Thursday, October 04, 2007

Larry "Wide Stance" Craig

This Larry Craig business is a strange tale at best (or worst). First Craig said he would resign his Senate seat. Then he said he would only if he could not clear his name by getting his guilty plea overturned. Now his guilty plea has not been overturned by the Minnesota Court. But he now says he will not resign his seat anyway and will serve out his term which ends in 2009. He will, he says,retire and not run again. He has already been stripped of his various Chairmanships and more or less ostracized by his colleagues in the Senate. It is pretty obvious that the Republicans would strongly prefer he would just go away and disappear entirely. He is, it seems, persona non grata in the Senate. Now he is going to face ethical hearings on his situation. These can only be excruciatingly embarrassing not only for him but for Republicans as well. He must be under extraordinary pressure to resign and drop out of sight before the next Republican Convention (in Minnesota). The notorious men's room is already being remodeled to discourage the kinds of homosexual activities that are known to have gone on there. The bathroom has already become a sort of tourist attraction and every Republican who passes through the Minnesota airport is going to be reminded of Craig's sordid story. So why is Craig refusing to resign, thus submitting himself and his party to further humiliation?

One idea is that he simply wants to prove to his family and friends that he is, in fact, not guilty, is not and has never been gay, and etc. Perhaps that is at least part of it. But there is another part that I believe has not as yet been made very clear. This has something to do with the Duke Cunningham scandal. It seems that a man named Wilkes, a wealthy Southern California gentleman, who was a very close friend of Cunningham's, is under investigation for questionable donations to other members of Congress. Subpoenas have been issued, maybe one to Craig. Somewhere I have seen the figures of $43,000 dollars in association with Craig's name. While I confess I do not truly understand this it appears that Craig, if he continues in the Senate, will be less likely to have to face up to this kind of situation. I don't know why this is so, or how it works, but it seemingly has something to do with Craig's resistance to resigning at this time. No doubt this whole story will come out and be made more clear in the near future. As the exposure of this ongoing scandal will embarrass the Republicans you can be sure it is one of the reasons his colleagues are so upset over his failure to resign as promised. As there is no precedent for a Senator to be forced to resign because of a misdemeanor there is apparently nothing they can do to force him out, short of the silent treatment he is presumably experiencing. If he indeed refuses to resign this is going to make the "war" take a back seat in the news for a time. I guess that might be good for Republicans but I wonder if it is going to be worth the cost. In any case, for Craig to be willing to face the humiliation and embarrassment that will be coming his way, there must be a powerful reason.

"There are moments when everything goes well; don't be frightened, it won't last."
Jules Renard

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