« Copyright Law v. iPhone Freedom Fighters | Main | Katrina: Two Years Later »

August 29, 2007

Comments

Don't forget Vitter (and the party affiliations of the governors in LA and ID).

I'm surprised you don't mention what would seem to me to be the most obvious and relevant issue: the lack of reasons given for why Craig should resign, and not Vitter, and the implicit hypocisy if sound reasons aren't put forth by someone being for one, and not the other, the issue presumably being one of violation of law, rather than morality.

Putting it into perspective with Bob Packwood's forced resignation would also be relevant, although perhaps less immediately obvious.

Interesting observation, though Hoekstra was the first, so I'm wondering if you have any insight into why he was first. I also like Dodd's comment

"I at least want to give him a chance to hear his side of the story," Dodd told CNN. I'm a Democrat. He's a very conservative Republican. We don't agree on much, but give him a little space here to defend himself."

The advice of handing your drowning opponent an anvil has been replaced with tossing him a flare so everyone can watch...

I think pretty much every Republican understands that this scandal is very bad for the Republican Party, and thus wants it to end. You don't have to go a lot deeper than that.

The amusing thing, as a number of commentators have noted, is that Craig's big announcement was "I am not gay!"

But being gay isn't, in fact, illegal, and not what he was charged with, and not what he pled guilty to.

So it's entirely irrelevant, in point of fact.

But in his mind, it's the primary charge. It's not that he pled guilty to a crime. It's his sexual orientation that's the issue.

It doubtless is in many people's minds. But this confusion of issues -- gayness, and pleading guilty to a crime (specifically, "lewd conduct") -- is at the heart of the matter.

i'm gonna guess that Craig's little press conference yesterday has done him more damage than the arrest. not only is he gay, cruising and busted (not necessarily deal-breaking), but now he's a weaselly liar, too.

"It's not that he pled guilty to a crime"

I'm in the 'total b.s. crime' camp.

"I'm in the 'total b.s. crime' camp."

Perhaps, but he shouldn't have pled guilty, then.

It belatedly occurs to me that probably everyone hasn't seen this yet.

[...] “Senator Larry Craig has agreed to comply with Leadership’s request that he temporarily step down as the top Republican on the Veteran Affairs Committee, Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, and Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests," reads a statement from GOP leadership. "This is not a decision we take lightly but we believe this is in the best interest of the Senate until this situation is resolved by the Ethics Committee.”
As a practical prediction, I'll be astonished if Larry Craig runs for re-election, and I think resignation is highly likely, given the response, for whatever the reasons, he's getting from senior Republicans, and on top of the Packwood precedent.

The interesting point is how Vitter may get away otherwise.

Because he may be fond of hookers, but that's just being a good ole boy, rather than, you know, one of those people.

I don't expect that announcing his alcoholism, going into rehab, and a new devotion to Christ, would be sufficient for Craig, however.

But, y'know, live by anti-gay bigotry, die (politically) by anti-gay bigotry. It might not be entirely tragic.

"Perhaps, but he shouldn't have pled guilty, then."

Not his fault (well, one part in 10**8) that society is screwed up. Technically that was a crime, but in a sane world we wouldn't be talking about this.

But, y'know, live by anti-gay bigotry, die (politically) by anti-gay bigotry. It might not be entirely tragic.

that aspect is certainly not tragic.

we'd be much a better country if people like Craig didn't work to make people like Craig had to feel like they had to hide what people like Craig really are. Craig. Craiggity Craig.

"Technically that was a crime, but in a sane world we wouldn't be talking about this."

We're very far from a sane world, however.

If you mean that in a sane world, most every person would have an appropriate means to, and feel free to, politely sexually proposition people they are attracted to that they have sound reason to believe wouldn't be offended by their proposition, I'd agree. And there are innumerable other sound ways to describe a "sane universe" in which Craig's problem couldn't have arisen.

But given just that huge, probably infinite, number of possibilities, and a lack of a way of knowing which ones you might have in mind (until you're more specific, of course), I can't know for sure that we're in agreement on precisely those possibilities, though the odds are reasonable that we are.

Meanwhile, while I thoroughly oppose any disrepute attaching to being gay, or bi, to any degree whatsoever, I don't know that I'd necessarily oppose any and all laws that addressed non-gender-specific sexual harassment in a way that might encompass certain forms of propositioning in highly specific circumstances. I'd be skeptical, but I don't know that I can rule all such possibilities as out of line, sight unseen. Harassment of any kind that goes beyond a certain point is a legitimate crime, and so is sexual harassment that goes beyond a certain point, and that can include behavior that comes under the heading of "propositioning," or even, though I have doubts about the category itself, "lewd conduct."

It's also not unheard of, and I'd venture not always a matter of subjectivity being allowed to be stretched to a point of abuse, for a certain amount of professional experience to be used by police to recognize certain types of activity deemed criminal. (Whether it should be considered criminal is an entirely separate question.)

It's possible that Coleman, at the very least, is gaming the system. Idaho shouldn't be in play next year, but if Craig hangs around, it could mean the Republicans have to spend more money on what should be a safe seat than they should. Get rid of Craig, and replace him with a solid R, and it becomes even more unlikely the Democrats pick up an otherwise untouchable seat.

Don't know enough about hoekstra - anyone?

Pete Hoekstra is a typical West Michigan wingnut, he thinks we really did find WMDs in Iraq. I'm not sure what you're asking, though.

Hoekstra was joined in his crazed WMD claims by Curt Weldon and Rick Santorum. It's unfortunate that he couldn't have joined them in electoral defeat last year.

Along the same lines as Incertus' comment, I don't think Coleman is trying to distance himself from the party as much as just trying to make this problem go away as quickly as possible. With a tight race coming up next year, the last thing he needs is a Mark Foley-style scandal that took place right there in his home state. I'm envisioning future flights through Minneapolis by Sen. Craig, with reporters following him through the terminal, broadcast on local TV for the next fourteen months. Likewise with other vulnerable Republicans - if Craig will just go away, this will more than likely be forgotten this time next year.

Just to clarify, by "Mark Foley-style" I just mean that conduct by another member could hurt his chances of re-election, not that the two events are themselves similar.

Steve,
I brought up the question of Hoekstra, and I was just wondering why he got out in front of this as he was the first to call for Craig's resignation.

The calls for Sen Craig's resignation just show how disfunctionally antigay the GOP now is. Why should he resign, but not Sen Vitter? Because he has actually pled guilty to a misdemeanor, but Sen Vitter hasnt? I don't think so. Is it because he is exposed as a hypocrite? PLLLEEEEEASE. The GOP is a foaming mass of gaybashing hypocrisy. No, it is because he was looking for mansex rather than female prostitutes. Ironically, Sen Vitter apparently has engaged in illegal behavior, but looking at the actual facts, I dont think Sen Craig actually violated the law. He had no reason to think he was causing affront or alarm since the officer tapped his foot back. By coming down so hard on Sen Craig, but not Sen Vitter, both McCain and Coleman are just playing to the antigay bigots that are such an important part of the GOP electoral coalition.

if it's a wingnut, then i assume it anti-gayness. but the only think i really know about him is that he was part of the weldon WMD looney brigade

I brought up the question of Hoekstra, and I was just wondering why he got out in front of this as he was the first to call for Craig's resignation.

I can't think of a special reason. Maybe Craig voted against tulip subsidies once.

This part is mildly amusing:

"I at least want to give him a chance to hear his side of the story," Dodd told CNN.

Of course, the good Senator had a chance to tell his side of the story. He had a hearing, at which he pled guilty.

He also had a press conference. So, yes, tossing him a flare. :)

August 29, 2007 at 08:02 PM:

[...] As a practical prediction, I'll be astonished if Larry Craig runs for re-election, and I think resignation is highly likely, given the response, for whatever the reasons, he's getting from senior Republicans, and on top of the Packwood precedent.
Heh.
Senator Larry E. Craig, Republican of Idaho, plans to resign his seat on Saturday after Republican leaders put intense pressure on him to leave in the aftermath of an undercover sex sting, Republican Party officials said Friday.
Who says the Republicans can't be efficient when they want to be?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad