Last Saturday, Senator Larry Craig, convicted of disorderly conduct in a public washroom in an Idaho airport, said he would resign from the Senate on September 30. He has now changed his mind. As Senator Arlen Spector of Pennsylvania urged him to do, he will now fight to clear his name and if does so, he plans to remain in the Senate. The Senator has engaged a team of high-priced lawyers to get his conviction overturned.
Well, I’ve changed my mind too. Last week I would have said Senator Craig should have quit his Senate seat. Now, I’m not so sure. Let’s look at the facts.
Senator Craig was not convicted of any sexual misconduct. Yet the Republican lynch mob tore into him, I suspect because there was a whiff of homosexuality in the bathroom sting. (By the way, does law enforcement have nothing better to do in a terror-sensitive airport than sit on a toilet seat trying to entrap the unwary?) These are the same Republicans who condoned adultery by several of their Senate colleagues.
And what after all did Senator Craig admit to? Disorderly conduct, a misdemeanour about as serious as a parking ticket. Furthermore should a group of Republican grandees in Washington put an end to Senator Craig’s 35-year career in public service. Or rather should he be judged by the voters in his home state of Idaho. If he runs in the Senate election next year, the voters can throw him out if they think pleading guilty to a misdemeanour warrants it.
I say Senator Craig should fight to clear his name and stay in the Senate.
What do you think?