Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Men's room arrest reopens questions about Sen. Larry Craig

From the Idaho Statesman courtesy of Eschaton:

Sen. Larry Craig, who in May told the Idaho Statesman he had never engaged in homosexual acts, was arrested less than a month later by an undercover police officer who said Craig made a sexual advance toward him in an airport men's room.

The arrest at a Minnesota airport prompted Craig to plead guilty to disorderly conduct earlier this month. His June 11 encounter with the officer was similar to an incident in a men's room in a Washington, D.C., rail station described by a Washington-area man to the Idaho Statesman. In that case, the man said he and Craig had sexual contact.

The Minnesota arrest was first reported Monday by Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper.

In an interview on May 14, Craig told the Idaho Statesman he'd never engaged in sex with a man or solicited sex with a man. The Craig interview was the culmination of a Statesman investigation that began after a blogger accused Craig of homosexual sex in October. Over five months, the Statesman examined rumors about Craig dating to his college days and his 1982 pre-emptive denial that he had sex with underage congressional pages.

The most serious finding by the Statesman was the report by a professional man with close ties to Republican officials. The 40-year-old man reported having oral sex with Craig at Washington's Union Station, probably in 2004. The Statesman also spoke with a man who said Craig made a sexual advance toward him at the University of Idaho in 1967 and a man who said Craig "cruised" him for sex in 1994 at the REI store in Boise. The Statesman also explored dozens of allegations that proved untrue, unclear or unverifiable.

Click here for much more.

Jesus Christ! What the hell is it with these people? Just when I think I can take a breather from writing about all these self-righteous, neo-puritan, right-wing hypocrites, another one of them starts waving his penis around an airport in Minnesota. Like I keep saying, it's not really the sexual behavior of these people that troubles me, as long as all this hot sex is consensual and everything; rather, it's the fact that these down-low diggity dunkers have based much of their careers on an insistence that all Americans adhere to old-fashioned anti-sex fundamentalist Christian values--what's good for me, but not for thee.

It's now very clear that a sizable fraction of these moralists simply pay lip service to "family values." It reminds me of history professor Eugen Weber's assertion that early Christianity only functioned well before it became Rome's state religion. That is, austere and chaste Christian morality is really only attainable, socially speaking, when individuals choose such a path for themselves as an alternative to the mainstream. Once Christianity became mainstream in Rome, countless cultural, political, and economic incentives having nothing to do with spirituality or God came into play, bringing into the fold countless individuals who used the religion for their own personal agendas, twisting and warping the practice of Jesus worship into something only barely resembling what it had been while in the minority.

In short, the fundamentalist drive to Christianize America is ultimately self-defeating, and every instance of a "family values" leader publicly falling into the sin hole serves as evidence of this. Really, if the fundamentalists are serious about what they say they believe, they'd do much better to separate from society entirely, creating a sort of parallel culture, and try to attract converts who really want that way of life, rather than trying to forcibly reshape all of society into a sort of New Jerusalem.

Anyway, it's interesting to note, as did Atrios over at Eschaton, that the right wing was fairly forgiving of heterosexual, "family values," prostitute customer, David Vitter, but is already calling for Craig, homosexual men's room cruiser, to resign. For conservatives, gay infidelity always trumps straight infidelity. I guess that's really just a manifestation of the old "dead girl/live boy" political problem. Vitter's hookers were all alive so he survives; Craig's boy, however, was also alive, which means political death.

I guess some things will never change.