Sen. Larry Craig insisted today “I am not gay” and lashed out at the Idaho Statesman for a “witchhunt” that led him to plead guilty to a disorderly conduct charge ‚Äö√Ñ√Æ a plea he hoped would make the charge go away. Meanwhile, newly released police records of the bathroom incident that led to Craig’s arrest show that Craig revisited the Minneapolis airport 11 days later to complain about how he had been treated by police. He said he wanted information so his lawyer could speak to someone, according to a police report. Craig said Monday that he did not seek legal counsel before deciding to plead guilty to disorderly conduct. Today, Craig said he has hired a lawyer to advise him what to do next. Craig was arrested June 11 by an undercover police officer who said Craig made a sexual advance toward him in an airport men’s room near Minneapolis.
Personally, I could care less what Larry Craig uses a bathroom stall for. That’s something that really ought to be filed under “too much information.” Besides, that’s really not what makes Larry Craig a self-righteous, hypocritical DUMB@$$. No, what makes him a DUMB@$$ is the way he’s backtracking after pleading guilty…as well as the vociferousness with which he’s been proclaiming to anyone who will listen that he’s not gay. The stunning ignorance and arrogance on display here is almost beyond comprehension, never mind explanation.
No one will ever really know (or likely much care) what happened on that June day in a bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. Rumors about Craig’s sexuality have been around for years, so I suppose it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Idaho Republican just wanted to take a walk on the wild side. I’ve been in the bathrooms at MSP, and I can tell you they could never reasonably be characterized as possessing an overabundance of romantic ambiance. If Craig was looking for love in a bathroom stall there, the man’s got bigger problems than anyone might have imagined.
Making this travesty even more delicious is the fact the Larry Craig is your basic holier-than-thou, “family values” Republican. Talk about being hoisted on your own petard, eh? This, of course, makes him fair game for people like me who live to skewer Craig’s brand of self-superior hyper-religiosity. Hypocritical and built to stay that way….
In a different time and place, I could have a lot of fun skewering Craig for his overarching hypocrisy and duplicity. That would be too easy, though, and there really is a bigger target here. Craig pleaded guilty, perhaps in the misguided hope that it would all go away (What in the Hell was he thinking??), but if he did nothing wrong, then what does he have to plead guilty to? For someone who believes in the rule of law, why not stand your ground and defend yourself if you honestly believe that you did nothing wrong?
Then again, it is easier to blame the Idaho Statesman newspaper for engaging in a mean-spirited partisan witch hunt against you….
“In June, I overreacted and made a poor decision,” Craig said. “While I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct at the Minneapolis airport or anywhere else, I chose to plead guilty to a lesser charge in the hope of making it go away.
“I did not seek any counsel, either from an attorney, staff, friends, or family. That was a mistake, and I deeply regret it. Because of that, I have now retained counsel and I am asking my counsel to review this matter and to advise me on how to proceed,” he said.
Craig did not take questions from reporters.
But he was happy to blame his home town newspaper for allegedly engaging in a witchhunt against him. Frankly, I’m not certain what anyone could have done to make things any worse for Craig that what he’s done himself. Clearly, Larry Craig has a problem…besides being a confirmed DUMB@$$. Either he’s severely in denial about his sexuality, or he’s congenitally unable to assume responsibility for his actions and his poor decision-making.
The senator made the statement minutes after Senate Republican leaders called for an ethics review of the events surrounding his guilty plea. Republican leaders also are “examining other aspects of the case to see if additional action is required,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other top GOP lawmakers said in a written statement.
Craig, 62, a three-term senator up for re-election in 2008, first denied any improper behavior in a statement released by his office on Monday. He said Tuesday he would announce his decision next month ‚Äö√Ñ√Æ as previously planned ‚Äö√Ñ√Æ about whether he would seek re-election.
I’m going to be interested to see how Craig’s saga plays with his colleagues and his constituents in Idaho. Idaho, being perhaps the only place on the face of the Earth more Conservative than Texas, is not the sort of place that takes kindly to hypocrites, liars, or homosexuals. There is, of course- to my way of thinking, at least- nothing wrong with homosexuality. Try telling that to most Idahoans, though. Somehow, I think that Larry Craig running for re-election is not going to be an easy sale to make to the good, God-fearing Red Meat Conservative majority in Idaho.
Stay tuned, y’all. I really think the fun is just beginning here….