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...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.
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....
[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.”...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.
“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.”
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.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:
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."
"Lefty Blogger Outs Senator As Gay."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?
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.
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!