"I Am Not Gay"

So declares Senator Larry Craig of Idaho, the latest politician to find himself in the hot seat in what is becoming an increasingly frequent parade of embarrassing incidents among our elected officials. I suspect this declaration will be up there with Bill Clinton's now-infamous "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" and Richard Nixon's classic "I am not a crook."

The picture of a contrite politician addressing the issue of personal misconduct, with the wife steadfastly at his side, is a familiar one. At this time, the Republicans have the Democrats beaten for the dubious honor of the highest number of recent mishaps (let's not forget about Representative William Jefferson, the Lousiana Democrat who was found to have $90,000 in cash stashed in his freezer, suspected bribe money), but as a Democrat I take no joy in this. These are our elected officials being charged with corruption and drug use and solicitation, and they ought to know better. Their personal behavior makes for one sorry state of affairs. The fact that we have a Republican President with approval ratings so low that he can offer no reassurances doesn't help.

This situation is so mucky that even other party members are saying that Mr. Craig's reasons for the guilty plea don't pass the common sense test (he pled guilty to get it over with, not because he actually was guilty - yeah, right), and have called for him to resign. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney severed ties with Mr. Craig quicker than you can say "liability." This is rare - usually party loyalty trumps everything. When the colleagues start saying someone should resign . . . watch out!

Mr. Craig's assertion of his sexuality suggests that being gay is a crime. It isn't, but solicitation of strangers for sex is. I find his declaration ironic. Does he believe his behavior would be more "acceptable" if he had approached a hooker who turned out to be an undercover female detective? Would his wife feel any less betrayed? It is clearly an attempt to hold onto his standing in a very conservative state.

As I stated, Republicans are being caught doing wrong in significantly greater numbers than their Democratic counterparts, making their emphasis on family values (like nobody else gives a damn about their families) laughable. When a morning news show asked the question if Republicans are being held to a higher standard I laughed out loud. That's like the Bush family lamenting that no one ever reported on Chelsea Clinton's antics they way they did on their twin girls. It's more of a case of Chelsea behaving responsibly while the Bush girls were visiting bars to indulge in underage drinking.

In other words, much of human grief is caused by those same humans who are doing the grieving.

You just can't make this stuff up.


Gwyneth Bolton said...

Here, here... well said... and all that good stuff. :-) great post, Betty.


bettye griffin said...

Thanks, Gwyneth!

Patricia W. said...

That about wraps it up!

I used to have dreams of being a senator but that was pre-Watergate and before I knew how little the media respected the privacy of a public persona. Given that, wouldn't you expect these folks to think twice before doing some of the outrageous things they do? Especially the illegal things? So sad.

bettye griffin said...

If you were in politics, I'm sure your reputation would be as sterling as that of Condoleeza Rice or Colin Powell!

It is possible to be scandal-free, and the great majority of pols are.

Samara Leigh said...

Didn't he notice that his support corner was a little thin when he gave that press conference? I think what pissed off the GOPs more than anything was that he went right on like nothing had happened. When it hit the fan, his party was caught with their pants around the ankles.

That they just could not forgive.

bettye griffin said...

It's gotten even worse now, with official loss of support of his party. As someone said in a news interview, "The Republicans have done everything but change the locks on his office door."