THIS POST COMES FROM AN OPENLY GAY GUARDIAN READER LIVING IN MINNEAPOLIS
Sex in bathroom stalls is incredibly disgusting and typically involves note passing and whatever signals indicate that a person is available.
Public bathrooms have become quite risky for guys on the prowl, gay, straight or bisexual. According to a (gay) friend, there is a publication that lists hot cruising spots natonally or maybe internationally, so the Minneapolis airport might be on that list.
If this list is publically available that means that the cops read it as well. How dumb do you have to be to take this kind of risk?
Craig’s “flat-footed denial” of any wrong doing and his vow to reverse the guilty plea (which is an unlikely outcome) are both incredibly lousy strategies. It guarantees that Craig will be ripe fodder for talk radio and the bloggers for several days. (Jay Leno made several jokes on NBC last night).
The hypocrisy of this sanctimonious Republican family values icon getting caught being “naughty” is like Christmas for Air America, the progressive talk network. (Air America Tuesday was playing a tape of Craig during the Clinton impeachment saying “naughty, naughty man.”) He would have been well advised to do as fellow Republican Mark Foley did and declare himself a drunk, retreating to a recovery center in Europe. It’s too late now.
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Aug 29, 2007, 12:02 pm
The Idaho State Republican Party’s assertion that we “shouldn’t rush to judgment” is ludicrous. Mr. Craig passed judgment on himself when, of his own free will, he declared himself “Guilty”. Not “Innocent”… Not “No Contest”… Guilty! Forgetting the crime for a moment, I wouldn’t elect a Dog Catcher that exhibited the back-peddling, buck-passing behavior that Mr. Craig has in the last few days.
Indeed, Mr. Craig has done great things for Idaho (Federal $$$! Idaho is one of the few states that takes in more money than it pays in Federal Income Taxes), but I beg of him to live, learn, and move on to a lucrative lobbying career, so we can get back to poking fun at our other embarrassment, Bill Sali.
Aug 29, 2007, 12:36 pm
My guess is that if there were individuals out there that were thinking of coming forward with information about involvement with Senator Craig, they will feel far better about stepping up now. Before the arrest and guilty plea, it would have been “he said, he said”. All this press is going to likely shake a few acorns from the tree.
Even with the support of the local GOP leaders, Craig will have to resign or decide not to run again. He’ll couch it as wanting to spend more time with his family, and while admitting no wrong doing, he’ll say he is falling on his sword for the sake of the party as to not let the Statesman and other news sources distract the public from the Republican Party’s plan for the country. Who do you suppose will want to accept donations from Craig’s hefty yet tainted war chest that he will no longer need?
Aug 29, 2007, 2:06 pm
“You can count on Americans to always do the right thing… Once they’ve tried everything else!” – Sir Winston Churchill
Aug 29, 2007, 7:46 pm
It is quite possible for Craig not to be gay. I doubt that he is. It does appear, however that he does like to have sex with other men in public toilets. And it is unfortunate that we do not have a word for person who likes to have sex with other men in public restrooms…other than pervert.
And in his speech, Craig did not say “I am not a pervert.” nor “I do not like to have sex with other men in public men’s rooms” nor did he say “I am bi-sexual.”
Aug 30, 2007, 1:02 am
It is at times like this that I am reminded just how fickle the public can be. Beyond the immediate thought of hypocrite and idiot, I sincerely feel sorry for Senator Craig. I can’t imagine being in a situation of your own making that finally does you in.
It seems that Senator Craig has had some serious internal conflict for some time, which he most likely was trying to keep from himself as well. It’s very unfortunate for him that he was not able to be who he really is and felt compelled by both his political standing and personal convictions to maintain a double life. Quite frankly, he was never more of a friend to Idaho conservatives than any other long-term legislator. The local GOP couldn’t be more right in saying that Idaho has a friend in Larry Craig, at least if you are a dyed in the wool Republican. My personal feelings about him, I’ve always thought of him as an ass, no joke intended at all here. There have been very few votes in his career either here in Idaho or in D.C. that I have agreed with. I am against his position on salmon recovery, grazing and mining practices, pro gun lobby (and yes I do own fire arms and hunt), military presence oversees, “yes” votes for NCLB, lack of support for student loans and grants, his record on gay rights issues, his votes to allow credit card companies to jump interest rates to impossible levels, his lack of funding for the V.A., and the list goes on. Yet, there are many Idahoans that applaud these votes. It is for this fact that I find it rather interesting that those he served well and faithfully have been the first to throw him to the wolves.
Let’s say this had been something other than a sex scandal, or heck, even a sex scandal, but with a female. There have been and are many cases of Republican lawmakers kanoodling with lady friends, and voters look the other way and vote them in time after time. It’s not as if infidelity with a lady friend is legal, as Bryan Fischer has pointed out loud and clear of late, and yet, many seem to accept it as part of the game. However, this time it’s different. Those that have profited from Senator Craig’s many years of service have now forgotten their benefit and instead ridicule him and at times in the most mean-spirited of ways. And yes, I know I was right there with the double entendres when the news broke, but I never liked the guy to begin with, never voted for him, and there are certainly levels to which I would not stoop in bashing Senator Craig. To turn around a vilify this situation as Mitt Romney did in order to distance himself from Senator Craig in such a self-serving and sanctimonious way to keep his campaign on track was in my mind, uncalled for and cruel.
It is this kind of cruelty that kept Craig in the closet to begin with. It’s unfortunate that he wasn’t able to face this of his own accord years ago, yet I’m not surprised he didn’t. I have gay and lesbian friends, and many of them have found themselves ostracized by family and friends for simply being honest about whom they are. What Senator Craig was most likely afraid of, the thought of being hated for who he is, has presented itself. While he should have been honest about his arrest, and he has what now appears to be a hypocritical voting record and personal jokes abound, people on both sides of the political spectrum should keep in mind that in lashing out, cruelty is uncalled-for. Regardless of what course Senator Craig’s political and personal life take from here on out, I hope that he finds some measure of reassurance from those that have for years, called him a friend, as difficult as that might now seem to those that have been hurt by this revelation. I for one have found that all things are possible. After all, never in my life did I expect that I would be writing a statement in defense of Senator Craig.
Aug 30, 2007, 7:56 am
Why do I want to sing “Looking for love in all the wrong places”?
Aug 30, 2007, 8:02 am
Larry has always been in a bad spot. Assuming that he is other than heterosexual, if he had admitted it 25 years ago he never would have been elected. Given that, he was forced to hide it all these years if he expected a career in politics. Not an unreasonable choice and it really wouldn’t have been our business anyway. However, at that point things go astray.
His first mistake was hopping on the “family values” bandwagon.. defined by many conservatives as consisting of religion and heterosexuality. That stance opened him up to the hypocrisy charge. His second mistake was engaging in activity that might get him arrested… and then pleading guilty to keep it quiet. Truly up a creek. If we were to assume that he is heterosexual, I have no idea what he is doing. In either case, he apparently has cooked his own goose. I have never been a fan, finding him to be arrogant, as well as disagreeing with a number of his policies. However, it’s a shame that he chose this route and will be remembered as the guy in the restroom who was forced from office in disgrace.
Aug 30, 2007, 8:15 am
Colleen Fellows: I expressed almost those exact sentiments to my wife this morning. Good post.
Aug 30, 2007, 8:34 am
Slim Jim and Colleen Fellows are right on with their analysis. This is a great opportunity for the Democrats to pick up a Senate seat and I hope that Craig runs again. He could finesse the threat of a Senate Ethics Committee hearing by vowing to out others in the Washington closet. He might have gained some sympathy if he had supported gay rights, but that’s water under the bridge.
Aug 30, 2007, 2:25 pm
I made this comment on another blog but its applicable to this post. It struck me last night how karma is in play here. For decades Craig voted consistently to deprive gay people the rights that heterosexuals enjoy, and denying them even the basic public recognition of marriage in the eyes of the law.
The message these laws send to the gay community is that you’re not one of us and your sexual orientation is deviant and unacceptable. I was always confused as to why society would want to send that message and instead actively discourages committed monogamous relationships in the gay community.
A result is that gay people are forced underground to meet and socialize. If they forge a bond with someone they are obligated to hide it and if it gets to the level of commitment, gays face the struggle of how and whether to bring their freinds, family, coworkers, and acquaintences into the knowledge that this bond exists. It seems wrong that a bond that brings such joy to the heterosexual community is a source of angst and shame for the gay community.
Thus there’s this promiscuous subculture where gay men use public restrooms, using secret hand gestures and other signals in order to engage in anonymous sex. The subculture is so endemic that we have police patrols trying to prevent the activity. http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/boise/archive.asp?postID=6070 Not saying this subculture wouldn’t exist otherwise to some extent but it seems to me this subculture is furthered by Craig’s voting record and the family values crowd. These laws foster the repression and denial on display at Craig’s Tuesday press conference. It reinforces the idea of karma, or poetic justice if you will, that the Senator is now hoisted by his own petard being caught up in the underground culture he helped engender and nurture.
Aug 30, 2007, 4:07 pm
Mrs. Patrick Campbell, a noted actress in the late 1800s, in reference to a similar situation is reported to have said, “I don’t care what people do—so long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses!
A mighty senator being reduced to soliciting anonymous sex in public toilets is pathetic by any measure. Change the word street to public loo, and horses to children, and you have an act that is also worthy of shame.
The fact that in times past Craig gleefully attacked others for similar indiscretions means he has no reason to expect restraint from others in his own fall from grace. I wouldn’t wish his situation on anyone, but he brought it on himself. The blame is his alone.
He has one last chance for honor. He needs to resign. He needs to do it soon. He needs to do it graciously. And he needs to get some help.
Oct 17, 2007, 1:07 am
This thread seems to have gone cold, but what the hell. I Don’t know much about Craig, but from what I’ve heard he’s much more loathesome for his Republican Party activities than his airport restroom activities. Hypocrite? Sure! Who isn’t? Sort of goes with the human condition. Bad taste? “Taste” and “toilet stall” do not seem related, even when the stall is being used for one of its several intended purposes.
Shortly after the event, the Minneapolis paper carried a long opinion piece discussing the idea “If soliciting strangers for sex was illegal, most of us would be offenders, at one time or another.” I agree.
As a taxpayer in Minneapolis, I hate to see scarce police resources wasted on paying cops to hang around toilet stalls. There are far more important things for the cops to do. On the other hand, toilet stalls can also be a scarce resource and no one wants to wait very long after the call of nature has sounded. Since the airport is a very expensive operation, I would like to see a pay-on-entry facility dedicated to sexual games. The public would not be annoyed, and taxpayers would get a break.