Like West Virginia Needs Coal

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As just about everyone knows by now, Sen. Larry Craig was arrested in a public lavatory in June at the Minneapolis airport, and subsequently pled guilty to a misdemeanor — for disorderly conduct. The news just hit the fan yesterday, and our Boise paper, The Idaho Statesman, ran with a story on it. In his statement today, Sen. Craig was critical of the Statesmen, and that is the occasion of my post here.

I just saw Dan Popkey, the reporter for the Statesmen, being interviewed on Fox News. I am in a position to corroborate what he was saying there, which, given Sen. Craig’s reaction, appears to be necessary. Here’s the deal.

Like many who follow Idaho politics, I was aware of the rumors that Sen. Craig was a little light in the loafers, and have been aware of them since the eighties. The rumors included the fact that he got married to provide “cover,” and so on. But the rumors were just that, unsubstantiated rumors. Since slander is a favorite tool of evil people, particularly in Washington, I thought it my responsibility to ignore the rumors, which I did.

In the course of the last election, I got a phone call from one of Sen. Craig’s more recent accusers, offering to play me a tape of someone talking about their tryst with Sen. Craig. I told the individual calling that I was not interested in listening to it. Since Sen. Craig has categorically denied being homosexual (most recently today), this was just one more “he said, he said” situation. Furthermore, it was being conducted in the course of a campaign, when people are not exactly known for taking the high road. As an accusation, it was lurid enough, but an accusation is not proof.

Some time later, I was interviewed by Dan Popkey, who was considering a story on the subject by the Statesman. I explained to him my reasons for not giving credence to this “campaign season” bare assertion, and it was clear from our conversation that he was aware of far more than I was. At the same time, it was equally clear that he was not interested in running a story on the basis of such assertions alone. And he didn’t, much to his credit.

But now comes this arrest, and, more to the point, Sen. Craig pleading guilty to the charge on the down low, without telling anybody. He said today that he was doing this in an attempt to manage it himself, and he now regrets that he pled guilty because he (now) says that he did nothing wrong. But the fact remains that he did plead guilty. The incident he pled guilty to was sexual in nature, and the case is therefore settled. Sen. Craig cannot pretend to be a naif worked over by “the system,” and his guilty plea therefore means that he is guilty.

For Sen. Craig to be critical of the Statesman in this situation is therefore a bit thick. Their actions were principled and professional, quite unlike Sen. Craig in that airport john. Sen. Craig has been a public opponent of the homosexual agenda for many years, as he should have been. But it is now apparent that he did so as a flaming hypocrite. Ideally, the senator should resign his office tomorrow morning in disgrace. Failing that, he should step aside before the next election, refusing to run for office again. Washington needs another hypocrite like West Virginia needs coal.

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