Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Larry Craig Affair

Yet another politician caught in an embarrassing situation. Senator Larry Craig, Republican from Idaho, arrested in June for supposed lewd conduct in a public restroom.

It's all over the news, of course, but I don't think such incidents raise people's eyebrows as much as they used to even a decade ago.

I was actually surprised to see columnist, Debra Saunders, calling for his resignation. Hey, so what if the guy was cruising a public restroom? I know it's considered tacky, at least in some circles, but so what?

I felt it was a shame he was arrested for not doing anything particularly wrong but I never really questioned him being arrested until I got the heads up from Radly Balko over at The Agitator blog (Thursday's post).

Why exactly was Craig arrested? He wasn't engaged in lewd conduct. He was arrested for trying to find a sex partner in a public restroom. I hadn't looked at it exactly that way. Should it be illegal to go looking for a sex partner? I should hope not.

CLS, over at Classically Liberal, takes the question of the arrest even further, repeating himself over and over again as usual. CLS also comments on Craig's support for so- called "anti- gay" legislation.

He notes the irony [some would say hypocrisy] of Craig's support for anti- gay marriage, and other such legislation, when Craig might well have been fooling around with guys himself.

I can understand the concern with supposed hypocrisy but, despite being a supporter of gay marriage myself, I think someone could be bi or homosexual and still be opposed to gay marriage.

If someone has been know to publicly denounce or demonize homosexuality and homosexual acts and then get's caught with their pants down with the wrong sex, that's a different issue altogether.

I don't know that Craig was outspokenly anti- gay. I haven't seen anyone say he was, at least so far.


All in all, Larry Craig has my sympathy and he certainly shouldn't resign as a result of this incident alone. But, in the end, that will be for the people of Idaho and the senator himself to decide.

If the sex lives of the citizenry are the affairs of legislators then the sex lives of legislators are the affair of the voters.- CLS at Classically Liberal

74 Comments:

At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred's thoughts about Craig can be summed up with Fred's most telling statement, "I don't know."

Try researching the guy's anti-gay history before posting a lengthy article expressing sympathy for him. It's a great example of the hypocrisy of politicians, and republican moralizing in particular.

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger Fred said...

You seem to consider yourself an expert on the subject. Why don't you give us some examples of his "republican moralizing".

 
At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, isn't it your job to do the research? You're the one publishing opinion on a soapbox. We're reacting to it. If your comments are no better informed than a casual blog visitor, why are we here?

 
At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Clinton is "A Nasty, Bad Naughty Boy"
http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/08/28/1999-video-republican-larry-craig-calls-bill-clinton-a-nasty-bad-naughty-boy/

Larry Craig's bathroom behavior and the right wing -- then and now
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/08/28/craig/index.html

Barney and Bill on Larry Craig and gay Republicans
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlyJmhwa1c0

Just for fun: Idaho Values Alliance article talking up Craig's abortion stance, with a blurb about bathroom sex below.
http://www.idahovaluesalliance.com/news.asp?id=481

 
At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, what news sources do you read? The fact that republicans legislate morality is hardly a new concept. It's everywhere, from sexual acts in the bedroom to what you watch on TV.

 
At 10:29 AM, Blogger Rose said...

And there you have it, Fred. The guy is guilty because he is a Republican. If he was a democrat they'd be defending his actions.

 
At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the widely talked about 1999 video:

Craig: "Well, I don’t know where the Senate’s going to be on that issue of an up or down vote on impeachment, but I will tell you that the Senate certainly can bring about a censure resolution and it’s a slap on the wrist. It’s a, bad boy, Bill Clinton. You’re a naughty boy. The American people already know that Bill Clinton is a bad boy, a naughty boy.

I’m going to speak out for the citizens of my state, who in the majority think that Bill Clinton is probably even a nasty, bad, naughty boy."
-----
Fred, that isn't moralizing? That isn't hypocrisy? I bet there are a lot of Republican congressmen who hope you're on their juries when they get arrested.

 
At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Rose, we're debating Fred's opinions about moralizing and hypocrisy. Please Rose, don't hang any more straw men today.

 
At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 9:42 Fred asked for examples to prove him wrong. Rose, get a grip.

 
At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no sympathy for Craig. And I have no problem with the cops arresting him for trying to find a sex partner in a public restroom, "cruising". It must be quite a problem if they assign undercover cops to go after them.

A public restroom at a large airport where children and teenagers frequent in an airport. "cruising" a public restroom is pathetic, especially for a US Senator. With this kind of conduct he could be blackmailed to vote a certain way or use his power and influence in all sorts of ways. So he opposes gay marrige, a smokescreen to cover up his homosexual tendancies. This piss poor example of a public servant and US Senator should resign immeadiately and never show his face again, unless he wants to come out of the closet and be a gay activist.

And how can you believe a word this pervert says again. Trying to blame the cops. Gee I pled guilty even though I did nothing wrong? If he hadn't done anything wrong he'd be using all his power and influence to fry the cop that arrested him. He would have been outraged and not plead guilty and pay his fine.

Bottom line, screw Craig. He doesn't deserve your sympathy. Who was paying for his trip, his airfare when he got busted? 20 to 1 he was traveling on the public dime to find some pervo in a public restroom that wanted a bj from some other pervert.

 
At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry Craig's most vocal critics are the very people who have been lecturing for years about acceptance of homosexuality. Talk about hypocrisy!

 
At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry 10:40, criticism of Craig is not about his implied homosexuality, but about his hypocrisy in claiming to have "family values" (to Republicans, gay people do not have family values) and his opposing equal rights for gays -- even leading the drum beat to ensure gays remain second class citizens. Liberals are not criticizing the fact that he's presumably gay; that's all in your mind.

 
At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, across the border, a gay politician just wed.

We are such prudes.

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger mresquan said...

I think Clinton should have been impeached for various reasons.So Rose,there is at least one leftie not defending a democrats actions.

 
At 11:19 AM, Anonymous heraldo said...

Craig strongly opposes gay marriage and gays in the military.

Of course the government should stay out of people's sex lives. How many hypocrite Republicans have to get arrested for soliciting sex in bathrooms or chasing teenage pages before we get there?

 
At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Republicans give anonymous unprotected bathroom sex a bad name.

 
At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When did mresquan become a progressive?

 
At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What did craig actually do? I've heard leftists scream "he's gay! He's gay!" but I've heard nothing of substance.

He walked into a sting operation that was going on in the airport bathroom.

What if all he did was reach under a stall for more toilet paper?

 
At 11:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, that's not all he did 11:42. Before criticizing liberals for overreacting, why not read a news article about what happened? Why voice your prejudice? Don't overreact. Educate yourself.

 
At 12:03 PM, Blogger mresquan said...

Craig Arrested, Pleads Guilty Following Incident in Airport Restroom
Monday, Aug. 27, 2007; 4:48 pm
By John McArdle,
Roll Call Staff

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men’s public restroom, according to an arrest report obtained by Roll Call Monday afternoon.

Craig’s arrest occurred just after noon on June 11 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. On Aug. 8, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in the Hennepin County District Court. He paid more than $500 in fines and fees, and a 10-day jail sentence was stayed. He also was given one year of probation with the court that began on Aug. 8.

A spokesman for Craig described the incident as a “he said/he said misunderstanding,” and said the office would release a fuller statement later Monday afternoon.

After he was arrested, Craig, who is married, was taken to the Airport Police Operations Center to be interviewed about the lewd conduct incident, according to the police report. At one point during the interview, Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, “What do you think about that?” the report states.

Craig was detained for approximately 45 minutes, interviewed, photographed, fingerprinted and released, and police prepared a formal complaint for interference with privacy and disorderly conduct.

According to the incident report, Sgt. Dave Karsnia was working as a plainclothes officer on June 11 investigating civilian complaints regarding sexual activity in the men’s public restroom in which Craig was arrested.

Airport police previously had made numerous arrests in the men’s restroom of the Northstar Crossing in the Lindbergh Terminal in connection with sexual activity.

Karsnia entered the bathroom at noon that day and about 13 minutes after taking a seat in a stall, he stated he could see “an older white male with grey hair standing outside my stall.”

The man, who lingered in front of the stall for two minutes, was later identified as Craig.

“I could see Craig look through the crack in the door from his position. Craig would look down at his hands, ‘fidget’ with his fingers, and then look through the crack into my stall again. Craig would repeat this cycle for about two minutes,” the report states.

Craig then entered the stall next to Karsnia’s and placed his roller bag against the front of the stall door.

“My experience has shown that individuals engaging in lewd conduct use their bags to block the view from the front of their stall,” Karsnia stated in his report. “From my seated position, I could observe the shoes and ankles of Craig seated to the left of me.”

Craig was wearing dress pants with black dress shoes.

“At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area,” the report states.

Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times, and Karsnia noted in his report that “I could ... see Craig had a gold ring on his ring finger as his hand was on my side of the stall divider.”

Karsnia then held his police identification down by the floor so that Craig could see it.

“With my left hand near the floor, I pointed towards the exit. Craig responded, ‘No!’ I again pointed towards the exit. Craig exited the stall with his roller bags without flushing the toilet. ... Craig said he would not go. I told Craig that he was under arrest, he had to go, and that I didn’t want to make a scene. Craig then left the restroom.”

In a recorded interview after his arrest, Craig “either disagreed with me or ‘didn’t recall’ the events as they happened,” the report states.

Craig stated “that he has a wide stance when going to the bathroom and that his foot may have touched mine,” the report states. Craig also told the arresting officer that he reached down with his right hand to pick up a piece of paper that was on the floor.

“It should be noted that there was not a piece of paper on the bathroom floor, nor did Craig pick up a piece of paper,” the arresting officer said in the report.

On Aug. 8, the day he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in the Minnesota court, Craig appeared via satellite at a ceremony that took place in Idaho in which former Idaho federal Judge Randy Smith was invested into his new position as a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In October 2006, Craig’s office publicly denied allegations that he was a homosexual made on a gay activist Web site — blogactive.com. Craig’s office told the Spokane Spokesman-Review that the charge was “completely ridiculous,” saying that the allegations had “no basis in fact.”

Steven T. Dennis contributed to this report.

 
At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if the policeman lied?
(I am a strong supporter of the police, but some of them do lie sometimes. Especially against people they despise, the way some people despise gay people.)

I know a gay man who said he had been convicted in SF on the word of two police who said they saw him do something that he did not do and that they could not have seen from where they were even if he had done it. In those days, the judges always believes the word of a policeman over that of an accused "pervert."

Bathroom sex is sickening to most of the gay people I know including me. It should be discouraged.

But one thing you won't often hear in the media is that most of the men busted for this activity are not out-of-the-closet Gay men. They are men who are supposedly straight, married men.

And the worst among them at the Hypocrites who use anti-Gay hatred to bolster their own careers which skulking around in bathrooms for taudry sex.

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger Derchoadus said...

Rose said...
The guy is guilty because he is a Republican.

No Rose, the guy is guilty because he said he was.

 
At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry conservative apologists, but the good senator pleaded guilty. You can't wiggle out of this particular bathroom sex scandal.

Rich History of Washington Scandal.

Here's a fun Youtube simulation of the event from some newscasters.

 
At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a minute Derchoadus, are you accusing Rose of towing the party line in a complete vacuum of facts? I'm shocked, simply shocked!

 
At 12:22 PM, Blogger mresquan said...

Rose,do you think this guy deserves a plea bargain?What would Paul do if he was the prosecutor here?

 
At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rose, you are such a nut!

 
At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred and Rose are a pair of narrow minded, ignorant reactionaries. The only difference, Rose is a little more clever, doesn't admit she's ignorant. Fred's admits ignorance about the facts, saying "I dunno", but always still has an opinion. Unlike Lake Woebegon, in reactionary blogland, all the bloggers are BELOW average.

 
At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are plenty of gay politicians living in the closet and lying to their wives on both sides of the isle. Just look at our Congressman Mike Thompson who lived en flagrante dillecto with his chief of staff for years in Sacramento and DC.

 
At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see Mike Thompson moralizing in Congress, pushing bigotry as law. You simply don't understand the issues we're discussing 1:31.

 
At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think most people understand the power and influence self hatred can have over a persons existence...

Now, can we all agree this is completely hypocritical and flys in the face of the 'moral majority' but that this is not on par with healthcare or the war or most every other issue we are all to happy to deny???

WAKE UP EVERYONE!

WE ARE DECADENT!

 
At 3:05 PM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

Anon 2:43, speak for YOURSELF.

 
At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also a bill has been passed, so you can’t say anything negative about homosexuals in school either. Bye bye freedom of speech.

 
At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 3:31 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

The "I am not Gay" comment is kind of surprising post-Nixon.

 
At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nick, please brush your teeth. Your rotting craw is filthy and disgusting. As a taxpayer I don't want to eventually pick up the tab for your dentures.

 
At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nick, I do believe the poster was speaking for him/herself. To say "Speak for yourself" is redundant. That is the purpose of this "leave a comment" function.

 
At 4:13 PM, Blogger Rose said...

You guys are funny.

Of course the government should stay out of people's sex lives. On this you and I agree, heraldo.

Craig was an idiot if he did this, and it's digusting if he did this, just as Clinton getting an under the table blow job was. (What was worse though, was having to endure questions about semen on a dress during press conferences with international leaders). Should either one of them lose their jobs over it? Matter of opinion. Mine is - It's the lying that gets them in trouble every time.

 
At 4:27 PM, Blogger Nick Bravo said...

Anon 3:58, if that were the case he would not have used the word "WE".

Anon 3:33, fear not, I'll wait to get them capped in Arizona with their tax dollars.

 
At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rose, the differences between Craig and Clinton are clear. Clinton was a victim of a political witch hunt, an investigation that started with whitewater and only found that he got a bj from a consenting adult outside his marriage. Craig was arrested by the police. Both men are or were being screwed over by the tabloid sensationalism of our media. Do you see how what you just wrote was political spin?

 
At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 5:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just pull those teeth out of your head Nicky. That way Charles Douglas will no longer be able to track you movements.

 
At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rose, Rose , Rose..... to denounce an under the table blowjob is pure kookdom. Kookdom , I tell you. Why don't you try giving a couple, then tell us your opinion.

 
At 6:41 PM, Anonymous heraldo said...

Craig was an idiot if he did this, and it's digusting if he did this

Well, Craig pleaded guilty, so there it is.

 
At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! My innocuous comment to Nick gets deleted, but the paranoid they-are-tracking-me-by-my-dental-work post remains. That's quite an interesting bit of moderation Fred.

 
At 7:32 PM, Blogger Rose said...

Yeah - I stand corrected. It wasn't the blowjob per se - it was the Clinton machine that stood by poised to destroy Lewinsky if she talked, but the machine was thwarted by the evidence in the form of a dress. What was disgusting was that it turned into a national and international spectacle because Clinton decided to lie rather than say "none of your business." What was disgusting was the legal system that then made her spill every detail when she should have just shut up. What was disgusting was the national press corps asking questions about semen on the dress while they were in an international press conference, and what was disgusting is that image of the president of our country being broadcast into homes on the morning and evening news shows and around the world on a daily basis. It was a witch hunt, and that was just as disgusting.

 
At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nick, if you do pull the teeth out of your head, please put it on youtube. It will make you famous, Famous I tell you! You will be the most famous and glorious video blogger ever. Bigger than LonelyGirl, Renetto, Smosh! We will all grovel at your feet!

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger Carol said...

This is all so icky. I think I need to take a shower.

 
At 9:00 PM, Blogger mresquan said...

Rose,what was most lame about what the repubs did to Clinton was the fact that Sen Bob Packwood was doing his own misdeeds at the same time and the repubs had no intention of letting that cat out of the bag.

 
At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:46 PM, Blogger Rose said...

Packwood was a monster who deserved what he got, and he got no sympathy - if you remember, he resigned in disgrace.

 
At 9:51 PM, Blogger Rose said...

Sorry, Fred. I see my stalker is here.

 
At 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congressman Thompson's gay fling does matter when he opposes marriage equality by legalizing gay marriage for guys like himself who are living a lie.

 
At 1:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Admit it 11:03, you like him. You really like him. In a congressional sort of way.

 
At 7:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, i guess all those lewinsky hating republicans love blowjobs then?

 
At 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Senator Craig stood on a hill and shouted that he and his kind, married and moral, were of infinitely greater worth than any same-sex couple wanting to marry.

All the while he was grubbing around in stinking public restrooms looking for anonymous sex with strangers?

This is not hypocrisy?

This is not odious?

 
At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious. Fred, has your opinion changed any, or did all the links go in one ear and out the other?

 
At 11:13 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I agree with Rose: "It's the lying that gets them in trouble..."

It's unfortunate that people have to feel ashamed about their sexual activities. I wish our leaders would boldly state, I have sex and I enjoy it, whatever kind it is (as long as it's between consenting adults).

Craig is a hypocritical liar and should resign, but trying to get/give a hummer shouldn't be an issue.

 
At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

lets see... blowjobs 8 or 9 years ago....Christ!-let it GO people!

Meanwhile our country is becoming a facist state, and no one seems to care. Wow.

(Yes- people have cried 'facist state' before, I know.)

But this time folks, this time its really happening. If you doubt this in any way- go to the 'horses' mouth.

Read Dick Cheneys manifesto (PACT)
from 1996. Then explain how we let such an evil run our country.

 
At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1996 was eleven years ago. Sheesh!

 
At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll take that as a no then Fred. Truthiness rules!

 
At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's sad that now the evening news is filled with details about how men troll for sex in airport bathrooms. Who knew? Who wanted to know?

 
At 7:12 PM, Blogger mresquan said...

It's even sadder that repubs make policy of moral matters then whine about how it got there.

 
At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow! 69 comments. can you do that in public?

 
At 9:21 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

What's sad is that what's bringing him down is his homosexuality. Whether he's hypocritical, and whether he's lying, and whether if true these factors make it on some level justice that he's going down in flames - the fact of the matter is that what is making his crisis unsurvivable is the fact that he's gay.

And McCain's argument that it's the conviction is BS. Bush was convicted for a DUI, a much worse crime in my book, and he became president with public knowledge of the conviction.

It's the homosexuality stupid. And liberals should not be sanguine about it.

 
At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Deacon Mushrat said...

The more pious they are publicly, the further you should keep them from your children.

 
At 3:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mrs. Requan,
Thank for posting that article. I have read several that never discussed exactly what happened. I didn't know what sort of 'Signals' were being questioned.

 
At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think, as a general proposition, we Americans are destroying our country by our efforts to save it.

I would elaborate, but I'm not sure free speech is still permitted in the new post 9-11 world.

 

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