Thursday, September 06, 2007

# Posted 8:48 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

SEX IN PUBLIC BATHROOMS: Larry Craig is a sad and tragic figure, but he got what he deserved. A hypocrite of such magnitude deserves to become a political outcast. Yet those Republicans who punished him may be almost as hypocritical. Tim Russert made the case for a GOP double standard last Sunday on Meet the Press. Russert said, compare the GOP's repudiation of Sen. Craig to their toleration of,
Senator [David] Vitter of Louisiana, who has acknowledged that he solicited a D.C. madam, and yet there’s no calls for his resignation. Senators say, “Well, that happened when he was a member of the House.” He did not plead guilty to a criminal offense...Is there a difference or is it a double standard?
The answer to that question comes down to a hypothetical. If David Vitter had solicited sex from a male prostitute, would Republicans have abandoned him like Craig? My gut says 'yes', but certain liberal Democrats [!] think the GOP would've stood by a gay senator from Louisiana. For example, Bob Shrum told Tim Russert that Vitter's survival was purely a matter of partisan politics:
The difference wasn’t, as the Republicans have said, that Vitter faced no criminal charges or had no criminal charges. The difference was that Louisiana doesn’t have a Republican governor who can appoint a Republican successor [as is the case in Idaho].
There is also another way to explain Craig's situation, one more favorable to the GOP. As Republican consultant Mike Murphy told Tim Russert, the GOP is now tarnished and can't afford another enduring scandal. Thus Craig had to go.

Arguably, the Craig scandal is something that intelligent Americans should just ignore because it is tawdry and partisan. But I think the affair says something important about homosexuality in America. Public conservatives are still ashamed of homosexuals, even as they increasingly tolerate them in private. That is a kind of hypocrisy. Public conservatives resist civic equality for homosexuals even though they provide no reason why, other than vague references to "tradition" or "values". That borders on hypocrisy as well.

Over the past several years, I have walked away from a lot of liberal orthodoxies. But a commitment to gay rights is not one of them. I respect the opinion that homosexuality is a grave sin from a Biblical perspective. But one is no less of an American if one is gay. Being gay is not a threat to anyone else. Thus, I support equality for homosexuals in all aspects of public life.

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(9) opinions -- Add your opinion

I don’t know why this story taken so miserably, if this guy a gay so what any one have objection to that?

Gays are every where and they have the rights to do so, what’s wrong if some one did simple mistake? So if he is a gay, he can have sex home or any private place did that change or rise objection to him as a gay?
I suspose you can respect polygamy, from a Biblical perspective, or giving over your daughters to crowds to be gang raped. Or keeping slaves and denying women civil rights. After all, the Bible is the word of G*d and we mussent question it.

But the Bible doesn't say anything about homosexuals, only male temple prostitutes, so the issue is economic. And the man lieing with a man, is philologically ambiguous, mostly meaning being forced to have sex--many experts say--so I'm now sure about this topic at all. But I'm all up for slavery. It is, you know, the word of G*d and labor is so expensive these days.
David, Good post. I wrote something in a similar vein, adding in some comments from Dale Carpenter. You can read some of it here: http://neomugwump.blogspot.com/2007/08/on-craig-affairkeeping-up-appearances.html

As a gay Republican, I totally think it is waaay past time for conservatives to just "come out" and show that one can believe in values and also believe gays are deserving of respect.

Dennis Sanders
When Bush II first took over the reigns, a gay friend of mine who had a good job in the Federal Government was sure he would be kicked out by all the religious zealots with Bush. He is still working in the same job.
In other words, they denied him any advancement or promotions.

Those homophobes! :)
''I respect the opinion that homosexuality is a grave sin from a Biblical perspective.''

Then you also respect a lot of other, ridiculous things.

Can't you just say that you don't respect that opinion?

Essentially, you're saying that you'd take a stand on a moral issue, except against certain, fervent people... Because what they believe is rooted biblically.

Respecting that someone has an opinion different than yours does not mean that you agree with the opinion. Nor does recognizing that some people have Biblical arguments in favor of polygamy, slavery, or abusing women mean saying "go ahead and do it then."

About Larry Craig, he was not arrested for having sex in a public bathroom. He was arrested for making the suggestion "let's have sex." Does the Minneapolis airport station undercover cops in all waiting areas to arrest anyone who makes a sexual overture? If some man makes a sexual come-on to me in Minneapolis, can I have him arrested for disorderly behavior?

In that, I think Larry Craig has been treated unjustly. There still seems to be poetic justice in it, since he has done his part in fostering the attitude that the government has a right to spy on who you are making sexual overtures to, and arrest you if it disapproves. You don't even have to have done anything.
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