Senator Larry Craig, a Republican from the State of Idaho made headlines in late August of this year when it was revealed that he had pled guilty to misdemeanor charges against him for his behavior in a men’s room at the International airport in Minneapolis-St. Paul some time in June. Without going into the details of this unusual episode, the Senator came out and made public statements with his wife by his side that he and we quote: “was not gay and had never been gay in his life”. He also indicated that he would in all likelihood resign his position as Senator by the end of September 2007 instead of serving out his term that ends in January 2009.
His Republican colleagues in the Senate expressed outrage about this incident and were glad to be rid of him shortly after the Senator’s statements. This story disappeared from the front-page news cycle and in the television media within a few days and it was now just a matter of a few weeks when he would leave Washington D.C. and allow the Governor of Idaho to appoint a replacement for him. But things changed, the Senator got a lawyer and now explored his options. And this is where it becomes really bizarre. The Senator had his lawyer approach the Court in Minnesota to rescind his guilty plea from months earlier. Larry Craig now stated that he would not resign if he could; his guilty pleas reversed by the Court but instead stay on for the remainder of his term. His Republican colleagues were now upset and threatened to take him before the Senate’s ethics committee. The Senator did not feel threatened but showed up in Washington D.C. and continued his work as if nothing had happened.
The end of September came but since the Judge in Minnesota had not yet made a decision in the matter, the Senator stayed on into October. Finally, the Judge reached a verdict and denied the Senator to reverse his guilty plea, flat out turned him down. What now in this saga? While everybody expected Senator Craig now to resign his job, he changed his mind once again and decided to stay! Never mind what his colleagues wanted, no, he was going to complete his term in the office for which he was duly elected by the people of Idaho and that is where it stands for now.
Traditionally, Republicans have always resigned when caught in questionable situations involving sex or illegal money issues. Since they preach in difference to Democrats certain values they resign their offices when found to have violated such values. This self-imposed so called ‘higher standard’ for Republicans became the norm and everybody knows that the list is long of those who did not live up to them. But this is new and it is sort of funny to see how the Republicans struggle in dealing with this. They were friends and colleagues with the man and are truly puzzled.
The larger story though is the fact that if Larry Craig were a Democrat, this would not even be a story because for one, they do not hold themselves to these higher standards, secondly, there would have been nothing wrong with what Mr. Craig had admitted doing in that men’s room in Minnesota and it would have been explained as a private matter and lastly, all his Democrat colleagues and friends would have voiced strong support for him and attacked anybody who would have criticized the good Senator from Idaho.
We here at ‘Back to Common Sense’ are not in the mode of advising public officials normally but we feel like making an exception in this case:
Senator Craig, our advice to you is simple and would make your life easier: Become a Democrat! Yes, switch parties and do it right now! Instead of being slighted by your current Republican friends, you would be welcomed by the Democrats. In fact, you could achieve hero status. After all, William Jefferson Clinton was on the receiving end of oral sex in the Oval Office in the White House when he was President and the Democrats stood by him, called it a private matter and attacked anybody who was critical of President Clinton about it. Yes, Clinton is still enjoying hero status among Democrats. So, Larry, what do you say, join them and become a Democrat. It should not affect your freedom or how you want to vote on any issue that would become before you. And one more thing, you have changed your mind during the past six weeks so often that you would fit right in amongst your new party. Think about it.
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