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MountainGoat

One other interesting note to the event. After the event was over and people were milling about digesting the event and reporters were looking for reaction from the crowd, I noticed the Statesman reporter, Dan Popkey, who had been assigned to investigate Craig.

He appeared to have a sense of relief that the whole matter had been somewhat concluded by the resignation. He was getting hugs and well-wishes from others who appeared to sympathize with what the reporter had been through the last few days. I have to say I'm one of those who also sympathizes with him; it couldn't have been an easy week for him.

Majid Mir

What happens to the retirement benefits of a Senator that is forced to resign because of a conviction like this?

Bubblehead

The only way a member of Congress loses their pension is if they are convicted of: (1) bribery of public officials and witnesses; (2) acting as an agent of a foreign principal while a federal public official; (3) conspiracy
to commit an offense or to defraud the United States; (4) perjury; or (5) subornation of perjury. (Ref: http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RL30631.pdf ). So, Sen. Craig will get his full pension, unless he fights the conviction and gets convicted of perjury for his initial guilty plea.

Regarding the "hypocrisy" of Sen. Craig -- does the "progressive" crowd also consider a Jew who votes against aid to Israel a hypocrite, or how about a person who was born rich voting against inheritence tax cuts? Or is it only GLBT or dark-skinned people who are considered "hypocrites" if they go against some policy that it believed to be favorable to their particular group? Is Sen. Obama a hypocrite for opposing reparations for slavery?

MountainGoat

Bubblehead, to answer the hypocrisy question. Voting against ones own "group" doesn't necessarily make one a hypocrite. For Craig, it's been the long history of publicly speaking out and voting against gay rights, which in part probably ensured his repeated re-election to office, while hiding his own orientation.

To use your example of the Jewish person who votes against aid to Israel, if that person had a well known stance against giving aid to Israel while hiding that he or she was a Jew, then that may cause some problems for people.

gary

When Craig said he would resign, three teen-age boys, about 14 or 15, cheered loudly. Some man about 35 years old walked at least 30 feet through the crowd over to these boys and said, "If you do that again, I'll kick your ass." The kids looked pretty shaken by it.
Aren't you glad the thought police were there to tell us when we could cheer and when we couldn't? I think the guy's name is Burgess and he was once a Craig staffer, but I have no confirm on that. Real nice guy.

Bubblehead

The guy picked on teenagers, huh? I bet he wouldn't have tried it with an adult -- "So, are you offering violence against me for exercising my rights to political speech? Could you say it again into the microphone? And what did you say your name was, assclown?"

Sisyphus

Ken Burgess was a Craig staffer until recently and now is lobbying on natural resource issues I understand. He's in his forties, about 5'6" with a small to medium build and a southern accent. I could see him doing that, Gary, though it certainly could be construed a criminal assault.

And frankly I think it was just plain wrong to rub Craig's face in his humiliation. Other than the humanity of the situation it doesn't make Democrats look good to kick a man after he's beaten. As Shakespeare wrote: when lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom, the gentler gamester is the soonest winner.

And Bubblehead your sweeping stereotypes are showing. None of Obama's ancestors were slaves so far as we know. His dad was Kenyan I thought. Also just because you're Jewish doesn't make you in favor everything Israel stands for. I have several Jewish friends who are aghast at Israel's apartheid like policies.

In Craig's case certainly an easy argument can be made that he was a hypocrite if his assertion that he's not gay is incorrect. Regardless of his orientation his policies helped create the negative environment gays live in including the promiscuous bathroom subculture he got caught up in. I think is poetic justice that a prominent advocate of these abhorent policies relegating gays to second class citizens gets to now walk a mile in their shoes.

Bubblehead

"...his policies helped create the negative environment gays live in including the promiscuous bathroom subculture he got caught up in..." -- Sisyphus

So you're saying these things didn't exist before Larry Craig was elected to public office? And do you think any African-American politician who would benefit from reparations is a hypocrite if he or she didn't support them?

Sisyphus

No, but his policies certainly fascilitate their existence. His policies reflect a societal insistence that gays only belong in the closet. By denying gays the institution of marriage he discourages committed monogamous relationships in the gay community. I don't think this anonymous sex bathroom culture will disappear if we stop the demeaning exclusion represented by policies Craig and the "family values" voters promote but I'm damn sure its a step in the right direction.

And no. You seem to have trouble with the defintion of hypocrisy Bubbles. Hypocrisy is the act of pretending to have beliefs, virtues and feelings that one does not truly possess. A classic example of a hypocritical act is to denounce another for carrying out some action whilst carrying out the same action oneself.

Bubblehead

As far as we know, Sen. Craig has no desire to get married to another man. Maybe he just likes anonymous sex with another man, and doesn't have any desire, or understanding, of how two men could have a romantic relationship. (Had he wanted a romantic relationship, I'm sure he's powerful and rich enough to have set one up.) As far as I know, he hasn't voted to criminalize anonymous sodomy.

I still don't see the validity of the progressive viewpoint that someone who is a member of a minority group is a hypocrite if they oppose viewpoints that progressives decide members of that group should hold. (In Sen. Craig's case, I really don't see any evidence that he should be lumped in with the "gay" minority group, rather than the "men who like anonymous homosexual sex once in a while" group.)

Sisyphus

I'm not suggesting that he be lumped in either and its a sweeping generalization that all progressives think so. When Craig announced last week that he wasn't gay I think many in the gay community expressed a collective sigh of relief.

My point is that the laws he supports are repressive and exclusionary much like the Jim Crow laws of yore. The fact that he is a victim of the consequences of these repressive laws illustrates not something about Craig being gay or straight but that these policies need to change.

Bubbles you need to read your first paragraph again particularly this sentence: "Maybe he just likes anonymous sex with another man, and doesn't have any desire, or understanding, of how two men could have a romantic relationship." Because we demonize homosexuality in our society it leads to this sad state of affairs. Your getting there. Keep trying.

And all sodomy is illegal in Idaho and most states, whether you know his name or not. I'm trying real hard to imagine the circumstance any politician could cite as a rationale to repeal that law and still get re-elected here. Not in my lifetime anyway. Other than the futility of maintaining it. I've never heard of it ever being enforced. I think most Idahoans would consider such a prosecution none of the state's damn business. Except of course the IVA, who, like you, seem a little preoccupied with it.

MountainGoat

Bubblehead, I'm really surprised that you wouldn't see the hypocrisy in Larry Craig; it seems so blatantly obvious, whether you lump him in the "naughty boy" group or not.

Bubblehead

I see him as a liar; while I can see how people would think he is being hypocritical, I just don't see how membership or perceived membership in a group should make it mandatory to have certain political opinions -- to me, that tends to dehumanize someone, saying in effect that because they belong to a group, they can't have their own opinion about a certain subject. Should someone on active duty be required to support increased military spending or be seen as a hypocrite? Is it hypocritical for a rich person to vote for higher taxes?

MountainGoat

I guess then I'd have to ask how you define hypocrisy. Hypocrisy to me is saying one thing and doing another; doesn't have anything to do with belonging to this group or that.

Bubblehead

I agree with that definition of hypocrisy. So, if he's ever said that married men shouldn't have sex with anyone other than their wives, he's a hypocrite. If he's ever attempted to gay marry, or even have a romantic (as opposed to purely sexual) relationship with another man, he's a hypocrite. I haven't heard any charges that he's done either one (although I'm sure he's implied that "family values" mean that there should be marital fidelity, so I'll give you "hypocrite" on that one).

My main problem with the "men who have sex with other men are hypocrites if they don't support gay marriage" position is that it seems to be Identity Politics writ large -- and I think that identity politics aren't useful. Many people think they are, and that's fine -- it's just that those who do use Identity Politics shouldn't expect to be taken seriously when they complain about someone on the other side of the political spectrum (e.g. Bryan Fischer saying you can't be a good Christian if you oppose his positions) uses them as well. I especially don't think it's useful to toss people into a group that they themselves don't identify with -- it strikes me as a "I know what you're thinking better than you know what you're thinking" kind of thing that really isn't very useful.

That being said, I fully understand that many people think Sen. Craig is a hypocrite, and I accept that they honestly believe that their opinion is right.

Sisyphus

I think I understand what you're trying to say Bubbles. I just think your analysis is tortured. I'm sure you feel the same.

MountainGoat

I think parsing which votes or statements make him a hypocrite and which don't is silly. A hypocrite is a hypocrite.

I do understand your point and do agree that putting labels on people is unfair. I just hope that whatever Craig's situation, he's honest with himself and his family.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Quotes For 2010

  • "The main thing is to keep everybody going down that road as we try to find the answers and solutions to all these problems. It'll be fun! We'll get it done." — Majority Leader Mike Moyle (R-Star) when asked in an Idaho Reports broadcast how the State House will handle making tough budget decisions this year, 1.29.10.

Quotes For 2009

  • "[Some politicians] wouldn't recognize the Constitution if it fell in their laps and called them Daddy." — Rep. Lenore Hardy Barrett (R-Challis) at a tea party tax protest.
  • "Just, you know, putting beans on the table." — former Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) when asked by Nate Shelman (670 KBOI) what he's doing these days.
  • "I said yesterday we hope and pray things will get better before they get worse. It's obvious to me some of you need to do a better job of praying." — Sen. Dean Cameron (R-Rupert), Joint Finance-Appropriation Committee co-chair on the grim economic forecast facing the committee.
  • “We’ve been called a lot of things but we’ve never been called sneaks before.” — Rep. Maxine Bell (R-Jerome) in a budget dispute with the governor's staff over legislators' computer funding.
  • "I’m not wearing rose-tinted glasses. But I am a glass-half-full kind of guy." — Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter attempting to remain optimistic while delivering tough economic news in his State of the State/Budget message.

Quotes For 2008

  • "I am not ashamed that we use a lot of energy in this country. It has made us the most prosperous Nation on the face of the planet. ... Using energy makes us prosperous." — Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) during debate on an energy bill that, among other things, invested in alternative and renewable energy sources and repealed tax subsidies for large oil companies. (H.R.6899)
  • "If [Oversight Committee Chairman] Henry Waxman was interested in doing more than just showboat, we'd be there in a heartbeat. It's political grandstanding." — spokesman Wayne Hoffman explaining why Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) was absent from congressional oversight hearings into the financial crisis where, among other things, it was learned that AIG executives indulged in a lavish retreat a week after the bailout.
  • "You know what, campaigns are fast and furious, I accept responsibility that we don't have the right citation there, but the facts I stand by - we are correct about that." — Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) reacting to a campaign commercial fact-checking report.
  • "There are people out there without health care, and we need to address that, but it's not as big of a problem as some people would make it out to be" — Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) in a Lewiston, ID debate
  • "People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power." — President Bill Clinton in a speech at the 2008 DNC
  • "To my supporters, to my champions, to my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits, from the bottom of my heart, thank you." — Senator Hillary Clinton in a speech at the 2008 DNC
  • "The America that we know, that the founding fathers envisioned, will cease to exist." — Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID-01) speaking at the state GOP convention about the possibility of a Democratically controlled White House and Congress.
  • "Sometimes the problems have to get larger before you can solve them. We can still drive around the potholes, so they must not be big enough." — House Speaker Lawerence Denney (R-Midvale), explaining that lawmakers still need to be convinced about the extent of road maintenance problems before they'll agree to tax or fee increases.
  • "Those people that believe in shooting animals through the fences . . . ought to turn the rifle the other way." — Former Governor Cecil Andrus, at sportsmen's rally, decked out in full camouflage, urging opposition to "shooter bull" operations on domestic elk farms.
  • "GARVEE is like swallowing a raw egg - it seems to be one of those things that's really hard to stop in the middle of." — Rep. Marv Hagedorn (R-Meridian), in comments on a package of transportation bills introduced by House GOP leaders at an emergency committee meeting.
  • "I'm a professional dairyman. I have milked and milked everything I can possibly milk." — State Police Maj. Ralph Powell, arguing that the state crime lab's bare-bones operation has reached its limit and now costs the state money as testing is sent to private labs.
  • "Idaho is ranked last in the nation in protecting the safety of children in day care centers." — Sen. Kate Kelly (D-Boise), in support of an unsuccessful move by Senate Democrats to force a daycare standards bill out of committee.
  • "This [anti-discrimination bill] is something we will propose every year until it passes." — Rep. Nicole LeFavour (D-Boise), responding to the latest BSU Public Policy survey in which 63 percent of Idahoans think it ought to be illegal to fire someone for being gay or seeming to be gay.
  • "I assumed it would be a bunch of radical college students, so to fit the part, I grew a goatee, got a revolutionary T-shirt and put on some ratty jeans." — Rep. Curtis Bowers (R-Caldwell) in an Idaho Press-Tribune opinion explaining how he disguised himself to uncover alleged communist plots.

Quotes For 2007

  • "Divorce is just terrible. It's one of Satan's best tools to kill America." — Rep. Dick Harwood (R-St. Maries) describing the work of the Idaho Legislature's Family Task Force.
  • "I am not gay; I never have been gay." Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) in a statement responding to news of his arrest and subsequent guilty plea to disorderly conduct after an incident in an airport men's room.
  • “Most of the hospitals in this country have Christian names. If you think Hindu prayer is great, where are the Hindu hospitals in this country? Go down the list. Where are the atheist hospitals in this country? They’re not equal.” — Rep. Bill Sali (R-ID-01) to the Idaho Press-Tribune editorial board in response to criticism of his views regarding Hindu prayer in the Senate.
  • "We are all Nintendo warriors today. Remember that game, that electronic game, a few years ago, push buttons zim, zam, boom and it was all over with? That is not the way you fight war, although we as a society have grown to believe that." — Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) during debate on an amendment to a bill providing for defense authorization.
  • "While we are Democrats and Republicans, in our hearts we are all Idahoans." — Sen. Clint Stennett (D-Ketchum), reaching out to Republicans while outlining the Democratic agenda for the 2007 legislative session.
  • "One of the hardest things we've had to do here is taking off our party hats." — Rep. Marv Hagedorn (R-Meridian) on a proposal to restrict Idaho's primary elections.
  • "This is outrageous. The people of Idaho are entitled to have their representatives base their votes on the merits of a bill, not on who backed the loser in a speaker's contest." — Former GOP Gov. Phil Batt responding to accusations of political retribution taken by House Speaker Denney (R-Midvale) on other members.
  • “There was one of those six projects that was removed altogether. Why? Because the senator and the representatives from that district were from the wrong political party. We need to take a step back" — Sen. Dean Cameron (R-Rupert) to the Senate when debating the GARVEE bill.
  • "I'm prepared to bid for that first ticket to shoot a wolf myself." — Gov. Butch Otter, speaking to a hunters' rally at the Statehouse.
  • "To get a kick out of smoking industrial hemp, it would take a cigar the size of a telephone pole." — Rep. Tom Trail (R-Moscow), downplaying the relation between hemp and its cousin marijuana
  • "I guess I would just make a plea saying we need the money. You know we need the money on roads." — Rep. JoAn Wood (R-Rigby), on proposed bill to collect gas tax from sales on Indian reservations.
  • "No one wants to carry the canoe bill." — Rep. Eric Anderson (R-Priest River), agreeing with Gov. Otter that non-motorized boats should also pay registration fees, but noting any such proposal will be a tough sell.
  • "I don't think we should let the threat of a lawsuit force us to implement something that's not well thought out." — Abbie Mace, Fremont County Clerk, testifying against a "modified-closed primary" bill being pushed by GOP leaders.
  • "There's a lot of things that I pointed out in my State of the State (address) that haven't passed. Unfortunately, I can't think of one that has." — Gov. Butch Otter, addressing reporters on the legislative session so far.
  • "I say let's have a hearing and take our clothes off and go after it." — Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, trying to get lawmakers to print his bill.
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