Saturday, September 01, 2007

Larry Craig has resigned

U.S. Senator Craig from Idaho has resigned. There is something revealing about the way the Republicans pounced on Larry Craig. It's OK if you are caught with a prostitute, or probably even groping a female staff member -- but if you are not of the straight variety watch out! It is sad, in a way, that Larry Craig lived with such shame and self-denial, but yet he was still hypocritical and hateful. The sad part, was a significant portion of that was self-hate. Here's one of the latest articles

BREAKING NEWS: Idaho's Sen. Craig resigns over scandal
By Andrew Malcom,
L.A. Times

Idaho's Republican Sen. Larry Craig bowed to the inevitable pressure of his political party today and officially announced his retirement from the U.S. Senate effective Sept. 30.

In an emotional news conference in Boise, standing next to his wife, Suzanne, and two of their three children, the 62-year-old Craig, who was arrested on suspicion of lewd behavior in a Minneapolis airport men's room in June and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct later, said he would resign from the Senate Sept. 30.

His statement was met by a smattering of jeers and applause from the crowd of 200 gathered in a parking lot on a sunny summer Saturday overlooking downtown Boise. Craig thanked the numerous officials and supporters who were standing around him and apologized to the people of Idaho. He said the distraction of pursuing his legal options would prevent him from giving full time to his duties.

"It is with sadness and deep regret," he said, "that I announce my intent to resign from the Senate Sept. 30. I hope to allow a smooth transition."

As he had previously, Craig has continued to deny any wrongdoing. But his repeated denial of being gay elicited little support in his conservative home state, where he had delivered much favorable legislation over his three Senate terms and a spell in the House. As a staunch opponent of gay rights, he was easily open to hypocrisy charges.

Already facing an uphill political struggle next year against an unpopular war and president and forced to defend 24 Senate seats to the Democrats' 12, fellow Republicans immediately distanced themselves from Craig and began urging his resignation to allow a replacement enough time to hold office and prepare for next year's election in what has been a reliably Republican state; in 2004, Idahoans gave President Bush 68% of their vote.

Craig's denial of improper conduct and a police audiotape released Thursday, with its detailed discussion of tapping foot signals, hand waves and wide stances over toilets, immediately became the subject of countless water cooler conversations and fodder for bathroom jokes on late-night talk shows.

Why Craig is waiting until the end of September to leave office is not completely explained. He said it was to allow a smooth transition to his successor. But colleagues had hoped he would end the embarrassment and constant publicity as quickly as possible. It will provide more time for the governor to consider a replacement.

This is not the first time Craig's sexual conduct has come under question. Last fall when a gay website announced that Craig was gay, the senator's office denounced the statement as "ridiculous." On Tuesday he uttered the now famous line: "I am not gay. I never have been gay."

Idaho's Republican Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is expected to name Lt. Gov. Jim Risch as Craig's replacement. But as a longtime Craig friend, he has publicly refused to discuss that until the seat was actually vacant and Risch says there have been no discussions. Another possibility could be Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson or even Dirk Kempthorne, who already has been a senator from Idaho, then was elected governor and last year appointed Secretary of the Interior by President Bush. His term in the Cabinet would, of course, end with the president's in January 2009.

There was no word on the timing of the replacement announcement.


Anonymous said...

Considering that Craig has a wife and two kids I think he'd be called a bisexual cheat, not a gay man.

PeteinDC said...

Perhaps you are right, but it's hard to read what his inner secrets are entirely. It may be important to point out he didn't marry until later in life, because he was single when he denied any involvement in the page scandal in 1982.