I happened to be in Boise, Idaho, when the news about Idaho’s Senator Larry Craig hit the news. Flipping the channels in my hotel room, I found coverage on nearly every station, but especially on the Idaho news. What I found particularly fascinating was the scant details provided about what exactly prompted the arrest. Based on the Idaho television news coverage, it appeared that Craig had touched the undercover officer’s foot with his foot, and I was thinking “This is arrest-worthy??” It wasn’t until I returned home that I learned more of the details from my husband. In the early hours of the scandal, it appeared that Idaho news outlets were treading very carefully on this issue.
Now it’s been a few days, and Craig’s supporters are dropping like flies. He’s been stripped of his committee appointments and has stepped down as Mitt Romney’s Idaho campaign chair. I have to confess that the part of me that abhors self-righteousness, homophobia, intolerance, and hypocrisy feels secretly vindicated at Craig’s downfall. However, another part of me has to chuckle at all the hoopla it is causing.
Last night while driving home from work I heard a wonderful commentary on “All Things Considered” by Marc Acito, who challenged the vindicated feelings in all of us to question whether this “bringing down of the senator” is really more complicated than it appears. It’s a thought-provoking essay, and I suggest you listen to it.
And this morning, I read this editorial in the New York Times online, which asks the question of why the Republican party is so quick to get rid of Craig, yet looks away when Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens is being investigated BY THE FBI, for so much worse than a little footsie? Yet the Republican party is silent on Stevens’ and others’ complete lack of ethics and accountability.
I actually feel sorry for Larry Craig. He’s obviously a very troubled soul. And the person I feel most sorry for is his wife, whose life is clearly ruined, one way or another.