(UPDATE 5:30PM: A concerned reader just informed us that you can see Craig's creepy mug shot, along with a photo of the pretty yummy decoy cop here. No fair if the cops are that cute!)
Except that I’m completely against them, I have nothing against gay Republicans: we’re all driven by the engines of hypocrisy in one form or other – and accepting yourself is a lifelong journey, incredibly difficult for some. We are everywhere, darnit. (For a great history of closeted Republicans, click here.) So I didn’t jump to posting about the Larry Craig scandal until I got a few facts, er, straight – like his heinous record of voting against equal rights (looks like, for once, Perez freaking Hilton did his homework, and there’s a solid little encapsulation here. You can look up Larry Craig’s individual Senate votes here.) Plus, I was awfully busy celebrating Alberto Gonzales's resignation. Not even this could take that away from me.
I also wanted to read the giant expose that the Idaho Statesman was hyping today. Even though Roll Call broke the story of the three-term senator from Idaho who had been arrested for cruising the bathrooms of a Minnesota airport, the Statesman had been investigating allegations of Craig’s homosexuality for months – and there are portions of a revealing interview with the Senator (and, alas, his poor wife) included, where the Senator actually keeps saying “Jiminy!” A LOT.
The allegations were first raised by self-proclaimed non-partisan gay interest blog, Blogactive (there’s a very intriguing little YouTube history of Craig’s knee-jerk reactions to his fear of being implicated in the 1982 sex-and-drugs Congressional page scandals on the site.)
First of all, I hate the fact that the Senator was basically, though apparently legally, entrapped in a restroom sting by the local police at the airport. Don’t the police have better things to do at airports? Hello, Homeland Security.
An aside: There have been many commentators and commentors on the story who’ve been aghast that gay people still have sex in restrooms – these people obviously have no idea of gay history (restrooms used to be one of the only places available for gay people to sexually congregate – we used to be illegal, you know – and rest rooms, along with parks and back alleys, are still the cruising spots of choice for closeted people who don’t want to be caught in the strobe-lit glare of most gay bars. And need I mention “Mile High Club” to you straights out there? Yes, it’s naughty and fun. Disclaimer: it’s still illegal, goddamit.)
But hey, the guy pled guilty (he even allegedly flashed his Senate badge and said “What do you think of that!”) – although now he says his guilty plea was a mistake and the officer “misconstrued” his “wide stance” at the toilet for a come-on. (Come on!!!)
I also hate that people keep comparing this case with that of Mark Foley. Cruising restrooms for anonymous sex is nowhere near on par with pressuring underage kids in your employ to do it with you. Nor was there any meth or prostitution involved, as in Ted Haggard. Plus, there is actually a difference between men who have sex with men and gay people (I mean, have you seen how this guy dresses? HORRIFYINGLY not-gay.)
This is just a sad and sorry, sorry, sorry case of another hypocritical self-loather, caught up between his soul-crushing ambitions -- Idaho? Shoot higher, lady, if you’re gonna go through this – and his to-him shameful libido. Too bad he did so much to pull the rest of us down with him. And his wife is probably wrecked. But, as they say, the truth will “out.” Now we eagerly await the upbeat resignation-rehab-Jesus follow-up mode ….