So, Larry Craig's attempt to reverse his guilty plea was turned down. He went from resigning by the end of September (as he announced under pressure when the scandal broke), to waiting until the result of his attempt to reverse his guilty plea was decided and resigning if he didn't manage to clear his name (as he revised once he had a lawyer and a plan, albeit a not very wise one), to not resigning no matter what no how (as of yesterday). I'm sure the inevitable "I don't know how to quit you" jokes are rife.
It certainly has its comic aspects. The judge's decision, which is linked on the NY Times article here http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/05/washington/05senate.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin makes for interesting and occasionally amusing reading. In order to sustain the guilty plea, the judge had to determine that the plea was "voluntary, accurate, and intelligent." In the section on what "intelligent" means in this context the judge says "The plea is not intelligent if the charges are not clear. Even if the defendant has less than average intelligence, the plea is still valid if the charges are stated in plain language."
One certainly wonders about the intelligence of Larry Craig, given some of his behavior. Even looking way back to the page sex scandal of the 1980s one has to have some doubts. Larry Craig called a press conference to say he hadn't had sex with any pages and that it's manifestly unfair that he was thought to be gay just because he was over 40 and had never married (or apparently dated) women. Well yeah, except no one had accused him of having sex with pages. He wasn't implicated in the scandal at all until he inserted himself into it to deny he's gay. And when the next year he met and married a widow with three children and adopted them, it's not surprising that a lot of people assumed he's gay and found himself a beard and three beardlets.
That same lack of brilliance seems to have applied to his... stance during the current scandal. He complained to the cop who arrested him "You solicited me!" and then claims that he had no idea that the footsie and finger signals they engaged in were invitations to sex. He was told repeatedly by the prosecutor that the guilty plea would be public record and then claims he relied on the cop's assurance that he (the cop) wouldn't call the media as meaning it would never be known. And he thinks people finding out about his bathroom exploits is good enough reason to reverse. I wonder if the tough-on-crime Senator Craig thinks that other criminals should be able to have guilty pleas reversed if people find out about them, or just senators.
Republican leaders are calling for his resignation, but they don't seem to be having much effect. Of course they aren't doing this out of principle, but for crass political reasons: he's an embarrassment; they need their homophobic base to come out in force if they are to win the presidential election next year, and many of them would stay home if they felt that the GOP tolerates homosexuals; if he leaves soon he can get a solid replacement and all will be forgotten by next year.
Democratic leaders aren't saying anything as far as I can tell, but I expect they are quietly hoping he'll stay for crass political reasons: he's an embarrassment to the Republicans; the Republicans need their homophobic base to come out in force if they are to win the presidential election next year, and many of them would stay home if they felt that the GOP tolerates homosexuals; if he leaves soon he can get a solid replacement and all will be forgotten by next year.
I should probably be happy he's staying on. I do want the Democrats to win. I do want people to realize that the GOP is the party of self-hating closet cases, want the hypocrisy of people who pose as heterosexual and vote against the interests of out gay men and lesbians exposed. I want the contrast between openly gay and openly gay-positive politicians in the Democratic Party and the homophobia (in the base) and gay-baiting (in the leadership) of the GOP exposed. After all, they've demonized us ever since they ran out of Communists to demonize and the more their abominable tactics and their hypocrisy gets exposed, the better. Still, I can't help feeling a little sorry for someone too self-hating and too stupid to know when the jig is up.
I thought these were a couple of good cartoons on the subject: