Gay Sex & Screwing The People

…if that doesn’t get some Google traffic, I’ll sell my shares…

More seriously. I don’t know enough to have an opinion on what Sen. Craig did or what the legal fallout of it was or ought to be; I’ll leave that to people with more experience than me in hot men’s bathrooms and courtrooms (and, especially hot, men’s bathrooms in courtrooms!).

But I’ll come out here and say that Craig should resign now. Not in response to his legal issue, but for his first response to it.

According to the police report, the senator presented a business card and asked, “What do you think about that?”

I’ll call that the Lindsay Lohan Defense, after Ms. Lohan:

Here’s the money quote from Lindsay Lohan during her night of drunken partying and driving:

“I can’t get in trouble. I’m a celebrity. I can do whatever the f**k I want.”

What do I think about that, Senator? I think one piece of 8-1/2″ x 11″ paper with your signature on it could go a long way toward making you right with God and the American People. Of course, you’d have to give up the business cards…

38 thoughts on “Gay Sex & Screwing The People”

  1. Rather than resign, I wish Craig would come out and support gay rights. It doesn’t really surprise me that he would try to use his senatorial status to escape a scrape. I’m sure all 100 do it frequently and successfully.

    The thing that surprises me about this (and about that rep in Florida) is that the cops actually send undercover officers to cruise mens rooms. It seems a terrible waste of public resources. How many guys are nabbed per hour that way.? Station one uniformed cop near the restroom in question for half the time and you’d deter a great deal more public sex.

  2. Please, if we lost all the political people who used the power of their office to get things they wanted there would be no one left. “Do you know who I am” is a time honored tradition of idiocy.

    Seriously though, it was wrong – but the main focus of this isn’t on the fact that he tried to abuse his power. It’s split between:
    * Did he really think pleading guilty would slip it by us? And, gee, it almost did…
    * He’s gay! And anti gay! And he loves.. err, likes Mitt Romney as a candidate!

    His attempted abuse at power and passive threats don’t even crack the top 3 things about this. Until it does, that Resignation for this reason won’t make a difference – it’ll be judged to be for something else.

  3. Thanks, AL, for the belly laugh! Sounds like Sen. Craig’s been corrupted by the swamp. He isn’t the first, and he won’t be the last (sadly). His power play with the business card was pitiful, and his behavior repugnant, so he should try to salvage at least some of his reputation and resign ASAP. I don’t care if he’s gay or straight–soliciting anonymous sex in a public bathroom is reprehensible.

  4. I’m in agreement with AL – Senator Larry Craig’s conduct is inexcusable, he should resign immediately.

  5. Craig is chipped beef on toast no matter what. He might not resign, but he won’t be reelected.

    Your point that he ought to resign for trying to bully his way out of trouble is a good one. But that’s not why he’s going to go down. He’s going to go down in the crossfire between conservatives and liberals who hate [Republican] queers.

    My take on Craig is that he’s in denial about his sexual life, and is trying to have it both ways. Don’t people have a right to be sexually confused? Why should it disqualify someone from public office, when basic confusion about foreign and domestic policy doesn’t? (So long as it remains within the limits of the law, which Craig obviously has trouble with.) And why is sex a matter of sacred privacy when you do it in the Oval Office restroom and then lie about it on TV, but not when you do it at the airport and then lie about it on TV?

    I agree that Craig ought to go, pronto. But no principle will be thereby affirmed, and nobody will be the winner. The lessons that will be drawn from this are not good ones.

  6. mark:

    I wish Craig would come out and support gay rights.

    That would effectively finish as quickly as anything. The public doesn’t want the so-called “gay rights” that have been defined by the political left.

    Craig voted for a constitutional ban on gay marriage. So did a couple of Democratic candidates for president. Not one leading Democratic candidate will express public support for gay marriage, or any of the “gay rights” that some think should be mandatory for Craig. So who are the hypocrites?

  7. Glen,

    “And why is sex a matter of sacred privacy when you do it in the Oval Office restroom and then lie about it on TV, but not when you do it at the airport and then lie about it on TV.”

    I’m guessing your referring to Clinton with this. A) it wasn’t a matter of sacred privacy. There were public hearings and he was impeached. B) The issue isn’t that Craig might be gay or have gay tendencies. It’s that he opposes gay rights while hiding his own tendencies. Now, if Clinton had been an advocate of punishing those who engage in extramarital affairs or in denying them equal rightsf, then bringing the subject up in this context might be appopriate.

  8. Glen, if any of the those democrats who refuse to support gay rights that you mentioned were themselves gay, then I would say that they, too, are hypocrites. There is nothing hypocritcal about opposing gay rights and there is nothing hypocritical about being gay. But when you put the two together……

  9. mark:

    Glen, if any of the those democrats who refuse to support gay rights that you mentioned were themselves gay, then I would say that they, too, are hypocrites.

    You’re right, I forgot to factor in the fallacious moral relativism.

    What about the liberals who, even if not gay themselves, push the agenda of gay activists while trashing “family values”? Yet they support Democratic candidates who parade their families in front of voters and distance themselves from the gay agenda – and they do this on the theory that these Democrats are only pretending to be socially conservative in order to fool the masses into voting for them. This is the same theory that allowed John Kerry to be pro-war and anti-war at the same time.

    Or maybe they don’t subscribe to such a theory. Maybe they just don’t give a crap what it takes to elect Democrats (or destroy Republicans) because it’s all about the power.

    This is honest and forthright?

    This is exactly what I was talking about when I said that false lessons will be drawn from this.

  10. Seems to me that going through the social stigma of being a ‘sex offender’ that any other citizen in similar circumstances would have to deal with might prove educational to the good Senator, to say the least. I knew a gay guy who became a registered sex offender for making out in a park parking lot (and not being able to afford an attorney), so just imagining the senator knocking on all the multimillion doors in his neighborhood warms my schadenfreude to no end!

    It’s telling that our legislators feel so insulated from the consequences of the laws that they themselves pass onto the rest of us.

  11. Glen, there may be a simpler (and less sinister) motivation behind the voting patterns of people like me, who are strong supporters of gay rights, and yet sometimes vote for democratic candidates who are not supporters of gay rights. Two reasons: one, it is vitually impossible to find candidates who agree with one’s own positions on every single issue of importance and, as adults, we have to make reasoned choices. Two, usually it’s a two-man race, neither of whom supports gay rights, so the issue isn’t even a votable one.

    There’s nothing particularly strange or amiss about a liberal voting to keep a republican out of power since, by definition, the republican party’s values are antagonistic to a liberal’s values. That’s why we have more than one party. One for the liberally inclined and one for the conservatively inclined. It’s quite true that when I voted for Kerry I was more casting a vote to get Bush out of power than because I wanted Kerry to be president.

  12. I wouldn’t be surprised if he exploits the vagueness of ‘congressional immunity’ vis a vis ‘breach of the peace’, to explain that all he was seeking with the business card, was clarification as to whether ‘lewd behavior’ was in fact a misdemeanor which met the ‘breach of the peace’ standard. Does this bit of plausible deniability regards the ‘abuse of office’ aspect of this matter matter?… nope. The concept of honorable (as it would pertain to hypocricy) is well down the list of what seems to matter to the public in general, and the voting public in particular. He will instead be hoisted on his own conservative ‘family values’ petard.

  13. mark –

    Oh, I get it. Outside of a few liberal congressional districts, gay branding is suicide, and everybody would like to see the other guy’s candidate stuck with it. (“Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” as Seinfeld said.)

  14. The socalled MSM has it right this time on the Craig debacle. Regardless of the alleged crimes, misdemeanors, or ethics breeches – its the hypocrisy issue that damns Craig, the GOP, and the fundamentalist evangelical socalled kristians.

  15. Josh Marshall hits the home run:

    Given what’s described, it seems quite possible that, with a good lawyer, Craig could have beaten the rap. But had he tried, it would have become public and it would have been pretty clear — clear enough to doom him politically — that Craig is gay and that he gets sex in public restrooms. (If someone put their shoe under a bathroom divider and rubbed it against your shoe, you’d get the message I think.) Remember, there’d already been lots of unconfirmed reports in the past. Because of that, Craig couldn’t fight the charge even though he might well have been acquitted.…All he could do was plead out and hope against hope that no one ever noticed.

    As for why Craig doesn’t think he should be allowed to serve in the military, I guess that’s his decision, but it does seem rather curious. Some of these conservative closet cases are out there calling for vigorous enforcement of antiquated (and now invalidated) sodomy laws that would have put themselves in jail. Looking for external control?

    Incidentally, Glen, even in the SF Bay Area I don’t know anyone who thinks gay rights should be “mandatory”, i.e., replacing hetero marriages (retronym alert!) with required gay marriages. Clever rhetorical framing, though!

  16. Two days ago, I sent the following to Mr. Duncan of the RNC in response to a solicitation … for funds.

    =====
    Right now, Republicans in Washington are part of the problem. Almost half of the problem. In more than 50 years of observing politics I have never seen the political class so unbelievably out of touch with America as a whole.

    With a few exceptions I absolutely detest the entire Washington crowd.

    Selfish, elitist, power-hungry, losers … almost every single one, on both sides of the aisle. The only thing that has saved the Republicans is that they’re running against Democrats. You have no idea of the profound hatred that exists out here for the Washington crowd.
    =====

    Mr. Craig and his ilk only intensify the feeling.

    They have a major problem in Washington, but are so incredibly out of touch that they don’t even realize it.

    No Senator (of either party) should ever be President. Give me a governor, a general, a mayor, or a successful business CEO, but do not, repeat: do NOT, ask me to vote for a legislator.

    They are surpassed only by bureaucrats in their arrogance and hunger for more power.

  17. Andrew:

    Incidentally, Glen, even in the SF Bay Area I don’t know anyone who thinks gay rights should be “mandatory”, i.e., replacing hetero marriages (retronym alert!) with required gay marriages.

    Of course by “mandatory” I meant the idea that someone like Craig is required, because he’s gay, to take positions on gay rights that people like Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama refuse to take. If the Democrats can have it both ways, then so can Craig.

    After all, if these positions are good, then the Democrats should adopt them, too. If they’re bad, then no one should support them. If they are good or bad depending on whether or not you’ve ever had sex with another man in a public toilet, then we have an insane asylum instead of a civil society.

    In short, “identity politics” is for idiots, charlatans, assorted scumbags, and – yes – hypocrites.

    But if you believe that private conduct should make public policy (a falsehood, but let’s assume it) then that would actually require Craig to oppose gay marriage. Craig obviously does not belong to the faction of gay culture that desires marriage, family, and all the trappings of heterosexual respectability. He belongs to the faction that wants to have sex with anonymous strangers in toilets. Far from a desire for marriage, he has no desire for a relationship or even an acquaintance with the people he has sex with. It is utterly impersonal.

    Whether he should be judged for that or not, I’ll leave it up to you. All of this assumes, of course, that Craig really did the things he’s accused of. But this is not the first time, and I think his constituents are getting the idea that he’s been lying to them for a long time.

  18. Glen: You should know by now that wether a party supports an idea has nothing to do with how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ it is, merely wether it will be supported by the public at large. Right now only a minority of voters support gay rights. I expect to see this change dramatically, as the next generation is a lot less quesy about ‘gay people’ in general.

    Furthermore, I am generally against publicizing personal lives, except when it happens to those who condemn others while having their own hand in the pot. (Which has been happening alot lately). I’ve been having trouble finding records of sen craig’s past statements, but I know that in addition to working against gay rights, he also:

    1)Supported barring gay men from boy scouts. Except… wasn’t he an eagle scout? Isn’t that just a tad hypocritical. Look, boy scouts is a private organization and should be able to do what they want, However, you can’t have it both ways. STill, I’m going to mention that boy scouts are under the mistaken claim that most pedophiles are gay. HOwever, the correlation doesn’t go the other way, most gay men are not pedophiles. If you want to get a better correlation, we could prevent everyone who’s ever been molested from participating in youth activies (much higher correlation to pedophilia there).

    2) He also pushed abstinence education, and voted against medicare funding for low-income HIV positive families. Now really, if the people pushing abstinence can’t keep it in their pants, do we really expect it to work on our kids?

  19. Glen,

    “If the Democrats can have it both ways, then so can Craig.”

    I think you are confusing a heterogeneous group with a single individual and I don’t think the two can be legitimately compared. For example, if, say a republican, who opposes Bush’s plan for a guest worker program and advocates that the US/Mexican border be shut down to stop the flow of illegal immigrants gets caught hiring an immigrant to mow his lawn, then that individual would behaving hypocritcally. But the situation says nothing about the republican party as a group. The democrats can indeed have it both ways since the democrats (like the republicans) comprise various constituencies that disagree with one another. The pro-gay rights section of the democratic party holds a minority view within the party. Your argument would only make sense if you advocated that any one disagreeing with any plank of a party platform should be expelled.

    But whether you agree with or disagree with gay rights, you have to admit that it’s kind of odd for someone who is so opposed to gay rights and who insists he is not gay, turns out to be gay….or at the very least to have some sort of homoerotic sexual fetishes.

    As I said, I am not calling for his resignation. If hypocracy were a barrier to the Senate there would be 100 permanently empty seats in the chamber. My wish is that he would admit to his homosexuality and campaign for equal rights for gay americans. Note, please, that is a wish and not an expectation.

  20. _Still, I’m going to mention that boy scouts are under the mistaken claim that most pedophiles are gay._

    That’s not true. The Boy Scouts exclude openly homosexual boys and men on religious grounds. They also exclude atheists. They are a quasi-religious organization often sponsored by churches, temples and mosques in the community.

    The Supreme Court has ruled that the Boy Scouts have a first amendment right to associate with whomever they want. Despite this, a DC Human Rights Commission ordered a local scouting troop to readmit two expelled gays. Congress took steps to stop DC from enforcing its order. Senator Craig voted in favor of those steps.

    It seems to me that there are a couple of non-homophobic reasons to support that legislation. First, one component of tolerance is to tolerate the existence of private organizations with viewpoints that differ from yours. Second, when the Supreme Court makes a decision, Congress should take steps to enforce it.

    When I was looking at Craig’s report card over at Sullivan’s blog, the one thing that stood out to me was that Craig had not voluntarily adopted a policy of not discriminating against homosexuals in the hiring practices of his own office. That seems like a pretty minimal thing to do, but either he desired the symbolism of bigotry or he couldn’t trust himself . . .

  21. PD

    “It seems to me that there are a couple of non-homophobic reasons to support that legislation. First, one component of tolerance is to tolerate the existence of private organizations with viewpoints that differ from yours. Second, when the Supreme Court makes a decision, Congress should take steps to enforce it.”

    I agree with the second reason for supporting the legislation. Indeed Congress has a duty to respect and enforce S.C. decisions..or at the very least, to write legislation that conforms to them.

    However, I do not agree that one component of tolerence is to tolerate the existence of private organizations with viewpoionts that differ from yours IF that viewpoint is one of intolerance. The definition of tolerence shouldn’t be one that is self-contradictory. I understant there is a paradox in the statement: a tolerant society will not tolerate intolerance. But that is a paradox built into the very nature of the idea and I think it remains true and non-contradictory. It is similar to the need to enforce peace with violence, which is why we arm cops.

    Note, please, that I am not advocating the gov’t be allowed to shut down intolerant prviate groups, principaly because I would be reluctant to give the gov’t such power, not because I think intolerant groups should be allowed to flourish in the name of tolerance.

  22. PD shaw, you’re right, I must have heard that argument somewhere else….

    I haven’t yet thought about wether he should be booted. It would be nice to believe that he would leave out of of his own disgrace, but Senators have a pretty high tolerance for failure. IF there is no ethics violation here, I guess it’s really up to his constintuency.

    It wouldn’t surprise if he the Republicans basically force him to step down at some point. I know that if he was a dem, I’d want him to have left office last week.

  23. I don’t know about the DC Boy Scouts, but the Berkeley CA Boy Scouts had a sweetheart deal with the city over use of the marina and the city (rightly) refused to continue the arrangement because of anti-gay discrimination.

    My young Eagle Scout friend doesn’t think the Boy Scouts will keep up the charade much longer.

  24. mark #23, The problem is who gets to define an “intolerant” organization. Feminists and “pro-choice” folks would no doubt define pro-life groups as “intolerant.” If my religion teaches me that homosexuality is morally wrong, then by acting on that belief in my associations, I am simply exercising my first amendment right to religious freedom. That is true whether or not you or anyone believes I’m being “intolerant” by doing so. If by “intolerant” you mean a KKK or neo-nazi type organization that advocates or commits violence against certain groups of people, then they should absolutely not be tolerated. But they should not be tolerated on the grounds of their violence NOT on the grounds of their “intolerance.” That’s just too vague and subjective a term to use to decide which organizations should be tolerated and which shouldn’t.

  25. Fred, precisely my point, which is why I would never want a powerful entity like the gov’t to have the right to make those decisions.

  26. There is an article in “slate”:http://www.slate.com/id/2173102/nav/tap1/ illustrating that craig helped enact the current form of
    “don’t ask don’t tell” that has led to the release of several officers who did not publicize their sexuality, and we’re only ‘caught’ after anonmyous tips (no arrests, no flagrant displays etc).

    Again, reeks of hypocricy, that he’s demanding honest americans who are serving their country to be punished for their private sexuality. Meanwhile he is engaging in the same acts publicly. he doesn’t even have the decency to make them private, he’s engaged in risky, digusting public displays of vulgarity.

    Ok, I’ve now changed my mind. How do we go about creating enough pressure to boot this guy out of office?

  27. I still don’t think he should resign. If hypocracy were a disqualifying factor for a seat in the senate, the chamber would be empty. Pleading guilty to disorderly conduct is insufficient grounds for dismissal. Sure, his party wants him to resign because it’s an embarrassment and hurts them politically. I know it won’t happen, but I just wish he’d come out of the closet and apologize for sponsoring legislation that demonizes gay people as unqualified for marriage and military service.

    He shouldn’t run again for the senate cause he’d lose and the seat would go to a democrat, which would be a betrayal of his party. But he should stick out his current term.

  28. mark: _I do not agree that one component of tolerence is to tolerate the existence of private organizations with viewpoionts that differ from yours IF that viewpoint is one of intolerance._

    I agree. I also agree that the government shouldn’t police intolerance as a general rule. I differ from Fred perhaps in that I think groups that advocate violence against other groups are guilty of a crime. The Supreme Court disagrees with me, the KKK can stand up and encourage its members to kill blacks and that’s ok. A poor senator tries to communicate his desire for consensual intercourse and he gets a mugshot.

  29. alchemist, I don’t see any hypocrisy. The Senator still doesn’t want anyone to ask his sexual orientation and he still doesn’t want to tell.

  30. I disagree. Win you get it on in a public restroom, you’re dying to tell. You can’t wait for someone to find out. That’s supposedly part of the thrill.

    On the other hand, these officers did not publicize their sexuality, never referred to their sexuality. THEY DID NOT TELL. But someone else did, and even though they had kept their sexuality in privacy, they still lost their jobs.

  31. PD,

    Actually, I agree with you. I do believe advocating violence against anyone is itself a form of violence that isn’t, or shouln’t be, protected speech. However, a group that maintains that blacks are inferior to whites and that you shouldn’t let your daughter date one etc. (a sort of Archie Bunker society) are idiots, but not criminals. To the extent that the KKK is just a bunch of idiots who believe and say stupid things, they are not committing crimes. To the extent that they are advocating violence, they are, or should be. I believe that the SCOTUS was wrong on that one.

    mark, Sorry. I completely misread your comment #23. I didn’t realize you were disagreeing with the comment about not tolerating intolerance. You’d think somebody with a PhD in Literature would read a bit more carefully. The statement you disagree with, though, is quite commonly seriously suggested and even acted on in academia, where I spent the bulk of my adult life. I’m glad you’re not part of that Stalinism.

  32. Fred, re-reading it now, I see how ambiguous my statement was in #23. Clearly, I do not have Phd in literature or at least not one in clarity.

  33. I saw one interesting analysis of the Craig situation.

    Here’s someone who was arrested in early June. In August he plead guilty to a lesser charge, then turns around and says that was a mistake, and he now realizes that he should have consulted an attorney.

    Forget the sex. Forget the hypocrisy. Is this a level of competence at making difficult, important decisions that you want to have in the Senate? If this guy, given plenty of time to reflect on issues, can’t make a better decision on something directly affecting his own life and welfare, should he be representing the people of Idaho? And being one of 100 people making major decisions about the future of the USA?

    Heck of job, Craigie!

  34. AL,
    Evil, must resign, he showed his business/Senate/corruption card. Why, then, is Cynthia still serving, after all, that was a firearms violation.
    Micky Kause pretty much holds all you, if they’re Repub they’re guilty of something homophobes, to the light of reality.
    Marc, I’ve always tho’t much better of you than this post indicates.
    Mike

    http://www.slate.com/id/2172992/#smokinggunfromfuture

    Smoking Gun from the Future:

    Filed: 8/27/08 at 8:57:26 AM

    On 8/26 at about 1200 hours I was working a plainclothes detail involving deviant conduct in the men’s room at the Pepsi Center during the Democratic Convention. We had received civilian complaints of disorderly persons using this particular facility and had made several arrests.

    I entered the men’s restroom and proceeded to an unoccupied stall in the back of the restroom. Other people were using the restroom for its intended purposes.While seated in the stall, I was the third stall from the wall (which was to the East). I observed suspect, a middle aged white male, enter the stall to my left and place his roller bag against the front of the stall door.

    At 1216 hours suspect tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal often used by persons wishing to criticize teachers’ unions. Suspect tapped his toes several times and moved his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly.

    At 1217 hours, I saw suspect swipe his hand under the divider for a few seconds, a possible sign of support for charter schools. Suspect repeated this motion again, from the front towards the back, and I could see more of his hand. Suspect then swiped his hand in the same motion for a third time. My experience has shown that this suggests an openness to publicly funded private school vouchers. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. This did not seem to deter the suspect. He began to whistle. Means-testing! I knew I had to take action. I slid my party credential under the divider and pointed to the exit. When suspect tried to leave I handcuffed him and placed him against the wall.

    Suspect denied all charges and claimed he was merely soliciting homosexual sex. He was immediately released.

  35. If you want to get a better correlation, we could prevent everyone who’s ever been molested from participating in youth activies (much higher correlation to pedophilia there).

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