Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Don't go, Larry

I think I made my feelings about Larry Craig quite clear in a prior post.

Now comes word that he may try to stay in his Senate seat. Well, good. First of all, he'll be a gigantic, ongoing headache for the GOP. More importantly, he can stay and serve as a reminder of the hypocrisy of his party. My favorite contrasting example, to truly illuminate the extraordinary hypocrisy of the Republicans, is David Vitter. Vitter is a senator whose name is in the phone book of a DC madam and who, after this news broke, admitted to having committed "a very serious sin in my past."

Honestly, I don't care if he was into screwing hookers. That's his wife's issue. In her place, I'd start by taking a golf club to him and then divorce him and take every penny, but I digress.

The point is that Vitter quite clearly cheated on his wife and broke the law. Again, I wouldn't care, except that he's getting a pass from his fellow senators, while Larry Craig is being crucified when he never even got to first base in his quest for sex. The problem for him is that he was looking for sex with *gasp* another man.

Larry Craig is a hypocrite, and so are all of his former buddies in DC who are pretending to be such moral people when the truth is that they have the morals of a snake! (and I apologize to any of the snakes who may read this and will, no doubt, feel insulted)

Oh, by the way, the reason I don't care, in principle, if Vitter was having sex with hookers is that I really don't think it should be a crime. We'd do much better to license prostitutes, require regular testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, and tax the business. Talk about sin taxes! We'd make a mint. More importantly, STD rates would drop, police would be freed up to handle more serious matters and the women who work as prostitutes could do so in a safer setting (as opposed to street corners and flophouses where they often face violence). If brothels weren't such horror-inducing establishments in this puritanical country, prostitutes could work in brothels where security could be provided, and the whole business would be safer.

While we're at it, let me add one other thing that will keep me from being elected to office at any time in future. I think it's time to legalize marijuana. It still should be a crime to smoke it in public. I've never even tried the stuff, and I don't even like having to walk through cigarette smoke on the street, let alone pot smoke (if I don't want to smoke it, I shouldn't have to breathe it). With that said, I really don't care if someone wants to get high on pot in the privacy of their own home. Don't expose kids to the smoke, either, since that would be unhealthy, but if you want to smoke it yourself, why are we wasting money trying to stop that? Really, like the cops can ever stop pot use anyhow!


Andy said...

I am wildly conflicted about this complex mess. Did Larry Craig have sex in an airport bathroom? No. What did he do? Basically, it boils down to flirting. It is not illegal to flirt. It is not illegal, even, to tap one's foot in a public restroom or even reach under a partition. Is that, in and of itself, actually "lewd" behavior? Ehhh....kinda weak, there. Now, I think, clearly, it was an invitation to lewd behavior, but, legally, that's not the same thing. And I have a problem with the fact that up until the point when he displayed his badge, Officer Karsnia deliberately and knowingly engaged in behavior that was designed to elicit this response from the Senator -- not sex, just flirting! -- in order to arrest him.

Now, I don't hold with the "police have better things to do" argument. A) Duh, but B), I don't want people having sex in airport bathrooms. I think it's okay to monitor that. But Senator Craig was not having sex.

I also cannot buy his claim that it was simply a misunderstanding. Assuming the police report is accurate, Craig's "No!" exclamation tells all. If he were genuinely a heterosexual innocently adopting a "wide stance," then the appropriate response to being shown a police badge while you're on the crapper is, "What the fuck?" Not, "Noooo!!!" He knew he'd been caught. (Well...caught "flirting," which means, in his case, exposed as...let's say, 'not straight'. It is, as I've pointed out, no crime anywhere to tap your foot in an airport bathroom.)

And then he pled guilty. Now, okay, to plead innocent, he'd have had to go to court, probably engaged a lawyer, spent more than his fine, and attracted media attention for having to fight a charge of "lewd behavior." Okay. Maybe. But, seriously, I'm having a hard time accepting that a genuine heterosexual defender of family values is going to say, "Oh, what the hell, I'll just plead guilty to soliciting gay sex and pay the fine and have done with it." I mean, for real? Oh, and then there's WHAT HE DID. Leering through the cracks in the stall, loitering for over ten minutes and repeatedly reaching under the stall divider? If it's a misunderstanding, I'm the one not understanding what it is Craig thought he was doing. Even the wiliest police officer can't "entrap" a straight man into flirting in a bathroom.

Should he resign? Well...I'm leaning toward yes, if only because I think his defense at this point is utterly disingenuous. I just cannot see my way to an alternative narrative where he's an innocent straight man caught in a misunderstanding. If that's the case, well...fight on, bro. But I think it's not, which means, right now he's lying. And if that's the case, then that's more serious (in my mind) than what he *attempted to do* in Minneapolis.

Dantallion said...

I hope he stays. It only helps to further damage and discredit what was once a great political party. For the good of the US and of the rest of the world, there needs to be some serious house cleaning done there, and it's not going to happen until the rot and puss that are very much a part of that party right now get exposed.

Eric said...

The very name of the police division which covers this stuff says it all about our Victorian morals: The Vice Squad.
Seriously, are we in some kind of bizarro land run by Vatican City? VICE SQUAD? Seeking sex is a vice? How does it contribute to the destruction of the world?
I'm kind of with you, Jess, that sexuality ought to just be legalized and regulated to some degree...who is the GOVERNMENT to say that Man A isn't allowed to pursue sex and offer money in exchange for it with Man B or Woman A? That's not their business!

Patrick said...

It could be argued that although Vitter admitted to using the services of a prostitute, he never was convicted in a court of law. In contrast, Craig plead guilty to a lessor charge, and therefore after being convicted, could fall under ethics regulations.

I just feel like playing devil's advocate here. :-)