Monday, September 03, 2007

The Republican Party Shows its Ugly Side

Imagine that a British MP had been caught in a public toilet in what appeared to be an entrapment operation by the Police. Imagine what the reaction from the public and his fellow MPs would have been. I ask this because I am pretty shocked at the reaction of the Republican Party to the situation Senator Larry Craig has landed himself in. For the uninitiated Craig yesterday resigned his Senate seat despite denying that he was guilty of a charge of sexual opportuning in a Minneapolis airport toilet cubicle. The senator, who is married with children, denies that he is gay and is vowing to clear his name. That's enough of the detail, let's concentrate on the reaction.


If Craig had been a British politician in similar circumstances I am pretty sure that he would have been assailed by notes of sympathy from fellow politicians from all sides of the political divide. I know several politicians who have been through the mill, and all have testified that the one thing that got them through it was the kindness of colleagues. But the Republican Party has wiped Senator Craig off its collective shoe like a piece of dog muck. Mitt Romney, a presidential hopeful and, until this week, a close friend of Craig's said: "Frankly it's disgusting". Greater love hath no man... Pat Buchanan summed it up by saying "Rarely has a United States Senator fallen so fast from grace or been so completely abandoned".


The irony is that the Republican Party is supposedly the domain of the Christian Right. It has so far displayed very little Christian compassion towards a man whose only crime (assuming hypocrisy is not a crime yet) was to tap the shoe of a man who was wanting his shoe to be tapped. However distasteful many people may find this sort of gay cruising, no one can ever answer the question as to why heterosexual males (or indeed females for that matter) are not routinely entrapped and then arrested for soliciting anoynmous sex in nightclubs. It happens every night of the week. I do not defend Craig's behaviour in a public place, but nor do I wish to join a lynch mob. Even the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay pressure group in the Republic Party, haven't got a kind word to say about him...

Senator Craig made the right decision in resigning from the U.S. Senate. He lost his credibility to serve the people of Idaho and his actions damaged the credibility of the Republican Party. Senator Craig had no other choice but to resign—for the good of his State, the good of his Party, and the good of his family. His actions in Minnesota and the way he handled this situation showed terrible judgment. Senator Craig obviously failed to live up to the principles he espoused as a lawmaker. His
explanation for pleading guilty was absurd and his denial was not believable. Senator Craig had hoped a guilty plea would sweep this matter under the rug, but it clearly backfired on him. Hopefully his resignation signals his willingness to take responsibility for his illegal actions and terrible judgment.


In some ways you can hardly blame them for not wanting to defend him as he had taken some very anti-gay stances over the years. Scandals like this unleash the worst in some parts of the Republican Party, which is becoming increasingly 'anti gay' in its policy platforms. It ought to learn a few lessons from the Conservative Party here, which has made strenuous efforts to reach out to a community of people, many of whom are its natural supporters. And believe me, if Fred Thompson becomes the Republican Candidate for President the situation will be even worse.


I'm glad I don't have a vote in the US because the party I have always supported seems determined to exclude me. Ronald Reagan must be turning in his grave.

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

Iain, I grew up in the United States. I can tell you that MOST Republicans (obviously not all -but MOST) are really ghastly people. Besides it's social suicide to be a Republican.

Cameron's modern Conservative Party has far more in common with the US Democrats than Labour do.

Go Hillary/Obama! :)

Anonymous said...

Well if the good senator was a Liberal Democrat he'd be a leadership contender! I think the poor sod had it coming (no pun intended). Under GB the Reps at the moment are under the cosh of the Christian Right and therefore getting caught doing a George Michael by the Police was not going to aid his political career. Again a politician shows , or gives an example, to the general public that us poofs are seedy, hence disgusting. I'm quite glad he resigned.

Anonymous said...

This is indeed a worrying development. I sent a stroppy note to some mud-slinging US journalist about her article which condemned this guy even while he was trying to clear his name.

Her response ? 'He pleaded guilty'.
[I wish I was making this up, but I assure you I'm not].

Can you imagine if Matthew Parris had been treated this way ? Still Mr Parris wouldn't have gone round giving the third degree on rights for homosexuals, so I guess the US Senator has, rather unfortunately, reaped what he sowed.

Never mind, I'm sure Dick Cheney will ride to his rescue..Not..

Chris Paul said...

Not sure the British right establishment would be as gentle as you think with arrant HYPOCRISY.

Chris Paul said...

And PS Iain. This is all very well but what about the news that Ms A Widdy is retiring and moving on to Showbiz? And the posters already displayed in parts of Kent backing a certain local campaigner?

Anonymous said...

“Hypocrisy: prejudice with a halo”

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more Iain me old fruit...couldn't agree more..

Anonymous said...

This sordid little episode amply demonstrates the nasty, censorious atmosphere that is prevalent in neocon-led America at this time. They have no concept of 'innocent until proven guilty' and it is clear that the former Senator only pleaded guilty in order to achieve closure. Well, he got that wrong, didn't he?

Mind you, his comments about ' a wide stance' at the lavatory made him look ridiculous and undermined his credibility. The man's a fool -and if that were a crime in republican politics there would be precious few 'lawmakers' left in Washington DC or State capitols around the nation.

Moral of the story? - don't 'go to the bathroom' in Idaho.

Anonymous said...

www.ronpaul2008.com

Anonymous said...

You still vote for a party that not only has never proposed any pro-equality legislation (eg rejecting Woffenden) but has actively legislated to stigmatise and humiliate gay people - Clause 28 anyone?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Live by the sword, die by the sword. You report that this man has had "very anti-gay" stances.

When does this not get called hypocracy?

We have this debate over and over again it seems, and the answer is always the same; it's public figures, who seek our votes, pretending to be something they are not.

Chris Smith is a man living with HIV. I admire him as a man and as a politician who is open about his sexuality. I am not interested further in his private life. He bravely (some would say) came out in 1984, I believe. He is what he is and you make your informed choice.

Larry Craig is the worst kind of hypocrite; espousing family values and then indulging in seedy and predatory practices. Whatever your orientation, picking people up in lavatories is seedy.

I wouldn't vote for somebody who behaved like that but I would vote for a gay man in a steady partnership, because that part of his profile would simply be irrelevant.

This American has made his private life an issue because he was being hypocritical, its as simple as that. All the rhetoric about "notes of sympathy" is specious and glib. What about his family? What about his kids who have to face their friends at school?

How far will you bend over backwards to defend the indefensible simply because he is gay and cannot come to terms with it?

But, oh, I forgot, all gays are martyrs, because it is so much about "me".

Iain Dale said...

Wrinkled Weasel. You would have a point if I had defended his behaviour, but I didn't. Indeed, he does seem to be a hyprocrite too, but that wasn;t the point of my story. My point was that even if what he did was seedy and hypocritical, in this country people's reactions would have been far more compassionate on a human level.

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

If he were a Conservative, Cameron probably would have "celebrated" his behaviour.

Sen Craig's demise does not just eminate from his behaviour in that loo. I suspect this story has longer legs than just the last few weeks.

Congrats on providing yet another excuse for the Republicans haters to come out for a bash.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

According to "media matters"


"Craig voted for the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and, in 2006, voted to cut off debate on a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. He also voted against a 1996 bill prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, which failed by one vote in the Senate."

Still feel sorry for him?

Anonymous said...

They use liberals and gays and nigger lovers for target practice in Idaho, Craig had no chance against a Conservative Democrat who toted a gun in every county on the Senatorial campaign next year. The Senate Republicans are looking at another pounding in 2008, it was better strategically to replace him now with this cowboy Lt. Governor Risch.

The standard of conduct and the violent aversion to lying in American politics, particularly in the Red States, meant that Craig had no chance. He said he couldn't serve his constituents if he carried on. I wouldn't be able to take him seriously, not with his "wide stance".

Anonymous said...

It's a vile business. Of course it is always a pleasure when a prominent anti-gay rights campaigner is caught with his, er, toe in the wrong cubicle, but the arrest was basically entrapment.

Craig is an unsympathetic character from a (currently) deeply unpleasant party. But there are plenty of men who don't share his hypocrisy who are trapped this way all the time.

Don't US cops have anything better to do? There are thousands of assaults - and even murders - of homosexuals in the US every year. Surely better to assign more resources to these cases, that to send cops to lurk in public lavatories in the hope of catching some cottage action?

Anonymous said...

I think his real mistake was that even if he kept it quiet from his constituents, even though I don't agree with that decision, he should have told his party bosses privately about what had happened. Instead he kept it quiet for 77 days until it was discovered and revealed in the papers.

I do agree with your assessment of the inhospitability of many Republicans to the issue of gay rights (though I'm not sure that they have ever been all that enlightened on that issue) but I do think that Romney's abandoning him is quite understandable. As co-chair of his campaign the full brunt of this scandal has hit Romney's campaign now, destabilising it shortly after the Des Moines straw poll success.

Craig's keeping this secret is understandable personally but highly irresponsible politically. In the current climate after the Foley scandal it was always going to come out - it was an error of judgement from Craig.

I think it's also easy to forget that during the Lewinski scandal Craig said:
""The American people already know that Bill Clinton is a bad boy - a naughty boy. I’m going to speak out for the citizens of my state, who in the majority think that Bill Clinton is probably even a nasty, bad, naughty boy.”

In doing that Craig had repeatedly denied in public claims he was gay dating back to 1982.

He *also* handed his senatorial businesscard to the Police Officer, alledgedly saying "What do you think about that?" when caught in the sting operation. I think that people are right to be disgusted at the apparent attempt to use office to escape convinction.

Anonymous said...

I should add that I agree with those who say that the police were wrong to carry out such a sting in the first place and certainly looks like homophobia in the force.

Anonymous said...

Iain,

I'm surprised that you, a man of of the world, expect US Christians to display Christian values. Some of them do, of course, but the Left-Behinders do not. Their biblicism drives them to the old testament and therefore they get a lot of their values from Leviticus, etc. These people are not like us. They are awful. See the TV series "Invasion" for an idea of what it means to be born again as one of them.

But larry Craig knew all of this. He knew about stings. he knew that he would eventually be caught. he knew exactly what it would mean. It was part of the thrill, and he got caught. Absolutely zero sympathy is deserved.

Anonymous said...

The police did nothing wrong. People had complained of the activity. If it were female prostitutes finding customers in there they would have done the same thing.

The party was right to ask for him to leave. He was arrested and then plead guilty---all without alerting anyone. This was goingt to get out. The party has had several members in trouble who denied what they were accused of only to drag out the story for months and then to leave in disgrace.

There are plenty of gay men in the republican party. If you are, is it a requirement that you be for gay marriage?

Anonymous said...

I think you are wrong about the reaction in this country. Whilst the Westminster club might hang together and show support for all I know, the rest of us would be having an absolute field day. I thought you knew the English media and its customers better. The imagery of the "wide stance" is just too good to ruin with a bit of soppy sympathy.

Anonymous said...

If he had been a California or Nevada or New Jersey Republican, provided he handled the media better, he would have hung on. If he had been an Alabama Democrat he would be hung by his boxer shorts from the nearest stop sign and the Alabama Democrats wouldn't have lifted a finger to help for fear of looking partial to bum banditry. I wouldn't say this is something to blame the national Republicans for.

Scipio said...

Hmmm - if the guy isn't gay, why was he cruising. If he wasn't cruising, why did he resign!

OK - a few 'Christian' two texts for you to consider:

"Judge not that ye be not judged"

"let him who without sin cast the first stone" (not that I am saying be gay is a sin - but they do)

Where is 'His Grace' when you need him? I am never quite sure what the Bible does actually say about gay people or being gay. But, even assuming you DO believe that gay folks are evil and hell-bound, then surely the onus is to 'restore the brother that hath fallen' as Paul says in Corinthians (I think).

This is however deeply deeply wrong on two accounts.

1. No-one should be forced to resign because of a genetic condition such as one's sexuality.

2. No-one should be forced to resign on the basis of unproven allegations

It is a shame that the RP is so in the pocket of the moral majority.

The trouble is that the American concept of freedom is 'fredom from...." and not 'Freedom to be..."

Johnathan Freidman wrote a great book about America a few years back. Anyone remember the name?

Madasafish said...

Lets see:
The man denied in public for 30 years he was gay. There were several accusations: all denied over years.
He publicly supported political anti gay moves.

He gets caught and pleads guilty.
He hides it all for 2 and a half months.

I am afraid he has acted in such a way to make most people think he's a hypocrite.

Another politicians whose motto is "do as I say, not as I do".

I don't mind gay politicians.
I hate hypocrites.

He deserves to get the understanding and sympathy he would have given to others.

Anonymous said...

Canvas, I also grew up partly in the US and don't agree with your observations. Obama is a very dangerous individual and he is going nowhere. We'll be stuck with Hillary, but at least she's a seasoned politician.

Colin et al - If he had said, "OK, I was trying to pick someone up", that would basically have been the end of it in a public sense - although his constituents may have taken it further. But reaching for more and more ludicrous excuses was revolting, and for me, the revulsion was compounded when, as is the way with errant politicians, he wheeled out his poor, strained wife to stand by him.

He wanted to have his cake and eat it and everyone was to be pressed into service for him to attain his ends. Didn't work. Tough. No one wants a liar for his representative.

This is what this is all about Iain. That he's a liar and the craven way he tried to save his own skin.

Anonymous said...

Iain,
We do not have to imagine what would happen to a Conservative MP in such a situation as you ask in your post. Leeds NW Conservative MP Keith Hampson was arrested in such circumstances (use of a police 'agent provocateur') in the early 80s wasn't he? He, like the Senator, denied being gay. He did not resign as an MP, though (from memory - which would bear checking) he did resign as a PPS to the then Defence Secretary, Michael Heseltine.

Anonymous said...

PS - It would be a good idea if British commenters who are not intimately familiar with the US refrained from running out shrieking "Christian right!!!!!!!!"

Frankly, I have never met one of these creatures and neither have any posters on this blog. Of course, there are some, as there are people with outré belief systems in the UK, but they don't run the joint.

And the "Christian right" really doesn't have anything to do with Christianity, so those poisoning the tips of their arrows for a Hate Christians And All Religions-fest would do better addressing the religious fascists closer to home. As in islam.

Anonymous said...

Verity, I would place a safe bet on Hillary as pres and Barrack as vice -pres. It seems like that will be the winning ticket. We'll see.

It can't come soon enough. How much more damage can that Bush man do in a year? Oh dear...

skipper said...

I feel a bit sorry for Craig- hew has been badly let down- but is he not guilty of hypocrisy and pretty major dose of it too?

Anonymous said...

Iain, I think you should be picked up on this.

"However distasteful many people may find this sort of gay cruising, no one can ever answer the question as to why heterosexual males (or indeed females for that matter) are not routinely entrapped and then arrested for soliciting anoynmous sex in nightclubs. It happens every night of the week.

People going to singles bars/gay bars know where they are and what they are going for. If I am going for a dump at an airport loo, that's why I'm going there - why should I have to accept being propositioned for gay sex as part of the process?

Would it be remotely acceptable for me to proposition a woman in a public ladies loo for straight sex? No. Would I expect to be hauled up in front of the Bench if I tried? Too right. The same as if I were to go kerb-crawling for sex.

In the information age, where anyone of whatever sexual persuasion can gain access to whatever they wish - and everyone can have a mobile phone to meet up - do you really still need to make the case for cottagers?

And I might be showing a Queen Victoria-like lack of knowledge of matters lesbian, but I am not aware that gay women like to go cottaging? Seems to be that what you are saying is because gay men like to indulge in anonymous sex, wherever they like, I just have to put up (I could have perhaps expressed that better...).

I am happy to fight for people to have the right to enjoy an unimpeded gay lifestyle, gay weddings, to be legally accepted as couples. And I've been very supportive of my gay friends in that. But c'mon, fair's fair - the bargain is that gay guys also allow me some respect for my straight lifestyle. But it seems as if they aren't satisfied with equality - they want equality plus.

These days, isn't part of the thrill of cottaging that extra frisson that they might be caught? If some gay guys really hanker after the bad old days of going to Reading Jail for being gay - surely you can't then complain when the local constabulary obliges them?

Anonymous said...

I gave up trying to wade through the effluent on this thread, with only Wrinkled Weasel and a couple of others as a voice of unhysterical sanity.

All you shrieking commentators, why not clean up your own government of the incredible sleaze and corruption you have tolerated? Selling honours, for example? Free holidays from rich people seeking favours? Mass immigration against the will of the owners of the country, the British? There is plenty to occupy you right here without taking it upon yourselves to instruct America on how to run its government.

And here's something else to remember: You don't have a vote. This senator's constituents don't care what you think and probably couldn't find Britain in an Atlas. There are plenty of sleazy opportunists to occupy right outside your own front door. Why are you all so mouthy when it comes to the United States and so silent about corruption and lies in your own back yard, where you actually do have a vote?

The Hitch said...

Iain the guy was also involved in a "misunderstanding" in 1984 that involved cruising.Seems to be a bit unlucky doesnt he?
He also btw has taken a homophobic attitude throughout his career.

Cottaging is disgusting , you me and everybody else should be able to use a public lavatory for its intended purpose without being propositioned.
It annoys me when gay men like george michael make out like its something normaland acceptable no it isnt you t**t anymore than straight men curb crawling is acceptable.

The Hitch said...

the t*** comment was aimed at the warbling greek not you iain

Kerron said...

Apart from the last 2 sentences or so of that post, I agree with you on this.

Unfortunate turn of phrase at the press conference though:

http://kerroncross.blogspot.com/2007/08/tale-of-two-cities.html

He would have got more compassion here, I feel.

Anonymous said...

Verity, you can not be seriously suggesting that British politics is anywhere near as corrupt as US politics?

Anonymous said...

pvzfhlInterestingly,

The level pegging CR poll gives Labour a 42 seat majority - that'll do nicely.

Anonymous said...

The latest YouGov poll gives Labour a 70 seat majority - and the tories are happy about it!

Ha Ha - delicious complacency will see Labour home again for another five glorious years.

Tony said...

Christian compassion? From the American Right? That lot have cherry picked their Christianity, it is all eye-for-an-eye death penalties, destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah wars in the middle east and assorted other old testament smiting. With not a single bit of love thy neighbour in sight.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article in the Guardian today about this. Excerpt below.

---------

"In July the Florida Republican state representative Bob Allen was caught offering to pay a black undercover cop $20 so that he could perform oral sex on him in a park. Allen's defence? Blow jobs and cash are to black males what kryptonite is to Superman - the only known means of depleting their superhuman strength. "There was a pretty stocky black guy," he explained to the arresting officer. "And there was nothing but other black guys around in the park." Fearing he "was about to be a statistic", he claimed he would have said anything just to get away. Allen had indeed become a statistic - yet another desperate conservative politician mangling logic to explain his hypocrisy.

Last week it was the turn of the Idaho senator Larry Craig, who in June was caught propositioning an undercover officer in the toilets of Minneapolis airport. Two months later he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct without consulting his lawyer. Then Craig, who finally resigned over the weekend, claimed that he framed himself. "I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously," he explained. "In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty." If he's telling the truth now he's a perjurer; if he was telling the truth then, he's a gay man who legislates against gay people."

Anonymous said...

Iain, your article only shows that you're not up to speed on current American politics.

Republicans got stung in the 2006 election by allegations (mainly false) that they covered up charges that a Republican Congressman (Mark Foley) propositioned some male Congressional staffers. The mainstream media attacked the GOP bigtime on this--hypocritically, since the same media gave a pass to Democrats doing the same or worse.

Now comes this. Craig's response to all this (the guilty plea and the attempt to later say he was not guilty) showed him too stupid to be a senator, in most Republican's opinion, but many Republicans defended him nonetheless.

In the end, it was fear of the media, not any hostility toward Craig or homosexuality, that drove the mainstream GOP response. The GOP doesn't need the Foley thing revived, and the GOP doesn't need the distractions that Craig's continued travails and stupid attempts to clear himself would provide.

Call the GOP craven, if you will, in bowing down to a hypocritical and hypercritical media. But the GOP pressure on Craig to resign was NOT the because of hostility to Craig's alleged homosexuality.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:47 - I am indeed so suggesting. Of course, the US is vast and richer, but yes, there are proportionately as many corrupt, venal, sleazy British politicians - look at Gordon Brown's relationship with the Smith Institute, for example. Proportionately, I don't think Britain has anything to teach the United States. I think people would be better employed cleaning up their own back yard. There's plenty to occupy them right there in Britain.

The American senator was cruising in a public space. As The Hitch writes, he was pinched for cruising once before. No one cares about cruising for sex and pick-ups in bars because that is an acceptable role for bars and part of their raison d'etre. Public loos, no.

It makes me sick the way these men wheel their poor wives out - Mark Oaten, yech! - to give them cover. I await the day one of them, standing next to the errant lawmaker in front of the cameras, decides to spill the beans instead of meekly protecting him.

Anonymous said...

Craig - Barack for VP? I doubt it. Hillary's a seasoned politician. She helped Bill win elections for Governor or Arkansas and had her role as the Governor's wife in that state. She lived in the White House. She has been a working - and apparently effective - state senator for somewhere in upstate NY for years now. She has nous, she knows when to keep her mouth shut, she knows how to work the party. There's been plenty of drama, but it's all been lived in the spotlight and by and large, she has handled it quite well - given that the world was watching. (I don't like her, BTW, but have to give her her due and she will, in any event, be the next president of the US whether I like her or not.)

Even putting his utter, absurd inexperience to one side - difficult to do as his entire background in government is two years as a junior senator - there's something about that guy I just don't trust. There's something he's hiding. And what was he doing at that madrassa in Indonesia? And isn't his middle name Ali or Mohammad or something? And why is he campaigning as a "black" when he is 50% white?

Hillary's canny. She'll choose a Dem with strong experience in government and a good voting record in the Congress. Or, even better, a two-term governor of a successful state (if there's such a thing as a successful Dem state).

Yak40 said...

Never forget that in politics here if you're REpublican, you get maximum press negative attention from the media.
If you're a Democrat you get whitewash and sympathy. Contrast Craig, who actually did nothing, Rep Foley, who did nothing illegal with Ted Kennedy, whose negligence killed someone, whose presence on the scene of an alleged rape by his nephew meant nothing, Bill Clinton agonising over the meaning of "is", Rep Patrick Kennedy who crashed his car high as a kite and so on.

Madasafish said...

Verity said
"Frankly, I have never met one of these creatures and neither have any posters on this blog. "

Oh dear , I must have had visions.. I watched them on US TV every Sunday for years....zzzzzzzzzzzzz

then after 7/11 I watched them tell us we needed to invade the Middle East and turn the Muslims into Christians by bombing them...Still I must have been deluded .. they were Muslims...:-)))

Anonymous said...

There's a few more facts to the story than you'd think, Iain. This incident took place in early June, and yet he didn't tell anyone about it - apparently not even hsi family - until it was uncovered by a newspaper reporter. I think these things are also viewed differently when it takes place in a marital relationship. How many people came out publicly to defend Mark Oaten?

Did you expect Mitt Romney to say anything else? He's trying to present himself as a social ocnservative but doesn't have the typical social conservative track record.

The other reason that Craig has been abandoned so quickly comes down to realpolitik. Idaho has a Republican governor, and so he gets the right to appoint an interim Senator. Thus the Republicans will keep the incumbency advantage whilst lessening the electoral problems they would have faced had Craig tried to ride the storm out. I suspect the case would have been much different had there been a Democrat governor in Idaho. The Senate is too finely balanced.

Anonymous said...

Madasafish - Obviously, we aren't amused by the same TV shows. I never watched much TV myself, but if you hated them so much, why did you watch them every Sunday for years?

I don't recall hearing any American saying we should go into Iraq to turn the muslims into Christians, and I would certainly have remembered such a bizarre statement. You are clearly anti-war and have persuaded yourself that the people who believe the ME needs to be exposed to democracy are the fundamentalist Christians of your nightmares.

Well, I believe the ME needs to be introduced to democracy and I am quite happy for them to stick with their cult as long as they don't try to impose it on me. I would be interested in a quote from anyone in authority who stated that the purpose of the invasion of Iraq was the convert the Iraqis to Christianity.

Anonymous said...

MP's, the Media and even the Prime Minister Tony Blair showed no compassion to former Welsh Secretary Ron Davies when he was allegedly caught doing something similar.

Alistair Campbell wrote in his diaries wrote that he and the PM laughed at Ron Davies's actions, how’s that for compassion in Westminster?.

Anonymous said...

Iain - Larry Craig's a sleazebag from way back and a coward for cowering behind the wife he has betrayed. She should write a book. Or at least go on Oprah and finish him off.

He has publically condemned gays for years.

He is not being hounded for being gay, Iain. He is being hounded for being a hypocrite and a liar and breaking the law by soliciting in public.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Iain, put your hands up, you are bang to rights on this one. Craig is a sleazeball and you know it. Defending him is like defending Himmler, only worse. At least Nazis actually nailed their colours to the mast. This twerp hid his in the closet.

Still, I admire you for your bravery in defending him and trying to be humane.

Unknown said...

Didn't he plead guilty though ?

Scipio said...

This is a difficult one.

If the guy is gay, but is forced to deny it because of a general homophobic society - then who is at fault - him or society? The ideal would be that he could be open about his sexuality, and not be disadvantaged by it. In this context, you can understand why he is reticent to be open!

However, if he is gay (albeit secretly) then he is just plain stoooopid to be (publicly) vocally anti-gay, especially when there are probably plenty of men who know for a fact he is gay (or bisexual). IN this context, I have little sympathy for him and think he is a hypocrite and deserved what he got.

But, whether he is gay or straight, what is wrong is the whole cottaging thing. Like many straight people, I accept that one's sexuality is a genetic issue and therefore, there is no point seeing gay people as a threat! You don't catch your sexuality.

However, what I do object to is the excesses of our overly sexualised society gay and straight.

This is the same for gay men who hang around looking to pick up some cock in a public toilet, or straight men who kerb crawl! I would feel the sense of annoyance about being approached in a toilet as I would if I was a women approached by a bloke in a car 'looking for busines'!

The point is, I have nothing against people seeking no strings sex sex if you want no strings sex (after all, I was a uni student once!), but there are plenty of ways to get it in a way which doesn't impinge on the rest of society.

Straight men can do to a massage parlour or call an escort agency, and gay men can go to a sauna or a gay bar.

But hanging around bushes in parks or tapping toes in a khazi is pretty low rent. Just like driving around red light areas looking for drug addicts who give you a BJ for £100.

I am not sure that prosecuting anyone who is into 'cock in a bog' is evidence of homophobia anymore than picking up kerb crawlers is evidence of.....er......hetrophobia!

Most of my gay mates agree with me - although one admits he still does the whole park bushes thing becaus ehe says "I like the thrill and the anonymity".

Scipio said...

This is a difficult one.

If the guy is gay, but is forced to deny it because of a general homophobic society - then who is at fault - him or society? The ideal would be that he could be open about his sexuality, and not be disadvantaged by it. In this context, you can understand why he is reticent to be open!

However, if he is gay (albeit secretly) then he is just plain stoooopid to be (publicly) vocally anti-gay, especially when there are probably plenty of men who know for a fact he is gay (or bisexual). IN this context, I have little sympathy for him and think he is a hypocrite and deserved what he got.

But, whether he is gay or straight, what is wrong is the whole cottaging thing. Like many straight people, I accept that one's sexuality is a genetic issue and therefore, there is no point seeing gay people as a threat! You don't catch your sexuality.

However, what I do object to is the excesses of our overly sexualised society gay and straight.

This is the same for gay men who hang around looking to pick up some cock in a public toilet, or straight men who kerb crawl! I would feel the sense of annoyance about being approached in a toilet as I would if I was a women approached by a bloke in a car 'looking for busines'!

The point is, I have nothing against people seeking no strings sex sex if you want no strings sex (after all, I was a uni student once!), but there are plenty of ways to get it in a way which doesn't impinge on the rest of society.

Straight men can do to a massage parlour or call an escort agency, and gay men can go to a sauna or a gay bar.

But hanging around bushes in parks or tapping toes in a khazi is pretty low rent. Just like driving around red light areas looking for drug addicts who give you a BJ for £100.

I am not sure that prosecuting anyone who is into 'cock in a bog' is evidence of homophobia anymore than picking up kerb crawlers is evidence of.....er......hetrophobia!

Most of my gay mates agree with me - although one admits he still does the whole park bushes thing becaus ehe says "I like the thrill and the anonymity".

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

"However distasteful many people may find this sort of gay cruising, no one can ever answer the question as to why heterosexual males (or indeed females for that matter) are not routinely entrapped and then arrested for soliciting anonymous sex in nightclubs. It happens every night of the week."

- I think its a jealousy thing Iain (on the part of we heterosexuals), during my youth, I spent large sums of my money, Brain cells and part of my liver attempting to obtain anonymous sex in nightclubs, and never once succeeded with women, girl or indeed beast.

Anonymous said...

"And believe me, if Fred Thompson becomes the Republican Candidate for President the situation will be even worse."

What do you mean by this? If you've got something to say then say it.

AethelBald, King of Wessex said...

Verity,

You suggest that posters here know little of the US. May I suggest that you are the one who knows not whereof they speak? Here is a factoid: 31% of Americans are barking mad. That's the Christian Zionists, of course. Yes, 31%. That's every third person you meet, basically. If you go there you can't even get out of the airport without passing one. They were probably on the plane with you. And that's just the Protestants. The Catholics, on the other hand, tend to prefer torture for suspected terrorists.

Verity, I think you're a sock puppet. But you're just not good enough at what you do.

Anonymous said...

I was talking to a gay (I hate to categorise anyone so, but it's relevant) American friend,who told me this stupid man took his US Senator's business card and put it down in front of the arresting officer.

How sickening. And this fellow has form from 30 years ago. Google him. Let us not get too carried away here, Iain. The man is slime.

Anonymous said...

Christ, you lot are naive! Do you really think that this affair is about a spot of cottaging gone wrong?

I find it intriguing that neither the author of this blog nor a single poster thus far has seen fit to mention the name, MITT ROMNEY, when holding forth on this strange episode.

The anoraks amongst you might know that the Mormon Mr Romney is a declared Republican presidential candidate. Now my friends guess, just guess (and if you don't need to guess just THINK a little)who his campaign co chairman is/was?

Fearing Craig's disgrace had cost him hardcore conservative support Romney's decision to very publicly kick him whilst he was down ensured that he lost the few liberal supporters he had too.

Clearly Mitt is not the Bush Oligarchy's/Big Oil's/Halliburton's/Carlyle Group's anointed one. Romney can thank his lucky stars that their dirty tricks department only played the political equivalent of a practical joke on him.

This time...

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Adrian Yalland, I think you just about summed up the pros and cons of the Craig situation. except that I am concerned you are paying drug addicts £100 for a BJ, when everyone knows they will half and half for a tenner (five and a packet of Lambert & Butler if she's double bagger)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Anonymous, it's not about Mitt Romney. It's about Craig's record as a liar and scumball. And incredible stupidity and arrogance.

Anonymous said...

Some of the detail you leave out is key. Craig wasn't accused of being gay -- he plead guilty to a fairly sordid, though minor, crime. Also, when caught, he literally tried to play the I'm a Senator card to get off.

The Republicans took a beating in the 2006 election in part because the Republicans in congress had covered for and protected Mark Foley. Going into the 2008 elections, the GOP cannot afford to be the Pervert Party (again, this is not about Craig's being gay or bisexual -- its about his trolling for anonymous sex in a public restroom). This is not about the religious right, it's about the fact that most Americans, on a gut level, think anonymous hookups in bathroom stalls are yucky.

Hey said...

It shows that the US is superior to the UK on this point. If you want to be involved in public life, you need to stop doing idiotic things in your private life. Choose power or freedom.

No one in any position of responsibility should be able to keep their position if they have displayed such flagrant irresponsibility. It is one thing to be an out homosexual living a bourgeois life, it is completely different to have one private life and one public life. Such behaviour leaves one open to blackmail and coercion and must be met with draconian punishment.

All politicians and people in positions of power and responsibility need to live basic bourgeois lives. If you want to be a bohemian or a sensualist stick to private life and don't accept power or responisbiliy over the public.

Lord Browne faced the same problem, and for very good reasons. Their respective behaviour displays an utter lack of sense and a complete unsuitability for their roles. We need politicans to resign (and hopefully more) when they disgrace themselves so utterly, rather than brazen it through. "Lord" Levy et al should have retired to the library with a bottle of scotch and a revolver, but instead they make a mockery of the law, the crown, the constitution, and Parliament.

I am deeply disappointed in you Iain. Arguing for lower standards in public life? I guess this says something about the conduct that you expect yourself to engage in if elected. Sign me up for an "anyone but Dale" campaign. At least most politicians wait to be elected before trying to explain corruption, dishonor, and violation of public trust as just part of politics.

Anonymous said...

I once worked for an organisation Mitt Romney headed up (look it up). When I came out to my (female) team leader she suggested I would probably have trouble there if any of the senior executives found out. It was a long time ago but plus ca change...

Anonymous said...

FWIW, Drudge is reporting that Senator Craig may be reconsidering his decision to leave the Senate. GOD do I hope it's true.

Anonymous said...

People in nightclubs don't screw each other on the dancefloor! Having sex in a bathroom stall is not just illegal it is also fairly disgusting.... forget about STD's, what about e-coli!

Kevin