Look, he might be a self-hating, closeted homosexual homophob, but that doesn’t make him a bad US Senator. It’s his voting record that does that. Of course, all that stuff doesn’t make him a good US Senator either, I’m just saying it’s not a disqualifying factor. Whatever wide-stance, foot-tapping, finger-showing crime he pled guilty to in Minnesota is hardly the stuff of high treason. He’s a fool to resign.
If I’ve learned anything about politics in my years of watching, it that you should always know who controls the levers of power. With Alberto Gonzales, the ex-US Attorney General, he was only beholden to the president, so the Congress could scream all it wanted but unless they found illegal activity (which they still well might) Gonzales needed to worry only about the opinion of famously loyal to a fault President Bush. The AG could have kept the job for the remainder of the term if he’d wanted.
So in short–and I seem to be making a habit of defending those who I despise on some level–Sen. Craig is nuts to quit. Maybe most people in Idaho have a problem with him now, but if that’s the case they should recall him or use whatever legal mechanism is available to them. Otherwise, just vote him out next election cycle. His former “friends” in the senate want him to resign, but big flipping deal. Unless an ethics investigation turns up more than what we’ve heard–and we’ve heard the police interrogation tape so it’s unlikely–the most Sen. Craig would face is censure.
Who controls the levers of power in your life? It’s an important question for all of us, really, even if we don’t think about it often. Typically the answer is employers, family members and maybe friends. It could include any clubs or organizations of which we’re members. I’m not saying live your life through this paradigm, but the concept of power and who has it over you is worth considering now and again.
My opinion is that when you plead guilty to a crime, you shouldn’t serve. That’s not a moral stand. That’s not a holier-than-thou. It’s just a factual situation.
– Sen. John McCain, taking a holier-than-thou moral stand
A more important question: Who’s got your back when the walls come crashing down? Sen. Craig’s “friends” in the senate–including the ever-sinking presidential candidate John McCain–get their own wing in the congressional rogue’s gallery for throwing stones. Instead of calling on somebody to resign, how about a little compassion for the guy who’s committed what is a victimless crime? Sure, he’s a senator with a crappy, apparently hypocritical, right-wing voting record, and he’s apparently got a lot of psychological baggage. I’m not saying that a lot of this mess isn’t of his own making. I’m saying that anyone who finds themselves in a firestorm should have friends he or she can rely upon to be there for support. In Craig’s case, not only is there no one standing with him, the horizon looks mighty empty.