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Craig Bows to the Inevitable

From the moment Roll Call reported that Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) had pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in an airport men's bathroom in June, it was a matter of when, not if, the GOP incumbent resigned his post.

Craig announced his resignation early this afternoon in Boise, saying "I apologize for what I have caused." The arc of his resignation speaks to the media fury that followed as soon as a report came to light about the incident and the desperate effort of GOP leaders to try to quickly put the scandal behind them.

This week's events had all the elements of a classic Washington scandal: a senator caught in a humiliating gay-sex sting at a Minneapolis airport, alleged hypocrisy on his part in repudiating his guilty plea and denying he is gay, and a shocking narrative that gradually unfolded on television of just what went on in that men's room. Craig, 62, had fended off other allegations of homosexual activity throughout his long political career in Washington, but those stories quickly re-emerged after the Roll Call report.

Once the airport incident came to light, almost every political reporter in Washington was on the case, vigorously pursuing a story too hard to resist. Add to that Craig's guilty plea to a disorderly conduct charge and his hard-to-believe explanation that he had mistakenly made it in hopes of keeping the incident quiet and the cake was baked for his political demise.

One other element that made Craig's survival nearly impossible was the fact the story broke in late August -- a time when the political media is looking for a story to latch on to. The deluge of TV, internet and newspaper reporting, the bawdy jokes from late-night comedians and the almost gleeful mock video reenactments of Craig's indiscretion fueled the clamoring among national and Idaho Republican leaders to force Craig out of office. Republican leaders including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) were furious that Craig kept his guilty plea secret from the party and left the Republicans vulnerable to morality attacks heading into the 2008 presidential and congressional elections. McConnell described Craig's conduct as "unforgivable."


The inevitable came today as Craig stepped aside amid threats from within the Republican establishment that they would move aggressively to push him out if he didn't jump. Although Craig earlier this week insisted in convuluted fashion he was not soliciting sex but rather picking up a piece of paper with his now famous "wide stance" in a stall in the Minneapolis Airport, there was absolutely no chance he could have been re-elected to the Senate when his seat came up in 2008.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter (R) is reportedly set to name Lt. Gov Jim Risch (R) to the remaining months on Craig's term. Otter as well as the state party owes Risch after he chose not to challenge Otter in the 2006 gubernatorial primary despite serving as acting governor for seven months following then Gov. Dirk Kempthorne's (R) appointment as Secretary of the Interior.

Craig's resignation -- and the likely appointment of Risch -- takes this seat off the table as a potential pickup for Democrats. While Craig won't help the Republican brand either in Idaho or nationwide, the Gem State is a Republican stronghold where a generic Republican will easily beat a generic Democrat.

Risch seems a safe choice, having spent more than two decades in the Idaho state Senate before being elected lieutenant governor in 2002. The only announced Democratic candidate is former Rep. Larry LaRocco who is running an active but underfunded campaign. LaRocco was crushed by Risch in the 2006 lieutenant governor's race.

Idaho's moment in the harsh glare of the campaign seems to have passed with Craig's resignation.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 1, 2007; 1:36 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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IMPORTANT NEWS

Pope: Sunday Worship a "Necessity" For All
September 17, 2007 | From theTrumpet.com
Pope Benedict XVI says your life depends upon worshiping on Sunday.

"Sine dominico non possumus!" "Without Sunday [worship] we cannot live!" Pope Benedict xvi declared during a mass on September 9 at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna.

Speaking on the final day of his three-day visit to Austria, the German pope voiced a strong call for Christians to revive Sunday keeping as an all-important religious practice.

"Give the soul its Sunday, give Sunday its soul," he chanted before a rain-soaked crowd of 40,000.

Benedict said that Sunday, which he stated has its origin as "the day of the dawning of creation," was "also the church's weekly feast of creation."

Warning against the evils of allowing Sunday to become just a part of the weekend, the pope said people needed to have a spiritual focus during the first day of the week, or else leisure time would just become wasted time.

Sunday worship, he warned, was not just a "precept" to be casually adhered to, but a "necessity" for all people.

In the opening greeting, the archbishop of Vienna said a movement in Austria had been initiated to protect "Sunday from tendencies to empty [it] of its meaning."

In Austria, most businesses are restricted from operating on Sunday. However, some business groups are pressuring the government to be allowed to open, a move Roman Catholic groups vehemently oppose.

During Benedict's trip to Austria, he called for Europe to look to its Christian roots, to trust in God and to defend traditional values.

The pope has been very vocal about Europe's Christian-or Catholic-roots, and is pushing to have them included in the European Constitution. Although laws concerning Sunday worship are currently determined by individual nations, look for the European Union to eventually gain jurisdiction over the work week-which is one big reason the Catholic Church is so intimately involved with the evolution of the EU. For more on the Catholic Church and Europe, read "The Pope Trumpets Sunday" by the Trumpet's editor in chief. .

-----------------------

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come (the return of Christ), except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exaltheth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4

"If protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath Day. In keeping the Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church."--Albert Smith, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the cardinal in a letter of Feb. 10, 1920.

Does the Papacy acknowledge changing the seventh-day Sabbath? It does. The Catechismus Romanus was commanded by the Council of Trent and published by the Vatican Press, by order of Pope Pius V, in 1566. This catechism for the priests says: "It pleased the church of God, that the religious celebration of the Sabbath day should be transferred to 'the Lord's day.'--Catechism of the Council of Trent (Donovan's translation, 1867), part 3, chap. 4, p. 345. The same, in slightly different wording is in the McHugh and Callan translation (1937 ed.), p. 402. "Question: How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holydays? "Answer: By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same Church."--Henry Tuberville, An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine (1833 approbation), p. 58. (Same statement in Manual of Christian Doctrine, ed. by Daniel Ferris {1916 ed.}, p. 67.) "Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept? "Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her; she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority." Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism (3d ed.), p. 174. "The Catholic Church,...by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday."--The Catholic Mirror, official organ of Cardinal Gibbons, Sept. 23, 1893. "Question: Is Saturday the 7th day according to the Bible & the Ten Commandments? Answer: I answer yes. "Question: Is Sunday the first day of the week & did the Church change the 7th day--Saturday--for Sunday, the 1st day: Answer: "I answer yes." "Question: Did Christ change the day? Answer: I answer no! Faithfully yours, "J. Card. Gibbons"--Gibbons autograph letter.

"But in vain they do worship me, teaching for the doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:9

Receiving the mark of the beast or the seal of God in the mind or the hand is not a literal "mark" to be put on our foreheads or our hand but it is our consent to whom we will obey. "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey? Romans 6:16


Posted by: calumonit | September 21, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Blarg, you should have known better than to feed the troll who needs help.

Rufus, give us a call or go to http://www.va.gov/rcs/

Posted by: Elias | September 4, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I should just copy and paste his book all day.

"The last reason why you might be interested in the hereafter is that you might want
more than just facts about authoritarians, but understanding and insight into why they act
the way they do. Which is often mind-boggling. How can they revere those who gave
their lives defending freedom and then support moves to take that freedom away? How
can they go on believing things that have been disproved over and over again, and
disbelieve things that are well established? How can they think they are the best people in
the world, when so much of what they do ought to show them they are not? Why do their
leaders so often turn out to be crooks and hypocrites?"

hypocrites.

Posted by: Wow this guy is on point. | September 4, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"The second reason I can offer for reading what follows is that it is not chock full of
opinions, but experimental evidence. Liberals have stereotypes about conservatives, and
conservatives have stereotypes about liberals. Moderates have stereotypes about both.
Anyone who has watched, or been a liberal arguing with a conservative (or vice versa)
knows that personal opinion and rhetoric can be had a penny a pound. But arguing never
seems to get anywhere. Whereas if you set up a fair and square experiment in which
people can act nobly, fairly, and with integrity, and you find that most of one group does,
and most of another group does not, that's a fact, not an opinion. And if you keep finding
the same thing experiment after experiment, and other people do too, then that's a body of
facts that demands attention.3 Some people, we have seen to our dismay, don't care a hoot
what scientific investigation reveals; but most people do. If the data were fairly gathered
and we let them do the talking, we should be on a higher plane than the current, "Sez
you!""

Posted by: for you blarg | September 4, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Since on one else is posting.
Hey. This guy sounds like me

"But why should you even bother reading this book? I would offer three
reasons. First, if you are concerned about what has happened in America since a
radical right-wing segment of the population began taking control of the
government about a dozen years ago, I think you=ll find a lot in this book that
says your fears are well founded. As many have pointed out, the Republic is
once again passing through perilous times. The concept of a constitutional
democracy has been under attack--and by the American government no less! The
mid-term elections of 2006 give hope that the best values and traditions of the
country will ultimately prevail. But it could prove a huge mistake to think that
the enemies of freedom and equality have lost the war just because they were"

Posted by: rufus | September 4, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Why are you the way you are dittoheads? Why do you choose slavery over freedom?

"http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/TheAuthoritarians.pdf

"We know an awful lot about authoritarian followers. In one way or
another, hundreds of social scientists have studied them since World War II. We
have a pretty good idea of who they are, where they come from, and what makes
them tick. By comparison, we know little about authoritarian leaders because we
only recently started studying them. That may seem strange, but how hard is it to
figure out why someone would like to have massive amounts of power? The
psychological mystery has always been, why would someone prefer a
dictatorship to freedom? So social scientists have focused on the followers, who
are seen as the main, underlying problem."

Posted by: rufus | September 4, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"What is Authoritarianism?
Authoritarianism is something authoritarian followers and authoritarian
leaders cook up between themselves. It happens when the followers submit too
much to the leaders, trust them too much, and give them too much leeway to do
whatever they want--which often is something undemocratic, tyrannical and
brutal. In my day, authoritarian fascist and authoritarian communist dictatorships
posed the biggest threats to democracies, and eventually lost to them in wars
both hot and cold. But authoritarianism itself has not disappeared, and I=m going
to present the case in this book that the greatest threat to American democracy
today arises from a militant authoritarianism that has become a cancer upon the
nation"

http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/TheAuthoritarians.pdf

Posted by: RUFUS | September 4, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

THOUGHT POLICE BLARG. Telling others who to listen to and not. Copmplaining about me on here, blarg. I'm not stopping you from posting. Being a "liberal" means being open to others opinons while nto always agreeing.

I don't call for the fascsits to be silence. I just point out their lies spin and propoganda. The reason I want Fox "news" pulled, is not because they express right wing views. It's that they label themselves as "fair and balanced". Lie. It's that they are given press creditials and treated like real news. I say give them a platform. Let them spew hate and propoganda on cd's. Get them off the radio and tv. Paid programs and paid cd's are fine.

That is what I'm saying, if you can decypher. Let others live. But call out the liars the propogandists and the fascsits. If I am lying tell me how.

This is how I view our country and in tern freedom. We should be as free as possible. The gop view of living in a box is slavery. They are dead already. If you do not grow. If you are living in a dream land you are dead already. We should be as free as humanly possible. Here is is. You ready?

A terrosrists or thug should be free to walk right up to us and punch/shoot us in the face. We have to be strong enough to stop them. And ro hold them responsible for what they did, when they break the law. This runs counter to the gop mode of thinking. They think they can limit the world and put us in a box. Freedom is not this. I have to be strong enough so they don't punch me in the face. My court system needs to be stong enough, so when someone puch's/shoot sme in the face, they are held accoutnable and never again see the light of day. Will the next man punch me or shoot my borther? Probably not. Freedom is more than what you do with "your" money, gop. What is freedom really.

You cannot silecne me blarg. Trying to only enflames the problem. I can continue if you like. I would sugggest ignorign me and let others make up their own mind. YOu don't want me to lock this site down in anger again, do you? Post your posts. Ignore me if you must. But stop the thought police. That only fuels the fire. That only makes me want to enlighten you more.

Posted by: RUFUS | September 4, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

What do I do, Rufus? Tell me what I do that's not consistent with describing myself as a liberal. In this case, all I did was point out that you're back a few days after claiming to leave forever. Does that mean I'm not a liberal? Does quoting you make me a fasicst?

Posted by: Blarg | September 4, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

LOL, ANOTHER GOP member is gay.

I told you back in 2004 that the GOP is thinking WAY too much about gay issues. Just like my cousin Jimmy. Was so homophobic at a teenager...

Now him and his wife Steve are very happy together....


Sorry but to a generation of kids, GOP stands for the Gay Old Party.

Posted by: toby | September 4, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

" Don't worry. I'm not going to lock the site down. Just wanted to comment on a GOp'er in denail saying the craig incident is mccartyism. That's all. Is that ok? Is that permissable, here?"

i EVEN STAYED ON TOPIC :)

Posted by: RUFUS | September 4, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

You say you are a liberal. What does liberal mean? If you WERE a "liberal" you would not do what you do. Like the gop claiming to be "christians". You are, by your actions. If you are liberal, if you are a chrsitian, if you are a astronaut,do so through your actions. Not words. Resepct me for what I do. Do you, I'll definatly do me. You know that. Don't worry. I'm not going to lock the site down. Just wanted to comment on a GOp'er in denail saying the craig incident is mccartyism. That's all. Is that ok? Is that permissable, here?

Posted by: rufus | September 4, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

No, you don't scare me. You annoy me, by posting the same barely comprehensible drivel dozens of times per day. You also annoy me by claiming you're going to leave, then never actually leaving.

By the way, I'm not a Republican. I'm a Democrat. A particularly liberal one, too. I agree with you politically, but dislike your methods and personality. Did I just blow your mind?

Posted by: Blarg | September 4, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Do I scare you blarg? Why waste your breath? Who are you tried to convince? Who are you trying to influence. Post your posts. If I choose to (if I get mad enough at your people's gop propoganda and lies) I will come back from time to time. Don't be scared. Post your posts. I won't hurt you.

I'm glad to see you propogandists are finally paying attention though. Good. Finally. It only took 5 months to get though the thick skulls. Now maybe I can reach you. Don;t be scared blarg. Fear doesn't really exist.

Posted by: rufus | September 4, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

about the same number as zouk and he's always back too... look for him any minute. it's that time of day...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"I'm done here for good. What a waste of time.
Posted by: rufus1133 (JKRish) | August 29, 2007 10:50 PM"

I see you're back to waste more of everyone's time, rufus. Apparently "for good" means "for the weekend". Has anyone kept track of how many times he's sworn to never come back?

Posted by: Blarg | September 4, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Chris wrote
"One other element that made Craig's survival nearly impossible was the fact the story broke in late August -- a time when the political media is looking for a story to latch on to."


So, had Sen Craig resigned first thing Monday morning, and Alberto Gonzales saved his announcement for Monday evening, would we have spent the week talking about the AG rather than Craig?

Or is a salacious story irresistable to the 'inside the beltway' press? Pun intended.


.

Posted by: bsimon | September 4, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"branded with a red A on his forward and sent to the communist camps."

Forehead, rather

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"He was trying to destroy a political idealogy. Does this apply with Craig? Was the cop waiting for sen. craig and only him? Was this a setup? If so why did he plead guilty. Please stop using mccartyism to attack the dems. It is a joke argument"

If this was mccarthism Craig wouldn't have got the chance to plead guilty. He would have been fired, branded with a red A on his forward and sent to the communist camps.

Posted by: rufus | September 4, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"A King's Wide Stance: 'I Am Not Gay'
Saturday, September 1, 2007; Page A02

From the opening line of his statement yesterday, the King of Zouk was in trouble. "Thank you all very much for coming out today," he began.
"Coming out" was perhaps not the best phrase for a guy who had pleaded guilty to some rather un-kingly conduct in an airport men's room -- and now stands accused in his home-state paper of a homosexual encounter in Zouk Station.
Alas for the king, it was not his first mistake.
No, his first mistake was on June 11, when he went into a restroom stall in the Zoukopolis airport and, according to the arrest report, tapped his foot in a "signal often used by persons communicating a desire to engage in sexual conduct."
This was followed closely by his second mistake: handing the arresting officer his business card and asking, "What do you think about that?"
Mistake No. 3? Explaining to the police that his foot touched the undercover officer's foot in the next stall because he has "a wide stance when going to the bathroom."
Mistake No. 4: Pleading guilty on Aug. 8 to disorderly conduct, and telling nobody -- not even a lawyer or his wife -- before the news broke Monday and Zouk's spokesman chalked it up to a "he said/he said misunderstanding."
This quartet of errors landed the king before the television cameras yesterday outside the Wells Fargo building in downtown Zouk City. Standing next to his wife, who wore sunglasses and looked as if she felt ill, the king almost shouted as he asserted his heterosexuality.
"Let me be clear: I am not gay. I never have been gay," Zouk said. Evidently, he did not think this was clear enough, because moments later, he explained why he kept the arrest a secret. "I wasn't eager to share this failure, but I should have anyway -- because I am not gay!"
The Associated Press rushed out a bulletin: "The King of Zouk says, 'I am not gay.' " CNN put up a "Breaking News" banner announcing, "The King of Zouk: I am not gay, and never have been gay."
The Drudge Report went with the headline "Brokeback Bathroom."
As the Zouks departed, somebody in the crowd that had gathered called out after the king: "Hey, what if you were gay?""


AAAAAAHHHHH. HAHAHAHAHA. To early in the morning for that :).


"Even if hypocritical on Senator Craig's part given his stance on homosexuality and support of "don't ask, don't tell" - every American should be outraged.

In this one person's opinion, sounds awfully close to the McCarthy Era. "

Wow. "Sate of denial? I don't know where to begin. So a hypocrite lying fascsit pleasds guilty and we should be outraged. He wasn't outraged. If craig was he would have fougt it don't you think? Dittoheads these days. Dream land.

As far as macarthyism. Please don't try that. I can post forever about the orginal turn to fascsim caused by the red scare and the gop fascsim. Mccarty was a fascsism trying to stamp out freedom and idividualality. He was trying to destroy a political idealogy. Does this apply with Craig? Was the cop waiting for sen. craig and only him? Was this a setup? If so why did he plead guilty. Please stop using mccartyism to attack the dems. It is a joke argument. Mccarty was a republcian gop fascsit. Nice try though. Why to try and take the attention off the the real subject. To bad that only works with dittoheads that WANT to believe your lies and propoganda. That's about 15%. You got nothing GOP. YOur party is about to be shown the door for a generation.

Posted by: jKRISH | September 4, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

'BEIJING -- China on Tuesday denied a report that its military had hacked into Pentagon computers, saying the allegations were "groundless" and that Beijing was opposed to cybercrime.

The Financial Times, citing unnamed officials, reported Monday that the People's Liberation Army hacked into a computer system in the office of Defense Secretary Robert Gates in June. The attack forced officials to take down the network for more than a week, the report said.'

While our government is focused on Iraq -- not our enemy -- our true enemies are planning attacks against us, for which we will be totally unprepared.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

oth the WP and LAT check in on how the troop buildup is going and ask whether the surge is working. Short answer: no. The LAT goes through the depressing data: There's been little political progress, the number of Iraqis forced to leave their home has increased, there's been no significant drop in civilian deaths, and a new troubling trend has emerged of intra-Shiite killings.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Bush's visit to Iraq was shrouded in secrecy and he spent approximately eight hours in the country before continuing with his scheduled trip to Australia. He was joined by other top administration officials, and as everyone points out, Bush never left the fortified base.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

In the Aug. 20, 2007 edition of The New Yorker magazine, Giuliani makes the claim that he turned around New York's crime trend.

But violent crime in New York actually began falling three years before Giuliani became mayor in 1994, and property crime started falling four years before.

After falling about 22 percent from 1990 to 1993, violent crime dropped 56 percent over the next eight years. But almost all big cities, and the nation as a whole, followed a similar pattern: A slow fall beginning around 1990 or 1991, followed by a sharp drop over the next decade.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Bokonon: You have this Craig thing about the same as me, and everyone that has mentioned it to me, have came to the same conclution. There had to be something more than what was on the tape.

Posted by: lylepink | September 4, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Mark, sorry if I was confusing. I was wondering what Maher would have to say about all this, so I watched... actually it was (i thought) a disappointing show. Gravel and John Mellencamp really added nothing, to the point where I wasn't always sure what they were talking about, and it also seemed that Bill's writers weren't sure how far they could take the Larry Craig thing. The highlight was Harry Shearer from New Orleans, and he wasn't even that great.
In terms of political commentary, I guess it just indicated that this episode (Craig) has joined others in the "hypocritical Republican" book, and thus will be part of everyone's back story as the campaign progresses.

Posted by: Bokonon | September 4, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

JD, Craig had no choice but to do the 'right thing.' He had intended to brazen it out, like he has for ages now [you do know he married his wife, a staffer, and adopted her children after a Mark Foley style page scandal many years ago, don't you?] but his party forced him out.

Mark, interesting what you say about Clinton/Gore... made me sigh. If only Gore was president now... I'd feel a whole lot better about my daughter's future, if she wasn't going to inherent a crushing national debt and high taxes on the middle class to pay for it--plus a world that has lost its faith in my country.

Posted by: drindl | September 4, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

"can't you smell the progress? he can't even leave the base..."

He's extolling the virtues of the "surge" by ingoring Baghdad (the area where the surge is taking place), going to al Anbar, a province that was retaken almost wholly by local tribes who were allied with AQI until they realized what bad guys they were (and they are are are still anti-CF and anti-government, they just hate AQI more right now), and he still had to make the visit unannounced and for a very short perid before moving on. If this is progress......

Posted by: Michael | September 4, 2007 8:02 AM | Report abuse

I watched Maher last night because of your post, Bokonon. I agree with you about Gravel. I was interested in what the foreign policy guest had to say, but Gravel interrupted her several times.

What about Maher's take on Craig did you think was noteworthy?


Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 4, 2007 7:36 AM | Report abuse

"...I can't believe he would have copped a plea unless he saw no way of denying the charge and just wanted to try to make it go away quietly."

Posted by: Bokonon | September 3, 2007 09:44 PM

Ding ding ding. Ladies and gentlemen, no more calls, we have a winner.

Posted by: JD | September 4, 2007 7:33 AM | Report abuse

lylepink, I have to think that because Craig was willing to plead guilty without asking for counsel, he felt like he had something to hide. No one pleads guilty if they think they are innocent, i would imagine... he may have panicked, and felt it would be better to involve as few people as possible? or maybe he was more explicit with his bathroom come-on than we're being told he was? But I can't believe he would have copped a plea unless he saw no way of denying the charge and just wanted to try to make it go away quietly.

did anyone see Bill Maher's take on this? Mike Gravel was also on, and did NOTHING to change anyone's mind about him... he actually seemed a little disconnected from what was going on around him, although it was the first time I've seen him smile.

Posted by: Bokonon | September 3, 2007 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin: Al Gore made the mistake of distanceing himself from Bubba, and I still think/believe that was the main reason he lost, with the choice of his VP a close second. This Craig deal still makes no sense. Minutes after my 04:55 PM post yesterday, a friend stopped by while I was watching the news and she agreed about what law could have been broken, and could not think of any based on the audio that had been played over and over.

Posted by: lylepink | September 3, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

It used to be that campaigns traditionally began on the Labor Day before Election Day. [September 1st next year]

Have we gained anything from moving that up to one or even two Labor Days ahead of the traditional one?

I doubt it.

Maybe these candidates are just a bit too ambitious.

How can they relate to the rest of us any more when they've been campaigning for over two years. They need to "get a life."

I wish I could say "See you in September; September '08!"

Posted by: Nor'Easter | September 3, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Mark, brilliant observation IMHO: "But there is this irony to contemplate - had Bill resigned the Presidency and saved us from the Impeachment, Al Gore would probably still be President of the United States."

Not bad, for an attorney...

Craig takes the high road to try to avert the train wreck, knowing that his state is a pretty dark shade of red anyway so nothing will change.

Posted by: JD | September 3, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

MARK: I do condemm Craigs' conduct, he violated his public trust and as such, resiging was the right thing to do, but nobody should take pleasure in this sordid mess. JANE:I felt real bad for Clinton;s daughter and the country as a whole. I would have had compassion for Bill if he would have done the right thing and put his country ahead of himself. But he chose himself first. Kinda hard to feel bad about somebody that selfish and self-centered.

Posted by: bhoomes | September 3, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Lyle, you raise an interesting point. I think a prosecutor or a defense attorney should address it.

Generally, consenting non-commercial PRIVATE adult sex [often called CPA sex, to my wife's chagrin] is shielded from state intrusion, but public acts are not. That is the best I can offer because it is not my field.

Bhoomes, I suspect Craig is very conflicted if he is, indeed, a closeted homosexual. That probably rates as acute insight into the obvious, but I mention it because I did not hear any Republican voice sympathy over the weekend, although Lott may have, from what others have said. Romney was especially condemning.

Jane, I'll bet most Americans cringed when the truth about the Lewinsky matter became apparent - in part in sympathy for Chelsea. Because of Bill's false swearing in the Jones deposition and the constant lying to the public, Bill Clinton did not get much sympathy except from those who thought he was "suffering" through his marriage [I would not have uttered this tackiness, except that I saw a poll at the time to that effect]. That started a complex and lengthy public process that did the body politic no good at all.

But there is this irony to contemplate - had Bill resigned the Presidency and saved us from the Impeachment, Al Gore would probably still be President of the United States.


Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 3, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

When Sowell went to write the sentence "some on the left believe that [people] are innocent even after being proven guilty," a basically functioning brain should have alerted him to the fact that he and his ideological comrades constantly do exactly that, and did precisely that all year long with regard to the conviction of Lewis Libby. Somehow, though, that function fails, and Sowell -- without realizing he is doing so -- accuses the "left" of doing what he himself and his political movement just did in the most prominent criminal case of the year. That is but a vivid illustration of how warped and removed from basic logic is the "reasoning" of this political movement.

UPDATE: Remarkably, Sowell's two sentences from today actually contain another completely separate contradiction. His claim that "we all believe that people are innocent until proven guilty" would likely come as quite a surprise to Jose Padilla and scores of other people imprisoned for years with no charges and no trial based on the belief among Sowell's political comrades that those accused of being Terrorists by the Leader should be presumed to be guilty and no trial is necessary even in order to imprison them indefinitely.

The political movement of which Sowell is a part actually believes that its loyal members who are convicted of crimes are innocent, while those who have been convicted of nothing but who are accused by the Leader should be presumed guilty. In just two short sentences, Sowell espouses two standards which are the very opposite of the ones he and his political movement actually embrace.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

And this to say nothing of the whole slew of right-wing political figures who have been convicted of crimes yet defended as innocent and kept in right-wing political power circles -- from Oliver North to Eliot Abrams to John Poindexter. Yet, fascinatingly, Sowell can still write this sentence without any of this occurring to him: "Some on the left believe that [people] are innocent even after being proven guilty."
Neither Thomas Sowell nor this specific episode, standing alone, is particularly significant, but I cannot help being endlessly amazed by the capacity of right-wing authoritarians so blatantly to hold and espouse completely contradictory thoughts at once without realizing they are doing it. This is yet more evidence that Psychology Professor Bob Altemeyer, in his book The Authoritarians (.pdf), has provided the definitive account of the psychological impulses driving right-wing followers:
A high [right-wing authoritarian] can have all sorts of illogical, self-contradictory and widely refuted ideas rattling around in various boxes in his brain, and never notice it. . . .

Research reveals that authoritarian followers drive through life under the influence of impaired thinking a lot more than most people do, exhibiting sloppy reasoning, highly compartmentalized beliefs, double standards, hypocrisy, self-blindness, a profound ethnocentrism, and -- to top it all off -- a ferocious dogmatism that makes it unlikely anyone could ever change their minds with evidence or logic.

Posted by: the definition of 'zouk' | September 3, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The Los Angeles Times leads with documents that show senior managers at KBR went ahead with a supply operation in the spring of 2004 despite repeated warning that the route was not safe. The paper got a hold of a bunch of internal KBR documents that show there were disagreements among staff members but ultimately a convoy was sent out to the middle of a firefight and six civilian drivers, along with two U.S. soldiers, ended up dead.

KBR warned the LAT several times against publishing its story on the supply convoy, and it's clear why the company wouldn't want the information getting out there. It's a detailed and compelling story that shows an Army dependent on a private contractor to get critical supplies through volatile territory and a company that ultimately chose to send civilian employees through a dangerous area to fulfill a multibillion-dollar contract. "Can anyone explain why we put civilians in the middle of known ambush sites?" asked one security adviser in an e-mail after the six drivers were killed. "Maybe we should put body bags on the packing list for our drivers." In the end, only six of the 19 KBR trucks that were sent to the airport on that fateful day reached their destination.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse


'During Bush's previous two visits to Iraq he visited Baghdad, but this trip will remain confined to the heavily fortified air base west of the capital for about six hours.

The president will speak to about 750 troops for about 10 or 15 minutes said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, before he continues on to Australia.'

can't you smell the progress? he can't even leave the base...

Posted by: froggy | September 3, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

The British Army began withdrawing from its last base in Basra's city center early Monday, a move that will leave Iraq's second-largest city without foreign forces for the first time since the American-led invasion in 2003.

The pullout came as two of Britain's most influential generals during the Iraq war delivered scathing attacks on the Americans for their handling of the campaign after Saddam's defeat. Major-General Tim Cross, who supervised reconstruction projects alongside his American counterparts in 2003, joined General Sir Mike Jackson [see Meteor Blades' post], former head of the Army, in criticising the US for ignoring British advice. General Cross, a Royal Engineer, is retired but he was a hugely respected figure in the Army and had unrivalled experience in dealing with postwar nation-building. He revealed that he gave advice to Donald Rumsfeld, the former US Defence Secretary, about the size of the force needed to tackle the challenges after Saddam's downfall, but was ignored.

The attacks by General Jackson, the former Chief of the General Staff, in his autobiography, and General Cross, in an interview with the Sunday Mirror, have laid bare the anger felt by the British military over the way that Mr Rumsfeld dismissed all the warning signs of a potential disaster in Iraq.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

For all the debate this week about civilian casualities and sectarian violence in Iraq, Newsweek's Babak Dehghanpisheh and Larry Kaplow provide some often overlooked context.

Thousands of other Sunnis like Kamal have been cleared out of the western half of Baghdad, which they once dominated, in recent months. The surge of U.S. troops--meant in part to halt the sectarian cleansing of the Iraqi capital--has hardly stemmed the problem. The number of Iraqi civilians killed in July was slightly higher than in February, when the surge began. According to the Iraqi Red Crescent, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has more than doubled to 1.1 million since the beginning of the year, nearly 200,000 of those in Baghdad governorate alone. Rafiq Tschannen, chief of the Iraq mission for the International Organization for Migration, says that the fighting that accompanied the influx of U.S. troops actually "has increased the IDPs to some extent."

When Gen. David Petraeus goes before Congress next week to report on the progress of the surge, he may cite a decline in insurgent attacks in Baghdad as one marker of success. In fact, part of the reason behind the decline is how far the Shiite militias' cleansing of Baghdad has progressed: they've essentially won.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

As a rule, members of Congress try to avoid threatening their constituents, especially on tape. It's one of the reasons a new controversy out of Denver is so bizarre. (via)

A local couple is complaining that U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn left them two threatening voice mails after they wrote a letter criticizing his fundraising.

Jonathan Bartha and Anna Bartha told The Denver Post that Lamborn said there would be "consequences" if they did not withdraw their letter.

"We felt very threatened and intimidated, and quite frankly, scared," Anna Bartha said. "It was just not anything we would ever anticipate an elected official would pursue or a way that an elected official would conduct himself."

Apparently, Jonathan Bartha, who works for James Dobson's Focus on the Family, and his wife Anna, were disappointed when Lamborn voted against stricter dog-fighting laws. They wrote a letter to the editor, identifying themselves as conservative Republicans, and noting that Lamborn accepted campaign contributions from the gambling industry.

It prompted Lamborn to call the Barthas personally, leaving a message that said, "[T]here are consequences to this kind of thing, but I would like to work with you in a way that is best for everyone here concerned." Shortly thereafter, Lamborn left another message in which he said, "I'd rather resolve this on a Scriptural level but if you are unwilling to do that I will be forced to take other steps, which I would rather not have to do."

FEC records confirm Lamborn accepted the donations from the gambling industry, but the Colorado Republican apparently insists he returned the contributions. The Denver Post added, "He did not say when and The Post said there is no federal record of them being returned."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

This was *not* entrapment. If Craig weren't a closeted gay cruising for anonymous sex, he'd have used the toilet for its intended purpose, left, and never come to the attenion of the undercover cop in the next stall. Entrapment is something completely different. Repug apologists need to review the definition.

Since leaving the middle of the country I've encountered fewer people who think sex and politics should both be ruled by religious fanatics, and that politicians should be moral leaders in the sexual realm. I wonder how many people in the red states still believe the politicians who have been shamelessly pandering to them for the past 25-30 years.

Is hypocrisy a family value?

Posted by: Amy | September 3, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Whom do you turn to when the enormous number of military contract employees in Iraq creates problems for the U.S. Army as it tries to fight there?

Another contractor, of course.
let's see, now that we've destroyed the military health care system, which branch of Halliburton can we use to provide sub-par care for the troops, at enormous taxpayer expense? Which crony shall we choose to let our troops suffer and die, then charge us 4 times what we were paying before?

hmmm... which fantastically expensive and incompent crony should we hire?

'Military medical treatment facilities in Iraq have been overwhelmed trying to handle routine health-care problems for some of the more than 129,000 people working for U.S. and coalition force contractors. As a result, the U.S. Army is trying to determine whether a private medical contractor is willing to take over the job.'

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes, how happy were you when Clinton's family was humiliated? i bet you didn't feel bad about that, did you?

Posted by: Jane. | September 3, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Karl Rove told George W. Bush before the 2000 election that it was a bad idea to name Richard B. Cheney as his running mate, and Rove later raised objections to the nomination of Harriet E. Miers to the Supreme Court, according to a new book on the Bush presidency.

In "Dead Certain: The Presidency of George Bush," journalist Robert Draper writes that Rove told Bush he should not tap Cheney for the Republican ticket: "Selecting Daddy's top foreign-policy guru ran counter to message. It was worse than a safe pick -- it was needy." But Bush did not care -- he was comfortable with Cheney and "saw no harm in giving his VP unprecedented run of the place."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Diane for reaffirming my faith that the majority of dems to not take pleasure in the destruction of a man and his family. Craig bought his difficulties upon himself, but who amongst us are as pure as driven snow. To mny liberal bloggers on this site are taking pleasure from this spectacle. Shame on them

Posted by: bhoomes | September 3, 2007 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Capitol Idea: 2008 Doesn't Look Like An 'Internet Election'

If nominations were decided simply on the basis on site traffic, there would be no need for caucuses or primaries -- Paul and Gore would already be their respective party's standard-bearers.

But nominations are not decided by adding up page views and offline, Paul remains pretty stagnant in the single digits in nearly all the polls and Gore isn't even a candidate and has shown no interest in becoming one.

http://onthehillblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/capitol-idea-2008-doesnt-look-like.html

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Someone mentioned the McCarthy era sometime back and it does bring back memories of how some of our elected officials gets by with just about anyone can think of. I had never heard of anything like the airport sting operation. Not being a lawyer, I cannot understand what law was broken from listening to the tape several times from the cable news channels. I didn't hear any solictiting or any offer being made. The stupidest thing was not going to court and then pleading guilty to DC, then thinking it would just go away. For a US Senator to even think this way is beyond belief.

Posted by: lylepink | September 2, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

U.S. Military Censors ThinkProgress
ThinkProgress is now banned from the U.S. military network in Baghdad.

Recently, an avid ThinkProgress reader -- a U.S. soldier serving his second tour in Iraq -- wrote to us and said that he can no longer access ThinkProgress.org.

The ban began sometime shortly after Aug. 22, when Ret. Maj. Gen. John Batiste was our guest blogger on ThinkProgress. He posted an op-ed that was strongly critical of the President's policies and advocated a "responsible and deliberate redeployment from Iraq." Previously, both the Wall Street Journal and Washington Times had rejected the piece. An excerpt:

It is disappointing that so many elected representatives of my [Republican] party continue to blindly support the administration rather than doing what is in the best interests of our country. Traditionally, my party has maintained a conservative view on questions regarding our Armed Forces. For example, we commit our military only when absolutely necessary. [...]

The only way to stabilize Iraq and allow our military to rearm and refit for the long fight ahead is to begin a responsible and deliberate redeployment from Iraq and replace the troops with far less expensive and much more effective resources-those of diplomacy and the critical work of political reconciliation and economic recovery. In other words, when it comes to Iraq, it's time for conservatives to once again be conservative.

Not surprisingly, both the National Review and Fox News are still accessible.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), who recently returned from Iraq and spoke with ThinkProgress, also admitted that it's "very, very easy to be influenced, from their [the military's] point of view, that things are better." "I will tell you that when you get in the Green Zone, there is a physiological phenomenon I think called Green Zone fog," said Tauscher. "It's death by powerpoint. ... It's always that their argument is winning."

Nonpartisan government reports dispute the Bush administration's rosy claims of success. A leaked draft of an upcoming Government Accountability Office (GAO) analysis contradicts "the Bush administration's conclusion in July that sectarian violence was decreasing as a result" of the surge. It concludes, "The average number of daily attacks against civilians remained about the same over the last six months; 25 in February versus 26 in July."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Zouk, stop tapping your foot! I mean it! People are going to get IDEAS...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Zouk, stop tapping your foot.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Craig is a bastard, it's true. It's good that this horrible two-faced character is out of the Senate. What's not good is that we the taxpayers are gonna have to pay this rotten pervert's pension to the tune of $130K per year.

Posted by: Tricky Dick | September 2, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Why aren't people talking about the entrapment aspect of this case? And what about the "law" itself that made it illegal for Craig to make sexual advances towards a grown man? Or was that limited to sexual advances in restrooms?

Posted by: femalenick | September 2, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

You may recall that back in June we wrote about top Romney campaign aide Jay Garrity, who'd repeatedly gotten in trouble over the years for impersonating a cop -- complete with flashing lights and fake cop equipment.

Well, at least the Romney folks used real law enforcement types this time:

The motorcade of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney exceeded speed limits and went through stop lights Friday as local law officers escorted him, blue lights flashing, to campaign events in two South Carolina counties.
Traffic pulled over for Romney's caravan as Saluda County Sheriff Jason Booth, a Romney supporter, led the candidate's motor home and staff cars with his blue lights running from the Aiken County line through Saluda County to the Newberry city limits, according to an Associated Press reporter following the candidate.

The caravan traveled between 10 mph and 15 mph over posted speed limits. The posted speed limits were 45 mph and 55 mph.
Asked whether it's proper to use flashing police lights to escort a candidate, he said, "I'm not getting into this with you, sir. I have no comment."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The White House will not identify a private company which appears to be involved in the disappearance of potentially millions of White House e-mails.

The company was responsible for reviewing and archiving White House e-mails, a White House official told congressional staff in May, according to a letter yesterday from House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif. Congressional investigators asked then for the name of the company and "have repeatedly requested" the information since then, according to Waxman.

They are still waiting for an answer, the chairman wrote to White House counsel Fred Fielding. Waxman asked the White House to come up with the company's name by Sept. 10.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel declined to tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com the company's name or explain why the White House would not provide it to Congress.

"We are reviewing Rep. Waxman's letter and will respond expeditiously," Stanzel said in an e-mailed statement.

According to the White House, as many as five million e-mails may not have been properly archived and may be lost forever, in apparent violation of the Presidential Records Act. The post-Watergate law states that communications relating to official activity in the offices of the president and vice president are owned by the American public and cannot be destroyed.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

The Post notes that Craig's downfall leaves the GOP facing an uphill struggle in the 2008 Senate elections; the party has 22 seats to defend and little campaign cash to play with.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

The NYT fronts a chilling look at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, where the Bush administration has slashed budgets and installed industry-friendly officials. "Buyer beware--that's all I have to say," says the agency's former chief poison expert, who resigned recently in protest.

Posted by: 'smaller govenment' | September 2, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The Conservative Argument for Impeachment

'FISA makes it a federal felony for the president or vice president to "intentionally engage ... in electronic surveillance [to gather foreign intelligence or otherwise] under color of law except as authorized by statute." A companion provision provides that the FISA's procedures are the "exclusive means" for conducting electronic surveillance. After a leak to the New York Times published on Dec. 16, 2005, Bush confessed that in the aftermath of 9/11, he instructed the National Security Agency to flout FISA by targeting Americans for electronic surveillance on his say-so, a spying program styled the "Terrorist Surveillance Program." The president's apparently criminal spying continued until at least January 2007--or for more than five years--when Attorney General Alberto Gonzales declared that FISA warrants, whose nature remains classified, would replace the TSP. (The attorney general maintained, however, that Bush continued to be crowned with Article II powers to ignore the warrant requirement and to do so secretly whenever he wished.)'
'

Posted by: Bruce Fein | September 2, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

'a shocking narrative that gradually unfolded on television of just what went on in that men's room. '

'shocking'? Hardly. How naive are you, CC? Or how disingenious? Probably half the republican party indulges in this sort of thing, swinging, wife-swapping, Plato's Retreat, pages, etc. Been going on for years. I'm sure you're aware of that.

Any shrink can tell you that people who are as obssessed with sex [especially other people's] as Republicans are have some serious 'issues' -- they hardly think about much else.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't there a movie about a gay guy called, 'My Private Idaho'?

I was listening to a Prarie Home Companion on NPR this morning and Garrison Keillor said, 'did you ever go fishing in Idaho?' and the whole audience cracked up. He said, 'no, I mean for fish,' abd they laughed again.The other guy in the skit said 'stop tapping your foot' ...

I wonder how the folks in that state feel right now? Red, or red-faced?

Posted by: Cassandra | September 2, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

The first step, or course, was the first Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed in September 2001, which the president has subsequently used to claim--improperly, but so what? --that the whole world, including the US, is a battlefield in a so-called "War" on Terror, and that he has extra-Constitutional unitary executive powers to ignore laws passed by Congress. As constitutional scholar and former Reagan-era associate deputy attorney general Bruce Fein observes, that one claim, that the US is itself a battlefield, is enough to allow this or some future president to declare martial law, "since you can always declare martial law on a battlefield. All he'd need would be a pretext, like another terrorist attack inside the U.S."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I STILL feel saddened by this story. I am a lifelong liberal democrat and cannot find any pleasure in the destruction of a man and his family. What is saddest of all is Craig's insistence that he is not gay, because it indicates how conflicted he and his party are on this issue.

Posted by: diane moran | September 2, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

As a recovering Republican, it has become almost funny to watch as the entire party has self destructed. By becoming as divisive as this administration is, their antics can be compared to a T.V. sit-com, albeit, an R - rated one. Will they now change the party's name? How about Repedihomoican party?
Personally, I have no problem with allowing gays to either marry or have so-called domestic unions. The worse mistake the party made was attaching itself at the hip with the Christian Coalition.
Just one persons humble opinion.

Posted by: James White | September 2, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

having spent a life in public service myself, I actually felt sorry for Senator Craig. However every public service employee knows that unethical behavior can cause one to lose their career. Senator Craig's major failure was his hypocritical behavior toward gays, with closet credentials as a gay himself. Remember he also pandered to the cruel christian conservatives which led further to his demise. Politicans should not practice what they preach against. The Republicans were right to ask him to resign.

Posted by: Pete Thomas | September 2, 2007 7:35 AM | Report abuse

re: "Bowed to the Inevitable" ... yeah but toward which direction was he bowing and what did it REALLY mean?

Posted by: Tea Rooms & Toilets | September 2, 2007 1:46 AM | Report abuse

A King's Wide Stance: 'I Am Not Gay'
Saturday, September 1, 2007; Page A02

From the opening line of his statement yesterday, the King of Zouk was in trouble. "Thank you all very much for coming out today," he began.
"Coming out" was perhaps not the best phrase for a guy who had pleaded guilty to some rather un-kingly conduct in an airport men's room -- and now stands accused in his home-state paper of a homosexual encounter in Zouk Station.
Alas for the king, it was not his first mistake.
No, his first mistake was on June 11, when he went into a restroom stall in the Zoukopolis airport and, according to the arrest report, tapped his foot in a "signal often used by persons communicating a desire to engage in sexual conduct."
This was followed closely by his second mistake: handing the arresting officer his business card and asking, "What do you think about that?"
Mistake No. 3? Explaining to the police that his foot touched the undercover officer's foot in the next stall because he has "a wide stance when going to the bathroom."
Mistake No. 4: Pleading guilty on Aug. 8 to disorderly conduct, and telling nobody -- not even a lawyer or his wife -- before the news broke Monday and Zouk's spokesman chalked it up to a "he said/he said misunderstanding."
This quartet of errors landed the king before the television cameras yesterday outside the Wells Fargo building in downtown Zouk City. Standing next to his wife, who wore sunglasses and looked as if she felt ill, the king almost shouted as he asserted his heterosexuality.
"Let me be clear: I am not gay. I never have been gay," Zouk said. Evidently, he did not think this was clear enough, because moments later, he explained why he kept the arrest a secret. "I wasn't eager to share this failure, but I should have anyway -- because I am not gay!"
The Associated Press rushed out a bulletin: "The King of Zouk says, 'I am not gay.' " CNN put up a "Breaking News" banner announcing, "The King of Zouk: I am not gay, and never have been gay."
The Drudge Report went with the headline "Brokeback Bathroom."
As the Zouks departed, somebody in the crowd that had gathered called out after the king: "Hey, what if you were gay?"

Posted by: breaking news | September 1, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Chris --

You are probably right about the Idaho seat remaining safe for the Repub's, but after the events of the last week I am not so sure it's a foregone conclusion.

LaRocco may be underfunded now, but I wouldn't be surprised if a fair chunk of cash starts flowing his way. With John Tester's victory last fall in Montana, and the constant influx of affluent new residents from the West Coast, Idaho might just turn into a small surprise. If nothing else, the Republicans may have to spend resources there that would previously have been unnecessary.

Posted by: PoliticsJunkie | September 1, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

How many more Toe-Tapping Republican predators are out there?

Posted by: PoliticalPuck | September 1, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Chris thanks for this post which neatly ties up the story. I'd ignored it from the beginning, racking it up to yet another DC gay republican sex scandal. After it didn't leave the front page for 3 or 4 days I finally asked someone in the office what was up, and she recounted her shock at the salacious details (hah). but anyway this article was the quickest most concise read of all. thanks! I'm going to wait about 1 week after the next sex scandal breaks to save the play-by-play.

Posted by: G man | September 1, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

After Senate cronies gave "Wide Stance" a wide berth amidst wide media coverage, Craig became the latest member of the GOP "going to spend more time with my family" legion.

Will serial adulterer Vitter be the next "homebody" recruit? Probably not, "anything goes" Louisiana isn't gem-red Idaho.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | September 1, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse

You should have stayed on vacation. This is not a story. The story is that Vitter gets off because he PAID for HETERO sex ( a crime by the way) vs. Craig who gets arrested for making legal advances towards someone of the same sex. Will you all ever get it?

Posted by: bajsa | September 1, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

And why is Vitter, the wh*remonger, still in the Senate? The only family values the Republicans demonstrate is keeping power in the family, screw everyone else.

Posted by: thebob.bob | September 1, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Two days ago I ate lunch at Billy's on Burnet Rd. in Austin.

While two of us were standing at the urinals, Billy walks in and opens a door behind us that we did not know was there and heads into his office saying "Don't pay me no nevermind."

The other guy then says to me with a straight face: "Gawd, this must be a Senate Meeting Room."

Posted by: Mark in Austin | September 1, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Bush calls this slimey perv.....?? why??

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of one's political persuasion, the resignation, in light of the circumstances, of Senator Craig is indeed a sad day for America. Whether Mr. Craig is gay or not should not be considered a factor. What is important, however, is whether his stance on the issues and voting record are consistent with his personal preferences and behavior. This, absent conjecture, may never be known. Had the Senator allowed a trial on the initial charges, with apparently flimsy evidence, awaited the verdict, most likely not guilty, and then faced his constituency, his public standing would have been much improved. Then the voters of Idaho would have decided his fate rather than the Republican Party which abandoned him. As an added comment, I am somewhat disturbed by law enforcement's actions in that an arrest and subsequent charges was made for apparent "sexual signals" which on their face do not appear to fall within the category of any crime. In my judgment, Mr. Craig would have been found not guilty on the original charges. The issue he would have faced before the people of Idaho is whether his personal preferences and conduct was consistent with his political views. Or, in other words, is Senator Craig a hypocrite? Sadly, Mr. Craig opted to take the wrong course.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Unless a new and dynamic Democrat is attracted to the Idaho race now that it's an open seat, the seat vacated by Craig is probably safe in Republican hands.
But as one politico was quoted as saying, "If Idaho is the Republican firewall, they're in trouble.
Craig's problem, in isolation, would not mean much to Republican hopes of hanging on to the presidency, or of holding their own in the Senate and House. But added with all the other problems plaguing the party, it does add to a general palor of malaise on the face of the GOP.

Posted by: Alan in Missoula | September 1, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, how irony playes her tale. Next summer, the Repuibli-cants will circle the wagons for their '08 convention in....Minneapolis, the great urban symbol of America's crumbling infrastructure AND the site of the acclaimed Craig Room. Let's memorialize this Conservative Culture of Corruption by sending a check to Al Franken in his bid to represent Minnesotans in the Senate. A Senator Franken will bring much needed relief!

Posted by: Frederick | September 1, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

So much for your vacation until after Labor Day :)

Posted by: Rex | September 1, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

It's another case of Republican counter-culture behavior and corruption. You hit the nail on the head. Once I heard the questioning by the officer, it was apparent to me that Craig's political career was toast. As you said - it wasn't just the "wide stance," it was the claim that he was picking up paper, the ludicrous logic that he pled guilty to resolve the situation, etc. Craig represents abominable behavior that epitomizes the Republican culture of corruption. It's funny - Idaho's governor will probably dig up another rotten Republican potato to take Craig's place. But at least Craig won't be soliciting police officers for a romp in the hay--at the expense of taxpayers. The public deserves better.

Posted by: BlueDog | September 1, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

It often seems as if the core of the Republican Party is self-hating homosexuals.

Posted by: Marylander | September 1, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

What would you have done in Craig's shoes?
A plea of not guilty? (And have it all
discussed in open court.)

A plea of guilty? (To a lesser charge...
knowing that the 'original' charge will
still stay on the record.)

I'm afraid Larry's goose was cooked... long
before "it's August and reporters are
looking for stories".

Larry was doomed as of the second he decided to play footies with a cop sitting
in the stall next to him.

Bye Larry.

Posted by: Susan | September 1, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I am not a Republican, but I find it disturbing that hand gestures and touching another person's shoe -- regardless if meant to indicate interest for sex with an adult -- is sufficient to arrest & convict someone of a crime.

Even if hypocritical on Senator Craig's part given his stance on homosexuality and support of "don't ask, don't tell" - every American should be outraged.

In this one person's opinion, sounds awfully close to the McCarthy Era.

Posted by: FemaleNick | September 1, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

chris, i thought you were on vacation.

:-)

Posted by: lazy | September 1, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

How can people even think that of Hillary gets the nomination, it'll be a cakewalk for the republicans. Don't they see how shameful and disgraceful their party is.
The mind-set on these people is beyond comprehension.

Posted by: jime | September 1, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Corndog's man in the can, Republi-can Senator Larry E. Craig is a follower of the David Vitter School of Servicing the Public but at least Craig didn't have to pay for it. Senator David Vitter's conduct is unforgivable. Can Butch appoint himself? Can Corndog fill in the crack until there is a replacement? And like David Vitter and many Republi-cans, Craig's excessively wide stance claiming that he was a champion of family values is false. He was a champion of Bush Family values; Big difference. No matter how many children Mark Foley and his Bushie cronies claim to be "protecting", you should not believe Republi-can propaganda about Republi-cans' so-called "morality". His stance is so wide that he serves on the board of directors of the National Gun-Pervert Association and has gained a national reputation as a stalwart against the environment and against keeping America clean while Dirty Bush soils the White House with Karl Rove's intern semen.

And Warner is leaving and Vitter is staying? That's not right. Senator Vitter should also be pushed out like a loaf of Turdblossom. Corndog's man in the can, Republi-can Senator Larry E. Craig is a follower of the David Vitter School of Servicing the Public but at least Craig didn't have to pay for it. Give this Bushie a presidential medal of freedom! While the Singing Senators were playing with children, the Bushes protected Senator Mark Foley (Republican, Florida) and enjoyed a sausage tasting with Bush White House spiritual leader Pastor Ted Haggard at prayer breakfast - while Bush simultaneously forced millions of Iraqi women and children into David Vitter-style prostitution and anal human trafficking but Vitter is still sitting in the Senate with his thousands of wasteful no-bid Republi-can pork barrel sprawl industry earmarks. Senator Vitter (Republican - The State Formerly Containing New Orleans) followed Neil Bush's example of Bush Family values. Bushy Bob Allen (Republican, Florida) is not only another RPOF backroom insider, he is also another Florida Republican who did it like they do on the Discovery Channel and Bushie Republican Senator Larry E. Craig certainly fits tightly in Bush's loyal family. But Senator Vitter was in bed with the Singing Senators in humping the American people and he continues to stand behind Singing Senator Trent Lott in the Senate and push his pork through as hard as he can. So now we know what made the Singing Senators sing!

"Let the eagle soar...

Posted by: Singing Senator | September 1, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

2008 could be a watershed year for Democrats in the Senate if the Republicans continue to implode. Perhaps Clinton's nomination as the party's candidate for president will be the only salvation for Republicans. She's the only surefire way to get the Republican base energized. Otherwise, they'll stay home: The Demoralized Majority.

With Obama, Edwards, Richardson, Biden or Dodd, the prospects for Democratic Senate hopefuls will be much better than if Hillary leads the ticket. Will Democratic voters grasp this calculus and give their party a chance -- however slim -- to gain a fillibuster-proof majority in the Senate? Time will tell.

Posted by: Rich Evans | September 1, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Obviously this resignation is a disappointment. After all, who better to launch a campaign for an amendment to the Constitution banning lewd conduct in public-restrooms? [It's like 1994 and I'm Rush Limbaugh; This is SO easy!]

Posted by: 4 to 125 characters | September 1, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

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