What Should Sen. Larry Craig Have Done?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. I admit to being extremely disappointed by Larry Craig's apparent affinity for bathroom trysts. He was one of the most solid conservatives in the Senate, and he will be tough to replace. As a matter of political strategy and crisis management however, I find the situation pretty interesting.

    First off, there are groups that try to embarrass closeted homo politicians, particularly if they are conservative republicans. They had been after Craig for months, with allegations of bathroom sex at Union Station, which is a couple of blocks from Capitol Hill. Whether true or not, these attacks should have put him on red alert status about the danger of exposure. Under those circumstances, what in the world was he doing in an airport bathroom without a minder?

    Second, when I heard about the Minneapolis Airport incident, I wondered if it was possible he had been set up by Soros-funded crazies or homosexual activists. Remember, this was an incident with no witnesses other than the cop, no recording, no video. The things he was charged with doing, eg putting his suitcase in front of the stall, tapping his foot, having a wide stance, seemed at worst ambiguous. As an article i read confirmed, virtually all bathroom sex busts involve actual sexual activity, touching private areas or at least lewd behavior such as waving the equipment around suggestively. He was not accused of anything like that.

    So why cop a plea? Did he think it would somehow escape public notice? Criminal attorneys quoted in the article I read said there was virtually no chance the police could have gotten a conviction on the evidence they had. In fact, it seemed to me it would likely not even be prosecuted but for the fact he was a public official. Did he fear that the other evidence of bathroom sexual escapades would come out at trial?

    Surely, the actual outcome was the worst possible result, at least for his career. He could hardly have been more humiliated if he denied everything, went to trial and lost. At least, he would have had the ability to say it was all a misunderstanding. When you plead guilty in a case like this, no one is going to buy that excuse.

    I find the whole incident perplexing, not least the idea of a policeman sitting in a john stall for hours hoping someone will solicit him. Surely they have better things to do than that, and surely there are better ways to discourage actual bathroom sex. Perhaps stationing a uniformed officer in the vicinity would be one idea.
  2. The problem is the criminal attorneys quoted in the article you read aren't his attorneys - they'll never talk. But you can bet your bippy they looked at it real close and told him and his family he was fked in a court of law, or opinion, or both. This would all have been done months ago.

    He got real close there at the end to making another big mistake - pushing on that Minny PD -- he should thank his stars they didn't push back and give him a trial in the papers.

    Finally, the Republicans that threw him onto the tracks aren't dumb either - and I'm sure they looked at it closely back when it happened too.
  3. It seems that AAA is torn between wanting to condemn the hypocrite, and wanting to defend him and blame it on the liberals. In that regard, AAA appears to have much more integrity than the Republicans who were so quick to throw Craig under the bus, including Romney and McCain.

    The case is indefensible, that's why he pleaded guilty. How many men do you know that would pick up a toilet paper from the floor of a public toilet? How wide would a man's stance be to put his foot into the next stall? Or was he in Lilliput?
  4. Here is a post on freerepublic.com:
    Note the date of 04/12/2007, two months before Craig's encounter. This certainly corroborates what the police was saying.

    "To: CholeraJoe
    You got that right. Back when I worked at the MSP airport in the early 1990s, this kind of activity was VERY well known. They even had their own “code”— tapping the foot while lingering in a stall.

    There even was a story about a guy pinching one off who tapped his foot for whatever reason. He was soon visited by another guy who heard the foot tap and was looking for a mouthful.


    14 posted on 04/12/2007 5:36:44 AM PDT by APFel (Regnum Nostrum Crescit) "
  5. kut2k2


    Blaming it on liberals hardly strikes me as integrity. He wasn't arrested by liberals, he was arrested by a cop dealing with complaints about a public nuisance (toilet sex).

    And since when are conservatives so quick to question the word of a cop over an arrestee? Some folks have been complaining about police misconduct for decades, and it was always conservatives who were first to attack the complaints as liberal bullshit and an affront to law and order. Now all of a sudden we're supposed to question a cop's word because the arrestee is a leading GOP Senator?

    The hypocrisy from the right just keeps on piling up. Apparently we're supposed to believe the whole sting was set up by gay radicals who paid off the cop to "entrap" Craig, or some similar fairytale.

    Meanwhile, Senator Whoremonger is sitting in the catbird seat. He's not being given the bum's rush by the GOP because he's straight and his governor's a Democrat, so once again GOP politics trumps their "moral values". :D
  6. kut2k2


  7. I'm not taking a position one way or the other, except that I said I was very disappointed in him. I do find the case interesting, not the least because I totally disagree with you that it was indefensible. In fact, if an ordinary respectable 62 year old was charged under these circumstances i can almost guarantee it would never get to court. Why? Because it is not against the law to ask for sex, even in a restroom. The specific charge, creating a public disorder, would have been very hard to establish. He touched the guy's shoe? He put his hand under the divider? Most people could plausibly maintain that they had no idea these were come-ons, and that they did them innocently.

    All of which leads me to wonder why Craig copped a plea. Certainly there is the embarrassment factor, but he had to know that this would not stay hidden for long. Clearly he had a choice between unappealing options, but my main take-away is he hasn't handled it very well. If he had come out immediately and said it was bogus and that he never did anything inappropriate, a lot of people would have stood by him. Now, they don't because they are afraid of getting blindsided.
  8. I didn't "blame it on liberals". I found the whole thing so bizarre, that I had to entertain the possibility that it was a set-up, a frame-up or a misunderstanding. That is called examing all options, not hypocrisy.

    You make an interesting point about conservatives usually supporting the police. That tends to be true, but plenty of libertarian-oriented conservatives recognize that the police and prosecutors have enormous unchecked power and often overstep. I have always been suspicious of these sting type sex cases, because the police are going out of their way to prey on human weakness. It is not like an undecover mob case, for example, where there is preexisting criminal activity. Most sexual solicitation cases are recorded or at least heard by other cops, just because of the ambiguity involved. You could go back and see what I wrote about the "To Catch a Predator" series a few weeks ago. Those sheepish guys who are exposed on national TV are not republican senators, and I also had problems with that.
  9. Turok


    >... Because it is not against the law to ask for sex,
    >even in a restroom.

    I must be misunderstanding you here, 'cause "solicitation" is pretty much illegal everywhere (and I don't mean asking your date or girlfriend for a BJ).

    #10     Sep 5, 2007