Tuesday, August 28, 2007

You Know It's A Bad Day When...

...you are a social conservative and you make the following denial to the press corps:

"I am not gay, I have never been gay, and I did nothing wrong in that Minneapolis airport bathroom..."

Repubs have thrown Senator Larry Craig to the wolves because they are afraid Craig's public humiliation will do to them in '08 what Mark Foley's scandal helped do to them in '06:

Craig’s defiant news conference came as Senate Republican leaders in Washington called for an ethics committee review into his involvement in a police sting operation this summer in the airport men’s room.

“In the meantime, the leadership is examining other aspects of the case to see if additional action is required,” Sen. Mitch McConnell and other top GOP lawmakers said in a written statement.

Interestingly enough, Senator David Vitter (R-La), a social conservative who has admitted to schtupping prostitutes in the past (rumor has it Vitter liked to wear a diaper while doing it) managed to survive his scandal while Craig looks like he is going to lose his battle to keep his Senate seat.

Part of the problem is Craig has become publicly confrontational with the press as he has denied his sexual peccadillo while Vitter disappeared for a bunch of days after his name surfaced on the DC Madam's client list.

Another part of the problem is that while Vitter was wearing his diaper, he was schtupping female prostitutes. Unfortunately for Larry Craig, he was soliciting a blowjob from a man.

Repubs can handle hypocrisy and adultery (at least in their own party - notice how neither Newt Gingrich nor Rudy Giuliani has been harmed by their sexual peccadillos or hypocrisy), but they can't handle one of their own trying to get a quickie blowjob from a man in a public toilet.

I bet Craig could have survived this easier if only he'd been soliciting sex from a female.

As long as she wasn't a White House intern, of course.

That would be one other sex crime that would have been unforgiveable to the wingers.

At first I didn't care about this story, even though I have family ties to Idaho.

I've changed my mind, however.

Larry Craig is a conflicted guy. He is obviously tied in knots over his sexual needs. Clearly the homosexual side of him is tortured. Probably as a result of the community in which he was raised.

I'll assume he has spent most of his life in Idaho, which is unquestionably a provincial state.

He is shamed by his homosexual needs. His feelings of shamefulness have been with him all his life, presumably. He is now disgraced and hoping to overcome his predicament by lying.

Why is the man under seige when he is, in fact, a victim?

He is a victim of the provincial societal attitudes that are slowly disappearing from this country? He is a closeted gay or bisexual male.

If he were filling any role except Republican legislator, he would receive considerable amounts of sympathy from millions of people who would profess to understand the strait-jacket in which he has had to live much of his life.

In fact, I think the magnitude of his neurotic compulsion to hide his demon was multiplied many times by the extreme fear he felt over the threat of discovery. To protect himself from his own demon, he acquired the image of a conservative politician. I think his job indicates how deeply fearful he was.

So where is the compassion for a guy who has been afraid all his life to admit he is sexually attracted to men? It's missing.

He's being villified for being just like millions of other men who have not been able to overcome their feelings of shame for what they are.

His career is toast, and his marriage is probably cooked too.
Larry Craig is a victim because he let himself be a victim. He was the one who decided he wanted a political career from one of the most homophobic states in the union. He was the one who decided he wanted to troll for blowjobs in airport and train bathrooms, thus making his public exposure all but assured. And he was the one with the big mouth calling Bill Clinton a "nasty boy" for the Lewinsky scandal while he himself was seeking anonymous sex with men in public places.

Larry Craig is a hypocrite. To make matters worse, he is a liar - now that he has been outed, he refuses to come clean.
You know, it isn't just that he is a legislator. It is the fact that he is a legislator who has tried to deny rights to a group of which he is a member.

There are plenty of people from Idaho who have "come out". I would sympathize with him if he wasn't such a hypocrite. It is all about choices.

Who I really feel sorry for is all the men whose bathroom pick-up tricks are now common knowledge, being broadcast on CNN.
reality, if Larry Craig were an anonymous gay man who had been caught by cops in the same act in the same airport bathroom AND his employer sought to fire him because he pled guilty to a sex crime, you would run to his defense.

Your animus is a function of ONE factor: Because he is a Republican, you hate his guts.

The gay agenda includes getting people over their self-loathing, their insecurities, the neuroses, their conflicts over being gay or bisexual in a country that has not fully accepted homosexuality. For that reason, an outpouring of concern for Craig's suffering should occur. But it hasn't. Although, I'm sure Craig doesn't want it too, either.

His future does not concern me. His career is toast. The people in Idaho will see through his denials. After a few more of Craig's bathroom buddies speak to the press, his wife will probably walk out. She knows the stories are true.
My animus comes over the hypocrisy of supposed "Values" guys like Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Ted Haggard and David Vitter - holier than thou'ers who have no trouble casting the first stones at others and telling other people what they can and cannot do - who cannot live by their own supposed moral codes and then blame others when they are exposed publicly.
Pt, exactly!
Glenn Greenwald over at Salon.com has written a couple of pieces about the position of the fundies on "family values." Briefly, they are hot to condemn behavior that is reasonably uncommon and that is unlikely to effect them, while remaining oblivious to behaviors that the many indulge in that are equally forbidden. A prime example is re-marriage. According to Jewish law and the New Testament, to re-marry while one's ex-spouse is still alive is adultery, pure and simple. That makes it at least as bad as homosexuality, possibly worse.

Where are the "family values" stalwarts when it comes to the marital status of Guilliani, McCain or Fred Thompson? Pretending not to notice, I suppose. That's odd -- those same moralists were awfully noisy when the guilty party was a Democrat.
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