Coming apart at the seams

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by kut2k2, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. kut2k2


    Lashing out at McConnell
    By Betsy Rothstein and Elana Schor
    September 07, 2007

    Rep. Mike Simpson (R) condemned Senate GOP leaders on Thursday for their treatment of fellow Idahoan Sen. Larry Craig (R), accusing them of hypocrisy.

    (Does this make Simpson a "liberal" in Coulter-ese? :p)

    “I hope I never stub my toe and they throw me under the bus,” Simpson said of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and other Republican leaders. “It kind of makes you wonder what party you want to be a member of.”

    Simpson underscored that he is not considering switching parties. But he also emphasized that he would not want to serve in the Senate, even if chosen by Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter (R) to replace Craig.

    The five-term House member appeared ready to take himself out of the running for a Senate appointment, even though his name remains on Otter’s short list and Craig veered back on Thursday toward resigning, as planned, on Sept. 30.

    Simpson said he would pursue a Senate appointment were it in the best interests of his state, but analysts have agreed that his House seniority and status as an appropriator make Simpson more politically valuable to his state if he stays put.

    The frustrated response from Simpson, a longtime ally of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), also rekindles the embers of House-Senate tension that at times plagued Republicans during their time in the majority.

    “If that’s how they treat their own,” Simpson said, referring to Senate GOP leaders’ quick push for Craig to resign, “that tells me they’re more interested in party than individuals, and the party is made up of individuals. How you treat them says a lot about your party.”

    Simpson pointed a finger at Craig’s leaders for staying mum on the legal and personal jeopardy facing other GOP senators, including Alaskan Ted Stevens, now under federal investigations, and Louisianan David Vitter, who has admitted contacting an escort service.

    “They have people over there [in the Senate Republican Conference] in far worse trouble that they haven’t said a thing about,” Simpson said.

    Simpson was not present for Craig’s emotional resignation announcement speech on Saturday, but said he spoke with Craig by phone that day. Simpson emphasized the bond between his and Craig’s families.

    McConnell declined to comment on Simpson’s remarks, but Senate Republican sources shrugged off his frustration with their conference’s handling of Craig.

    “Who cares what Simpson thinks? He is irrelevant,” one Senate GOP aide said. “We didn’t throw [Craig] under the bus. He lay down in front of it and it ran over him. There is a great deal of compassion for him as a human being and a colleague. But this is bigger than him and that single Senate seat.”

    “Condemning decisions that were met with near unanimous praise inside the conference and out is an obvious political miscalculation,” said another Senate Republican aide. “If the representative truly believes that Senate leadership is the one that deserves criticism in this incident, then his senatorial ambitions are far outweighing reality.”

    Simpson fired back hours after Craig’s office acknowledged that the embattled conservative is highly likely to resign this month, rather than stay in the Senate to resolve his Minnesota legal case and a looming Ethics Committee probe.

    Initial media reports depicted that acknowledgment as a reversal of Craig’s statement late Tuesday that he may not step down, but Craig spokesman Dan Whiting said the situation has not changed.

    “My comments … are no different than what I have been telling people since Tuesday — he expects to resign, but has left a small door open,” Whiting said in an e-mail.

    That small door remains the slim chance that Craig can clear his name by Sept. 30 in Minneapolis, where his lawyers intend to seek a reversal of his August plea to disorderly conduct stemming from alleged solicitation of sexual conduct. Craig’s GOP colleagues largely hailed the apparent clarification of his plans.

    “The only thing that could’ve ever saved Senator Craig was candor and accountability, and his colleagues are obviously not sensing either,” one GOP aide said.

    Reflecting the scandal’s unpredictable nature, however, one member of Craig’s legal team said he believes Craig should stay in office “for as long as it takes in Minnesota.”

    “My advice to him would be to fight it,” said Stan Brand of the Brand Law Group, the former House Democratic counsel now representing Craig for Ethics Committee issues.

    Brand added that he did not see conflicting reports of Craig’s political future as a sign that the congressional veteran is wavering.

    “He’s under siege and responding at different positions: political, legal, public,” Brand said. Like Simpson, Brand expressed disbelief at Republican leaders’ swift isolation of Craig, calling the case “unparalleled” in his career, which has spanned the Abscam, Koreagate and congressional page scandals.

    “It’s hard for me to believe [Craig’s treatment from Republicans] is because they’re worried about the public corruption issue,” Brand said.

    Sources said Craig is unlikely to return soon to the Capitol, where behind-the-scenes jockeying already has begun to take his places as senior Republican on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee and on the Appropriations Committee. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) appears likely to ascend to the veterans’ panel post.

    Meanwhile, another ally of Craig’s joined Simpson in defending the beleaguered senator’s honor. The American Land Rights Association (ALRA), a grassroots lobbying group that has worked with Craig to push for private land ownership rights, urged a boycott of the Minneapolis airport where Craig was arrested.

    ALRA founder Chuck Cushman said in a message to group members that the Minneapolis airport police “have effectively declared war on the West” in their treatment of Craig.
  2. I think Craig made it hard for his colleagues to support him. Once he pleaded guilty, they were in an impossible bind. If he had reacted with outrage and vowed to fight the charges, I'm sure at least some would have supported him, unless they knew something to put his credibility in doubt.

    Of course, if he was a democrat, we would be getting lectures about homophobia and why private sexual activity is not anyone's business. I'm waiting for any democrat to denounce anonymous bathroom or gloryhole homo sex as perverted.
  3. kut2k2


    Why not demand they denounce robbery, murder and littering as well? This is such strawman nonsense, I'm surprised you can post it with sincerity.

    Craig is the GOP's problem. The Democrats are following the old advice: don't interrupt your opponents when they're hanging themselves.
  4. Craig didn't make it hard for his colleagues, they and his party made it hard for him.

    The party of conformity demands "good old family values" which don't include the natural tendency of some toward homosexual sex.

    So what is a gay man to do, or a bisexual man...yes, Craig could be bisexual...but to sneak around like a criminal to do his business.

    The dems don't care about gay sex, or married men having sex with someone else.

    It is the repubs that constantly preach moral superiority and "family values" so when one of their own is caught in a scandal like Foley, or Craig, or the gay preacher in Colorado...people who have been railing against the very same type of activity they call perverse, then they look like idiots.

    Did we see republicans saying:

    "Larry Craig is a good republican. He stands for real republican values, so what if he is gay?"

    We simply don't hear that, which is why they threw him under the bus, which is why gay republicans hide in the closet, or in the men's rooms in airports living in fear that they one day will be exposed and excommunicated from the party they have pledged their lives to. Gayness is not a republican value, and in the all or nothing conformist totalitarian view of republicans, any hint of being less than purely living according to republican rules is completely unacceptable. Republicans treated this guy like he was a leper.

    While Craig comes off as a hypocrite in this one area, why should that ruin his entire career?

    Idiots like Coulter try to blame the dems for the uppity country club mentality of the repubs.

    Lots of repubs were having affairs while the Bill Clinton witch hunt was in full bloom.

    Repubs like Cheney and Bush can be busted for DUI's, an action that can kill someone...and that is fine. That allows them to be president and VP, no problem. Drunk driving is illegal of course, but fine, within the rules of conduct. Same with dems, drunk driving is like some badge of honor.

    You are so far off base on this one AAA, it truly must be a strong case of denial...

    It is a tragic situation of a man driven to public toilets to satisfy what his party is deathly fearful of...gayness or bisexuality.

    What a miserable man he must have been and continues to be. Why not just renounce his party and join a party of inclusiveness...not a private club with puritanical mores.

  5. I think you're largely correct, although there are a few openly gay republican officeholders, and plenty of openly gay Hill aides. In general, Republicans oppose the gay political agenda and also consider homosexual behavior perverted, a quaint notion no doubt to democrats but one clearly set forth in the Bible and held as a core value by every major religion. Most homosexuals would no doubt feel uncomfortable running for office as republicans, although there are plenty of homosexual republican voters. They even have their own organization, the Log Cabin group.

    Virtually all republicans would consider a man who cruises for bathroom sex as unacceptable material to represent them. Democrats by contrast, would be more accepting. Similarly, virtually all republicans would find it highly improper for a married President to have sex in the Oval Office with an intern. We know democrats are largely ok with that.

    It is not a strawman argument, because it illustrates a basic and important difference between the parties. I don't see it really as a matter to hurl insults over. It is just an obvious fact, and voters should be free to give it whatever weight they deem appropriate.
  6. Proclaim moral superiority over other people and then urge them not to "hurl insults." You really embody the Republican party's arrogance and hypocrisy.
  7. No where did I claim moral superiority. I merely pointed out differences in the generally accepted positions of the parties. Don't blame me if the comparison makes you uncomfortable.
  8. Some even serve as Senator for 20 yrs after they kill a young girl....
  9. You did it by setting up a strawman argument, ("It is not a strawman argument"). You know it yourself that it isn't true. Just like people say "I'm not defending Bush" when they defend him, or "I'm not a fundamentalist" when they really are. You were simply parroting wingnut propaganda points to proclaim your side's moral superiority.

    It doesn't make me "uncomfortable" because your points are not true. I was simply pointing out your hyprocrisy.

    BTW, you still do not understand the difference between gay-bashing and calling on Foley, Craig, and Haggard's hypocrisy. It's been almost a year now. You are really thick.
    #10     Sep 8, 2007