Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Craig: I am not gay!

OH MY GOD! I just can't imagine the hypocrisy coming from Senator Larry Craig's mouth on this latest sex scandal. Craig gave a press conference Tuesday, which you can see here through YouTube:

Here is the press statement through Larry Craig's website:

"First, please let me apologize to my family, friends, staff, and fellow Idahoans for the cloud placed over Idaho. I did nothing wrong at the Minneapolis airport. I regret my decision to plead guilty and the sadness that decision has brought to my wife, family, friends, staff, and fellow Idahoans. For that I apologize.

"In June, I overreacted and made a poor decision. While I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct at the Minneapolis airport or anywhere else, I chose to plead guilty to a lesser charge in the hope of making it go away. I did not seek any counsel, either from an attorney, staff, friends, or family. That was a mistake, and I deeply regret it. Because of that, I have now retained counsel and I am asking my counsel to review this matter and to advise me on how to proceed.

Excuse me Senator, why did you plead guilty to the charges of disorderly conduct? To make them go away??? It doesn't make sense--especially since you are a United States Senator, and that you should at least know the law. What were you thinking of--making it go away? Your excuse doesn't make any sense--unless you actually were trying to proposition an undercover police officer for sex, and got caught! The last thing you would want would be your image of a Republican "Family Values" crusader being destroyed by the revelations of your closet homosexuality. And you were trying to keep this conviction quiet.

Senator, I could care less if you had gay sex in public restroom, a gay bar, or even a hotel room in an orgy with multiple partners. The issue isn't whether you are gay or not. The issue here is the hypocrisy you present in attacking gay rights issues, while at the same time happily soliciting for gay sex in the airport men's room. It is this double-standard that has brought Republican congressmen down. As TPM Muckraker's Paul Kiel explains:

So what's the tally this year so far? Well, there is, of course, 1) Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) and 2) Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) with their sex scandals (the attempted restroom tryst and numerous successful hotel room trysts, respectively).

But then there's the much greater toll of just plain ol' corruption. 3) Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and 4) Rep. Don Young (R-AK) are under investigation for their ties to the oil company Veco (though that's just the tip of the iceberg for Young). 5) Reps. Tom Feeney (R-FL) and 6) John Doolittle (R-CA) have found themselves the focus of a reinvigorated Abramoff investigation (though Abramoff is in prison, he's still busily cooperating). 7) Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) had his house raided. 8) The FBI is investigating Rep. Gary Miller's (R-CA) land deals.

And then there's 9) Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) whose land deal with a businessman and campaign contributor became such a scandal that she finally just sold back the plot of land.

(Update: Thanks to a TPM Reader for pointing out that I omitted 12) Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) and 13) Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) in my original round-up. Both are facing ethics committee investigations for their calls last October to former U.S. attorney David Iglesias about his office's investigation of a state Democrat.)

It is a whole range of GOP scandals and corruption that probably goes back to when the Republicans took control of both houses of Congress in 1992, with Newt Gingrich's Contract with America. The corruption of this long-term Republican rule (yes, even with the Jim Jefford's political party switch in 2001) is now being revealed--especially the period when the Republicans had control of both Congress and the White House. And what we're seeing now from the GOP are denials and spin of this hypocrisy and double-standard from their members--just as Senator Larry Craig presented in his press conference.

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