping and finger-wagging was nothing
more than flirtation. Fair is fair and Craig committed no crime. It
is pure homophobia to treat homosexual flirtation in a public space
as “lewd behavior” while heterosexual flirtation remains
protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution as free speech.
Indeed a right given to all Americans, so long as you're not gay.
And while Senator Arlene Specter and
the ACLU are backing Craig in his fight to reverse his guilty plea, a distinction needs to be made here. I do not believe the ACLU is
pro-Craig, but more simply I believe their interest is in defending
any reduction in the rights of Americans as protected by the First
Amendment of the Constitution, particularly when that right is withheld
from a minority.
These revelations come as no surprise
to us at On Top. We first reported on Craig's hypocrisy during the
2006 election cycle in an
Our Say article titled “November 7th, 2006: Reckoning Or Apathy“ where we shared with our readers a recent outing
by gay activist Mike Rogers. In 2006 Craig called the outing, which
claimed he frequented a Washington Union Station men's room looking
for male sexual partners, “ridiculous”. Today Craig continues to
deny being gay. Yet it's
difficult to believe a straight man would find himself crawling
around toilets desperate for male interaction.
However, whatever the outcome of
Craig's conviction, the damage is done. Progressive groups will not
support a hypocritical, self-loathing politician. A fragile GOP marred by too many scandals and confident that Idaho's
Republican governor will appoint a Republican successor to Craig will
not support a disgraced liability such as Craig. In the end, the
discrepancies between Craig's public and private lives, and his
persistent dishonesty have flushed away any hope of support.
It's one toe tap too many for Larry