Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, August 27, 2007

Family Values Strikes Again

Check out the Idaho Statesman, following Roll Call. Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) pleaded guilty to lewd conduct in a men's restroom in the Minneapolis airport.

Best quote from Senator Craig: "I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously." Er.. what did you want to handle, Senator?

Second best quote from the article: "Craig denied any lewd intentions and told police he has a "wide stance" in the bathroom and reached down to pick up a piece of paper from the floor."

What's your stance, Senator?


USWest said...

Perhaps I am dense, or maybe just unaware, (as a woman, I don't tend to know what goes on in men's restrooms. Just please wash your hands.) but I have no idea what the man's offense was. I keep hearing about these intentions, but it seems like everyone is talking around the issue, all uncomfortable. Is there some secret peeing method that is lewd?

If he is guilty, I'd like to know why Congress seems to draw such types to its ranks.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Apparently he did some toe-tapping gesture and moved his feet and hands around under the stall in a way that is commonly known as trying to pick up on the guy in the stall next to you. He was arrested by an undercover cop and pleaded guilty. He didn't plead as you or I might if accused of toe-tapping in the restroom: "What the heck are you talking about?"

He knew. They knew he knew. He knew they knew. That's the point.

Dr. Strangelove said...

He also hung around another stall for ten minutes and kept peering inside... then sat down in the stall next to it and performed the signals indicated. It may also be relevant that certain websites outed the Senator last year, though he denied it furiously. Blogactive has this picture of the cop who arrested him, and notes wryly, "At least the Senator has good taste in men."

Raised By Republicans said...

Ah, so when it comes to Republican social policy regarding homosexual rights, Senator Craig was leading by example.

His vision of America is one where homosexuals seek sexual relations in seedy mens' rooms from prostitutes while denying their own identity and thus launching themselves into a self destructive spiral.

To follow up on what Dr. S. said when Gonzo went..."And another one does, another one does, another one bites the dust!"

USWest said...

Toe tapping . . . who knew? I am a complete innocent, apparently. If these silly people would just come out of the closet, they'd discover air and light.

I have been contemplating my other question: why does Congress attract these deviants?

I have a three-pronged theory. The first is that people who have something they think they need to hide are very motivated to appear "upstanding". What a better way than to run for Congress (or become director of the CIA like Hoover).

Secondly, he is a member of a political party and a socio-economic group that shows a shocking intolerance of homosexuality and that possesses and terribly outmoded puritanical outlook on sex in general. I liken it to what you see among the clergy. Because there is no safe, healthy outlet, these people get pushed into deviance. Sex is a biological need. So when people are denied it, well . . . you see the result. What is unnatural isn’t the homosexuality, it’s the lack of sex.

Thirdly: it’s a generational thing. This type of cloak and dagger activity is a hold over from the 60’s 70’s and 80’s. I hope that when the Gen Xers get into the power in large enough numbers, the stigma attached to homosexuality by previous generations will dissipate.

Raised By Republicans said...

Hoover was director of the FBI.

There are Gay Democrats who don't do this stuff. This is peculiar to closetted Gay Republicans who are outwardly social conservatives.

These are self loathing and depressed individuals who have been brain washed to hate what they are. At the same time, they have been taught that what they are is a choice not simply a fact of life and that it is a sinful choice at that. So they ask themselves, "how can I 'fix' this? I know I'll be a raging homophobe." Well, that little plan rarely works.

Anonymous said...

This seems so retro to me. Cruising guys in bathrooms? Very 1970s. Very Andrew Holleran's "Dancer from the Dance." (I highly recommend this book to USWest, and frankly, just about anybody. It's a trip through the 1970s, pre-AIDS, with a bunch of amazing gay guys.)

This is 2007, not 1977. As a society, we've come a long way on these issues, but not far enough.
Things like the Craig episode remind me that the right is consumed with outward appearance rather than reality. Craig has a wife and three kids.* Treating people with respect and being honest in relationships are real family values.

-Seventh Sister

*Despite some reports, he is not Mormon.

USWest said...

RBR makes a good point. Gay Dems don't closet because their political party doesn't frown on homosexuality, or sex for that matter.

Ironically, when Dems cause a scandal in Washington, it is hiding money in the fridge or Monica in the closet. With Republicans its illicit messages to pages, drugs, toe tapping, the cliché of the religious child molester, etc. But we all know that the Republicans are the "party of inclusion"- regardless of your fetish, you too can be reformed, saved, and assimilated into the Grand Ole' Party. We take all rogues and rapscallions because it is the Christan way.

Raised By Republicans said...

I've seen research that shows that when Republican voters are told that their favorite Republican is involved in some money corruption they say, "Oh, they all do that. This is just a partisan attack." But if they are told their favorite Republican is involved in a sex scandal they freak out like civilization itself is collapsing around them.

Demcorats have the opposite reactions. When they are told their favorite Democrat is involved in a sexual scandal, they say, "Oh, who cares. This is just a partisan attack." But tell a Democrat that their favorite Democratic politician has his/her hand in the till and they freak out.

That's what makes this long series of sex scandals so devasting to the GOP. Sure the Duke Cunningham type stuff can ruin a particular candidate but it can't ruin the party. These sex scandals - especially sex scandals with homosexual overtones (like the page scandal, like that guy in the park in Florida, like this latest thing with Craig) completely demoralize the voting base. Republican voters see this stuff and get down right disillusioned. They give up on politics for long periods of time.

Every time one of these scandals hits, it makes 2008 look better and better for the Democrats.

Raised By Republicans said...

One othe thing....One of the stories that came out during the Page Scandal was that there is a clique of clossetted, Gay, social conservative Republicans - like Craig (and that guy in Florida). One of the things that Conservatives were yelling during the Page thing was that the party should have some sort of inquisition to ferret these people out and expell them from the party. Such an internal witch hunt would be a potentially fatal distraction for the party leadership in the run up to 2008.

USWest said...

RBR's information reminds me of something I heard once with an interview on "Fresh Air" with the satirist Mort Stahl. I couldn't find it or else I'd link it here.

In the interview, he jokes to the effect that the difference between a Republican and Democrat fundraiser is that the Republicans, proud of their wealth and prestige, network with the billionaires while sipping on champaign. The Democrats, guilty about wealth, end up in the back kitchen chatting up the immigrant staff.

USWest said...

I heard this commentary on NPR this evening. I think he makes some very good points. It's worth a listen.

Listening to excerpts of the interrogation, I find myself pissed at the cop and almost sympathetic to Craig. Do they train these cops to be condescending? Military guys talk the same way and I hate it.

At one point the cop asks Craig if his palm was up or down when he reached to pick up the paper on the floor. Craig says he doesn't remember. The cop responds in a very authoritative way that leaves no room argument, "Well I remember it was up. OK." I've had a prosecutor talk to me that way when fighting a parking ticket and it makes you feel so small and disrespected. You sort of feel set up because your point of view doesn't matter and no matter what you say, they will put down whatever they want. I am not saying Craig is innocent, but I am not much liking the cop in the tapes.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I hear you, USWest. Cops and prosecutors often affect a military-style condescension when they deal with "civilians" (cops are actually civilians, but many have military envy). I have experienced it too. I have, to be fair, also experienced those with a very different tone and attitude that I found fair and respectful. Ironically, the cop was almost certainly a fellow Republican, given that military-style attitude.

That aside, I do NOT believe that a 60-year old Republican senator from Idaho was intimidated by some schmuck in the Minneapolis airport into pleading guilty to anything, much less something politically explosive like this.

Also, as the Idaho Statesman has reported, Craig's homosexuality has been a not-so-secret secret for a while, with rumors going way back. Psychiatrists might say he wanted to get caught.

Dr. Strangelove said...

I listened to an 8-minute excerpt of the interview, which included the parts USWest mentioned, and my take on it was different. I did not hear condescension. What I heard was a level of frustration on the part of the officer who said repeatedly that the Senator was lying to him. I heard a Senator who was trying to bluff his way through, and the officer had seen it a hundred times and did not like the Senator's condescending tone.

For the info of those who might not know, the issue of seeing the wedding ring and having palm up/down was significant because it established which hand was under the stall--and it was the Senator's left hand, even though the officer's stall was to the Senator's right.

At one point, the Senator says that the officer solicited him, and that it was "entrapment." That is a telling statement!

I am left wondering whether it might have been entrapment. I ask this of our legal experts. If the plainclothes police officer had asked the Senator to touch feet or stick his hand under the door, would that have been entrapment? If so, would giving the appropriate countersign be the same thing? I suspect the Senator would have been unlikely to have engaged in the additional acts had he not been "invited" to do so.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I listened to the tape now too, and while I still agree with USWest that police can be very condescending, I'm not sure that's what I was listening to on this tape. I didn't hear frustration, either, though - I heard a clever man trying to coax a confession out of his interviewee. Police try to play mindgames. That's why you should remain silent if you can.

Entrapment is almost impossible here because of the solicitation aspect of the crime. By definition, solicitation has to come from the perpetrator. If Craig had only RESPONDED to an advance by Sgt. Karsnia, that would not be solicitation by Craig. I was amazed that Craig says "I don't do these kinds of things" as opposed to "What the hell are you talking about?"

Dr. Strangelove said...

LTG has it right, I think. It was not frustration, as I said earlier. My only caveat is I think it was a not-so-clever man trying to coax a confession out of his interviewee.