The Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, punched his last time card this week, resigning from his post accompanied by an overwrought presidential goodbye. Gonzales seemed like a decent man, but he was in way over his head. That doesn't mean that the Democrats were correct to demand his ouster and then to cheer it with cries of "thank God!" when it happened. They created a storm of false charges around the guy and kept up the dreambeat against him. But he wasn't the strongest AG we've ever had, and he should've been replaced before the Democrats could claim his exit as a victory.
Next on the docket: Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig, entangled this week in a gay sex scandal. He was arrested in a men's room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport on June 11 (does it strike anyone else as weird that we haven't heard about this until NOW?!).
He pleaded guilty after being booked by a plainclothes police officer investigating complaints of lewd behavior in the bathroom. According to police reports, Craig was watching the undercover cop through a crack in the bathroom stall. He then entered the next-door stall and placed his luggage against the opening under the door.
Then, according to police, he tapped his right foot: "I (the arresting officer) recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moved his foot closer to my foot." The report also said that he swiped his hand beneath the stall divider several times.
For his part, Craig says he has a "wide stance" in the bathroom and reached down to pick up a piece of paper. He denies any lewd conduct and now says he should not have pled guilty.
This story has opened up reports of Craig's alleged past homosexual behavior, including a charge of gay sex as recently as last year and others going back to his early days in the Congress. He denies ever having or soliciting gay sex.
Maybe he's gay or bisexual. No one really cares about that. What people care about is the FRAUD that he perpetrated on the voters of Idaho and the rest of the country by posing as a "family values" conservative, feigning disgust with the kinds of acts he's now accused of committing. While allegedly playing footsie in the men's stalls, Craig:
* Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
* Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
* Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
* Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
* Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)
He couldn't have it both ways---pardon the pun---for long. Not when he was allegedly playing fast and loose in airport bathrooms! Voters have a right to have politicians in office who say what they mean and do what they say. This case goes beyond hypocrisy: it's a FRAUD on the voters who, when they elect somebody, trust that there will be truth in advertising.
So as we will soon bid au revoir to Senator Craig, a little advice for other Republicans: if you are going to run on "family values," you'd better walk the walk. And if you can't or won't, then either don't run or tell us exactly who you are before you do. Either way, please spare us spectacles like this one.