August 30, 2007 Leave a comment
I really don't want to spend too much time piling on Larry Craig. It's got to be bad enough simply trying so hard to pretend you are not gay while a U.S. Senator. What is really striking and pathetic is how other Republican Senators have completely thrown him to the wolves by stripping him of committee assignments, calling for his resignation, etc. When it was recently revealed that Louisiana Senator Vitter's name was found in a DC Madam's book and he had frequently used her services, there was not nearly the uproar. Vitter is quietly back at work now. Vitter repeatedly engaged in activities with prostitutes whereas, regardless of his intentions, all Craig did was tap his foot in a bathroom stall. So, it seems that as far as Republican Senators are concerned the equations are: heterosexual sex with prostitutes = not so bad; intended gay sex (admittedly, in a public place) = lose your job.
I was just about to post this, and discovered that Glenn Greenwald has already addressed the topic much better than me:
When Hugh Hewitt admitted
that he wants Larry Craig to resign but does not want the adulterous,
serial-prostitute-hiring David Vitter to do so, he was subjected to
ridicule and scorn from many different corners — on the ground that this inconsistency is obviously attributable both to anti-gay animus and rank political self-interest
(Vitter's replacement would be chosen by a Democratic Governor, whereas
Craig's would be chosen by a right-wing GOP Governor). Even some right-wing blogs noted the absurdity of that position: “Hugh Hewitt wants Craig to resign immediately but David Vitter to stay on. Huh?”
Yet that contradictory and nakedly unprincipled posture has now become the official position of the GOP leadership,
led by its pious “moral values” wing. A whole slew of very upstanding
Family Values Senators are parading around making a flamboyant showing
of pressuring Larry Craig to resign (knowing that it will entail no political cost), all while remaining completely silent about David Vitter's at least equally “undignified” and confessed adultery and lawbreaking (acts which, just like Craig, he concealed from his family and colleagues in the Senate until he had no choice).