“Senator Larry Craig Caught With His Pants Down”

No, that’s not my headline.  It’s the Nation’s.  Yes, we have yet another Republican sex scandal.  As if Senator Vitter’s six year old excapades weren’t bad enough, Sen. Larry Craig has piled on.  While Craig’s activities on their own fall into the same category as Vitter’s, they are politically much more damaging for a number of reasons.

First, Sen. Craig is facing reelection next year.  While Vitter will have three more years and a Presidential election to allow voters to forget his sins - Hell, Louisiana will probably have a few more sex scandals between now and November 2010 - Craig is up next November.  Like it or not, this will be an issue.

Second, Craig’s scandal involves a man.  There can be plenty of disagreement over whether that should matter, but the political reality is that it does.  In states like Idaho, that makes it far more damaging.  Would Idaho Republicans vote for a gay Senator?  Some would, but would enough?

Third, Craig’s scandal happened this year.  Vitter will be nine years removed from his sexual indiscrestions when he faces the voters.  Craig, though, has just over a year to recover, and you can bet that the Democrats and the media will keep it alive for tht long.

Craig’s seat was safe but is safe no longer.  It’s not time to his the panic button, but Democrats now have a chance to steal a seat that they could only have dreamed about last night.  While I personally would rather see Craig remain in the Senate and continue using his vote to promote the conservative cause, doing so would mean giving the Democrats a clear shot at a wounded incumbent.

At ths point, Craig has three options.  He can try to weather the storm and seek what will now be a difficult reelection bid.  He would probably win by the skin of his teeth while damaging Republicans nationally.  He can announce that he will not seek reelection, which he could have done yesterday without any fanfare.  That would look bad, but his name wouldn’t be on the ballot.  Effectively that would be admitting wrongdoing and burdening the Republican candidate by keeping himself around as an issue.  Or he can resign now.  That would allow Gov. Butch Davis to name a replacement, likely Lt. Gov. Jim Risch.  That is the only way that Craig would not be an issue next year.

I want to have people who share conservative values in office, even if they fall short of living by those values.  I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always live up to my own standards, but that shouldn’t mean that I get rid of them.  There are many who do say that, and those are the people who must be defeated.  Having said that, Craig is not doing himself any favors by trying to explain that his actions were misunderstood or that he thought he could bury the issue by not hiring a lawyer.  Frankly, I’m insulted that he thinks anyone would believe either of those comments.

Regardless of what Craig and the Party decided to do, those deciding to run for office as Republicans need to decide to behave themselves, at least during their time in office.  If any of you are thinking of running, please don’t if you don’t think you can restrain yourself for the duration of your term.

2 Responses to ““Senator Larry Craig Caught With His Pants Down””

  1. Roberto Scrofani Says:

    Your point of view surprises me. When Democrats have moral failings Conservatives, Fundamentalists, Right Wing Republicans, as well as your web-site are the first to throw stones.

    Yet here, as long as you get what you want, what you need from the Senator, that is, voting the “right way” and supporting your issues, Your Christian compassion suddenly rises to the fore and you put away your stones.

    I have read many other conservative blogs. I may not agree with them but it is so much easier to respect, Hugh Hewitt, Right Wing Nuthouse, Michelle Malkin. There’s something to be said for integrity, even conservative integrity. You write that you want to have people who share conservative values in office even if they fall short of those values.

    Jesus had something to say about this:

    You scribes and Pharisees, you impostors! Dann You! You pay tithes on mint and dill and cumin too, but ignore the really important matters of the Law, such as justice and mercy and trust. You should have attended to the last without ignoring the first. You blind leaders! You strain out a gnat and gulp down a camel.
    You scribes and Pharisees, you impostors! Damn you! You wash the outsides of cups and platees, but inside they are full of greed and dissipation. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and then the outside will be clean too. (Matthew 23: 23-26)

    I think if American’s thought about it, most non-Republicans see the party the same way Jesus saw (and judged) the Pharisees. We are so tired of you guys and your hypocrisy we just can’t wait for the next election. I think there’s a good chance that 2008 will have the same effect on the Republican Party as the flood did on mankind. At least I can only pray to the lord for that outcome.

    How many more camels are you going to swallow?

  2. Sean Says:

    Roberto,
    Exactly which Democrats have I called on to resign? At whom have I thown stones for their personal behavior?

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