Thursday, October 04, 2007

Larry Craig: Not Gay, Gonna Stay

In what is turning out to be a very odd turn of events, Republican Senator Larry Craig of Idaho now says that he is going to serve out his term in the Senate. This came as some surprise to his Republican colleagues who were quietly holding the door open for him on September 30th, his announced resignation day.

It also probably surprised Idaho governor C.L. "Butch" Otter who recently announced that he had found a replacement for Craig when he steps down.

Forever changing his mind on this thing, Craig now says that he wants to stay and plead his case in the Senate Ethics Committee, which will hold hearings on Craig’s guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct in a restroom at the Minneapolis airport.

The hearings promise to be live on TV.

You have to wonder about this guy and his desire to immolate himself (figuratively, naturally) on nationally televised hearings. What is behind this extreme change of heart?

My speculation is this: why did he so quickly decide just to plead guilty to the Hennepin County DA’s office? Answer: He thought it would go away and no one would ever pursue it. Well, denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, and Larry Craig seems to be full of denial. Of course it was going to get out. Another gay Republican legislator?

Come on.

But now that it is all just out there for anyone to read about or watch You Tube videos about, why not try to have your guilty plea taken back? Let’s go to trial, here. Again. Denial sets in. Is it just me or does anyone else out there get it that a judge will never allow someone to take back a guilty plea – a settled deal – so he can add another case to an already crowded docket?

So now that it’s out, I can see his point. Why not try the case in public?

Here’s why not: it doesn’t matter now whether Larry Craig is gay or just has “a wide stance”. It’s all about perception and perception is everything. It is unfortunate that it has to be over something like being or not being gay, because the last time I looked there was no law against being gay. But what it is about is hypocrisy, and Republican hypocrisy at that. If he’s not gay as he says, then, OK, he’s not gay. But he will always be perceived as gay and there’s the rub. It’s been in the news too much and that alone makes it true, whether it is or not.

People in the news media just love two things and I really can’t say why. They love to report on Republican legislators as being gay, and they love to report on any teacher of any political stripe to be gay.

Perception is everything.

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