August 28, 2007

"What do you think about that?"

I'm sorry I didn't get the chance to weigh in on this yesterday, but everybody's talking about Senator Larry Craig. The story:
Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men’s public restroom... On Aug. 8, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct...

After he was arrested, Craig, who is married, was taken to the Airport Police Operations Center to be interviewed about the lewd conduct incident, according to the police report. At one point during the interview, Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, “What do you think about that?” the report states....
What do I think about that? I think the fact that he did that suggests it works sometimes to get him off the hook. It certainly shows that he thinks it can and he's willing to use his power that way. He should resign for that alone.
[Sgt. Dave Karsnia, a plainclothes officer,] entered the bathroom at noon that day and about 13 minutes after taking a seat in a stall, he stated he could see “an older white male with grey hair standing outside my stall.”...

“I could see Craig look through the crack in the door from his position. Craig would look down at his hands, ‘fidget’ with his fingers, and then look through the crack into my stall again. Craig would repeat this cycle for about two minutes,” the report states.

Craig then entered the stall next to Karsnia’s and placed his roller bag against the front of the stall door.

“My experience has shown that individuals engaging in lewd conduct use their bags to block the view from the front of their stall,” Karsnia stated in his report. “From my seated position, I could observe the shoes and ankles of Craig seated to the left of me.”

Craig was wearing dress pants with black dress shoes.

“At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area,” the report states.

Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times, and Karsnia noted in his report that “I could ... see Craig had a gold ring on his ring finger as his hand was on my side of the stall divider.”

Karsnia then held his police identification down by the floor so that Craig could see it.

“With my left hand near the floor, I pointed towards the exit. Craig responded, ‘No!’ I again pointed towards the exit. Craig exited the stall with his roller bags without flushing the toilet. ... Craig said he would not go. I told Craig that he was under arrest, he had to go, and that I didn’t want to make a scene. Craig then left the restroom.”
What a sad, pathetic scene! It's awful that public bathrooms -- especially in places like airports -- are used for sexual activity. The police have to figure out how to drive this activity elsewhere. Karsnia has a tough job, but he seems to handle it with efficiency and as much dignity as you can when it involves sitting on a toilet and letting someone watch you through the crack in the door.

Craig has a difficult moral problem if, as it seems, he has a gay sexual orientation, but he has chosen to marry a woman. Cheating on his wife and obtruding on the bathroom-going public is no way to deal with his predicament. It's especially ugly if he's taking this miserable course in order to maintain his grip on political power with an electorate that wouldn't tolerate him if he lived his life openly and honestly.

Worst of all, to my mind, is the proffering of the business card and the "What do you think about that?"

UPDATE: I see Glenn Greenwald is attacking me about the Senator Craig story:
The reaction to the Larry Craig story provides one of the most vivid illustrations yet of how the right-wing movement works. Last October, just weeks before the midterm election, gay activist Mike Rogers reported that the married, GOP "family values" Senator repeatedly had sex with anonymous men in public bathrooms. His report was based on "extensive research," including interviews with several men whom Craig solicited for bathroom sex.

As Rogers argued at the time, the story was relevant -- just as the Vitter prostitute story was -- in light of Craig's frequent political exploitation of issues of sexual morality and his opposition to virtually every gay rights bill. Rogers' story, as a factual matter, seemed relatively credible, both because of his history of accurate outings and because there is no discernible reason why, if he were intent on fabricating, he would single out someone as obscure as Larry Craig, who was not even up for re-election....

Among right-wing pundits -- weeks before the election -- there was nothing but support for Craig and outrage over the reporting of this story. The most hysterical outrage of all was from Glenn Reynolds, who went so far as repeatedly to predict -- literally -- that the country would be so repulsed by Rogers' reporting that it might actually swing the election in favor of the Republicans. More absurdly still, Reynolds cited a grand total of two reasons why he voted for GOP's Bob Corker over Harold Ford in the Tennessee Senate race, one of which was actually Rogers' report on Craig ("the sexual McCarthyism from the pro-outing crowd . . . . has convinced me that [Democrats] just don't deserve a victory with those tactics").

As usual, Bush-supporting bloggers like Ann Althouse and Patterico dutifully echoed Reynolds' line: "I truly believe this sort of tactic is going to create a backlash."
So this is a link back to something I wrote in October 2006. I have to go back and check because I don't remember writing about Craig before. Here's the old post:
"Lefty Blogger Outs Senator As Gay."

Patterico notes. Captain Ed comments.

Kos is taking a poll. "Do you agree with outing Gay Republicans?" 70% say "yes. But don't you think this percentage would change if the strategy backfires? I think aggressive characters like our "lefty blogger" think that uncovering gay Republicans will disgust social conservatives and change their voting behavior. They might also believe that they are demonstrating hypocrisy and that doing so will motivate Republicans to abandon social conservatism. I would like to see Republicans abandon social conservatism, and I'm not cheering on these slimy outings. But, honestly, I think these creepy, gleeful efforts at outing will only make social conservatives more conservative, and they will continue to look to the Republican party to serve their needs.
Well, this isn't about Senator Craig or sex in public bathrooms. (And it doesn't link to Glenn Reynolds either.) This is about the general practice of outing gay Republicans, which I find offensive. Moreover, I didn't even say that I thought this would produce a backlash. I said that lefties wouldn't use this tactic if they didn't think it would stimulate homophobia and turn voters away from socially conservative Republicans. Of course, I am hoping the tactic backfires and that the voters are not really homophobic. This is a longstanding theme here, and Greenwald either can't understand it, won't take the time to see what I'm saying, or is deliberately misstating what I say in a low, sleazy attack. Which is it?

Let's see if Greenwald apologizes and corrects his post. Now that he can see how inaccurate and inappropriate his attack is, a failure to correct is outright deceit.

Also, Greenwald's post is incredibly boring and windy. Maybe he actually can't understand things that aren't blathered about at great length. Ugh!

NEXT DAY UPDATE: Over 300 comments, and I know some of them are abusive. I'm not able to comb through and delete, so I apologize to readers who find some of this offensive. Please try harder to argue with each other in a way that doesn't involve name-calling. And don't use the F word!

327 comments:

1 – 200 of 327   Newer›   Newest»
Tim said...

Pathetic.

And yes, he should resign.

Adam said...

I'm sorry to say I feel a bit of schadenfreude at Sen. Craig. Is that wrong?

I suppose not, considering that the Republiocan party embraced the Drudge-style personal politics in the 1990's to attack CLinton.

And seriously, just HOW mnay closeted GOP people are there? We're running out of elected officials, it sometimes seems!

Sloanasaurus said...

For the country, Craig should at the very least not seek re-election. That behavior is unbecoming of a U.S. Senator. For the Republican party, Craig should resign and let Gov. Otter appoint a replacement prior to the upcoming election.

Craig has been a great Senator, but he has been in government for too long.

MadisonMan said...

The policeman's report contains very interesting, telling details such as Craig exited the stall with his roller bags without flushing the toilet.

Not much to add that hasn't been said elsewhere. I don't think he'll resign.

Simon said...

What Tim, Hugh and Ed said. I've said before that "people ought to be required sign a release as a prerequisite for seeking public office on the GOP ticket. If you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, you consent to the party lopping it off. And if you get caught with your anything else inside of anyone else, same rules apply. I'm so sick of routinely reading headlines of these walking screwups tarnishing the party's reputation."

He should be horsewhipped and drummed out of the party. But I'll settle for immediate resignation.

peter hoh said...

He has been in Congress since 1981. Damn. He's looking at a nice pension.

Gedaliya said...

I feel sorry for the man. I can't imagine enduring the humiliation of being caught in such a sordid act and then having it broadcast around the world as a news story. Can you imagine it?

We all have our secrets, secrets we pray are never revealed. The fact that Craig was so reckless in protecting one of his secrets is inconprehensible.

peter hoh said...

Among the similarities to the Foley case, Craig was thinking of retiring, but party leaders were pressing him to run again.

Tim said...

"Craig has been a great Senator, but he has been in government for too long."

Sloan,

I agree with your prescription, but not your diagnosis. Do you really think he was trolling the airport bathroom for gay sex and displaying his business card as a badge because he has been in government too long? That might explain the business card, but not the initial choice to look for gay sex in a public bathroom.

I think he should resign because he plead to committing a crime; whipping out the U.S. Senator business card as some kind of "get out of jail free" card adds a fatal dose of hubris to the equation.

As for his party affiliation, as a Republican I don't care that he's gay (notwithstanding his marriage); I just wish he was honest about it. And yes, I realize, of course, that gay Republicans would have extraordinarily difficult times winning primary elections. But that's a different issue for another time.

Jeff said...

Will he go on Oprah like Jim McGreevy?

Joseph Hovsep said...

Others have pointed out that Craig's actual behavior in the bathroom isn't clearly criminal and that authorities should probably have more important priorities for distributing their limited resources at airports than monitoring foottapping in bathroom stalls. It sounds like his "What do you think about that?" line inspired them to pursue charges that otherwise probably would have been forgone for lack of evidence and low priority.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Sgt. Dave Karsnia, a plainclothes officer,] entered the bathroom at noon that day and about 13 minutes after taking a seat in a stall,

I think someone needs more fibre in his diet.

But seriously, I think there may be a misconception of what a hypocrite is versus a poser. Actually I think there are really very few hypocrites and a lot more posers. A true hypocrite is one who does the complete opposite of what he/she preaches and fully justifies it in his/her mind. A poser is one who adopts a certain persona, such as a moralistic, family values type to appeal to a certain constituency and then uses that to hide his/her true values. Or building a self image of a global warming crusader while owning 3 homes and parading around in private jets. Or touting the values of public schools and sending one’s kid to a private one. Or decrying Wall Street greed and making $100,000 in cattle futures. The examples are endless and hypocrites and posers are plentiful on both sides of the aisle.

That said, after reading the Star Tribune of what the cop described as lewd behavior I was kind of surprised. I thought he would have been arrested for exposing himself or maybe grabbing the guy but tapping his foot? Waving under the stall? The cop mentioned that in his ‘experience’ these are telltale signs of illegal solicitation. Does this happen a lot in the Twin Cities that they have undercover cops staking out the restrooms? Note to self: If I’m at the airport taking a constitutional while listening to my Ipod, I should refrain from tapping my foot and humming to YMCA otherwise someone might get the wrong idea.

Worst of all, to my mind, is the proffering of the business card and the "What do you think about that?"

Typical of many people who see themselves in positions of power. I recall a certain congresswomen with a similar attitude smacking a DC cop. Power corrupts no matter what ideology you have.

Sloanasaurus said...

I agree with your prescription, but not your diagnosis. Do you really think he was trolling the airport bathroom for gay sex and displaying his business card as a badge because he has been in government too long

Althouse's point about him showing his card is a symptom of losing touch with reality. I think that after being in Congress for 25 years, one starts to lose touch with what it is like to be an average American. People have said "yes sir" to you for far too long.

Pogo said...

1. Resign. Today.

2. Schadenfreude is difficult to pass up. One should then expect to serve in the same role oneself at some point.

3. I wonder, from DTL and Titus, what if anything is wrong with airport toilet stall sex? Aside from his hypocrisy, does the location of the act warrant disapproval? Why? Or is it merely schadenfreude, an event otherwise acceptable for, say, a Democratic Senator?

Simon said...

Sloan - It really does help the case for term limits, doesn't it...

MadisonMan said...

what if anything is wrong with airport toilet stall sex?

Speaking as the person in the next stall over, who is there just trying to get rid of some airplane food, it's a little noisy.

Lonesome Payne said...

Just a small note: my reading of the Senate business card and the "What do you think about that?" is that was a come-on during the pre-arrest flirtation, not an attempt to get out of it once the cop revealed himself.

Sloanasaurus said...

Note to self: If I’m at the airport taking a constitutional while listening to my Ipod, I should refrain from tapping my foot and humming to YMCA otherwise someone might get the wrong idea.

Funny stuff Hoosier, I thought the same thing while reading the story, except the part about him reaching his hand under the stall and the touching of the feet separates a typical bathroom experience that you describe from Craig.

Is the hand under the stall enough for a lewd behavior charge? Imagine being the officer sitting in the other stall - I would be getting the major willies!

No doubt it was entrapment.

It also seems odd that a Republican U.S. Senator was caught in the trap. Is he just an idiot? Or was he set up by the Dems.... hmmm.

Mindsteps said...

Ann wants to highlight this fellow throwing his weight around. Politicians leveraging their position and power to obtain special treatment....dog bites man. That's what I think about it.

I also think about how to prevent some of these painful scenarios from occuring in the first place. I don't have an answer, but I am wondering if the terrible stigmatization of homosexuality is not contributing to the problem.

How many on this list know of at least one man, woman, marriage and child who has been affected by the stigma we continue to place upon homosexuality.

I remember one married fellow who had a son, pursued a professional career and supressed his homosexuality until both his parents died. With his son grown, this fifty-something year old attempted to resurrect his true self and claim his homosexuality. By then it was too late...he was psychologically crippled, perpetually miserable and unable to experience any form of emotional contentment.

I recall my wife's close friend, married for two years, learn of her husband's homosexuality when he left her for another man the day their only child was born. He was raised in a small southern town. Why he waited until the birth of his son to come out is anybodies guess. Maybe it was the straw the broke the camel's back. Yet, everyone suffers.

Freud discussed the unconscious defense mechanism of 'reaction formation' early in the 20th century, especially around sexual issues. Funny, how in some circles, little has changed.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I thought the same thing while reading the story, except the part about him reaching his hand under the stall and the touching of the feet separates a typical bathroom experience that you describe from Craig

I agree 100% although I was trying to add a bit of levity to the situation. I tend to think that abhorrent as this behavior is, it also seems to be a misallocation of police resources and this kind of behavior can be resolved by a good ass kicking of the offending party. But that's the red state cretin in me coming out I guess. Then again, is this kind of behavior so prevalent that they need undercover vice hanging out in the bathrooms?

MadisonMan said...

Is he just an idiot? Or was he set up by the Dems

He's an idiot. Hope that clears things up for you.

Roger said...

Not that the Senator apparently has any sense of honor, but had he, he would apologize to wife and family and resign immediately. The use of public places for sex is bad enough; when coupled with the Senator's "moral stands" on DODT or Gay Marriage justifies some schadenfreude. Do these people not learn? Do they think positions of power insulate them from consequences? Apparently yes.

As an aside, in a heavily LDS state like Idaho, Craig is toast.

Hoosier Daddy said...

How many on this list know of at least one man, woman, marriage and child who has been affected by the stigma we continue to place upon homosexuality.

None although I know several gay people. They're about as open as gay can be, flaming in fact. Then again, Indianapolis has a pretty high percentage of gays. It's not uncommon to see same sex couples walking hand in hand.

I think there is more 'self-stigmatization' in the gay community than what society poses on them which aside from the usual bigots, is more tolerant of thier lifestyle than many gays want to admit. Tolerance doesn't equate acceptance which I think is what the gay community expects.

Triangle Man said...

Even if he didn't flush, I hope Sen. Craig and the officer both washed their hands.

Eva said...

Craig should just follow what is now SOP for all scandals:

1.) Tearful Oprah confession
2.) Claim drug and/or alcohol and/or sex addiction problems. Preferably all 3. Imply childhood abuse is to blame.
3.) Enter rehab.
4.) Write self-congratulatory "redemption tale" book featuring pictures with new partner, if homosexual.
4.) Proceed to bank.

Mindsteps said...

Hoosier Daddy wrote:

I think there is more 'self-stigmatization' in the gay community than what society poses on them

What might be the mechanism(s) for this 'self-stigmatization'?

Pogo said...

So far, toilet stall sex is wrong because it's noisy?

Hoosier Daddy said...

What might be the mechanism(s) for this 'self-stigmatization'?

Portaying oneself as a perpetual victim? Again, I think society today is quite tolerant of gays, as opposed to say the 1950s or even the 1980s for that matter. But I don't think tolerance is good enough for some and they demand acceptance.

AllenS said...

From the article:

"According to the incident report, Sgt. Dave Karsnia was working as a plainclothes officer on June 11 investigating civilian complaints regarding sexual activity in the men’s public restroom in which Craig was arrested.

Airport police previously had made numerous arrests in the men’s restroom of the Northstar Crossing in the Lindbergh Terminal in connection with sexual activity."

Obviously, this type of behavior has been going on long before Craig flew into town.

Then, Mindsteps opines: "... I am wondering if the terrible stigmatization of homosexuality is not contributing to the problem."

Could it be possible, if men just want to use the bathroom without being subjected to homosexual advances? Would that be too much to ask for?

Bissage said...

Wait a minute.

If a U.S. senator’s business card can’t get him out of a crummy, little misdemeanor disorderly conduct, then why did I pay good money for an associate membership in the F.O.P and put those stickers on my car?

I’ve been had!

And by the cops, yet!

rsb said...

Truth is stranger than fiction.

Palladian said...

Remember the golden rule: exploiting the public's fear and disgust over homosexuals is fine when it involves taking down a Republican.

I don't have much sympathy for this man, but there's something about the glee that accompanies these "outings" that makes me a little uncomfortable. People like a good sex scandal, I realize, especially when it involves a "moralistic" politician, but I think that liberals and libertarians should be aware what other, less pleasant human impulses toward prejudice that they are exploiting when they enjoy these embarrassing perp walks from the lavatory.

Sloanasaurus said...

Not that the Senator apparently has any sense of honor, but had he, he would apologize to wife and family and resign immediately.

It could be that his wife knows and doesn't care. Not all marriages are based on a "loving relationship." e.g., the Clintons!

MadisonMan said...

pogo, I would add unsafe to noisy as well. Do TSS partners share medical histories? (I wonder if Mrs. Craig has been tested for HIV...she should be).

If you can't have sex in the open, why allow TSS? Is there really that big an expectation of privacy in a toilet stall in a busy airport?

I personally do not want to see two people engaged in sex. I think my opinion is shared by the majority of citizens. If you walked into a airport restroom and two people were going at it on the countertop next to the sink, would you just go about your business? I don't think I could. I'd be invading their privacy, which in that venue they shouldn't expect. And then there's the public health aspect again...

Roger said...

Point taken, Sloan

Palladian said...

I do have to add that I consider the public bathroom about the most distasteful and un-arousing a venue for personal intimacy that I can imagine. If you've ever smelled a well-used men's public toilet, especially one in an airport or train station, you might agree that it's not the most sensual or appealing aroma. That's the last thing I want to smell when I'm getting it on. Plus, no one's cock looks good under that horrible fluorescent lighting.

Pogo said...

MadisonMan, I appreciate the response, and am glad also for Palladian's take on this.

I was trying to elicit what Palladian said very well, that "exploiting the public's fear and disgust over homosexuals is fine when it involves taking down a Republican."

I just find it curious when anyone on the left uses anti-gay or anti-minority sentiment to further their cause.

Like you, TSS is just wrong, and not because the guy's a Senator, or that he's married, or that he's Republican. It's not anti-gay to say it is wrong. It's hypocritical to enjoy this by the political meaning, because it implies that you wouldn't otherwise give a hoot were it between two consenting men.

Fen said...

WTH is it with Repblican congress-criters and gay sex scandals?

I am SO GLAD I changed to Independent. What a disgrace.

hdhouse said...

I couldn't care less who the senator humps in the privacy of his own home. I don't care a whit nor should anyone.

This was, however, a public facility and last I knew it is used by dirty old men and innocent kids without regard to anything other than nature's needs.

The cop was on duty due to some probably complaints about such stuff. Don't blame him or law enforcement.

What do you think? Was this the first time for him? Was it a "gosh I read about sex in public bathrooms, think I'll give a 1 shot try"...type of thing?

If this works within his marriage well then God bless her. What bothers me more is that his voting record on major legislation involving the gay community may be more of coverup of his personal conduct than it was reasoned positions and that really really stinks.

He gets what he gets.

Sloanasaurus said...

I personally do not want to see two people engaged in sex. I think my opinion is shared by the majority of citizens. If you walked into a airport restroom and two people were going at it on the countertop next to the sink, would you just go about your business?

True, but if Craig would have been able to by a "public lewd behavior offset," then his activity would have been perfectly allowable. For example, while engaging in the act, if you tap him on the shoulder and say "stop it, we are in a public bathroom!" he could just present you with the previously purchase offset (i.e., an investment in "private" bath houses in the Netherlands or investments in extra public restrooms in another airport).

Christy said...

Didn't an episode of Friends have Monica and Chandler getting it on in a men's bathroom?

Mindsteps said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
What might be the mechanism(s) for this 'self-stigmatization'?

Portaying oneself as a perpetual victim? Again, I think society today is quite tolerant of gays, as opposed to say the 1950s or even the 1980s for that matter. But I don't think tolerance is good enough for some and they demand acceptance

Obviously, there has been progress since the 50's. However, I believe that you may be over-generalizing and over-stating when you speak of society as a whole as quite tolerant of homosexuality. There continue to be large circles where strong stigmas still exist. Vast areas of the country (e.g. the south), religious groups (e.g. evangelicals), rural areas and smaller towns vs. larger cosmopolitan areas, ethnic and cultural groups, certain occupations, and political affiliiation (e.g. Republican) continue the stigmatization. While the tolerance you speak of may represent an advancement from more destructive and earlier forms of persecution, I don't see it as isolated or as limited as you. Ultimately, perceiving acceptance from others is probably key in the development of self-acceptance, especially during development.

Moreover, you may not know of anyone or any family personally or professionally who has suffered, but unless you have avoided the media, you have observed individuals and their families in the spotlight who apparently have struggled with their sexuality, in part, because of the stigma they may have taken in from their surroundings.

Simon said...

Echo hdhouse's 9:55 comment.

Hoosier Daddy said...

However, I believe that you may be over-generalizing and over-stating when you speak of society as a whole as quite tolerant of homosexuality. There continue to be large circles where strong stigmas still exist. Vast areas of the country (e.g. the south), religious groups (e.g. evangelicals), rural areas and smaller towns vs. larger cosmopolitan areas, ethnic and cultural groups, certain occupations, and political affiliiation (e.g. Republican) continue the stigmatization.

I don’t doubt that at all but I was speaking in general terms. There will always be some stigmatization/prejudice because that is simply human nature and crosses all lines and political affiliations including Democrats. Cheney’s daughter is a lesbian and he certainly didn’t shun her. Rudy is GOP and supports gay marriage.

Ultimately, perceiving acceptance from others is probably key in the development of self-acceptance, especially during development.

Well don’t hold your breath on that. I am all for tolerance but I vehemently resist anyone telling me I ‘have to accept them’ whether it be their particular lifestyle, sexual preference or religion. Case in point, I am tolerant of other religions but do not accept any other than my own.

Moreover, you may not know of anyone or any family personally or professionally who has suffered, but unless you have avoided the media, you have observed individuals and their families in the spotlight who apparently have struggled with their sexuality, in part, because of the stigma they may have taken in from their surroundings.

You posed the comment in the thread about personal knowledge and I responded with my personal experience. I don’t disagree that there are people who have struggled with their sexuality, I just don’t know any personally. Are there areas in which gay people will be stigmatized? You bet as a gay bar would be as unwelcome in backwater Mississippi as much as Dearborn, Michigan but as you pointed out, in a society as diverse as ours, ethnically and culturally, we are remarkably tolerant.

Simon said...

Minsteps, i think you're making precisely the mistake HoosierDaddy alluded to: tolerance and acceptance are not the same thing. People can reasonably expect tolerance of their quirks, but they shouldn't expect acceptance, that is, validation by society that what they do is perfectly fine. And they shouldn't be so shallow as to need anyone's "acceptance" but their own and that of a willing partner. If what you do disgusts you, maybe you should stop doing it instead of asking society to pat you on the head and tell you it's not actually so bad.

PatCA said...

"There continue to be large circles where strong stigmas still exist. Vast areas of the country (e.g. the south), religious groups (e.g. evangelicals), rural areas and smaller towns vs. larger cosmopolitan areas, ethnic and cultural groups, certain occupations, and political affiliiation (e.g. Republican) continue the stigmatization."

How do you know that, by personal experience or what you read in the papers?

Read Tammy Bruce (I know, a dropout from the left) about how Christians have accepted her.

And, yes, Craig should resign. Personally I think it was desperation that made him flash his badge, but he's gotta go, whether he's trolling bathrooms for excitement or because he feels conflicted. Either way, he's violating standards of civil behavior.

Trumpit said...

Everyone knows that most Republicans are in favor of illegal wiretapping and that they consider it a patriotic activity to suppress suspected terrorists, gay or otherwise. A little gay foottapping somehow seems rather mild and less terroristic by comparison. Maybe I'm wrong, but just what did Senator Craig have in his roll bag? Were there condoms or fuses in there? Or, was he trying to prevent voyeurism and keep a little privacy for himself. Hypocrite! A closeted gay Republican domestic terrorist fond of (private) public bathroom sexual encounters, now that's gotta be the frosting on the cake!

Mark said...

Ann,

You can't avoid not saying something negative about Greenwald, can you? And sure, you think that his post is "boring" and "windy." You are so predictable. Of course you find something "boring" when you don't have any substantive arguments.

I think it is you who should apologize to him and not the other way around. He is 100% correct in stating that you dutifully echoed Reynolds' line that this (outing of Craig) is going to backfire. Where is he wrong? Any objective reader of your post can see that you thought and hoped that Rogers' post would backfire against "lefty bloggers". And now you confirm that you were HOPING that it would backfire. So, again, where is Greenwald wrong?


You are so blinded by your hate of "lefty bloggers" that you stubbornly refuse to see the right's (not necessarily yours) hypocrisy that Greenwald points out: before the elections Craig's conduct was fine, and now, the very similar conduct is suddenly the worst of the worst.

Please try to be more objective.

Roger said...

Hypothetical (OK--too much Volokh reading): Had Senator Craig been a champion of gay rights should he still be condemned?) (the man versus the behavior)

Slim Tyranny said...

Althouse --- I think you're overreacting to Greenwald's passing reference to your original thoughts on Craig's outing. He wasn't "attacking" you, he referenced your belief (shared by conservative pundits and bloggers) that outings of closeted gay Republicans would backfire against those doing the outing (in your argument, by actually making social conservatives MORE conservative because of the "slimy" and "creepy" nature of the outings).

Calling his passing reference to your employment of tired right wing conventional wisdom ("this will only STRENGTHEN the Republican Party") a "low, sleazy attack" is more than a little hyperbolic --- perhaps a thicker skin would help.

Doyle said...

Moreover, I didn't even say that I thought this would produce a backlash.

Uh, so saying that the "creepy, gleeful" outings will only make social conservatives "more conservative" doesn't count as predicting a backlash? Surely it falls into the "unintended adverse consequence" category, though, right? You hack?

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
. said...

perhaps he just forgot that it's not acceptable to cruise for gay love in airport restrooms

Palladian said...

Glenn Greenwald can make even a gay sex scandal sound like someone reading tax law.

MadisonMan said...

That post from Oct '06 is a classic. It's very entertaining to re-read something from before the election.

Doyle said...

Also Greenwald didn't say you linked to Reynolds.

Doyle said...

BTW this is Ann's best election-related post, in which she finally admits her depression over the Republican defeat, and disappointment in Americans for opposing the manifestly beneficial Iraq War.

She rarely admits holding these horrible opinions, usually just linking to other, more honest wingnuts, so it's worth remembering when she does.

Sloanasaurus said...

You are so blinded by your hate of "lefty bloggers" that you stubbornly refuse to see the right's (not necessarily yours) hypocrisy that Greenwald points out: before the elections Craig's conduct was fine, and now, the very similar conduct is suddenly the worst of the worst.

Except that the source for Craig before the elections were democratic operatives (the same sources that revealed the Foley story) whose intent is to expose "closet" gay Republicans in order to win elections, even though the democratic operatives themselves see nothing wrong with the behavior. From the operatives point of view, truth is not required - only that a rumor gets spread and that the rumor affects Craig's perceived anti-gay base.

Althouse and Reynolds were right to criticise them for using gay issues in this way because the democratic party asserts itself as being all things for all gays.

In this case the source is a police officer doing his job of trying to maintain law and order at the restrooms. Unlike the democratice operatives, the officer was not doing it to out gay senators for political purposes. There is a world of difference between the sources for the two stories.

Chip Ahoy said...

Here's the things I don't understand; why do people continue reading Glenn Greenwald given his style which never fails to get mentioned as unbearable, here and everywhere, and given his persistent misreading and general wrongness? Same question with Andrew Sullivan.

Why bother?

Next question; airport? Com'on! Minnesota hot and happening, for a start.

I feel a Photoshop® coming on.

Mutaman said...

One thing about Rudy, at least he goes running around in dresses in public, not in urinals, as far as we know. This is what happens when Republicans overlook good old family values.

Hey Ann, I think Greenwald just cut you a new one. And if "windy" and "boring" were a criteria, you wouldn't have a job (or so I'm told by your former students).

Simon said...

I would just encourage everyone to click on the link that Doyle posted and read what Ann actually said in that post; read what she wrote, don't take at face-value Doyle's distortion of it.

Joe said...

Back to the question of whether outing Republicans is an ugly act. It all depends on whether they are being hypocrites. This would hold true for all politicians. An anti-gun liberal who holds a concealed carry permit should be held up to ridicule as much as the anti-gay Republican who has anonymous gay sex.

After looking around Senator Craig's website, I can't find any reference to him using sexual morality as a platform (I couldn't even find any statement about homosexuality!) In this case, my judgment is that outing him would be unfair. (Being "outed" by getting caught soliciting sex in a bathroom, however, is another matter.)

Pogo said...

But Simon, that would mean I would have to read Doyle's post in the first place.

Titus16 said...

As a gay man who enjoys sex I can tell you bathroom sex is not a venue where a "normal gay" has sex.

This is a venue for closeted gays because they believe they can't meet another gay man through more conventional means. They tend to be married and living a life of a lie.

This just happened last month to McCain's Florida Republican campaign person in some rest stop in Florida. Of course, another family values hypocrite.

I have never had sex in a bathroom and to be honest with you don't know what you could possibly do sexually in a busy airport bathroom.

Also, this is a public place where many children/families and other travelers are passing through and the entire scene is nasty.

The fact that Larry Craig has voted against every gay rights inititiative is not suprising but really just sad.

I actually feel bad for him. He is also a liar because in the past the paper out there asked him in May if he ever trolled bathrooms and he said no. Than he gets arrested in June in Minneapolis. Their are stories going back to 1982 that he was involved with this kind of behavior.

He's pled guilty, he should resign, and try to find some happiness in his life as well allow his family to try and find happiness. His kids were adopted from his wifes first marriage.

What about that poor policeman's job sitting on a toilet and waiting to get propositioned? Imagine getting up in the morning and realizing you are going to be sitting on a toilet all day busting people.

If one thing the Foley, Vitter, Craig cases may do is put to rest the republicans as the family values/social conservatives.

Rohan Swee said...

Mindsteps: "Moreover, you may not know of anyone or any family personally or professionally who has suffered, but unless you have avoided the media, you have observed individuals and their families in the spotlight who apparently have struggled with their sexuality, in part, because of the stigma they may have taken in from their surroundings."

Straight people mess up spectacularly in their sex lives all the time, too. Is that because heterosexuality is stigmatized? I have no doubt homosexuality is looked down upon among a lot of people, but please stop asking me to feel sorry for people who feel entitled to drag along innocent non-consenting parties while they "struggle with their sexuality". I'm supposed to be consumed with understanding and compassion for some guy "who left [his wife] for another man the day their only child was born"? Strangely, I didn't think "poor, misunderstand fellow" when I read that. I thought, "wow, what a self-absorbed, self-indulgent, irresponsible jerkwad".

Hey, I've known straight men (and women) who pulled stunts like that, too - marry, reproduce, and then decide they just can't hack it and have to dump their responsibilities on other people so they can run off to "find themselves". But I guess having had your sexuality stigmatized means never having to take the rap for behaving like a complete dickhead.

He was raised in a small southern town.

Oh, well, that's different. I'm sure that's a mitigating factor for everything from adultery to axe-murder.

Steve said...

Ann is being disingenuous as usual. Ann's hatred of Greenwald really has nothing to do with his prose style. She is bitter because he made such a fool of her when he skewered one of her embarrassing New York Times Op-Eds.

Slim Tyranny said...

Chip Ahoy said...

"Here's the things I don't understand; why do people continue reading Glenn Greenwald given his style which never fails to get mentioned as unbearable, here and everywhere, and given his persistent misreading and general wrongness?"

--------------

The answer is, of course, that Greenwald's style is not at all "unbearable." It gets described as such "here" ("here" being a right-leaning blog with far right-leaning commentators) and "everywhere" ("everywhere" being only other right-leaning blogs) because it's the only means of attack against his arguments. He makes excellent arguments using supposedly big words and long sentences. Since right wingers can't defeat those arguments on the merits, they sniffle and focus on the big words.

Sloanasaurus said...

If one thing the Foley, Vitter, Craig cases may do is put to rest the republicans as the family values/social conservatives.

Ha Ha Ha, its going to take a lot more than a few bad eggs. Good try though. Face it, while Republicans have their foibles with family values, the Democratic party still can't come close.

Besides, every thoughtful conservative knows that family values often hinges more on things like low taxes, less government, and religious freedom than preaching.

Roger said...

Titus: that puts to rest that Foley, Vitters and Craig are hypocrites--generalizing to the entire republican party is t best a tenuous inference.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Titus16 said...

The thing is when republicans talk about "family values" it is code word for marriage, abortion and anti-gay-not low taxes.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Bethesda, Md.: Lest we judge, who among hasn't innocently rubbed our shoe against a stranger's foot in a neighboring stall and waggled our hand underneath the wall? I personally find public restrooms, especially at airports, the most friendly places in the world! Some may disagree. In the words (I think)of Dennis Miller, there's no place more tense than a public men's room.

Jonathan Weisman: My colleague, Shailagh Murray, just noted said waggling among women means, "Darn, all out. May I please have some toilet paper?"


Hmm. Maybe Craig just wanted some toilet paper. And perhaps he pled guilty thinking political expediency was in his interest, the underlying facts would be suppressed, and the plea would have the equivalent impact of pleading no contest. I find these facts as amusing as anyone, but I would be very upset if I were arrested for public exposure if caught waddling from one stall to another with my pants around my ankles in search of a fresh roll of toilet paper. Especially if the press twisted into a George Michael-like event, when it wasn't.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The thing is when republicans talk about "family values" it is code word for marriage, abortion and anti-gay-not low taxes.

Actually I pulled out my decoder ring and ‘family values’ it means being a responsible parent by providing for and raising one’s family. Not having one or more out of wedlock births, being a deadbeat parent or aborting a fetus because its ‘inconvenient’ and then demanding that the government provide you with a livable wage, free health care or affordable child care because one continues to make piss poor life decisions. Family-values is more about embracing personal responsibility versus living some monastic lifestyle.

Beth said...

Ann's position seems to be that pointing out the homophobia of the GOP fundie wing appeals is in itself homophobic, and that pointing to the hypocrisy of the closeted anti-gay gays of the GOP also feeds homophobia. That's a nice little Catch-22 and it provides a fine, self-righteous cover for gay-friendly people who want to vote GOP without confronting the anti-gay planks in its platform. I predict we'll see a lot more of these topics here as the presidential election comes closer and Ann positions herself to support Giuliani.

Mindsteps said...

Simon said...
Minsteps, i think you're making precisely the mistake HoosierDaddy alluded to: tolerance and acceptance are not the same thing. People can reasonably expect tolerance of their quirks, but they shouldn't expect acceptance, that is, validation by society that what they do is perfectly fine. And they shouldn't be so shallow as to need anyone's "acceptance" but their own and that of a willing partner. If what you do disgusts you, maybe you should stop doing it instead of asking society to pat you on the head and tell you it's not actually so bad.

Simon:

I believe I am grasping the distinction but I am not sure. Obviously, people can tolerate or even reject certain behaviors, while accepting the person that engages in the behavior. And while it may be "shallow" to need someone's acceptance, if you read my post a little more carefully you might note that what I said was "Ultimately, perceiving acceptance from others is probably key in the development of self-acceptance, especially during development.". I believe that acceptance from important others is critical in the promotion of self-acceptance, especially as we develop (through childhood). You may find it shallow, however there is substantial research to suggest that there is a strong positive relationship between feelings of acceptance by significant others (parents, friends, teachers etc.) in childhood and later self-acceptance. Conversely, rejection by important others growing up has been associated with self-contempt and maladaptive behavior in many individuals.

Moreover, children, in particular, struggle to make distinctions when one is rejecting their behavior vs. rejecting them as persons.

Personally, I am not disgusted by homosexuality and do not believe that homosexuals need to be horsewhipped and excluded from either the democrat or republican party.

I think concepts such as "responsibility" are actually quite complex and as we progress scientifically in our understanding of the causes of human behavior (including sexuality) we will find that responsibility is not an all or none psychobiological phenomenon and that it varies across age, behaviors, environments, etc. We have more control, for example, over some behaviors, than we do others and we may have control over some behaviors for particular periods of time and not others (think of someone, say with Tourette's disorder who can supress their tics for a brief period of time, but not foreover). I also believe that the forces that lead to homosexuality are complex and probably vary from one individual to another.

This does not imply that we have to tolerate any and all behaviors. It does suggest however, that merely punishing or ignoring some activities will not necessarily extinguish the behavior. Obviously, there are very strong sanctions against homosexual behavior amongst republican politicians, yet the behavior seems to re-occur.

If you are someone who believes that homosexuality is wrong (and I don't) and that the behavior should be modified, keeping the activity secreted is not likely to be the most effective way of changing it. Indeed, acknowledging the behavior, it would seem to me, would more likely lend it to modification than keeping it hidden.

Mark said...

"Beth said:
Ann's position seems to be that pointing out the homophobia of the GOP fundie wing appeals is in itself homophobic, and that pointing to the hypocrisy of the closeted anti-gay gays of the GOP also feeds homophobia. That's a nice little Catch-22 and it provides a fine, self-righteous cover for gay-friendly people who want to vote GOP without confronting the anti-gay planks in its platform. I predict we'll see a lot more of these topics here as the presidential election comes closer and Ann positions herself to support Giuliani."

Precisely. I agree 100000%. Ann does not want to feel that she is a bad person for supporting the party with so many homophobes, so she's cleverly accusing anyone who points out the GOP's hypocrisy as "feeding into homophobia." Nice try, Ann.

Be honest with yourself: the GOP is full of non-gay-friendly people. The party is much less tolerant than Democrats. Do you want to support Republicans? Fine. But do it honestly and don't pretend that you don't support the party with a large anti-gay wing.

Peter Palladas said...

Dr. Kraapenweider of Utrecht specifically recommends tap dancing to ease constipation.

Last time I listen to a Doctor's advice!

Titus16 said...

I love Craig's office comment regarding the situation:

"A spokesman for Craig described the June 11 incident as a “he said/he said misunderstanding,” and said the senator's office would release a fuller statement later today."

Palladian said...

titus, didn't you tell us all that you had sex in a taxi the other day? You should have been arrested.

Titus16 said...

Also, I am going to sound like Althouse now but I am not a democrat. While I was in college in Cambridge I voted for Romney (he actually liked the gay then). Also, while living in NYC I voted for Giuliani and Bloomberg twice. But those three probably don't count as real republicans because they tend to like the gay.

It seems in order to reach the entire national republican audience you need to come out against the gay (see Romney). The notheast republicans which many other republicans despise generally don't have problems with the gay (Sunnunu, Collins, Snowe, Spector, Shay, Lieberman).

The Southern Republicans should peel off from the republican party and become some other christian/social conservative party.

Doyle said...

Do you want to support Republicans? Fine. But do it honestly

How many times does Ann have to tell you she's a centrist Democrat?

It's just her informed, deeply principled advocacy of the Iraq War that makes her sound like a Republican sometimes... And her love of unflattering takes on Dem presidential contenders... And her occasional frustration with Democrats winning elections.

But what Democrat hasn't felt those things?

Mindsteps said...

Ann wrote:

Let's see if Greenwald apologizes and corrects his post. Now that he can see how inaccurate and inappropriate his attack is, a failure to correct is outright deceit.

Beth:

You may be on to something.

Changing the subject somewhat, Ann falsely accused me of "attacking" her, calling my comments ridiculous in the comments section of her recent Guiliani post. I challenged her to back up her criticism and she did not. She wrote nary a word.

Titus16 said...

Larry Craig commenting on Bill Clinton's behavior in the White House on MTP,

"he is a very naughty, nasty boy and should be punished".

My sense is that Larry Craig has likely used that quote on someone else in the past but in a different context? Or did Craig wish he was Monica?

Simon said...

Funny how it is that the script's always the same: Greenwald takes a shot at Ann, she eviscerates him, and suddenly a whole bunch of commenters who don't usually frequent this place appear - most of them without distinct profiles. And probably all with the same IP address.

Michael said...

The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area,” the report states.

Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times...

Reason number 9827593 to always carry a pocket knife.

Titus16 said...

Simon, so true it ruins our right wing orgy.

Doyle said...

Simon -

Please stop feeding Ann's victim complex. She was mentioned in the Greenwald piece, as one of many right-wingers who picked up on the Rogers piece as an example of unseemly left-wing gay baiting.

His post was more focused on those who are now calling for his resignation, after having claimed pre-election not to care what goes on behind stall doors.

Ann is not one of the main targets of the post.

Titus16 said...

Simon it is so disruptive to our affirmations of each other.

It really is blasphemous.

What are you wearing?

Revenant said...

The most hysterical outrage of all was from Glenn Reynolds, who went so far as repeatedly to predict -- literally -- that the country would be so repulsed by Rogers' reporting that it might actually swing the election in favor of the Republicans.

Unsurprisingly, if you follow the actual links to Instapundit it turns out that Greenwald's summary is bullshit.

Reynolds "literally predicts" that the Republicans are going to lose in 2006, which of course they did (the second link is to a post of his defending himself against attacks by Republicans for saying this). It is also a lie that Reynolds predicted backlash against the Democrats. The term he used was "blowback", which refers to a tactic coming back to harm those who use it (e.g., U.S. training of Afghan holy warriors during the 80s). Reynolds supports that prediction with this post of Andrew Sullivan's:

If the gay left thinks it will advance gay dignity by using tactics that depend on homophobia to work, that violate privacy, that demonizes gay people, then all I can say is: they are wrong. They will regret it. It will come back to haunt them. And they should cut it out. The fact that their motives might be good is no excuse. Everybody on a witchhunt believes their motives are good.

So according to Glenn Greenwald, the "most hysterical outrage" from the "right" consisted of a libertarian predicting that Republicans would lose the election, but that liberal gays would come to regret stirring up homophobia in order to punish hypocritical Congressmen. That's hysteria?

Also, given that the left loves calling Andrew Sullivan a "conservative" -- wouldn't that mean that the most "hysterical outrage from the right" came from Daily Dish? After all, Sullivan originated the "outrageous" claim that Greenwald is condemning Reynolds for.

clint said...

Clearly, Senator Craig's political career is over -- seeking anonymous sex in bathrooms is beneath the dignity of the U.S. Senate, or at least I'd like to think it is.

But, let's not lose sight of the absurdity of the policeman's role in this. He spends his days hanging out in bathrooms trying to pick up other men for anonymous sex -- in order to arrest them for doing exactly the same thing.

I'll believe that this doesn't arise from grossly homophobic bigotry the day a single police force in American sends a female officer undercover to lure men into anonymous public sex in order to arrest them for indecent exposure. Perhaps a new job for female air marshals?

Simon said...

Beth said...
"That's a nice little Catch-22 and it provides a fine, self-righteous cover for gay-friendly people who want to vote GOP without confronting the anti-gay planks in its platform."

I support the GOP even though I don't agree with the anti-federalist planks in its platform. It isn't necessary to agree with a party on everything to support them. The important question is whether, on balance, all things considered, this party is better than that party.


Mindsteps,
All of your 12:17 comment brings us back to HoosierDaddy's point: You're not looking just for society to tolerate you, that is, permit you to go about what you want to do in the privacy of your own home, you're looking to have your proclivities (volitional or otherwise) ratified, to have society stamp its imprimatur on your behavior and say "we think this is okay." Which brings us back to my 10:33 AM comment: if someone is doing something that they find disgusting, the rational thing to do is to stop doing it, not to look for someone to pat you on the head and tell you it's okay.

There are plenty of sexual acts - indulged in by both homosexual and heterosexual couples - that society tolerates but does not approve of. So far as I'm concerned, what you do to float your boat in private is your own business (whatever DTL might think, I'm not in favor of the Texas law struck down in Lawrence; although he is correct that I would overrule that case, that isn't because I approve of the law, but because I would overrule the entirety of the court's generic "right to privacy" caselaw at least as far back as Griswold; see Berger v. New York, 388 U.S. 41, 77-8 (1967) (Black, J., dissenting); Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 527-30 (1965) (Stewart, J., dissenting). DTL - and the instant reader - can doubt my sincerity as they will, and they will: as Megan McArdle put it recently, there are many "who seem unable to comprehend, or at least believe, the idea that anyone might genuinely care enough about process to sanction a good process that produces bad outcomes"). But tolerating them is far from approving of them.


"Personally, I am not disgusted by homosexuality and do not believe that homosexuals need to be horsewhipped and excluded from either the democrat or republican party."

I'm not saying that he should be horsewhipped and expelled for being gay, I'm saying he should be horsewhipped and expelled for bringing the party into disrepute. If he'd been caught soliting a female prostitute, having sex in his office with an intern (male or female) or with his hand in the till, the same would apply.

Simon said...

Titus16 said...
"What are you wearing?

A wrist brace, and an aircast, actually.

Jeremy said...

So it appears that this Senator is guilty of a couple of (not necessarily illegal) things: infidelity, lewd conduct, intimidating (threatening? bribing?) an officer. But what really seems to get people upset is hypocracy. Why is that? What is it about hypocracy (even over all these other things) that really makes your blood boil?

Revenant said...

and that pointing to the hypocrisy of the closeted anti-gay gays of the GOP also feeds homophobia.

Who exactly do you think you're fooling with that argument?

Democratic activists don't out Republicans to highlight their "hypocrisy". They do it because they know homophobia will cost the Republican a lot of votes -- around two-thirds of Republicans and one-third of Democrats are strongly opposed to homosexuality.

Palladian said...

"He spends his days hanging out in bathrooms trying to pick up other men for anonymous sex -- in order to arrest them for doing exactly the same thing."

Yeah, and they obviously pick the cute cops to do this for a reason.

Sometimes the cops are so cute that courts considers it entrapment.

Simon said...

Doyle, regardless of what greenwald said, you misrepresented the post that you linked to (a time honored Greenwald technique, I might add). I'm not going to argue the point with you - people can click through and make their own minds up.

Doyle said...

Simon -

I heard you the first time, but since you didn't actually specify how I misrepresented it, I wouldn't even know how to argue with you.

But the more people read Ann bemoaning the "folding and crumpling" of America (as signaled by their election of so many DHIMMIcrats) the better, as far as I'm concerned.

Simon said...

Mindsteps said...
"If you are someone who believes that homosexuality is wrong..."

Just to clarify: I don't believe that. I just don't care about it - it's a matter of near-complete indifference to me. But to people like DTL, who seem to define their lives through the lens of it, anyone not in the jihad is an infidel.

The Exalted said...

of course the first thing sloan thinks is that craig was somehow "set up" by the all-powerful democrats

and he also thinks that this was "entrapment"

how, pray tell, was it a set up or entrapment when the police officer did nothing more than sit in a closed stall?

peter hoh said...

Not sure if I'm going to wade through all the comments, but I have to say that it seems as though Greenwald can not read Althouse clearly. He's got filters on, and he needs an editor to help him with this problem if he can't take care of it himself.

I'm surpised Greenwald can't see that there is a huge difference between an outing -- no matter how well researched -- and a guilty plea.

Mindsteps said...

Mindsteps,
All of your 12:17 comment brings us back to HoosierDaddy's point: You're not looking just for society to tolerate you, that is, permit you to go about what you want to do in the privacy of your own home, you're looking to have your proclivities (volitional or otherwise) ratified, to have society stamp its imprimatur on your behavior and say "we think this is okay." Which brings us back to my 10:33 AM comment: if someone is doing something that they find disgusting, the rational thing to do is to stop doing it, not to look for someone to pat you on the head and tell you it's okay

Simon, you are obviously misunderstanding my posts...but so be it...I think they make sense even if you don't. I wish it were as simple as "stop doing it", or that the individual solely feels "disgust" in relation to the behavior but it ain't and there is a long line of research and clinical observation from multiple areas, from physiology, to psychology, to neurobiology that support my contention that some behavior and impulses are easier to control than others. There are lines of research that suggest that supressing some impulses and activities are associated with dysfunction elsewhere. And while there has been some research on behavioral interventions to alter homosexual activity, they involve more than telling someone to simply stop doing the behavior and the results have been very mixed.

As far as your legal analysis, I am not an attorney or political blogger and am struggling to figure out how it relates to my posts. I'm sure the legal material is meaningful, I am just not familiar with the cases. Sorry about that.

Simon said...

Doyle said...
"But the more people read Ann bemoaning the 'folding and crumpling' of America (as signaled by their election of so many DHIMMIcrats) the better, as far as I'm concerned."

People can agree with her or disagree with her as they will (subject to Moynihan's maxim that everyone's entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts), just as long as they're resting their view on what she actually wrote, rather than a strawman manufactured by another ADS victim.

dick said...

Titus16,

Then you are lucky. Sometime if you are ever in the Macy's store on Herald Square, go to the bathroom there. You might just as well forget it. there are so many people lined up at all the stalls having sex that nobody can even get to the urinals. And there are people who go there daily for just that. I finally had to leave the store and go to a fast food restaurant to use the rest room. The thing is that the people you see there are not trolls. They could make out very well at almost any bar in town.

Doyle said...

Well Simon I'm sure they appreciate you telling them to read the post that I tried to hide by linking to it, that they may not be misled.

Pogo said...

"Well Simon I'm sure they appreciate you telling them..."

It's a service to those of us who have learned to step over your usual droppings.

Blue Moon said...

I vote democrat 90% of the time, but I am always amused when people act like outing gay GOPers is some sort of moral crusade. It's about politics and winning. If this were about how great gay people are, then why would Craig be outed and disgraced? Instead, he would be celebrated "You're free!" liberals would shout -- "Let's have a party!" For me, it would be just as bad as if he was cruising the ladies facility looking for sex.

Some poster mentioned that they would feel more comfortable about law enforcement if women went after men. My county has female officers dressed as prostitutes trolling for "johns."

Finally, the idea that Craig is a hypocrite because he is a gay republican makes as much sense as a Christian being a hypocrite for being a democat. We only have two viable parties -- read your party's platform and see how much you disagree with. Besides, we are ALL hypocrites.

Galvanized said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Palladas said...

Yeah, and they obviously pick the cute cops to do this for a reason.

Given the logistics of such encounters it must be rather about having a shapely ankle, encased in a loveable lemon sock and fetching shoe.

Loafers or tap shoes? How's a boy to choose?

LoafingOaf said...

How many comments is Simon gonna post about gay people and gay-related political issues in multiple threads before he'll offer a clear statement of his positions and attitudes? He seems to squirm a lot, conceal much of what he's really thinking, hides behind trying to sound like a Supreme Court justice, and then claims he's indifferent about homosexuals. Why not just drop all the games and openly state your attitudes and positions, if you choose to post comments on those subjects?

Galvanized said...

Just as outing a closeted homosexual is wrong, so is judging someone who has been forcefully outed. Craig's problem is not that he is homosexual (highly personal) but that he's hypocritical in his voting and untrue to himself and his constituents. Also, he acted deviantly/criminally with his inappropriate behavior in a public facility. (This behavior is exactly why mothers are scared to allow their minor sons to visit a public restroom alone.) A criminal should not be allowed to represent constituents, as he breaks the very laws that he legislates.

Craig's offense in this situation is not his being a closeted homosexual, but his promiscuity and deviance in procuring sex in a public place. The outrage should have to do solely with his attempting sex there, not in his sexual orientation. Just because a man is homosexual does not mean that he is a practicing one, or that he is promiscuously gay or would automatically welcome a scene like that. If the general population thinks so, then I would worry why they think all homosexuals would also lack morals. (Since Christians consider it a sin, then I guess that rabid gossipers and straight adulterers also have no morals, either.)

Is this public restroom practice something that is accepted by virtually all outed homosexuals (gays) as part of the average gay lifestyle because they are forced to stay in the closet, out of fear? And if so, is there also a secret life that open gays feel justified and entitled to have? I don't think so. Considering the large population and concentrations in many areas, it would seem that Craig could have pre-arranged an anonymous tryst with a known gay man rather than guessing from a stall that must eventually open up to reveal him, especially if he was closeted. So why the public place? It's baffling that he would lay it all on the line like that, especially since he could be easily outted that way. He must have acted destructively to get the relief of being outted, especially leading such a hypocritical political life. I don't think that many people try to imagine the pain and loneliness one must have in living a closeted life with all of the stigma. My heart goes out to them. But, again, homosexuality is not an umbrella for deviant behavior. I'm sure many homosexuals would agree with that.

Galvanized said...

props to peter palladas. LOL

Palladian said...

You can tell a lot from a man's foot.

Paul Zrimsek said...

You can't avoid not saying something negative about Greenwald, can you?

While this question is a dandy as it stands, "You can't not avoid not saying nothing un-negative about Greenwald" would have been even better.

Internet Ronin said...

Ann: Greenwald won't apologize. He probably had the exact quote you provided when he made his post. I imagine that he will argue that your support for Craig was implied by your distaste for political outings.

Beth: While I am highly unlikely to vote for him, I am surprised to find you arguing that Giuliani is anti-gay, unless you are pretending that the platform adopted at any convention has ever bound any presidential candidate to anything written in that platform when he disagreed with it. Up to now, it never has and there is no reason to believe it will start in 2008. I seriously doubt the 2008 Democratic platform will endorse gay marriage, for example, or if it does, that any of the top contenders are going to embrace that plank in their general election campaign (if it is adopted).

Blue Moon: Well said and very true!

Galvanized: I might have a few minor quibbles, but all in all, yes I agree with that.

Cherry said...

I support the GOP even though I don't agree with the anti-federalist planks in its platform. It isn't necessary to agree with a party on everything to support them. The important question is whether, on balance, all things considered, this party is better than that party.

Simon, what you're willing to swallow is up to you. But I won't accept the spin that highlighting the GOP's kowtowing to its social conservatives is in itself homophobic. Giuliani is now doing the kowtowing, and that's the deal-breaker for me. There are other reasons not to support him, but his spinelessness in upholding his personal values is enough.

On balance, the GOP has nothing to offer me, aside from its disgusting knee-bending to the religious right. And I'm dismayed by so-called political moderates who can narrowly focus on one plank (terrorism!) and dismiss the rest of the GOP's agenda.

LoafingOaf said...

Finally, the idea that Craig is a hypocrite because he is a gay republican makes as much sense as a Christian being a hypocrite for being a democat.

There's nothing inconsistant about being a Christian and a Democrat.

And it's not that Craig is a gay Republican. Craig is not just a Republican who supports, say, lower taxes. He's part of the Christianist Right Wing of social conservatives within the GOP.

Someone from that dreadful wing of the GOP who has backed, for example, a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages, turns out to be a closet-case.

Part of me feels sorry for him. With the revelations about him bubbling up over the years, he had to know people would find out the truth about him. He should've reflected on how his public positions on gay issues pushed his true self deeper into a closet, and into his unhealthy activities in public bathrooms, not to mention his deceptions to his wife. Then he should've come out on his own, embraced a healthier life, and publicly repudiated his old allies on the Religious Right who are so militantly anti-gay that they are at war with gay couples who wanna have healthy, happy marriages.

Pogo said...

"You can tell a lot from a man's foot."

But do tell it quickly, unless you are rather small of frame, and then jump off.

Sloanasaurus said...

of course the first thing sloan thinks is that craig was somehow "set up" by the all-powerful democrats and he also thinks that this was "entrapment"
how, pray tell, was it a set up or entrapment when the police officer did nothing more than sit in a closed stall?


Are you sure that it was the first thing I thought up?

There is no doubt Craig was caught in a sting. That was the whole point of the police operation at the airport - to catch the people doing the lewd behavior. The police caught people by pretending to be lewd persons themselves. The police do this all the time, and we should support such efforts.

However, I think it's worth asking why Craig, a Senator from Idaho, of all people was caught in a sex solicitation sting at the Minneapolis airport. Was he set up? Did he receive a call from "someone" just before the incident saying that the bathroom at the Minneapolis airport was a good place to "meet people."

There are plenty of people with motives willing to get Craig. Democratic operatives would be my first choice, but it could also be Republicans from Idaho, wanting to get rid of Craig before 2008 rolls around.

It's definitely worth an investigation.

No matter what, Craig is gone by the end of September.

Synova said...

"I'll believe that this doesn't arise from grossly homophobic bigotry the day a single police force in American sends a female officer undercover to lure men..."

That was sarcastic, right?

Anyhow...

Maybe the guy isn't a homosexual. Maybe he's just a pervert.

I mean... we don't look at that guy arrested for peeping at a campground and say it's about heterosexuality, do we?

LoafingOaf said...

"Knowing Governor Mitt Romney is knowing someone who, first and foremost, has very strong family values. That is something I grew up with and believe in." - Senator Craig, co-chair of Romney's Idaho presidential campaign

Simon said...

LoafingOaf - I'm not sure I've been ambiguous in any way, and I'm not playing games. I don't approve of laws that ban sodomy, but I don't believe they're unconstitutional because I don't accept the legitimacy of the principles that are used to strike them down (i.e. overly-broad and in many cases outright false readings of the fourth, ninth and fourteenth amendments). That isn't squirming, it's a perfectly coherent position, one that's held by a lot of people. The wisdom of a law and whether it's constitutionally permissable are separate questions. For much the same reasons, I don't approve of same-sex marriage being imposed by the courts. In both the foregoing points, though, what governs is my views on law, not homosexuality. The only area where I'll agree I've been somewhat ambiguous is on gay marriage as a normative matter - that is, would I support it if proposed to be adopted legitimately. But that's not because I'm avoiding the question, it's because I've not made up my mind, so I can't give you a neat answer.

Luckyoldson said...

I've listened to at least 4 different Republican Senators and talking heads today and ALL say we should wait until we have the "facts"...and hear from Craig.

The guy plead guilty months ago, thought it would go away...and we need to hear the "facts?"

When will these idiots ever understand that they should just get the fuck out of Dodge when they're caught like this?

*And please...don't throw out the Clinton bullshit. He wasn't peeking into bathroom stalls looking for guy friends.

Luckyoldson said...

Simon,
Exactly what do YOU consider "sodomy?"

Cunnilingus?

Fellatio?

Simon said...

Cherry,
Are you a conservative? A libertarian? a right-leaning moderate? Or something else?

Beth said...

Simon, sorry to confuse you. I'm Beth, not Cherry. I used someone else's computer, not realizing they were signed in to gmail, apparently.

Not too long ago in another thread on the GOP and social issues, I predicted that Giuliani wouldn't change the GOP by running as a social moderate, but that the GOP would change him, requiring him to abandon or hedge his social views in order to get the nomination. My prediction is holding up, and it's a damned shame. It's even more of a shame if his socially moderate supporters simply write the trend off as "political reality" instead of raising a ruckus and acting to reform their party.

Synova said...

I reject the idea that being against gay marriage is, in itself, homophobic. Saying so does serve a useful purpose in that calling it homophobic means that absolutely no effort needs to be taken to understand the concerns people have about marriage.

It stops the conversation.

It vilifies the "other" in a way that the people doing it claim to oppose.

When it comes to outing Republicans or doing what Kerry and Edwards both took such care to do in 2004 when they pointed out that Mary Cheney is a lesbian, the goal isn't to better the lives of homosexuals. The goal is political.

How can it *not* be homophobic to attempt to encourage homophobia in order to gain a political goal?

If the lives of homosexuals were the first concern I'd think that cases of out Republicans wouldn't be met with this apparent need to tear them down but with the hopeful thought that homosexuals identifying as conservative means that more conservatives will become used to the idea and tolerance will be increased all round.

Not so good for Democrats that way, true enough. But what is the first priority? By behavior I'd say that the first priority is promoting the party rather than promoting the people.

Synova said...

And when I'm talking about tearing down out Republicans I'm *not* talking about perverts in bathrooms.

Simon said...

LOS - I mean it in the broadest sense, which includes oral and anal intercourse between straight people, non-straight people, and groups including representatives of both classes. And I don't mistake my being coy in my wording as conveying any kind of disapproval on such acts - frankly, I don't think there's anything that can be done consensually that generates some form of pleasure for the female body that I couldn't subscribe to. If you have this vision of me as being sexually conservative, you're quite far off the mark.

And moreover, as a general matter, I don't think that the government ought to regulate private sexual conduct between consenting adults. But my opinion of what's good, just and moral policy (or even good sex, for that matter) is absolutely irrelevant to what the Constitution of the United States says about the matter, which is the point I was making above (as I have many times before).

Sloanasaurus said...

*And please...don't throw out the Clinton bullshit. He wasn't peeking into bathroom stalls looking for guy friends.

I am coming out similar to lucky on this. I didn't think Clinton should have resigned either for the Monica incident, but I find myself urging Craig to design. Is it because of the gay thing.....?

Morally and legally what Clinton did was much worse....

What a great legacy Clinton has. His name will forever be mentioned in any discussion of a sex scandal.

Luckyoldson said...

Sloan says...with a straight face?

"There are plenty of people with motives willing to get Craig. Democratic operatives would be my first choice, but it could also be Republicans from Idaho, wanting to get rid of Craig before 2008 rolls around. It's definitely worth an investigation."

Uh, Sloan...there was an "investigation."

That's why Craig was arrested...and it was months ago by the way.

Any reason he hasn't made this public?

Simon said...

Beth,
I thought it might be from the writing style, but I didn't want to be presumptuous. :) Well, look, I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't vote Republican! I mean, why in the world would you? But even if you weren't animated by concern for their position on (I use this for want of a better term) "homosexual issues," I doubt that you'd be voting for them anyway, right?

Luckyoldson said...

Sloan says...again, with a straight face??

"Morally and legally what Clinton did was much worse...."

Blowjobs from a woman...who is also an adult...is "much worse" than a Senator...soliciting sex from another man...in a bathroom?

Ever hear the expression: GET A ROOM?

Blue Moon said...

LoafingOaf said:
And it's not that Craig is a gay Republican. Craig is not just a Republican who supports, say, lower taxes. He's part of the Christianist Right Wing of social conservatives within the GOP.

I would agree if there was evidence of him being some sort of rabid homophobe. I am not throwing this out as a challenge to you. You can be for "family values" in the sense that you want stable nuclear families, a less coarse culture, etc and still be gay. Again, I realize that Craig is a hypocrite even if he never said anything about gay people, but aren't we all.

You mention his being for a const. amendment banning gay marriage. Wouldn't that be like saying someone who likes threesomes is hypocritical for being against polygamy? It sounds like I am defending him - I guess my broader point is that I am kind of tired of burning hypocrites at the stake because all it encourages is a brand of bland say nothing but platitudes kind of politician. Theft is wrong whether you steal or not. Adultery is wrong even when Vitter and Bill Clinton say it is. I like my politicians to speak about moral issues even when I disagree with them, and even when they do not live up to them. Just cause you stole or lie or cheated doesn't mean you shouldn't tell your people to avoid those things.

I do agree with you about feeling bad for him. Not to get too far off topic, but Craig and Mike Vick would have made great subjects for an old school Greek Tragedy. Both are at the pinnacle and yet have the fatal flaw that brings them down. Going into a bathroom stall at an airport seems like a very compulsive act to me.

Luckyoldson said...

Simon,

You never answered.

Exactly what do YOU consider "sodomy?"

Cunnilingus?

Fellatio?

Luckyoldson said...

Simon,
Sorry, didn't see your response.

But...you do realize that sodomy laws do include ALL forms of what is considered..."sodomy."

*And of course, I'm referring to those who aren't married yet. Generally speaking...blowjobs are the first to go.

Simon said...

LOS (re 3:05 PM comment) -
Yes I did. I said that I used the term in its "broadest sense, which includes oral and anal intercourse between straight people, non-straight people, and groups including representatives of both classes" - which includes both Cunnilingus and Fellatio. I suspect you may be misunderstanding my remarks because I suspect you think "sodomy" is inherently a pejorative term, meaning something like "unpalatable sex." That's not the word's meaning. Just because I like cunnilingus doesn't mean that it isn't sodomy.

Maxine Weiss said...

Where's Althouse rage about what WOMEN do in Ladies' Rooms. Everytime I go into a Women's Powder Room and am forced to be contronted with some lunatic woman changing her bloody Tampax in full view of everyone....or breast pumping her milk all over the counter tops. These women animals don't even bother to go into the stall.

Bleeding all over the place, milk spilling out, flying every which way.....

And then there's the uncouth women who completely disrobe, remove their slip, and fling their nylons over side of the stall !!!

All I want to do is lay down, yet I can't even sit a spell without being forced to confront all the nasty conduct that takes place in Women's Rooms everywhere!

Pogo said...

Well Maxine, at least no one is tapping their foot. Got that covered.

Roger said...

Maxine--I love you dear, but far too much information.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Sloanasaurus wrote: "..but I find myself urging Craig to design."

Freudian?

Titus16 said...

Sloanasaurus wrote: "..but I find myself urging Craig to design."


That's hilarious and Ruth Anne beat me to the Freudian slip.

Simon said...

LOS,
Sorry - we crossposted about a misunderstanding that arose from crossposting! :p

Yes, I understand sodomy laws include oral sex. I thought I made pretty clear that I'm opposed to states having sodomy laws. I thought I'd made equally clear that my opinion of such laws as a matter of morality or policy preference is irrelevant to the constitutionality of said laws. :)

Maxine Weiss said...

Pogo: At least you'll never have to know what it's like to get hit in the face with flying breast-pump milk.

And the blood that comes outta these broads.....my God---some of these Ladies' Rooms I've been in are bloodier than an OJ crime scene!

And, I'm talking Powder Rooms of 5-star restaurants. Let's face it: Women are wild animals, much more so than men!

Sloanasaurus said...

Blowjobs from a woman...who is also an adult...is "much worse" than a Senator...soliciting sex from another man...in a bathroom?
Ever hear the expression: GET A ROOM?


Heh, I am trying to like a University professor here... Clinton's acts are worse if you consider gay sex morally equal to hetero-sex. If not, then Craig's acts would be far worse.

Sloanasaurus said...

Another important issue with this story is why it took so long for it to become public. It seems to me that if Craig had never made mention that he was a U.S. Senator, the story may have remained secret. The local paper here is totally pathetic and hasn't broken a story in years. Its hard to imagine them breaking this story when a "lawrence Craig" shows up in a police report. No one in Minnesota knows who he is.

Maxine Weiss said...

Frankly, I was bottle-fed. And, now I know why!

Women are the worst. I've been a bathroom Monitor before and had to clean up after 'em. Women are far more slovenly than men. These slobs in the ladies's room and all their skanky effluvia...

Simon said...

BTW, I join Synova's 2:58 PM comment, to some extent. I don't think that opposition to same-sex marriage has to stem from hostility to homosexuality (although I concede that it usually stems from such).

Luckyoldson said...

Sloan says: "The local paper here is totally pathetic and hasn't broken a story in years."

What he hell does the newspaper have to do with what Craig plead guilty to?

As for homosexual behavior, I have no problem with anybody doing whatever they want.

I personally believe they are born gay so it's difficult to dispute their natural impulses.

Pogo said...

At least you'll never have to know what it's like...

Just my luck.

Sloanasaurus said...

What he hell does the newspaper have to do with what Craig plead guilty to?

I don't know, why are you asking?

Sloanasaurus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sloanasaurus said...

As for homosexual behavior, I have no problem with anybody doing whatever they want.

So how is it that you can argue what Craig did is worse than what Clinton did?

Titus16 said...

"I'm Not Gay and Have Never Been Gay"


Bumper Sticker in Craig's reelection campaign

Justin said...

Dammit! Sloan keeps beating me to it. But I'm going to say it anyway:

Luckyoldson said...

As for homosexual behavior, I have no problem with anybody doing whatever they want.

Except that you think it's much worse for "a Senator...[to solicit] sex from another man...in a bathroom" than it is for the President to get a "blowjob[] from a woman...who is an adult".

What makes it worse? That's he's a Senator and not the President? That it was in a bathroom? The only other difference you mention is that it was homosexual sex.

MadisonMan said...

Clinton's acts are worse if you consider gay sex morally equal to hetero-sex. If not, then Craig's acts would be far worse.

That's an interesting viewpoint, but not one I share. Clinton's acts (I'll limit it to Monica and whatever they shared) were at least in private, unlike Senator Craig's. So that aspect at least is a plus on Clinton's side. If you consider Monica to have been sexually harassed (I do not), then that weighs against Clinton. That both Clinton and Craig were married at the time of the incidents reflects poorly on the both of them. Morally, they are both in the wrong. Legally, as far as the actual act is concerned (I am not a Lawyer -- another time when I won't use the acronym), I think Craig's behavior was worse.

Both lied about the incidents. Clinton lied under oath, which is against the law, I'm sure you and Scooter Libby will agree.

Maxine Weiss said...

Oh, you doubt the veracity of my claims, eh?

Take a look at the Communal Dressing rooms at Loehmanns ! The wild animals that use those dressing rooms throw clothes all over the floor, never put anything back. I can't even begin to tell you some of the atrocities I've seen in the fitting rooms. Women trying on white slacks.....on their bloody days! They destroy the merchandise. These skanks bring their boyfriends into the fitting rooms with them.

And the salacious men who watch behind the two-way mirrors! Anything goes in a sleazy Loehmanns dressing room...

I'm sure the Loehmanns people will come after me. Hellmanns is looking for Althouse, still.

Sloanasaurus said...

That's an interesting viewpoint, but not one I share. Clinton's acts (I'll limit it to Monica and whatever they shared) were at least in private, unlike Senator Craig's.

Except all Craig did was solicit sex. In fact, it is arguable that Craig was soliciting sex in a very private way - through the use of codes that only a person who wanted gay sex would recognize, and with some privacy - behind a bathroom stall.

In contrast, Clinton committed adultry in the oval office, one of the most sacred public places in America.

Pogo said...

Maxine,
I have no doubt at all.

From The SantaLand Diaries
by David Sedaris (1997)

"The woman in charge of costuming assigned us our outfits and gave us a lecture on keeping things clean. She held up a calendar and said, "Ladies, you know what this is. Use it. I have scraped enough blood out from the crotches of elf knickers to last me the rest of my life. And don't tell me, 'I don't wear underpants, I'm a dancer.' You're not a dancer. If you were a real dancer you wouldn't be here. You're an elf and you're going to wear panties like an elf."

Peter Palladas said...

Craig was wearing dress pants with black dress shoes.

God, now I see it - no trousers in a public place, just some seriously formal underwear.

Beats tap-dancing as a big clue.

Peter Palladas said...

And the salacious men who watch behind the two-way mirrors! Anything goes in a sleazy Loehmanns dressing room...

There's a famous women's clothing shop in Covent Garden where the seating for the weary husbands/boyfriends is lined up opposite the changing rooms that somehow all seem to have curtains that just won't close however hard you might or might not be inclined to try.

Business booms. The women, it seems, just can't get enough of peeling off knowing they can be seen by strange men.

Synova said...

I think that what Clinton did was harassment because of the inequality of power of the persons involved. Had Clinton gotten blow-jobs from a woman of at least middling power and influence and not employed by him, it would have been an "affair." (And I'll admit that if I knew that he sat her up on the desk and returned the favor it would seem just a wee tad bit less a power-issue.)

But I do have to agree and wonder... even if I didn't see Clinton's behavior as a power-issue and simply saw it as an affair, how is getting a blow job less bad than using secret codes to solicit a blow job one never got?

Simon said...

What Synova said. Clinton's behavior was at least as bad and probably insofar as, in that setting, it was necessarily coercive - while the person solicited by Craig was not someone with whom he had an ongoing employer-employee relationship.

peter hoh said...

Seems the good senator is going into full deny mode. Let's sit back and see if he has enough lawyers, guns, and money to pull that off.

Sloanasaurus said...

Is Craig being honest in his statement?

I think it is fair to argue that his guilty pleas does not necessariyl mean he is being dishonest. In Washington, reputation is everything. If Craig was making a political calculation that he would be finished once the charge came out even if he was later acquitted, (especially after the recent investigations), then pleading guilty to a lessor charge in the hopes that it won't be discovered makes sense.

What doesn't make sense is the story given by the police officer about Craig's behavior. Unless Craig finds a way to discredit the officer's story, the officer's story is assumed to be true, and therefore, Craig is lying.

MadisonMan said...

Am I to understand that synova and sloan believe a crime wasn't that bad because Senator Craig was arrested before any actual sex occurred? Are you lobbying for the policeman to have to drop trou and slip inside the Senator's salivating mouth before slapping on the handcuffs?

Revenant said...

There's nothing inconsistant about being a Christian and a Democrat.

There's nothing inconsistent about being gay and against gay rights, either. If sexual orientation is innate, a gay man who opposes equal treatment of gays is no more hypocritical than a white man who supports affirmative action -- both men favor discrimination against people born like them because a greater moral code tells them to.

hdhouse said...

Sloanasaurus said...
"In contrast, Clinton committed adultry in the oval office, one of the most sacred public places in America."

I was wondering how long it would take a knuckledragging fool to bring up Clinton. with Sloanasaurus around the stupid line is always full.

Honest to God, you have nothing to offer anyone, anyplace, anytime. Does your stupid meter even light up anymore?

I've been nice for a week and will continue to be except when freaks write shit like you wrote.

Revenant said...

Are you lobbying for the policeman to have to drop trou and slip inside the Senator's salivating mouth before slapping on the handcuffs?

Of course not. But he'd have to do that before you could say that Craig's behavior here was as bad as Clinton's. All Craig actually DID was rub his foot against another man's foot. Clinton was getting hummers in the Oval Office.

Of course, if you count all the credible allegations that didn't actually make it to court, Craig is indeed guilty of public sex, which is indeed worse than Clinton's behavior with Lewinsky. Of course, if you count all the credible allegations against Clinton that never made it to court, Clinton's guilty of rape.

Mindsteps said...

Dictionary.com definition of Backlash:

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) -–noun 1. a sudden, forceful backward movement; recoil.
2. a strong or violent reaction, as to some social or political change: a backlash of angry feeling among Southern conservatives within the party.
3. Machinery. a. the space between the thickness of a gear tooth and the width of the space between teeth in the mating gear, designed to allow for a film of lubricant, binding from heat expansion and eccentricity, or manufacturing inaccuracies.
b. play or lost motion between loosely fitting machine parts.

4. Angling. a snarled line on a reel, usually caused by a faulty cast.
–verb (used without object) 5. to make or undergo a backlash.

Synova said...

I don't confuse morality with legality.

I haven't so much as suggested that Craig should not have been arrested.

But if we are talking about what he actually did do and why it seems so very bad, pointing out that as sexual impropriety goes he really didn't do much of anything is simply pointing out the truth. And whoeveritwas said that Craig's behavior was much worse than Clinton's.

Why?

What elements make it worse?

What Craig seems to have been planning to do was more inappropriate (assuming for argument that there is no inherent coercion between employer and the perk of office down on her knees) than what Clinton did but as far as we know no actual sexual contact or exposure of any sort occurred.

Asking if it's worse because everyone understands a dirty old man and a young intern but this was two men and that's gross, is a valid question.

Joe said...

It is very possible that Craig's actions in this particular incident were completely innocent and that this was genuinely a misunderstanding. However, Craig was scared shitless of going to court and having former "lovers" testify or at least make themselves known.

* * *

RE: Clinton. Hurray for getting a blow job in the oval office. If he'd banged a woman on the desk it would have been even more of a triumph. Point being that the notion that an otherwise private place is off limits for sex is stupid.

The problem with Clinton was his self-righteous "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" and, worse, who he picked! Seriously, he'd the President of the United States; he could have bagged the most beautiful woman in the world--instead he settled for a chunky, plain girl (who wanted to sleep with him--she was no victim here--and didn't have enough brains to discard a stained dress.)

I'm actually only being half-facetious. The selection of lovers does demonstrate something about the powerful. This is true for Craig (and Vitter and so many others) as well. His excessively poor judgment makes him look like an idiot, who shouldn't be trusted with the job.

Tully said...

True, but if Craig would have been able to by a "public lewd behavior offset," then his activity would have been perfectly allowable.

Beat you to it, Sloanasaurus. :-)

In local statute, "sodomy" often includes beastiality in the definition. That's the only place I depart from being completely against sodomy laws. Whatever two consenting adults want to do in private is their own damn business. What people do in public is soon everyone's business.

Craig was profiled. In an airport. Mmmm, irony!

Joe said...

BTW, isn't anyone else just a little bit bothered by the actions of the police officer? Isn't arresting someone for simply hitting on someone else a bit, well, fascist? I just don't see an underlying crime here.

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

Looks like a member of Volokh's conspiracy has raised this issue:

http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2007_08_26-2007_09_01.shtml#1188338033

Simon said...

Joe said...
"Point being that the notion that an otherwise private place is off limits for sex is stupid."

Depends on how you understand the term "private." The oval office is private in the sense of "can I get some privacy?" but it isn't private in the sense of "you're on private property." The oval office is public property. The really interesting question is, how do you articulate the difference between the residence (where the President can of course have sex) and the oval office (where, equally obviously, she cannot).

"The problem with Clinton was ... who he picked! Seriously, he'd the President of the United States; he could have bagged the most beautiful woman in the world--instead he settled for a chunky, plain girl...."

I always thought Lewinski got a raw deal from people. She wasn't stunning, by any means, but I didn't think she was unattractive either, and certainly not as unattractive as she was parodied as. Pleasingly plump, she just didn't have a hook, you know, something arresting about her appearence that really jumps out and grabs you. The only thing that made her seem really unappealing was her seemingly supine attitude. The better question here is, if you were married to Hillary, why you'd stray. Granted, she's a lot more attractive now than she was then (it's probably a power thing, but I think she's aged well also), but still... I guess she must be a cold fish. ;)

"[Lewinski] didn't have enough brains to discard a stained dress...."

Seems to me that that's the most sensible thing she ever did.

LoafingOaf said...

"[Lewinski] didn't have enough brains to discard a stained dress...."

Seems to me that that's the most sensible thing she ever did.


Indeed. If she hadn't of saved that dress, the Clinton attack-dogs were gonna carry out their already-in-motion character assasination campaign against her (she's a stalker, a nutter, a liar, etc etc) and destroy her life.

John Stodder said...

The problem with coming in with late comments to one of Ann's posts is, by that time, the discussion has gone off into the weeds with something like "Which is worse? Clinton getting some in the Oval Office or Craig trying to pick some up in a men's room?"

To me, illicit sex is about consequences. Both men risked public exposure, and both reacted to the predictable public exposure by lying about it. Clinton's lies arguably verged into perjury (no less so than Libby's, you have to admit.) Craig's lies are more absurd but, so far, haven't compounded his problems.

I feel badly for a guy like Craig. He's clearly been raised to believe homosexuality is a sin, especially his own. So he acts out furtively, 1950s style. I'm shocked that cops are still trolling men's rooms to entrap people.

Where I think the worse hypocrisy lies in this story is with the leading Republicans who are now acting shocked...shocked... at Craig's behavior. I know some political and media people in Idaho and Craig's sexuality has been an open secret for years. When Romney signed him on as a co-chair, when the Idaho GOP backed his re-elections, they knew the deal with Craig.

In other words, in private, most Republican leaders think a person's sexuality is their own business. But in public, they play politics pimping the prejudices of ignorant bigots.

I agree with Ann about the distastefulness of gay advocates "outing" conservative gays, but part of the problem is -- GOP politicians predictably rising to the bait. If Romney had spoken the truth, if he'd said "I knew Larry was gay and it didn't bother me," then "outing" would lose its unique powers. Instead, he and the rest of the GOP leadership engage in this shameful puppet show, pretending to condemn what until yesterday they tacitly accepted.

Joe said...

Simon said....

The oval office is private in the sense of "can I get some privacy?" but it isn't private in the sense of "you're on private property." The oval office is public property.

The entire White House is public property! I'd be quite surprised if several presidents didn't get it on with their wives (and lovers) in the oval office.

The operative term is "behind closed doors."

She wasn't stunning, by any means, but I didn't think she was unattractive either...

Which is why I said plain, but to each his own. Still, had Bill invited a Playmate to his adventures, at least he would have been high-fived by most American males.

Seven Machos said...

What would happen to Rudy if he made a speech tomorrow saying that someone's sexuality shouldn't matter when they get a job, when they got a church, or when they run for office.

It would be a hit with me.

Simon said...

LoafingOaf, since you're clearly stil hanging around and haven't actually responded to my reply to you, I'm going to go ahead and conclude you made an insubstantial attack that petered out on the first rejoinder.

Luckyoldson said...

justin,
If you and Sloan think having consensual sex with another adult is the same as a Senator slinking around bathrooms, looking to hook up with whoever...you're welcome to it.

When was the last time you two idiots got a date doing what Craig did?

Never mind...I don't want to know.

Simon said...

John, the issue is what he tried to do, not the gender of the person he was caught trying to do it to.

Luckyoldson said...

Joe said..."BTW, isn't anyone else just a little bit bothered by the actions of the police officer? Isn't arresting someone for simply hitting on someone else a bit, well, fascist? I just don't see an underlying crime here."

You love that "underlying crime" bullshit, don't you?

But...the cop was doing his duty, running an operation, looking for "perverts" stalking the bathrooms.
(We had a similar operation here in the bathroom in Balboa Park...why? Because little kids use the bathrooms, too.)

So, I can't imagine why you would defend someone like Craig...and evidently Sloan and Justin.

This guy is as weasel who got caught...plain and simple.

Seven Machos said...

This is too funny. Lucky Old Son has come out for old-fashioned, wholesome homosexual values. You know, the kind where two guys meet for the first time and go for ice cream malts and maybe catch the free jazz show at the museum.

The subtext is that he is aghast -- aghast! -- that two guys would go to work in a bathroom stall who didn't even know each other. These senators today. And their casual encounters. It's disgusting. It's sinful.

Hilarious.

Justin: and I mean this seriously, how do you feel about your theory now?

LoafingOaf said...

BTW, isn't anyone else just a little bit bothered by the actions of the police officer? Isn't arresting someone for simply hitting on someone else a bit, well, fascist? I just don't see an underlying crime here.

There are public restrooms that become hot spots for weird sexual activities between strangers. I support the police cracking down in restrooms where it's a known problem. I think we can tell the difference between illicit lewd acts and solicitations in public restrooms and just hitting on someone in a way that the police should have no business worrying about.

I don't know if I should get into this, but when I was a teenager a rather old and demented pervert violated my privacy before trying to hit on me in a restroom at a public university. It wasn't that big a deal, but it was kinda upsetting and freaky and I certainly think that sort of thing should be illegal, and stings should be set up in restrooms where it's become a big problem.

Seven Machos said...

I have changed my mind on this issue of this thing being wrong. We can't have people in bathrooms soliciting sex, if only because little kids go in there and most people just want to pee.

It's a community standard I can agree with.

Justin said...

Seven Machos said...

Justin: and I mean this seriously, how do you feel about your theory now?

I go back and forth. Right now I'm leaning against. It appears that he is, in fact, a sanctimonious jackass and not just a parody of a sanctimonious jackass.

Justin said...

hdhouse said...

I was wondering how long it would take a knuckledragging fool to bring up Clinton.

While Adam and Sloan were the first to actually type the name "Clinton" in this thread, it was Titus who first alluded to a comparison between Clinton and Craig and Luckyoldson who made the comparison explicit.

Palladian said...

"It's a community standard I can agree with."

So police have the right to send a good-looking plain-clothes cop in there to sit around and wait to arrest people for foot-tapping and finger-twiddling?

The Exalted said...

So how is it that you can argue what Craig did is worse than what Clinton did?

only a matter of time before, somehow, some way, clinton came up.

guess what doofus, clinton did not commit a crime

craig committed a crime

wow, that was pretty hard!!

Seven Machos said...

If it's a parody, it's the best ever and it's a complete shame that Lucky doesn't have his own blog. It would be wildly successful -- the Colbert Report of blogs, except gleefully twisted against the left.

I always have thought he is just a silly, overly talkative person -- a non-thinking lefty who will say whatever is convenient and tow (toe?) the party line and who makes lefties look bad. I would be surprised and very impressed to find out differently.

John Stodder said...

One question I have not seen asked or answered anywhere: Are there big signs in the Minneapolis Airport's restrooms saying "NO GAY SEX" or "NO OBSCURE GAY COME-ONS?"

There are lots of signs all over airports prohibiting various activities. No smoking. Do Not Enter. Do Not Leave Bags Unattended. The White Zone is for Loading and Unloading Passengers Only.

So why not one more sign? This isn't a bathroom in a public park that might become a notorious meeting place; you could argue an undercover cop might belong in there to address a widely-known problem. But most people arriving at the airport in Minneapolis aren't from Minneapolis. How are they supposed to know that particular restroom is a focus of investigation?

Instead of making some poor cop sit on the can for 20 minutes, why don't they station him outside, in uniform, saying "If I hear any hubba hubba from you, I'm busting down the door." Wouldn't that be just as effective a deterrent? We prohibit sex in airport restrooms primarily to make people like me feel safe going there. I'd feel much safer with the uniformed cop. The whole point of the undercover cop is not to be noticed, not to deter the activity, but instead to make sure the potential violator feels comfortable preparing to commit the crime.

Basically, sex in airport restrooms is an environmental crime, like smoking, playing the radio too loud, or acting weird in general. Do they use undercover cops to bust smokers?

Tully said...

It appears that he is, in fact, a sanctimonious jackass and not just a parody of a sanctimonious jackass.

Of course he's a REAL sanctimonious jackass! He's a Senator, man!

Joe said...

Luckyoldson said...

You love that "underlying crime" bullshit, don't you?

Yes, I do and don't think it's bullshit. I happen to think that it's quite important that people be arrested for committing actual criminal acts, not on the possibility they may commit a criminal act.

I find it quite astonishing that a professed liberal would mock this. If we can't distinguish between actual legal wrongs and things we just find disagreeable, then civil liberties mean nothing.

In this specific case, the actions of Craig were extremely innocuous. I honestly had no idea they had such a meaning (when I first heard the story, I'd assumed he'd dropped his drawers.) I am quite uncomfortable making this level of activity criminal behavior.

(I don't like handing the police the power to act on such vague laws--it's way to prone for abuse.)

Tully said...

Basically, sex in airport restrooms is an environmental crime, like smoking, playing the radio too loud, or acting weird in general. Do they use undercover cops to bust smokers?

In cities that have banned smoking in bars, yes, "they" often do.

Seven Machos said...

Palladian -- No. I still think that it's a poor use of resources. The level of enforcement here is fascist. A constant sweep of the bathrooms by uniformed police officers would do the trick easily, and is certainly necessary given the current Arab terrorist fascination with airplanes and airports.

I am sitting here imagining some goofy cops doing a sting at Logan on 9/11, and it's making my blood boil.

Palladian said...

"craig committed a crime"

Really? The heinous crime of foot-tapping! Who knew that the so-called liberals were secretly law-and-order types!

Seriously, I'm happy to see some of the more liberal blogs taking an actually liberal position on this silly case. It would be far easier to take the partisan line than the principled one. Good for them.

Simon said...

The Exalted said...
"[C]linton did not commit a crime...."

If by that you mean that he did not commit a crime by having sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinski, you're correct. He did, however, commit a crime (the same one Scooter Libby did) when he lied about it under oath to a grand jury.

Joe said...

But...the cop was doing his duty, running an operation, looking for "perverts" stalking the bathrooms.

Glad to see the left is so tolerant of homosexuality.

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