Monday, August 27, 2007

Conduct Unbecoming A (GOP) Senator

There have GOT to be parts of this Larry Craig story that have been left out by the AP:
Senator Larry Craig of Idaho pleaded guilty this month to misdemeanor disorderly conduct after being arrested at the Minneapolis airport.

A Hennepin County court docket showed Craig pleading guilty to the disorderly conduct charge August 8th with the court dismissing a charge of gross misdemeanor interference to privacy.

The court docket said the Republican senator paid $575 in fines and fees. He was put on unsupervised probation for a year. A sentence of ten days in the county workhouse was stayed.
Two questions pop immediately to my mental surface: (1) What the devil did Senator Craig do, and (2) why, since he IS a Republican, wasn't this story front-page national news two and a half months ago?

(2) I still don't know. As to (1).....:
Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, which first reported the case, said on its Web site Monday that Craig was arrested June 11 by a plainclothes officer investigating complaints of lewd conduct in a men's restroom at the airport.
"Lewd conduct"? Do I even want to KNOW anything more? Or is this another typical smear of a conservative Republican in order to score another seat for the Dems by means other than the ballot box?

Frankly, I'm still not certain:
Craig said in a statement issued by his office that he was not involved in any inappropriate conduct.

"At the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they were misconstruing my actions," he said. "I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously."
Should I bother asking why, if Senator Craig wasn't involved in any "inappropriate conduct," he pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge? Or should I be asking what he considers within the bounds of "appropriate conduct"?

This, too, remains a mystery:
Roll Call, citing the report, said Sgt. Dave Karsnia made the arrest after an encounter in which he was seated in a stall next to a stall occupied by Craig. Karsnia described Craig tapping his foot, which Karsnia said he "recognized as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct."

Roll Call quoted the August 8 police report as saying that Craig had handed the arresting officer a business card that identified him as a member of the Senate.

"What do you think about that?" Craig is alleged to have said, according to the report.
"Lewd" foot-tapping? That's it? No, "Hey, handsome, how 'bout crawling under here and checking out my Capitol Dome?" No, "Say, fella, why don't you come over here and I'll show you what log-rolling is all about?" And Craig pleaded guilty?

I'll admit freely and openly that this whole story baffles me. The real problem with it, though, is that Senator Craig, if he's sincere in his protestations of innocence, sounds as confused as I am baffled. And if he's full of (well-packed) crap, I don't know if he's doing himself any favors making himself look like as big a boob as he evidently thinks his Idaho constituents are to try and foist such a fraud on them.

Hugh Hewitt thinks Senator Craig should resign immediately. I think if he wants to preserve his political career he should "come out of the closet" and admit that he's really been a Democrat at heart all along and officially change his party registration, ensuring that the lavender lobby will rally to his defense. That's all it would take, as NOBODY on the left EVER crosses the lavender lobby.

Brother Trunk has the show-stealing line:
Thanks to Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), I now know which men's room to avoid at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
And Pat Ruffini has the best news of all: Idaho has a GOP governor (C.L. "Butch" Otter) and a ready-made alternative (former Boise Mayor, U.S. Senator, and Governor Dirk Kempthorne) who can step in for Craig next November and hold that seat for the Republicans.

That, and the fact that I'll know never to tap my feet in any public restroom, even at the urinal. From this cautionary tale, even pooping my pants would be preferable.