Larry Craig Will Not Disappear…At Least Not Yet…

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These are tough election year times for the poor GOP, and times just got tougher. Facing untimely resignations, an unpopular war and a troubling 2008 election landscape, Senate Republicans didn’t need another headache this week, but Larry Craig just gave them one.

Senator Larry Craig vowed Thursday to serve out the last 15 months of his term, despite losing his legal battle to have his guilty plea from last month’s bathroom sex scandal arrest, reversed. As a result, Craig’s selfish decision gives the Republicans two unpleasant choices. First, they can resume pressuring him to leave, and risk being seen as disloyal politicians who go harder on alleged homosexual misdeeds than on heterosexual wrongdoings. Or, they can ignore him between now and the 2008 election, when Craig promised he will finally leave office. Craig’s lawyer Stanley Brand said that the Senate traditionally has shied away from disciplining members for misdemeanors, so Craig will probably be allowed to serve out his term.

Of course, as is the case with most Republican liars, there is something more subtle going on here…

Five weeks ago, Craig announced his intent to resign immediately, then he changed course a bit by saying he would resign on September 30th if he could not have his guilty plea rescinded. Now Craig, who brushed off his colleagues’ not-so-subtle hints to just leave, reneged on the deal Thursday.

“I have seen that it is possible for me to work here effectively,” he said in a statement.

He has now stated he will not seek a fourth term in November 2008, and the seat is likely to stay in Republican hands. However, rumors are already awash on the Internet that Craig plans to form an exploratory committee to research the possibility of re-election in 2008.

How perfectly annoying.

Craig’s continued presence in the Senate obviously annoys Republicans facing tough campaigns in an election year where GOP scandals are turning up from everyehere like flowers at a funeral. “Senator Craig gave us his word that he would resign by September 30th if he could not overturn the guilty plea,” said Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev. “I wish he would stick to his word.” “It’s embarrassing for the Senate, it’s embarrassing for his party,” Ensign said. Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., who faces a tough re-election campaign next year in a state where opposition to the Iraq war is strong, spoke with reporters Thursday before Craig announced his plans to stay and fight. “I would hope that he would live up to what he said he would do – not put the Senate through the wringer on this, respect the institution,” Coleman said. “Clearly, his ability to serve his people was severely compromised.”

The White House stayed out of the controversy of course.. “We think this is a decision between Senator Craig, his constituents, his colleagues in the Senate,” deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said. Commentators and activist groups contrasted the reaction to the welcome that GOP leaders gave Sen. David Vitter, R-La., after he apologized for his phone number turning up in a list of clients for an alleged call-girl operation. Of course that was just cheat-on-your-wife, good-old-fashioned, straight sex. Craig was arrested in a men’s room exhibiting gay behavior – all the difference in the world to a Republican.

The bipartisan Senate ethics panel is gearing up for possible hearings into Craig’s case, a step requested by Republican leaders when they were trying to persuade the senator to step down. If the hearings go forward, and are televised, it will mark another setback for an already morally bankrupt Republican Party desparate for some good news.

Here’s the subtle part…

“I am innocent of the charges against me,” Craig said in the statement. Craig said he had panicked when arrested, and pleaded guilty by mail on Aug. 1 to disorderly conduct because an Idaho newspaper had been aggressively investigating allegations that he was gay. Craig says he is not gay. He also said he never lied about being gay and that he loves his wife. He has sworn up and down that he is an honest man.

Funny thing is, for all those claims of honesty, he lied twice about when he would resign over the sex scandal that he claims is false.

Ironic isn’t it?

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Posted on October 5, 2007, in Abuse of Power, Law, Politics, Sex Scandals and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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