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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A few thoughts about the Larry Craig affair, which if you're not up on the details go read elsewhere.

First, one of the sub-plots of the whole affair was what exactly did Craig do that was so bad? Instapundit links to a piece that reviews the evidence (note that Craig was brought to court on an obstruction, not an indecency charge) and finds it wanting.

The problem with this is that it treats the court of public opinion as the same as a court of law... and that's not how the real world works. The courts have the ability to deprive you of life, liberty, and property; for that reason the rules of evidence are strict and you are presumed innocent. Try to operate that way on the outside on the street and they'll write a sitcom about you.

Related to this was the presumption that he was soliciting for sex, why was that so wrong? After all it's done all the time in bars, schools, and the Borders at 24th & Camelback... why not a men's room in the Minneapolis Airport?

Well if you went up and asked for sex and then went elsewhere with your new found friend, then the bar analogy holds true. However if you decide to consummate the deal, as it were, in a public place then it falls apart. Try it this weekend at a night club in Scottsdale... go ahead and you'll see what I mean

Back to the first point, you have a U.S. Senator who had just previously fended off questions about another alleged incident of anonymous gay sex in one public men's room acting very strangely in another public men's room that was notorious for anonymous gay sex. So notorious that it was staked out, as it were, by a police officer looking for just such a thing. Apparently there wasn't enough to charge with public indecency, that legal/court of law thing again, but any reasonable person would jump to the very logical conclusion that Senator Craig was looking for a special way to pass the time. If you didn't, or are still trying to rationalize, then I cannot help you.

If you were either one of his constituents or one of his colleagues you would then be on very solid ground to ask why would a man who holds such a trust as a public representative, and representative government is built on a bedrock of trust, would not only betray his family but also engage in such reckless conduct. This is probably not a legal question, though he certainly put himself in a position for blackmail, but it definitely is a political one. I know Craig is up for re-election next year, but he could recognize the damage to his ability to continue as a public representative and resign.

Second is the gay angle. I don't mean why in 2007 where gays can be married in parts of the US the fascination with anonymous gay sex in public places whether it's a bathroom or a park. Or even why the gay dimension has overshadowed the fact that a guy in public trust engaged in adulterous behavior in public spaces with people he just met (substitute straight for gay in this story and tell me this doesn't creep you out)

I am talking about what Johnny Utah wrote in his post on the subject. I don't know all of Mr. Craig's work but he is being accused of hypocrisy for engaging in homosexual conduct while voting against "gay rights" dealing with the military and gay marriage. Craig is already indicted with the hypocrisy of adultery, keeping up the appearances of a family man, while betraying them with his conduct. Perhaps also he has spent time denouncing homosexual conduct while engaging it in himself, as did Ted Haggard.

However to a dimension of you as a person, whether race or sexual orientation, leads naturally to certain specific public policy positions and legislation seems to me just part of some insidious identity politics. There are gays who don't want gay marriage... I am not saying they represent a majority but they are out there and they have some points worthy of debate. To sugegst a certain group think is just plain ugly.