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August 27, 2007 3:09 PM   Subscribe

GOP Senator Larry Craig arrested in 'bathroom incident' --and pleads guilty. ... At one point during the interview, Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, “What do you think about that?” ... He's denied similar stories in the past.
posted by amberglow (519 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wait. I think I've heard this one. Is the answer "black people?"
posted by ColdChef at 3:11 PM on August 27, 2007 [16 favorites]


from a Kos diary in October 06:Sen. Larry Craig (R) of Idaho Outed by Mike Rogers on Ed Schultz ... Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. ...
posted by amberglow at 3:11 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, "What do you think about that?"
Awesome.
posted by Flunkie at 3:14 PM on August 27, 2007


You know how I know you're gay? You sing in a Barbershop Quartet.
posted by ColdChef at 3:14 PM on August 27, 2007 [5 favorites]


at this rate, McConnell, McHenry, and Crist are due to be arrested next.
posted by amberglow at 3:16 PM on August 27, 2007


Add him to the list of hypocritical right(eous) 'Family Values' folks caught red-handed this summer:
North Carolina: former Christian group leader pleads guilty to solicitation.

Minnesota State Rep. Mark Olsen, the co-sponsor of a (failed) state marriage amendment to ban gays and lesbians from marrying, was convicted by a jury for domestic assault.

Orlando Murder-Suicide involving GOP Consultant -- a Lovers' Row?

Busted Florida Republican state rep's "black gay panic" defense on soliciting charge.

Defiant Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Will Risk Tourism for Anti-gay Views.

Baptist minister arrested for indecent exposure, DUI -- and that's just the start.
posted by ericb at 3:17 PM on August 27, 2007 [12 favorites]


Even though I feel bad personally for all the closeted gay Republicans that have been outed. Living a lie like that must be just unimaginably difficult. It's too bad that they aren't in a position where they can be honest about who they are.
posted by empath at 3:18 PM on August 27, 2007


Amber -- don't forget Ken Mehlman.
posted by empath at 3:19 PM on August 27, 2007


more from Wonkette: ...You see, it was all just a simple he said/he said misunderstanding! Because Larry Craig was under the impression that the other gentleman wanted to have anonymous sex with him in an airport bathroom. ...
posted by amberglow at 3:21 PM on August 27, 2007


Does this have anything to do with High School Musical 2? Or Spongebob?
posted by billysumday at 3:21 PM on August 27, 2007


OMG, here we go again . . .

3..2..1...

MeFi party!
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:23 PM on August 27, 2007


LOLCLOSETEDCRIMINALLYLEWDHOMOPHOBICSENATOR

Geez, the supply of this type of family values creep seems to be almost as endless as LOLCATS.
posted by Llama-Lime at 3:24 PM on August 27, 2007


Watch for the spin: He wasn't a Republican pretending to be straight: he was a homosexual pretending to be a Republican.
posted by No Robots at 3:25 PM on August 27, 2007 [9 favorites]


Grind, grind, anonymous bathroom grind.
posted by orthogonality at 3:26 PM on August 27, 2007 [4 favorites]


Wait, isn't this a double?

It's not?! WTF REPUBLICANS
posted by mrnutty at 3:27 PM on August 27, 2007 [5 favorites]


Most important criteria for choosing site of Republican conventions and caucus meetings: number of available bathroom stalls.

(Is there such a thing as a heterosexual Republican? This administration has more than one parallel to the Roman empire, for sure.)
posted by maxwelton at 3:27 PM on August 27, 2007 [9 favorites]


Even though I feel bad personally for all the closeted gay Republicans that have been outed. Living a lie like that must be just unimaginably difficult. It's too bad that they aren't in a position where they can be honest about who they are.
If they were simply hiding their sexuality, I would agree with you. But many of them -- this one included -- go far beyond that: they actively fight to discriminate against people.

Not only have they made their own bed, but also they've pissed in it. Fuck them.
posted by Flunkie at 3:28 PM on August 27, 2007 [3 favorites]


So, uh, if you tap your feet while you're in the bathroom it means you want to get busy? Great, yet another reason my bladder will refuse to do its business if the bathroom is too crowded.
posted by Justinian at 3:28 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


great clip from Bill Maher with Barney Frank: Bill asked his guests what's up with all these gay Republican officials being dragged out of their closets. He aimed his barb particularly at Idaho right-wing extremist and arch-homophobe Larry Craig, a Bush rubber stamp senator who was recently outed. Barney kind of passed on that one-- although with great aplomb-- and then went on to the heart of the problem. "The right to privacy should not be a right to hypocrisy and people who want to demonize other people shouldn't then be able to go home and close the door and do it themselves." But he was just getting warmed up. ...
posted by amberglow at 3:29 PM on August 27, 2007 [6 favorites]


Metafilter: Not only have they made their own bed, but also they've pissed in it. Fuck them.
posted by amberglow at 3:31 PM on August 27, 2007


This is priceless. Back in the Gerry Studds page scandal days, Craig preemptively publicly announced he was innocent.

Video from the blogger who outed him last year.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:31 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


CNN's covering it right now--"the police misconstrued his actions", he says.
posted by amberglow at 3:32 PM on August 27, 2007


Even though I feel bad personally for all the closeted gay Republicans that have been outed. Living a lie like that must be just unimaginably difficult. It's too bad that they aren't in a position where they can be honest about who they are.

Except...it's one thing to live a lie and remain closeted. You can certainly do that quietly and with some dignity.
It's quite another thing, however, to actively work to legislate against everyone else just like you. Talk about self-hating...
posted by Thorzdad at 3:33 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


It's going to sound really, really awkward when he steps down to "spend more time with his family."
posted by felix betachat at 3:34 PM on August 27, 2007 [6 favorites]


Is there such a thing as a heterosexual Republican?

I know! It's baffling!

How do conservatives reproduce? Cloning? Spores? Budding?

Recruiting?
posted by fleetmouse at 3:35 PM on August 27, 2007 [5 favorites]


Why did this only come out now? He was arrested months ago.
posted by amberglow at 3:36 PM on August 27, 2007


fleetmouse - I believe it's a mysterious process known as "closeting"
posted by Artw at 3:38 PM on August 27, 2007


Living a lie like that must be just unimaginably difficult.

As a couple of others have said, the ones in (or formerly in) positions of power have plenty of means to cover up for themselves, buy off or shut up potential troublemakers, and otherwise make sure that life isn't all that unimaginably difficult.

Mark Foley is a case in point. His office computers were just declared off limits to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement because they are considered to contain "congressional work papers."

Meanwhile, many of these same people hide behind their lies and vote to pass laws that actually do make the lives of ordinary people very difficult.
posted by blucevalo at 3:39 PM on August 27, 2007


"At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area," the report states.

Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times, and Karsnia noted in his report that "I could ... see Craig had a gold ring on his ring finger as his hand was on my side of the stall divider."
Note to self: remember to not tap toes, lest you wind up fucking a Republican.
posted by orthogonality at 3:39 PM on August 27, 2007 [6 favorites]


Your favorite senator sucks.
posted by InfidelZombie at 3:39 PM on August 27, 2007 [12 favorites]


ericb, you forgot Jim West and Mark Foley. Oh yeah, the DC madam thing, too, if we're not just talking gay sex scandals.

Does anyone have a source that summarizes all of them from the last couple years? I was talking to an expatriot in Spain last night and she hadn't heard of any of these. I'm not coming up with a good summary for her.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 3:39 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm sure that none of them are gay, they just keep having sex with other men to prove to themselves that they don't like it and can stop at any time.
posted by quin at 3:41 PM on August 27, 2007 [6 favorites]


Can anyone even imagine how these guys would be raked over the coals if they had been democrats instead of republicans.
There would be an endless drumbeat from Beck, Orly, Rush and the guy with the bow tie.
posted by notreally at 3:41 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


The Party of Moral Values!

Republican Sex Scandals:
Republican Hypocrisy Revealed

Republican Pedophilia

Republican Sex Crimes.
posted by ericb at 3:43 PM on August 27, 2007 [7 favorites]


My big fear here is that the Joe Sixpacks that vote for these guys will interpret this "SEE, gays are bad people" instead of "Jeez, these family values Republicans are bunch of hypocrits."
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 3:43 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


So, uh, if you tap your feet while you're in the bathroom it means you want to get busy? Great, yet another reason my bladder will refuse to do its business if the bathroom is too crowded.

See, the codes are all highly contextual. If you're a girl, the toe-tap/foot shuffle means you'd like the person next to you to hurry up and finish so that you can resume pooping in peace.
posted by desuetude at 3:43 PM on August 27, 2007


Right, we take a shot every time one of these exposés happens.

[glug]
posted by athenian at 3:43 PM on August 27, 2007


Do you have to be a closeted gay man to join the republican party?
posted by chunking express at 3:44 PM on August 27, 2007


more on Craig, and the others: ... actually there are 3 United States senators-- as well as half a dozen Republican congressmen-- who have consistently vicious homophobic voting records but who all partake in sex with other men. The senators are McConnell (R-KY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Larry Craig (R-ID). ..

Slarty: there's a partial list on left side of Blogactive's homepage
posted by amberglow at 3:45 PM on August 27, 2007


It's clear, at least, why Republicans think that gays are sexual predators-- it's because most Republicans making that argument are in fact closeted sexual predators.
posted by ibmcginty at 3:45 PM on August 27, 2007 [14 favorites]


You don't have to be living a lie to work here.... BUT IT HELPS!
posted by contraption at 3:47 PM on August 27, 2007 [7 favorites]


How fucking weird. And on top of that it's like, how do these guys keep doing this, even after so many get caught?
posted by delmoi at 3:48 PM on August 27, 2007


It's clear, at least, why Republicans think that gays are sexual predators-- it's because most Republicans making that argument are in fact closeted sexual predators.

Nah, it's because they're closeted sexual sheep.
posted by felix betachat at 3:48 PM on August 27, 2007


Living a lie like that must be just unimaginably difficult.

He's a politician (a Senator, even). Living a lie is what he would be doing anyhow, gay, straight or indifferent.
posted by notyou at 3:49 PM on August 27, 2007


I'm not familiar with Senator Craig. Could someone summarize the anti-gay positions he has taken?
posted by Dolukhanova at 3:49 PM on August 27, 2007


Republican Hypocrisy Revealed

Republican Pedophilia

Republican Sex Crimes
.

I guess I was looking more for the high profile recent cases, because that is really much more relevent. It's not all that relevent to what's going on now if some county commisioner in rural Mississippi is charged with rape or that Strom Thurmond was a pedophile 60 years ago.

What's so telling here is that these are Senators and Congressmen (Congressmen), people who have the ear of the president, people who got themselves elected on a wave of bigotry that swept through this country 3 years ago.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 3:50 PM on August 27, 2007


on posting, thanks amberblow
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 3:51 PM on August 27, 2007 [4 favorites]


er, amberglow. heh.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 3:51 PM on August 27, 2007 [4 favorites]


closeted sexual predators

Foley likely to face no charges
"Scripps Howard News Service reports that former congressman Mark Foley is unlikely to face criminal charges for sending sexually explicit e-mails to teenage boys. … That could change if new evidence surfaces in the next week that proved Foley, 52, sent online messages to male teenagers with the intent to 'seduce, solicit, lure, entice, or attempt to seduce a child,' a third-degree felony under Florida law.” The House has refused to let Florida investigators examine Foley’s congressional computers, stating that they are 'congressional work papers' and only Foley can release them."
posted by ericb at 3:51 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


stories like this make me grin like a cheshire cat.
posted by bruce at 3:54 PM on August 27, 2007


"In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty."
Hah.
posted by Flunkie at 3:54 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


What's so telling here is that these are Senators and Congressmen (Congressmen), people who have the ear of the president, people who got themselves elected on a wave of bigotry that swept through this country 3 years ago.

And who helped many get elected on a platform of anti-gay bigotry? Arthur Finkelstein -- gay, now legally married to his partner with two adopted kids in Massachusetts. [previously - 1, 2].
posted by ericb at 3:56 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


More videos from 1982.
posted by iviken at 3:56 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


You know how I know you're gay? Because you like Asia.
posted by porn in the woods at 3:59 PM on August 27, 2007


When I first saw the story I assumed it was an Idaho state senator. Because c'mon, if you're as wealthy and powerful as a US senator, you can afford to get a hotel room and a high-class boy-toy operation to deliver for you.

But no, he tried to get a blowjob in a public toilet.

Honestly, how have so many of these Republican hypocrites gotten this far in life without killing themselves? Getting elected on "family values" platforms, demonizing gays who want nothing more than to get married and live a stable life, having the temerity to speak for Jesus?

Unbelievable. IMO, all Republican males are cock-suckers until proven otherwise from now on.

(And I have no problem with cock-suckers. Each to his or her own. Just don't do it and then tell the rest of us how to conduct our personal lives.)
posted by bardic at 4:00 PM on August 27, 2007 [6 favorites]


from the comments at Flunkie's link: In related news, the RNC announced that all future GOP primaries will be held in public restrooms, in order to boost turnout...

: >
posted by amberglow at 4:01 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


I smell a Singing Senators/Bearforce1 crossover!
posted by Phatty Lumpkin at 4:02 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


Craig stated “that he has a wide stance when going to the bathroom and that his foot may have touched mine,” the report states. Craig also told the arresting officer that he reached down with his right hand to pick up a piece of paper that was on the floor.

Now there's an image I didn't need in my mind. But it's worth a lot just to hear a closet-case Republican admit/ he spreads his legs to take a shit.

And who among us would pick up a piece of paper -- short perhaps of one's boarding pass or passport -- off the floor of an airport bathroom stall? Eeeeew.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:02 PM on August 27, 2007


I think its time that gay people turn out to support the Republican party. There's now little question that gay men represent a sizable bloc of Republican office-holders, certainly more so than the Dems.

/sarcasm

But seriously, can somebody here explain this for me?

It seems like the number of prominent gay Dems (Barney Frank for one, maybe a few others) is vastly outnumbered by closeted Republicans.

It seems to me that most Dems in Congress, for example, are heterosexual and have been married to the same person for most of their adult lives -- whereas it seems that most Repubs in Congress are either horribly closeted or on their 8th hetero marriage, or both.

What gives?
posted by Avenger at 4:03 PM on August 27, 2007 [5 favorites]


Listen, when I said that this Administration is like Nero fiddling while Rome burns I didn't mean that kind of "fiddling."
posted by lekvar at 4:05 PM on August 27, 2007 [4 favorites]


Avenger, i'd ask what it is about the GOP and their platform/policies that attracts closetcases and those who are full of self-loathing.
posted by amberglow at 4:05 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Surprisingly, the domain name RepublicansAreGay.com is available.
posted by Flunkie at 4:06 PM on August 27, 2007


Just because these characters like a little homo action on the side makes them gay?

I know people who are gay, and this sort of behavior sounds more like the work of uptight straight men who really want to get into some homosexual action but are prejudiced against other men who are gay.

Chances are if they got that (desires for some casual kinky fun) out of there system or made accommodation of it in a way that wasn't lewd, well, chances are they wouldn't be republicans.

Whoa!

[In robotic computer voice] "A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of stem the rose? "
posted by humannaire at 4:09 PM on August 27, 2007


An oldie but a goodie from the Onion
posted by Flunkie at 4:10 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


from Idaho Statesman: "It should be noted that there was not a piece of paper on the bathroom floor, nor did Craig pick up a piece of paper," Karsnia wrote in the report. (and there are rumors they killed an outing story on him just recently)
posted by amberglow at 4:10 PM on August 27, 2007


Because c'mon, if you're as wealthy and powerful as a US senator, you can afford to get a hotel room and a high-class boy-toy operation to deliver for you.

All that stuff creates a paper trail, though, and keeping it anonymous requires careful planning, which is probably pretty excruciating when you're hating yourself the whole time. Much easier to take an exit off the Interstate and be another pasty old man in the public restroom. It probably worked out fine for him for years.
posted by contraption at 4:12 PM on August 27, 2007


Anti-gay politicians, office holders and crazy wingnuts, methinks thou dost protest too much.
posted by ericb at 4:12 PM on August 27, 2007


Jeez, between Bill Sali and Larry Craig, Idaho has been given two Black Eyes from our Republican leadership. Glad to say I didn't vote for either one of these two jackasses.
posted by Ignition at 4:14 PM on August 27, 2007


Surprisingly, the domain name RepublicansAreGay.com is available

Wateriswet.com wasn't available I guess.
posted by bardic at 4:14 PM on August 27, 2007 [3 favorites]


GOP - does that stand for Glory 'ole Party?
posted by Flitcraft at 4:15 PM on August 27, 2007 [15 favorites]


Once again once
posted by hortense at 4:15 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


And really, why is it they keep getting busted for soliciting sex in public toilets? These guys are in charge, ostensibly, with running the single superpower left in the world, and they're looking for sex in some stinky goddamned public toilet? Geez, guys, have some class! You know, flowers, champagne, maybe some clean sheets might be nice? I can't imagine that urinal cakes are a great mood enhancer.
posted by lekvar at 4:15 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]



at this rate, McConnell, McHenry, and Crist are due to be arrested next.


Oh please oh please.....
posted by dilettante at 4:16 PM on August 27, 2007


I guess nobody has linked to this yet. . . from TPM.

Meet the Press on January 24, 1999:

MR. RUSSERT: Larry Craig, would you want the last word from the Senate be an acquittal of the president and no censure?

SEN. CRAIG: Well, I don't know where the Senate's going to be on that issue of an up or down vote on impeachment, but I will tell you that the Senate certainly can bring about a censure reslution and it's a slap on the wrist. It's a, "Bad boy, Bill Clinton. You're a naughty boy." The American people already know that Bill Clinton is a bad boy, a naughty boy.

I'm going to speak out for the citizens of my state, who in the majority think that Bill Clinton is probably even a nasty, bad, naughty boy.

It would have been funny enough if he kept it to one naughty boy. . .
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:17 PM on August 27, 2007 [8 favorites]


Why don't all these gay republicans just hookup with each other???
posted by R. Mutt at 4:19 PM on August 27, 2007 [7 favorites]


Gloryhole cat is watching you, mister, fellate.
posted by rob511 at 4:20 PM on August 27, 2007


Also, quick poll:

If you were a street hustler, looking to turn a few tricks, where do you think you would make more money: the Democrat or Republican National Convention?

If you answered "Republican Convention", would it be because there are more closet cases or because they're wealthier?
posted by Avenger at 4:21 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


I assume Fox is putting a D after his name in their crawl; it's actually part of their style guide: "[...] when a scandal involving a Republican is so bad you can't spin it, just make 'em a Democrat for the duration. Our viewers certainly don't know any different."
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:22 PM on August 27, 2007 [4 favorites]


Shirley, this will...

/recycled joke
posted by papercake at 4:24 PM on August 27, 2007


I almost feel bad for the hypocrite. To be so desperate to suck a little cock that you go cruising the airport restrooms, knowing the terrible risk you're taking with your career but desperately craving a load of spunk. And hating yourself all the time. What a terrible way to live.
posted by Nelson at 4:26 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


Why do Republican gay people hate gay people so much?
posted by jonson at 4:31 PM on August 27, 2007 [4 favorites]


Geez, guys, have some class! You know, flowers, champagne, maybe some clean sheets might be nice? I can't imagine that urinal cakes are a great mood enhancer.

Well, generally, flowers and champagne are reserved for lovers (or even one-night-flings) whos company you might enjoy. Although I've always perferred cuddling with some appletinis next to a crackling fire. ;)

Repubs wouldn't be caught dead romancing their tricks like that -- or even their beards. Its too Frenchified. The poor guy just wanted some anonmyous oral on his way to the terminal -- he thinks its his right as a man and government big-shot.

"Hey, I work so hard that I deserve a little treat now and then. I don't need to explain myself to these peons. Here, look at my card. I'm a Senator! How do you like them apples?"
posted by Avenger at 4:32 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


I wonder if 2000 years from now the miniseries on Washington will look like HBO's "Rome."
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:37 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


like Caligula, dances_ ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:42 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


"I'm a Senator! How do you like them apples?"

That about says it all.
posted by humannaire at 4:42 PM on August 27, 2007


Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, “What do you think about that?”

Pretty lame. He should have said he was doing some method acting preparation for his role in an upcoming film about George Michael.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:42 PM on August 27, 2007


Morality and hypocrisy aside, this guy is mind-bogglingly stupid. Isn't encounters like this the reason gay bars were invented? C'mon, gay sex is unbelievably easy to obtain, no need to bother people just trying to take a piss.
posted by jonmc at 4:46 PM on August 27, 2007


This is, of course, so satisfying ... schadenfreude abounds.

However, what I do resent is that cottaging should be illegal. If it's consensual and kept in the stalls, why should a lil loo sex bother the law?

If the answer is anything other than to out gay republicans and pop stars, then really, it ought to be repealed.
posted by Azaadistani at 4:48 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


He should have slid the business card under the stall in the first place and then claimed he was only trying to solicit a bribe, and not gay sex. Sheesh.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:48 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


Because, then, like, this story would be ignored like most of the real corruption these republican bastards get into.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:49 PM on August 27, 2007


Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, “What do you think about that?”

Thank you , Senator. I think I just made Captain!
posted by bodega at 4:49 PM on August 27, 2007 [9 favorites]


then claimed he was only trying to solicit a bribe, and not gay sex.

maybe he asked for a deposit of liquid assets and the dude got confused.
posted by jonmc at 4:50 PM on August 27, 2007 [7 favorites]


Sorry to crib from rival webpages, but there is also this interesting tidbit of the alleged genital piercing of Karl Rove's dad. Republicans are about twenty-for-twenty in their recent ratio of alleged to reality.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:50 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


he was Romney's state campaign person--until just this minute, according to CNN. They already scrubbed him from their site.
posted by amberglow at 4:50 PM on August 27, 2007


Considering Senator Craig is from Idaho, it's be easier to believe if the undercover officer were actually a sheep.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:51 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm enjoying the schadenfreude as much as anyone else, but I think we should note that this whole busting someone for propositioning someone in the men's room is homophobic bullshit. No one actually was having sex and we don't arrest heterosexuals for propositioning each other.

I understand that there's the presumption that it was about propositioning for sex on the premises, in public. But then, I have a big problem with the drug paraphernalia laws, too. And, in the final analysis, enforcement of these laws are all about people being squicked-out by gay sex. I don't know of anywhere in the US where the police actively patrol looking to arrest people for having consensual heterosexual, non-commercial sex. And there are places where this happens5. Like some college campuses.

5. Not as many as there should be, though.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:53 PM on August 27, 2007 [9 favorites]


we don't arrest heterosexuals for propositioning each other

cruising is more on the order of public nuisance . . . people just want to be able to take a crap in peace, geddit?
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:03 PM on August 27, 2007 [4 favorites]


"I don't know of anywhere in the US where the police actively patrol looking to arrest people for having consensual heterosexual, non-commercial sex."

How about Phoenix?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:07 PM on August 27, 2007


I don't know of anywhere in the US where the police actively patrol looking to arrest people for having consensual heterosexual, non-commercial sex.

did you skip high school or just come fully-formed from your father's skull or what
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:08 PM on August 27, 2007


George: I tried not to come, oh how I tried not to.

Larry: There's something I've got to tell you, George.

George: There's no need to explain, he's told me everything.

Larry: What! What's he told you?

George: About how you came to Minnesota and you arrest in the Minneapolis Airport. He told me about your probelms, how you feel.

Larry: Probelms, what problems?

George: You are a toilet trader! Go with it boy, give into to it. It's like a tide. Don't let it ruin your youth as I nearly did over Eric.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:09 PM on August 27, 2007


I'm totally with Heywood on this. I'm a big fan of hot sweaty gay sex, as some of you might* have guessed, but seriously? I'd like to do my business in peace, without people trying to 1) have sex with me, or 2) with my business. The second proposition is somewhat rarer than the first, but depressingly they both happen when I'm forced to use a public loo.

I don't think it should be necessarily an arrestable offence, however. Maybe just a ticket. (Of course, that raises the spectre of quotas. Perhaps the ticket shouldn't be $40 or whatever, perhaps it should be 4 hours of community service.**)


* No, really. I am.

** Not, I should add, community servicing, which would just start the whole ruckus all over again.

posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:12 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


EB, that's what adds an extra level of irony onto the story. If these hypocrite homosexuals (hyposexuals?) weren't always pushing for crackdowns on this kind of thing, they wouldn't get caught doing this kind of thing.
posted by wendell at 5:13 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's nice that we have so many cops around that they have time to arrest people tapping their feet in the bathroom.
posted by iconjack at 5:16 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


How do these guys get any government work done when their cognitive dissonance has to be a full-time job?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:17 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


felix betachat writes "It's going to sound really, really awkward when he steps down to 'spend more time with his family.'"

felix, you breeder, this kind of "family", you know, sisters of Dorothy family.
posted by orthogonality at 5:22 PM on August 27, 2007


we don't arrest heterosexuals for propositioning each other.

If they do it in the ladies' room, we sure do.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:35 PM on August 27, 2007


The interesting part of the article is the cop---one wonders what's going through his mind as he's sitting in that stall for hours on end, as person after person unloads themselves and he waits and waits for someone to start with the toe-tapping and foot touching, and finally provide some relief from the horrid monotony of airport bowel movements. Looking forward endlessly to that one golden shining moment when he finally gets to shove the badge beneath the stall divider, point to the exit, and mumble "yes" to the startled gasps from the other side.
posted by washburn at 5:35 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Look, all we need to do is slip him a little Gleemonex.


Wally: Doctor, why do those, you know, types think that I'm one of them?

Doctor: Because you ARE one of them! You are gay! You are a homosexual! I know it, your family knows it, DOGS know it! The only one who doesn't know it is you!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:36 PM on August 27, 2007


really awkward when he steps down to 'spend more time with his family

Like the YMCA family kind of family?
posted by IronLizard at 5:47 PM on August 27, 2007


iconjack: It's nice that we have so many cops around that they have time to arrest people tapping their feet in the bathroom.

washburn: the cop...he's sitting in that stall for hours on end...

From the article: Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men's public restroom...

Or Sen. Craig was the one sitting in that stall for hours, and the officer arrested him because his behavior/description matched something in one of those complaints. I wonder what exactly was described in those complaints, and if it had anything to do with his guilty plea.
posted by dsword at 5:48 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


you know, sisters of Dorothy family.

Like the YMCA family kind of family?

I was thinking Sister Sledge.
posted by felix betachat at 5:50 PM on August 27, 2007


Flunkie writes "Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, 'What do you think about that?'"
DOCTOR: You have AIDS.
ROY COHN: AIDS. Your problem, Henry, is that you are hung up on words, on labels, that you believe mean what they seem to mean. AIDS. Homosexual. Gay. Lesbian. You think these are names that tell you who someone sleeps with, but they don't tell you that.
DOCTOR: No?
ROY COHN: No. Like all labels they tell you one thing and one thing only: where does an individual so identified fit in the food chain, in the pecking order? Not ideology, not sexual taste, but something much simpler: clout. Not who I fuck or who fucks me, but who will pick up the phone when I call, who owes me favours. That is what a label refers to. Now to someone who does not understand this, homosexual is what I am because I have sex with men. But really this is wrong. Homosexuals are not men who sleep with other men. Homosexuals are men who in fifteen years of trying cannot get a pissant antidiscrimination bill through City Council. Homosexuals are men who know nobody and who nobody knows. Who have zero clout. Does this sound like me, Henry?
DOCTOR: No.
ROY COHN: No. I have clout. A lot. I can pick up this phone, punch fifteen numbers, and you know who will be on the other end in under five minutes, Henry?
DOCTOR: The President.
ROY COHN: Even better, Henry. His wife.
DOCTOR: I'm impressed.
ROY COHN: I don't want you to be impressed. I want you to understand. This is not sophistry. And this is not hypocrisy. This is reality. I have sex with men. But unlike nearly every other man of whom this is true, I bring the guy I'm screwing to the White House and President Reagan smiles at us and shakes his hand. Because what I am defines entirely who I am. Roy Cohn is not a homosexual. Roy Cohn is a heterosexual man, Henry, who fucks around with boys.
DOCTOR: OK, Roy.
ROY COHN: And what is my diagnosis, Henry?
DOCTOR: You have AIDS, Roy.
ROY COHN: No, Henry, no. AIDS is what homosexuals have. I have -- liver cancer.
posted by orthogonality at 5:52 PM on August 27, 2007 [15 favorites]


I don't get what was supposed to happen. If he'd already blocked the door to his stall with his luggage, as the officer says is usual in these situations, was the activity going to go one under the stall partition?
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:53 PM on August 27, 2007


Serious question: How come none of these cruisy closeted republicans get horrible STDs? You can only commit random oral sex so long before catching something people would notice, right?
posted by phrontist at 5:55 PM on August 27, 2007


From the comments posted here

BUT: even if Craig is gay; so what? He obviously knows his life style is wrong and that is why he does not want it out and votes against making such life the norm. Hell; we all know lying is wrong but who among us does not 1) lie and 2) would vote against a bill making lying under oath a crime.

He's voted to protect us from guys like himself! Show some gratitude!
posted by maryh at 6:01 PM on August 27, 2007


How come none of these cruisy closeted republicans get horrible STDs?

Is it possible that being a "family values" Republican is an STD?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:05 PM on August 27, 2007


Now I suppose you're going to tell me that this explains the "Freedom Holes" rider buried in PATRIOT act.
posted by kid ichorous at 6:07 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Serious question: How come none of these cruisy closeted republicans get horrible STDs? You can only commit random oral sex so long before catching something people would notice, right?

They do. See orthogonality's quote from "Angels in America," above, for the basic jist of how this works.

And doctors can't discuss all the times they've treated the clap and the herpes outbreaks and the anal warts without breaking doc-patient confidentiality.

And performing oral sex doesn't have an enormous risk factor, anyway.
posted by desuetude at 6:08 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


These guys are against having gays in the military because it would reduce the pool of young men to blow here on the home front.
posted by SassHat at 6:11 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Maybe he was just listening to Jesus, when he said, "There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him".
posted by Flunkie at 6:13 PM on August 27, 2007


These guys are against having gays in the military because it would reduce the pool of young men to blow here on the home front.

Call me a man of the old school, but if a boy is old enough to suck dick, he's old enough to die for his country.
posted by jonp72 at 6:16 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


Serious question: How come none of these cruisy closeted republicans get horrible STDs? You can only commit random oral sex so long before catching something people would notice, right?

Do you count Donald Rumsfeld's refrigerated underpants as "something people would notice"?
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:18 PM on August 27, 2007


Well, I can't blame the police for the crack down and arrest. A year or two ago I was in a bathroom at that airport and I guess I must have tapped my foot because a minute later some guy reached under the stall and rubbed my leg.

I shit you not.

At a moment like that, when you are still on the public toilet with all your hefty baggage strewn in the stall, one is at a loss for what exactly to do. Run away comes to mind, but isn't exactly possible. The answer of the day was to play ass mambo and contort to the other far end of the stall.

Now, a different question is why someone looking to cruise anonymously would hand their high profile Senatorial card under the stall. I would think the policeman was even more at a loss than I was.
posted by Muddler at 6:20 PM on August 27, 2007


Wait. I think I've heard this one. Is the answer "black people?"

More like: "$20. Same as down at the statehouse."
posted by hal9k at 6:21 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


Now, a different question is why someone looking to cruise anonymously would hand their high profile Senatorial card under the stall. I would think the policeman was even more at a loss than I was.
This was done after he was arrested, during the police interview.

It was an attempt to use his office as a means to rise above the law.
posted by Flunkie at 6:24 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Video of the Roy Cohn|Doctor scene (which orthogonality references) from Tony Kushner's award-winning 'Angels in America.'
posted by ericb at 6:24 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


he tried to get a blowjob in a public toilet.

Um, I seriously doubt the Senator was looking to get a blowjob: "Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times." Swipe his hand, as in, "come on, stick your dick under and I'll suck it."

Sen. Craig was the one sitting in that stall for hours

Come on, people, read the juicy Roll Call article if you're gonna talk details. The cop was in the stall 13 minutes, and then saw the Senator peeking in the door. The Senator then jumped in the next stall and quickly started signaling he wanted to suck dick.

I gotta say, "I have a pretty wide stance when I shit" is gonna go down in history as one of the best Senatorial comments ever.
posted by mediareport at 6:47 PM on August 27, 2007


the Idaho Statesman has been sitting on tons of reporting about Craig since March, and never published.
posted by amberglow at 6:47 PM on August 27, 2007


you know, the fact that this guy was actually in favor of scrawling anti-gay graffiti over Thomas Jefferson's Constitution is really kind of mind-boggling -- it's as if some blacks, in the good ole times, had somehow managed to pass as white and they had immediately joined the KKK. these closeted gay men who are actively working to turn other, less connected, less powerful gay people into third-class citizens is beyond shameful, it's sadistic and cowardly at the same time -- one would hope against hope that hell actually exists for these people, and it's run by someone who is vengeful beyond human comprehension


at this rate, McConnell, McHenry, and Crist are due to be arrested next.

I swear I had read "Christ" and I was like, wtf, he's gay too????
posted by matteo at 6:47 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Craig's bio page (I wonder if Cheney and Reagan knew where his hand had been?)
posted by amberglow at 6:50 PM on August 27, 2007


To get to Idaho, you have to change planes in Minneapolis? I wonder how often he was doing this?
posted by amberglow at 6:51 PM on August 27, 2007


“At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area,” the report states.

Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times, and Karsnia noted in his report that “I could ... see Craig had a gold ring on his ring finger as his hand was on my side of the stall divider.”

Karsnia then held his police identification down by the floor so that Craig could see it.

“With my left hand near the floor, I pointed towards the exit. Craig responded, ‘No!’ I again pointed towards the exit. Craig exited the stall with his roller bags without flushing the toilet. ... Craig said he would not go. I told Craig that he was under arrest, he had to go, and that I didn’t want to make a scene. Craig then left the restroom.”


I'm a compulsive foot tapper, so this worries me.
posted by mecran01 at 6:53 PM on August 27, 2007


MetaFilter: The answer of the day was to play ass mambo
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:56 PM on August 27, 2007


Funny, I always thought jazz hands were the dead giveaway....
posted by rob511 at 7:02 PM on August 27, 2007


The sheer mechanics of this puzzle me. How do you suck someone's dick under a stall divider? Or, if that is as awkward and disgusting as I imagine it to be, how do you join someone in a stall and get down to business in a busy airport bathroom without arousing (ahem) suspicion?

Also, that cop is sure earning his money. Does he get bathroom breaks?
posted by Camofrog at 7:02 PM on August 27, 2007


at this rate, McConnell, McHenry, and Crist are due to be arrested next.
I swear I had read "Christ" and I was like, wtf, he's gay too????
Yup.
posted by Flunkie at 7:04 PM on August 27, 2007


you know, the fact that this guy was actually in favor of scrawling anti-gay graffiti over Thomas Jefferson's Constitution...

Heh. Assuming Jefferson actually wrote a constitution at some point, it's not the one we use in the United States.
posted by LionIndex at 7:09 PM on August 27, 2007


The sheer mechanics of this puzzle me. How do you suck someone's dick under a stall divider?

You don't. It's a signal for "sucker to suckee...come in, suckee."

Or, if that is as awkward and disgusting as I imagine it to be, how do you join someone in a stall and get down to business in a busy airport bathroom without arousing (ahem) suspicion?

This is not a long, romantic, teasing blowjob with come-hither upward glances. This is an efficient strictly-business blowjob. Do you check out what the other men are doing in bathroom stalls, or are you busy just doing your business and getting out of there in time to catch your plane? That's how.
posted by desuetude at 7:12 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


You think that maybe the reason all these stories have surfaced is that the Republicans have wanted to be sucking anonymous cock in toilets all along, but no-one would teach them the secret handshake? Now they know...
posted by desuetude at 7:14 PM on August 27, 2007


The sheer mechanics of this puzzle me.

Well, if you really want to figure it out... (so completely NSFW)
posted by mek at 7:15 PM on August 27, 2007


ericb writes "Video of the Roy Cohn|Doctor scene (which orthogonality references) from Tony Kushner's award-winning 'Angels in America.'"

Thanks eric, but Larry Craig impelled me to go out just now and bought a copy of the Angels DVD.
posted by orthogonality at 7:16 PM on August 27, 2007


Mark Foley is a case in point. His office computers were just declared off limits to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement because they are considered to contain "congressional work papers."

That sounds like "Above The Law" to me. No wonder your crooks become politicians.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:28 PM on August 27, 2007


FreeRepublic Reacts:

1) Craig was a commie liberal pinko.
2) It's good that he's been purged from The Party.
3) More purges are needed to cleanse The Party.

Shit, these people turn on their own faster than fucking Stalinists. "Ex-Comrade Olgivy was always a trotskyist! I never supported him! On with the purge!"
posted by Avenger at 7:30 PM on August 27, 2007 [8 favorites]


FreeRepublic Reacts:
Wow, those people are angry at Barney Frank over this.
posted by Flunkie at 7:43 PM on August 27, 2007


Holy cow. mek's link just told me that there are bathrooms all over my neighborhood known for this. The Time Warner center? Really? The Sheraton? wow.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:53 PM on August 27, 2007


Hellooooo Jesus... How about a rapture soon.....
I'd really like all of these fucking charlatans to go away
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 8:00 PM on August 27, 2007


Did the Log Cabin burn down?
posted by Sailormom at 8:02 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow, those people are angry at Barney Frank over this.

Thats because Barney Frank invented homosexuality in the 60's. True story.
posted by Avenger at 8:03 PM on August 27, 2007 [5 favorites]


Avenger writes "Shit, these people turn on their own faster than fucking Stalinists. "

To be fair, they're also angry that Craig voted for immigration "amnesty".
posted by orthogonality at 8:07 PM on August 27, 2007


To get to Idaho, you have to change planes in Minneapolis? I wonder how often he was doing this?

If he was flying Northwest, he may have been going through the hub here pretty often. Of course, if he was flying Northwest, he could have used the I'm-a-Senator line on almost any flight attendant of his appropriate gender.

Why did this only come out now? He was arrested months ago.

And why wasn't it in the Star Tribune here? They must be struggling if they're that out of contact with the local courthouse. It's like, what, 3 blocks from their newsroom?
posted by gimonca at 8:08 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


My nomination for most unfortunate sentence in the Washington Post story:


His leading Democratic challenger is former congressman Larry LaRocco, a Boise banker and onetime Senate staffer. He already is campaigning aggressively, baling hay and laying pipe on a "Working for the Senate" tour.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:12 PM on August 27, 2007


And why wasn't it in the Star Tribune here?
It's that IOKIYAR thing, i guess. The question is why they always cover for these people over and over for decades.


Holy cow. mek's link just told me that there are bathrooms all over my neighborhood known for this. The Time Warner center? Really?

Where do you think Anderson Cooper gets his kicks? (Ricky Martin too)
posted by amberglow at 8:12 PM on August 27, 2007


Is it bad that Cooper was my first thought? I just wonder what the mooing herds of tourists think.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:15 PM on August 27, 2007


TPM has the police report, and the video of Senator Craig praising Mitt Romney which... coincidentally... disappeared from Romney's website as soon as this story broke.
posted by Flunkie at 8:17 PM on August 27, 2007


James Bond is gay?!
posted by dirigibleman at 8:20 PM on August 27, 2007


What is it with Republican politicians and bathrooms?

Cunning: Cooper--and all the queens who work at Hugo Boss and the other places ; >
posted by amberglow at 8:20 PM on August 27, 2007


I bet Lindsay Graham is the next one caught.
posted by amberglow at 8:20 PM on August 27, 2007


Well, if you really want to figure it out...

In my area, the "Washington Square JC Penney Downstairs" is listed. Who the hell picks people up in a JC Penney bathroom?
posted by cmonkey at 8:29 PM on August 27, 2007


"I don't know of anywhere in the US where the police actively patrol looking to arrest people for having consensual heterosexual, non-commercial sex." at BYU this is 'standards police' activity, is Craig LDS ? not that it makes any difference to me just curious.
posted by hortense at 8:30 PM on August 27, 2007


is Craig LDS ?

I don't think so--his bio page doesn't mention anything Mormon at all.

He is, however, on the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association
/insert playing with his gun joke here ; >
posted by amberglow at 8:36 PM on August 27, 2007


I'm not familiar with Senator Craig. Could someone summarize the anti-gay positions he has taken?

Just for starters:

6/7/2006: Voted yes on cloture re the gay marriage amendment. This cloture vote would have forced an up-or-down vote on passing an amendment to the Constitution banning same-sex marriage. The cloture vote failed 49-48.

7/14/2004: Voted yes on cloture on an earlier attempt to force a vote on an amendment banning same-sex marriage. The cloture vote failed 50-48.

9/10/96: Voted no on ENDA (bill to prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation by extending the remedies of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to sexual orientation). The bill failed by one vote.

9/10/96: Voted yes on DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). The bill passed 85-14.
posted by blucevalo at 8:43 PM on August 27, 2007


Tony Kushner's award-winning 'Angels in America.'

Every year I think I love that play more and more.

"In the new century, I think we will all be insane."
posted by octobersurprise at 8:44 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't think it should be necessarily an arrestable offence, however. Maybe just a ticket.

Not that I have any, uh, expertise in this...but the charges appear to have been 'interference with privacy' and 'disorderly conduct'. Neither of those involves being put on an 'offender registry', as far as I know, and 'disorderly conduct' can mean all sorts of things.

If the police report is accurate (not always the case) then he may have lucked out by getting arrested before the transaction could proceed further, and he may have thought it would escape notice, so he didn't fight. Or, he may have succeeded in using his stature to get the charges knocked down somehow or other. Maybe while talking in the airport questioning room, even. Just speculation.

Here we go: interference with privacy (Minn. Statutes 609.746) is what they charge Peeping Toms with.
posted by gimonca at 8:50 PM on August 27, 2007


I bet Lindsay Graham is the next one caught.

This is merely gossip, but I have heard that Graham has a steady partner who lives in DC and that he is therefore unlikely to be caught in any shenanigans.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:50 PM on August 27, 2007


Karl Rove is an atheist. J. Edgar Hoover was gay, too. This is an underestimated psychological phenomenon in American life--members of outsider groups who decide that power is the best revenge and twist their personalities in the process.
posted by texorama at 8:54 PM on August 27, 2007


This is merely gossip, but I have heard that Graham has a steady partner who lives in DC and that he is therefore unlikely to be caught in any shenanigans.

... Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an unmarried/never married 52 year old with a funny, forced way of walking, has been far more fastidious with his homosexuality. Again, "everyone" knows-- except the voters in conservative South Carolina. ...
posted by amberglow at 9:21 PM on August 27, 2007


a look at who did and didn't run with Blogactive's October outing of Craig (and tons of rationalizations and excuses that don't make sense)--
From Hearsay to Headline: Tracking the Larry Craig Coverage

posted by amberglow at 9:33 PM on August 27, 2007


Editor of Spokesman Review: To those wondering how the press missed this, I have no good answers yet. ...
posted by amberglow at 9:37 PM on August 27, 2007


You know, I'd be careful tapping my feet in the voting booth of any upcoming Republican primaries.
posted by stevis23 at 9:54 PM on August 27, 2007


I swear I had read "Christ" and I was like, wtf, he's gay too????

Jesus Christ, 33 years old, not married. Single, "neat and thin" with polished and clean feet. He was hanging out with 12 single men who were attracted to following his every move ('Not That There Is Anything Wrong With That').

Was Jesus gay? Does it matter?
posted by ericb at 10:12 PM on August 27, 2007


... Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an unmarried/never married 52 year old with a funny, forced way of walking, has been far more fastidious with his homosexuality. Again, "everyone" knows-- except the voters in conservative South Carolina. ...

The funny thing about Graham is that 90% of the time, he's a rock-ribbed conservative, yet his fellow "cons" would throw him to the wolves for that extra 10%, plus his love of manflesh.

Shit, I'd be wickedly thrilled if there was a Dem out there who held 90% of my opinions. I'd vote for them in a millisecond. But theres obviously no pleasing the Repub base. You're either 100% or you're out.
posted by Avenger at 10:14 PM on August 27, 2007


He was hanging out with 12 single men who were attracted to following his every move

Not only that, he bathed with them too. Even let John rest his head on Jesus' chest.
posted by Avenger at 10:16 PM on August 27, 2007


This is merely gossip, but I have heard that Graham has a steady partner who lives in DC and that he is therefore unlikely to be caught in any shenanigans.

I've heard that Graham is sleeping with with Miss Teen South Carolina.
posted by homunculus at 10:49 PM on August 27, 2007


with with

Sorry. I got excited.
posted by homunculus at 11:11 PM on August 27, 2007


Who the hell picks people up in a JC Penney bathroom?

Beck.
posted by bardic at 11:21 PM on August 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


... Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an unmarried/never married 52 year old with a funny, forced way of walking, has been far more fastidious with his homosexuality. Again, "everyone" knows-- except the voters in conservative South Carolina.

I'm sorry, so Lindsay Graham is gay because he's unmarried and walks like he's been fucked in the ass?
posted by b_thinky at 3:34 AM on August 28, 2007


I don't think the anti-gay voters really care if this guy is an R or D. You guys act like it's good for the gay movement to have a GOP senator caught in gay shenanigans. It's not.

In the past couple years you have the Governor of NJ busted for having gay affairs at rest stops, a FL congressmen seducing teenage male pages and an ID senator trying to get some action in a public bathroom stall.

To people who are apt to consider homosexuals perverts, the above examples only embolden their beliefs no matter what party the offender belongs to.
posted by b_thinky at 3:42 AM on August 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


Thanks, gimonca.

J. Edgar Hoover was gay, too.

As far as I know, he was just a closet transvestite, no? The vast majority of transvestites (those who do it for sexual thrills) are heterosexual men.

I don't think the anti-gay voters really care if this guy is an R or D. You guys act like it's good for the gay movement to have a GOP senator caught in gay shenanigans. It's not.


*faint voice* Someone please check outside to see if there are four horsemen riding about. I just agreed with b_thinky. I need a drink.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:56 AM on August 28, 2007


I'm sorry, so Lindsay Graham is gay because he's unmarried and walks like he's been fucked in the ass?

no, he's gay because of all the cocksucking. he's unmarried because of republicans such as hisself, and he walks "like he's been fucked in the ass," as you inferred, because he has.

How many does that make now?

911.
posted by Hat Maui at 3:58 AM on August 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


dirtynumbangelboy writes "As far as I know, he was just a closet transvestite, no? The vast majority of transvestites (those who do it for sexual thrills) are heterosexual men."

He lived with, and was buried with, his number one flunky, Clyde Tolson.
When J. Edgar Hoover died in May, 1972, he left virtually the whole of his estate to his long-time companion. Tolson also took control of Hoover's considerable secret files. Tolson retired from the FBI and according to his friends, that the only time he left the house was to visit Hoover's grave. When Tolson died in April, 1975, it was reported that the FBI agents arrived at his house and removed all these documents. Clyde Tolson is buried with Hoover at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington.
posted by orthogonality at 4:21 AM on August 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


Assuming Jefferson actually wrote a constitution at some point, it's not the one we use in the United States

heh. don't assume. interestingly enough, he did. eleven years before Philadelphia -- and it's very much the stuff at the foundation of the one you use in the United States. no wonder Jefferson later remained in France while Madison in Philadelphia was riffing on Jefferson's key ideas, the Virginia draft and the Declaration of Independence, and sweating out the technical stuff (such as, you know, the three branches of government -- one does not want to diminish Madison's work, obviously). it's sobering to read the Jefferson-Madison letters, where they politely discuss their invention, the United States, the way one would discuss gardening or bird-watching.

it's telling that the main objection of Jefferson's to the Philadelphia work was that the citizen's rights weren't spelled clearly enough.
posted by matteo at 4:29 AM on August 28, 2007 [2 favorites]



In an interview on May 14, Craig told the Idaho Statesman he'd never engaged in sex with a man or solicited sex with a man. The Craig interview was the culmination of a Statesman investigation that began after a blogger accused Craig of homosexual sex in October. Over five months, the Statesman examined rumors about Craig dating to his college days and his 1982 pre-emptive denial that he had sex with underage congressional pages......

The most serious finding by the Statesman was the report by a professional man with close ties to Republican officials. The 40-year-old man reported having oral sex with Craig at Washington's Union Station, probably in 2004.....

In the hourlong May 14 interview, Craig was accompanied by his wife, Suzanne. He specifically and generally denied ever engaging in any homosexual conduct....

"There's a very clear bottom line here," Craig said. "I don't do that kind of thing. I am not gay, and I never have been."
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:45 AM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


More:
"I've been in this business 27 years in the public eye here. I don't go around anywhere hitting on men, and by God, if I did, I wouldn't do it in Boise, Idaho! Jiminy!"
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:46 AM on August 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


Again, "everyone" knows-- except the voters in conservative South Carolina. ..

No, not really. My impression is that Graham's orientation is the same kind of secret that Thurmond's daughter was. Unknown to some, defiantly unremarked on by many, but not really that much of a secret.

Graham has a steady partner who lives in DC and that he is therefore unlikely to be caught in any shenanigans.

Partner of the boyfriend kind, with whom he lives. Which is to say, if what I've heard is true, Graham's unlikely to be caught in some dirty bathroom like some of these guys because he's reached some kind of "Don't ask, don't tell" accommodation between his life and his politics.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:56 AM on August 28, 2007


“What do you think about that?”

My old man’s a senator - what do you think about that?
He wears a senator’s collar, he wears a senator’s rain coat, he wears a senator’s shoes, and every Saturday evening he blows people in a public toilet.
And some da-aay, if I ca-aaan...
...nah. I'd rather be a refrigerator repair man
posted by Smedleyman at 6:59 AM on August 28, 2007 [3 favorites]


'There's a very clear bottom line here,' Craig said.

This shit here sells itself.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:06 AM on August 28, 2007


SINGING, ALL TOGETHER NOW

My old man’s a senator

... got a Senate jimmyhat! He trolls for sex in washrooms, he lives in a Georgetown flat!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:34 AM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Marriage should be between and man and a woman, Craig said. But he said he supports unions between same-sex couples. "You can have a civil union, but you can't commandeer the institution of marriage. That's very special, religious, culturally, and you can't go there."

Last fall, however, after Rogers' report, Craig issued a statement saying he would vote for an amendment to the Idaho Constitution on the November ballot that bans both gay marriage and civil unions.

We can't commandeer the institution of marriage---it's the only cover he has.

Suzanne Craig's eyes reddened and filled with tears as she listened. After her husband's denial, she said, "I'm incensed that you would even consider such a piece of trash as a credible source."
Crocodile tears--and calling people a piece of trash is not nice.

The Statesman followed dozens of leads about alleged sexual partners. Two prevalent rumors swirl around two men who are dead. The Statesman has found no written record of sexual intimacy between those men and Craig. Relatives of those men are dead, unaware of proof to substantiate the rumors, or unreachable.
What kind of proof would there be beyond words?--what written record would there be?

Craig allowed the Statesman to review, but not copy, what he said were an FBI report and a privately administered polygraph from 1982 regarding the page scandal.

Craig did not respond to requests to have the FBI verify the authenticity of the FBI document. Craig also declined to sign a waiver allowing the Statesman to review anything in his FBI file regarding homosexuality. ... Craig requested the interview with the FBI and said reporters had threatened to disclose allegations of homosexuality.

Well, that would have been a written record.

They called him "Mother Craig" for his officiousness.
Mother was good to the last drop, i'll bet.

But I always felt like I was an accessory. I might as well have been his briefcase."

Craig said he did sometimes invite women because a date was expected. But he said he had a serious girlfriend in college; they split over religious differences. He declined to name her.

Since when does an older straight man under suspicion of being gay decline to name women who would prove his heterosexuality? And why is that anonymous woman the only one mentioned as a serious girlfriend between then and his marriage?
posted by amberglow at 7:40 AM on August 28, 2007


an editorial from them too: Our View: Sen. Craig owes Idahoans an explanation
posted by amberglow at 7:42 AM on August 28, 2007


I wonder if he had even told the wife about the arrest at all?
posted by amberglow at 7:46 AM on August 28, 2007


hah! ... Late this evening police authorities confirmed that Craig had indeed appeared to be passing a piece of paper underneath the stall and that this was taken into evidence. The paper is reportedly a series of pictures of a partially nude Vladimir Putin on a fishing trip in Russia.

"The senator now recognizes that he has a problem," stated a Craig staffer, "and for the sake of his wife and his family he has elected to enter a treatment program for his affliction."

The new program called simply, "Promises, Promises" is based in Fort Lauderdale Florida and attempts to treat latent homosexuality through sensory flooding techniques. Former Florida Representative Mark Foley has stepped forward and agreed to be Craig's sponsor throughout the program and upon discharge. ...

posted by amberglow at 7:51 AM on August 28, 2007


Ach! missed the lyric: “he wears a senators’ hat.”
Apologies to the smothers brothers. It’s seppuku again for me.

Been thinking about that gay solicitation/invitation line. The more I hear about stuff like this (and taking b_thinky’s point on the reinforcement of the perversion beliefs) the more it inclines me to reinforce my already fairly strong support of gay marriage.

It occurs to me that there is - in certain quarters - a degree of sexual aggression from homosexuals and I have little doubt that - while assholes come in every shape, color and creed - the repression of the gay community on the social level leads to this type of behavior.

I don’t wish to be tautological and say the people who are apt to respond to social pressure in this way are apt to be the people who do these sorts of things because of social pressure. But if there wasn’t this stigma, people could most likely crap in peace.
I’m thinking also of the firemen who were sexually harrassed during a gay pride parade or some such.
The literal case of that aside (as I’m unclear on the details) why is homosexual sexual harassment of that nature given more concession than heterosexual sexual harassment of the same kind?

Reasonable exceptions of course, but for the most part I think there’s an understanding that there is that social sexual oppression of homosexuality and in order to maintain that state of imbalance, another state of imbalance is tolerated, even encouraged by the facade of indifference.
I suspect the message is that “they’re all animals” (whomever “they” are) and this could likely be applied to (f’rinstance) the Vick case ( look at how much damned harping there is on it - and I agree with the NAACP - not on the facts of the case itself, but the whole “castrate him” and similar messages from certain quarters) et.al.

In short - you need the abhorrant outcast as a counterpoint to your own moral rectitude. S’why (ala’ Lenny Bruce) older Jewish women in the 60’s made such a stink about ‘flashers’ and how strongly they resisted them. It reinforces their identities as ‘good women.’
There always needs to be a Goldstein.

And this conflict can be internalized with positive seeming results. Just as there are types of masochism that belay the negative effects of whipping. I suspect that (and there’s evidence for) this type of mental conflict generates a kind of redemptive aspect when, for example, one is not actually blowing anyone at the time.
One may (in Craigs case) need to feel that attention positive or negative. One must be damned in order to be redeemed.

Dunno if such is the case on the political level as a matter of concrete reality from my cursory knowlege of this instance, but it works in espionage (seducing the opposition and such) and brainwashing, etc.
I figure you could probably do it to yourself (instead of Julia).

And depending on how it plays out - his contrition, but given his manifest shame in the act and the speed with which he was denounced and given the Republican mythos (that homosexuality is an ‘indulgence’ of sin rather than something integral to one’s being whether genetic or whatnot, a concept I deeply oppose - based on my own absolutely straitlaced heterosexuality there’s gotta be, and I’ve spoken with some on MeFi, equivalent homosexuals and to deny their being is to deny my own) - once he’s fully ostracized (as opposed to scapegoated) I’d lay decent odds he’s welcomed back to the fold after a ritual purification of some sort (camp, detox, whatever modern equivalent we have). Albeit without a ‘front desk’ type job.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:03 AM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


And it's Craig's own actions along with his party's that have helped to reinforce us as outcasts and demons, Smedley.
posted by amberglow at 8:08 AM on August 28, 2007


The new program called simply, "Promises, Promises" is based in Fort Lauderdale Florida and attempts to treat latent homosexuality through sensory flooding techniques. Former Florida Representative Mark Foley has stepped forward and agreed to be Craig's sponsor throughout the program and upon discharge. ...

Let's see The Onion beat that!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:11 AM on August 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


Late Late Nite FDL: Pansies, Perverts, and Pedophiles--Can we please as a culture agree stop pretending that Republicans aren’t a bunch of effete pussies? Bill Frist? Hello? He makes Ru Paul look like Dog the Bounty Hunter.

Why won’t anybody call these guys out? Ralph Reed? Lindsay Graham? Even the ones like little Ricky Santorum whose wife spits out babies like a lawn sprinkler have that certain oily, southern-preachery prissiness about them, up to and including President Poppinjay himself. ...

posted by amberglow at 8:19 AM on August 28, 2007


There's more to come--Cillizza at WaPo: As of this writing rumors continued to swirl about other revelations regarding Craig that are set to emerge.
posted by amberglow at 8:22 AM on August 28, 2007


"...why is homosexual sexual harassment of that nature given more concession than heterosexual sexual harassment of the same kind?"

Because the only reason that anyone thinks a solicitation for sex is "harassment" is because they're homophobic. Men being asked for sex by other men, or women, is not a big deal from a social policy/law standpoint for the same reason that discrimination against whites by blacks or against men by women are not big deals from a social policy/law standpoint.

This proves that republicans are "effete pussies"?? Being hit on in the men's room is a deeply disturbing experience?? We're applauding the arrest of gay men in bathrooms??

One of the worst thing about these threads and these scandals as they play out in the press and blogs is that people that should know better reveal their homophobia and gays and activists like amberglow and dirtynumbbangleboy and others ignore the homophobia from the left because they're enjoying the schadenfreude.

As was said by someone else, the hard right and, possibly, sadly, much of the rest of the right, doesn't interpret this stuff as dysfunctional lives that result from the oppression of gays. Rather, this validates their preconceptions that the very essence of being gay means self-hatred and desperately soliciting strangers in men's rooms for sex. This doesn't further gay rights other than getting rid of the self-hating homophobic lawmaker—which is going to happen with or without our cheerleading or encouragement of general homophobic sentiment.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:12 AM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


As was said by someone else, the hard right and, possibly, sadly, much of the rest of the right, doesn't interpret this stuff as dysfunctional lives that result from the oppression of gays. Rather, this validates their preconceptions that the very essence of being gay means self-hatred and desperately soliciting strangers in men's rooms for sex. This doesn't further gay rights other than getting rid of the self-hating homophobic lawmaker—which is going to happen with or without our cheerleading or encouragement of general homophobic sentiment.

They only have those preconceptions because society forces many to go to bathrooms for sex instead of bars. They only have those preconceptions because of hypocritical closetcases like Craig and all the many many many others.

It furthers human rights for all to discredit haters who demonize and legislate against us--especially those who do the very things in secret in bathrooms that they legislate against in Congress.

It's not homophobic to point out who's a closetcase. It's not homophobic to point out the pathetic lives these people lead, and how they hurt the rest of us who live openly.
posted by amberglow at 9:18 AM on August 28, 2007


The people who have those preconceptions would never further gay rights anyway--why are you giving their overt bigotry and prejudice precedence over the real harm done to us? Who gives a shit about them, except that they're the ones who will remove asses like Craig? Idaho is a red state and will remain a red state--the next Senator will be GOP and definitely not a closetcase. He'll probably still legislate against us tho. Our rights are only helped by these things because it points out the utter shameful hypocrisy and lies these people tell daily.

GOP=closetcase now, and that's not something we did, but just one indication of how utterly bankrupt they are.

Would you rather these incidents never come out? That these people continue to harm us? Or is the removal of people who harm us something we should mourn instead of celebrating? WTF?
posted by amberglow at 9:25 AM on August 28, 2007


upon discharge

Fnar, fnar.
posted by Sparx at 9:31 AM on August 28, 2007


"It's not homophobic to point out who's a closetcase. It's not homophobic to point out the pathetic lives these people lead, and how they hurt the rest of us who live openly."

and

"Would you rather these incidents never come out? That these people continue to harm us? Or is the removal of people who harm us something we should mourn instead of celebrating? WTF?"

Either you didn't read me carefully or I wasn't clear. I have mixed feelings about outings, but even those (done by gay rights groups of lawmakers and such who are anti-gay) I'm not claiming are "homophobic".

My point is that when these outings happen, all across the political spectrum, people express homophobic sentiments. The people on the right do, as they always do. And my point about them is that, yes, it's great to get the hypocrites out of positions of power, but it's not proving any points to the right-wing homophobes. You're right about the causes of the behavior we're discussing—and I said the same thing—but my point is that this truth is lost on the right-wing. They just see it as intrinsic to what they think of as the perverted gay lifestyle.

I didn't say I didn't want these things to come out. On balance, I'm very glad they do because it causes the downfall of these hypocrites. But I think a lot of stuff that happens at the same time is not helpful to gay rights. It's not helpful to gay rights that people on our side think it's appropriate to talk about how this proves that the Republicans are all "effete pussies". It's not helpful for our side to implicitly approve legal oppression of gays by the common targeting of gay pick-up areas.

And my criticism of you and others was that you don't speak up against these things. You don't criticize the people in threads like this that make comments that are right-bashing but also implicitly homophobic. You're too caught up in the schadenfreude of the moment.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:41 AM on August 28, 2007


attempts to treat latent homosexuality through sensory flooding techniques

So do they hook your eyelids open and make you watch gay porn while on feel-bad drugs?

Or is the program just "lapdance your way to a straighter you!"?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:06 AM on August 28, 2007


attempts to treat latent homosexuality through sensory flooding techniques

Ah, so it's a frathouse then?
posted by felix betachat at 10:26 AM on August 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


“Because the only reason that anyone thinks a solicitation for sex is "harassment" is because they're homophobic.”

Well, it was a rhetorical question. You would have noted - had you read more closely - the “same kind” language I used. I am strictly speaking of exactly that harrassment.
Using your terms however, I have no argument. I do not consider solicitation for sex within respectful parameters as harassment whatever the sex of the individual asking for it. I would say it is inappropriate to have sex in a public bathroom and disrespectful when other people are present for whomever is involved. To me being hit on in the men’s room is as disturbing as a man hitting on a woman in a unisex bathroom. My assertion is that any difference in those two acts based on the sex of the individuals involved is arbitrary. The act itself is intrusive.

My gist essentially augments your point, the nature of the solicitation comes with those sets of preconceptions. Which are desired and reinforced - exclusively - as a negative example to point up an illusory moral paradigm. (see response to amberglow below)
On a social level, not on the individual level.
On an individual level a drunk gay man once grabbed my dick in a bar and tried to kiss me (in Europe). So it’s perfectly ok for me to do that to a woman then? I can stick my fingers in her pussy and attempt to force my tongue down her throat and it’s not harrassment? Ridiculous. The act is the act regardless.


“And it's Craig's own actions along with his party's that have helped to reinforce us as outcasts and demons, Smedley.”

Exactly. And to further clarify - the social apparatus is setup for such ‘failures’ moral or otherwise on the part of whatever group might be the target. And the redemption serves as validation for the system. Even if one is a member of an outcast group - one can be one of the ‘good’ ones, so long as one is not completely alienated as, say, American Indians or receiving negative attention as Arabs and Muslims and homosexuals.

In Craig’s case tho his losing his way is not a counterpoint to the system but, as you say, a reinforcement of it. Once he abjures his straying from the path, he can be “redeemed.”
Gay sex as a sordid act is a forced tautology. It’s sordid because it’s set up to be sordid (in this case).
From my POV it’s repulsive - I mean that in the most literal and clinical term, not from a judgemental moral perspective. I’m repulsed by it because I’m absolutely heterosexual (and I recognize the opposite - ‘eww, vaginas’). But that’s as far as it goes. It doesn’t have to be anything else, it’s simply not my thing. Ideologically it’s absolutely neutral to me (as is anyone else’s sexuality).
Homosexuality can’t be considered a moral violation if sexuality is an inherent trait just as heterosexuality is not inherently virtuous
(indeed, from a christian religious perspective it’s bound to original sin) It is an affront to my own inherent sexuality to consider it otherwise.

The creation of such a dichotomy however (homosexuality vs. moral rectitude) is necessary to bearing a Republican ideological standard (currently speaking of course).
As long as the homosexual is sullied and villified it validates Republican ideology, or rather, the illusion.
The dichotomy there is illusory because it’s predicated on a non-existent moral failing just as, in counterpoint, there is absolutely zero chance I’d ‘indulge’ in gay sex so any recognition of moral virtue on my part is unearned.

Funly enough, it’s exactly what Craig is asserting. He’s a good man because he’s had an ex who can verify his heterosexuality. (Whuthefu?)
So he’s essentially imitating someone like me. Stable, married, hetero, huge cock (ok, well, that last one I just threw in *cough*).

But suddenly I’m ‘moral’ because I have sex exclusively with women? Well, that’s just how I am. I’d want to have sex with women whether it was considered moral or immoral.
It galls me that someone would applaud me for such a thing. It’s pure condescension that debases true moral action.

Which is what really angers me about Craig. Any ‘redemption’ he recieves is an utter debasement of the true meaning of the word. Any morality in his family is devoid of any real moral action.
It’s all just a show so they can feel better about themselves in the lowest possible denominator much as the skinheads and other ‘race’ based idiots go on about their ‘inherent’ superiority even though they haven’t actually done anything worthwhile.
I’m proud of myself because of what I do, not of who I happen to be. I am, in a very real sense, a redeemed man. And it took, and still takes, great effort on my part to make non-destructive choices. And indeed I’ve made virtuous choices that I can be proud of. Not allowing social equity deprives homosexuals of the possibility to be recognized for similar moral virtue. Such that it become a matter of illicit sex being morally wrong because it is, say, unprotected, not for any inherent being on the part of the parties involved. Only then could someone be judged reasonably and on equal moral footing.
So yeah, Craig is, in that very real sense, playing the spoiler.

The outing itself, what it means to the gay community, etc. I have no opinion on. I don’t think I’m educated enough on the matter to qualify.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:42 AM on August 28, 2007


Muddler: one is at a loss for what exactly to do

I try to be a forgiving, nonviolent person generally, but that constitutes sexual assault during an especially vulnerable, awkward evolution: defecation in a public place. So, I imagine my reflexive response would be some variation on "You'd better be groping blindly for the toilet-paper dispenser, buddy, or you're never leaving this restroom alive."
posted by pax digita at 10:43 AM on August 28, 2007


Ethereal Bligh has a good point. It's similar when Ann Coulter comes up here-- she gets discussed by some members with a level of vitriol that she'd be proud of. It doesn't mean that she or the closeted people who get voted into power by using hateful rhetoric are right, or that they shouldn't be called out for who and what they really are. The trouble is that when an internet thread-mob assembles, some of its members use the same labels that they usually oppose against the target. But it gets a pass since the target is so hateful and hated to begin with. And then we have insult shrapnel.

If the GOP was effete pussies-- literal or figurative-- we wouldn't have some of the problems we do. Instead they're mostly white men, who posture as the perceived heterosexual "electable" social norm while demonizing every other way to be human. I'd breathe easier if a woman, or a man who was comfortable being effeminate, was in a position of power, myself. As long as "effete pussy" is an insult, guys like Larry Craig will continue to be elected instead of women and effete men with more character.
posted by Tehanu at 11:07 AM on August 28, 2007


Let's see The Onion beat that!

You know that Foley thing was a (lame) Daily Kos joke, right? Sometimes it's hard to tell these days.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:44 AM on August 28, 2007


I'd breathe easier if a woman, or a man who was comfortable being effeminate, was in a position of power, myself.

Would you breathe easier if Ann Coulter, Condoleezza Rice, Margaret Thatcher, or Louis XIV were in power, Tehanu?

I understand your argument, but it can lead to the very same mistake you accuse others of - buying into the packaging and not the contents. Whatever the rationalizations, saying that one would prefer a female or comfortably-effete politician is as wrongheaded as saying one would prefer a tall or Jewish one. It's still interpreting the choice as a simple matter of identity and appearance, rather than agenda and principle. A more unorthodox choice of packaging alone does not guarantee that the contents will have integrity.

I agree that our political discourse should not be so brokenly superficial. Yes, the "effete pussy" label shouldn't count against anyone. But then, neither should "straight white male," for precisely the same reasons. The conclusion should be "trust not packaging," not "seek out packaging that appeals to me."
posted by kid ichorous at 11:56 AM on August 28, 2007 [3 favorites]


Larry Craig is going to make a public statement in 15 minutes.

Wonder what he'll say?

1. I didn't do it.

2. I was framed by a Democrat.

3. I did it. I'm sorry to my family and my constituents. I am heading off to rehab immediately and/or I have found Jesus.

4. Blah, blah, blah ...
posted by ericb at 1:16 PM on August 28, 2007


what kid ichorous said.

but my point is that this truth is lost on the right-wing. They just see it as intrinsic to what they think of as the perverted gay lifestyle.
So what? what difference would it possibly make to them how we react to this? how would it change anything about their attitudes? And i'll also add that those of us in the class demonized by him and his ilk are routinely called names, labelled as pedophiles, rampant disease spreaders, perverts, and sissies and fags and beaten as well--let alone the legislation against us everywhere.

The GOP is now calling for an ethics investigation too--they're dumping him.

I bet his statement is to say he's not seeking reelection.
posted by amberglow at 1:30 PM on August 28, 2007


Many GOP Congressmen are personally jarringly at odds with their policy positions and rhetoric. Lindsay Graham, McConnell, McHenry, Santorum, Bush, Gonzales, etc--all effeminate and prissy. It's not false, and it's all the more evident precisely because of the hateful shit that comes out of their mouths, and their hateful actions.
posted by amberglow at 1:33 PM on August 28, 2007


lol! "i am not gay"

he's toast.
posted by amberglow at 1:41 PM on August 28, 2007


The presser is going on now ...

"I didn't do it. I plead guilty in the hope of later having the charge 'go away.' I should have hired an attorney a long time ago. I now have one. *I have been under the stress of articles written about me by the Idaho Statesmen, etc."

He is actually laying blame on the Idaho Statesman and their "with hunt" of him. Un believable.

*- What? And this guy is a U.S. Senator. Pathetic
posted by ericb at 1:43 PM on August 28, 2007


it really is amazing--he pled guilty and was sentenced--but he did nothing???
posted by amberglow at 1:44 PM on August 28, 2007


*pleaded / pled*
posted by ericb at 1:45 PM on August 28, 2007


*witch*
posted by ericb at 1:45 PM on August 28, 2007


"So what? what difference would it possibly make to them how we react to this?"

I was saying two different things. One was that these scandals bring out homophobic rhetoric from our side and that's a Bad Thing that should be opposed and not encouraged. The second was just that any hopes we might have that the right-wingers will correctly interpret this are false hopes. Rather, this sort of thing will only strengthen their homophobia.

So, yes, as I have said about twenty-million times, it's great to see hypocrites like this brought low and it is a good thing for gay rights to get them out of positions of power. But the whole scandal of it doesn't benefit gay rights as much as we think it does because our side acts badly and the other side is even more convinced of the supposed degeneracy of homosexuals.

Not to mention that in this case we're cheering on the routine sorts of gay persecution that are the SOP of many police departments.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:45 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


has any Senator ever hid a conviction like this?
posted by amberglow at 1:47 PM on August 28, 2007


His full statement:
"First, please let me apologize to my family, friends, staff, and fellow Idahoans for the cloud placed over Idaho. I did nothing wrong at the Minneapolis airport. I regret my decision to plead guilty and the sadness that decision has brought to my wife, family, friends, staff, and fellow Idahoans. For that I apologize.

"In June, I overreacted and made a poor decision. While I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct at the Minneapolis airport or anywhere else, I chose to plead guilty to a lesser charge in the hope of making it go away. I did not seek any counsel, either from an attorney, staff, friends, or family. That was a mistake, and I deeply regret it. Because of that, I have now retained counsel and I am asking my counsel to review this matter and to advise me on how to proceed.

"For a moment, I want to put my state of mind into context on June 11. For 8 months leading up to June, my family and I had been relentlessly and viciously harassed by the Idaho Statesman. If you’ve seen today’s paper, you know why. Let me be clear: I am not gay and never have been.

"Still, without a shred of truth or evidence to the contrary, the Statesman has engaged in this witch hunt. In pleading guilty, I overreacted in Minneapolis, because of the stress of the Idaho Statesman’s investigation and the rumors it has fueled around Idaho. Again, that overreaction was a mistake, and I apologize for my misjudgment. Furthermore, I should not have kept this arrest to myself, and should have told my family and friends about it. I wasn’t eager to share this failure, but I should have done so anyway.

"I love my wife, family, friends, staff, and Idaho. I love serving Idaho in Congress. Over the years, I have accomplished a lot for Idaho, and I hope Idahoans will allow me to continue to do that. There are still goals I would like to accomplish, and I believe I can still be an effective leader for Idaho. Next month, I will announce, as planned, whether or not I will seek reelection.

"As an elected official, I fully realize that my life is open for public criticism and scrutiny, and I take full responsibility for the mistake in judgment I made in attempting to handle this matter myself.

"It is clear, though, that through my actions I have brought a cloud over Idaho. For that, I ask the people of Idaho for their forgiveness.

"As I mentioned earlier, I have now retained counsel to examine this matter and I will make no further comment."
posted by ericb at 1:50 PM on August 28, 2007


so he says the newspaper made him go into the bathroom trolling for sex, and made him plead guilty, and made him hide it?
posted by amberglow at 1:51 PM on August 28, 2007


Oh -- and his puppy ate his homework!
posted by ericb at 1:54 PM on August 28, 2007


The Real Tragedy Behind Craig's arrest: The Death of The Singing Senators
posted by homunculus at 1:54 PM on August 28, 2007


and the newspaper never ran the story at all, until just now.
posted by amberglow at 2:01 PM on August 28, 2007


the newspaper covered up for him for all these months--they did the opposite of a witchhunt!
posted by amberglow at 2:04 PM on August 28, 2007


Here's the Idaho Statesman coverage so far.

It's war. Craig versus the Idaho Statesman.

"Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel." -- Mark Twain.
posted by ericb at 2:10 PM on August 28, 2007 [3 favorites]


routine sorts of gay persecution that are the SOP of many police departments

are you saying that's what happened in this case?

care to back that up? i can't believe i'm in the position of defending police departments, but i'm highly dubious of this assertion.

have you never been to a bathroom or other venue where this type of activity goes on? while it's not the worst thing in the world, certainly, it is not something that a person should be subjected to when they are merely trying to use the facility, and as such, there should be societal attempts to stop it. police departments do lots of bad things, but preventing "innocent" homosexuals from soliciting sex in public places is not one of them.

as for the homophobic rhetoric/schadenfreude issue, while i tend to agree that it could be perceived as unseemly, my sense is more that it exemplifies the different rules for in-group language usage. it's perfectly acceptable for homosexuals to use whatever language they wish with regard to homosexuality. similarly, on some level, it's more acceptable for a non-homosexual supporter of homosexual rights to make jokes or use course language, to the extent that it's obvious that it doesn't come from a hateful place like it does on the homo-vilifying republican side.

take an example like lisa lampanelli -- she's an insult comic, and i've seen her live and on television many times. if she really hated queers or blacks or mexicans, that would come through in her performance and she wouldn't have a career. but people intuit that her actual attitudes are the furthest thing from hateful, so she can say the things she does and get laughs. if there was any hint of hate behind what she says, she'd have a very different kind of career.

and i think the right gets lambasted as a bunch of "effete pussies" in instances like this because it's so remarkable that they can be who they are while purporting to be tough and manly and the big daddy party of security and protection and walking tall. when they're found out to be total ponces, indeed, when they present themselves as such (lindsey graham), it's so ridiculous and outrageous that it warrants the language of ridicule. that's all i think is going on in this thread, not a bunch of secretly homophobic liberals just waiting for opportunities like this to bash fags.
posted by Hat Maui at 2:10 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


And this is the 2000-word article published today in the Statesman -- Men's room arrest reopens questions about Sen. Larry Craig.
posted by ericb at 2:12 PM on August 28, 2007


BTW -- he was arrested on June 11. He pleaded 'guilty' on August 8. He has been tryping to give the impression that he panicked and in retrospect made the wrong decision to plead guilty. Sorry, honey, your decision to plead 'guilty' took over a month for you to decide to do so. And, apparently, you didn't tell anyone nor seek legal counsel.
posted by ericb at 2:18 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Shorter Ethereal Bligh: When a gay-bashing senator turns out to enjoy cock-sucking, the real issue is that we maintain our high level of decorum and political correctness.

I don't see it. That some people go off the deep end with glee seems to be fairly predictable. The context here is that yet another Republican politician is brought low practicing what he's been preaching against for decades. IMO, there's plenty of (justified) reason for gloating. There's also a larger sense that politicians who want to tell you how to conduct your personal life are hypocritical scum-bags, a priori.

Seems like a win-win to me.
posted by bardic at 2:21 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


The thing is: When you're spending so much time thinking about how much you hate gay sex, you are in fact thinking about gay sex itself; and if you think about it long enough, you're going to realize that it's damn fun!
posted by troybob at 2:28 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Larry Craig's first words to the assembled press at his news conference this afternoon: "Thank you all for coming out today." (Emphasis added.)

Just a tin ear, or is he a master of irony?
posted by orthogonality at 2:33 PM on August 28, 2007 [2 favorites]



Let me be clear: I am not gay and never have been.

posted by matteo at 2:34 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Shorter Allen: "I'm not gay, but the black dudes forced me to suck cock!"

Shorter Craig: "I'm not gay, but the hometown newspaper forced me to suck cock!"

I'm taking bets on the next "_________ forced me to suck cock!" when the next high-ranking Republican is (inevitably) caught in a public toilet by a Vice officer.

Liberal bloggers?

Liberal media?

Cindy Sheehan?

illegal immigrants?

cartesian dualism?
posted by Avenger at 2:57 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


amberglow: So what? what difference would it possibly make to them how we react to this? how would it change anything about their attitudes?

Ethereal Bligh: ...any hopes we might have that the right-wingers will correctly interpret this are false hopes. Rather, this sort of thing will only strengthen their homophobia.

One of the negative consequences of the downfall of a Ted Haggard, for example, is that it leaves the distinct impression that it is homosexuality, and not deception, that has devastated a marriage and a political career. By watching a sex scandal (rightly or wrongly) grind someone into the ground, most people embrace the wrong explanation, the morality tale - that sex is something destructive once let out of the bottle.

It's not about that, of course. It's about a lie coming to fruition.

So, as for our reactions to it, I think it's helpful to call these people liars and not perverts wherever applicable. After all, is Idaho really afraid of Joe Congressman the homosexual cruiser, bathroom menace extraordinaire? Or is it more afraid of entrusting its legislative process to seasoned liars? I think most of them could get it.
posted by kid ichorous at 3:00 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


I love how Romney took the opportunity to invoke Bill Clinton's name in talking about this. No scandal can be so remote that Clinton can't share the blame for it. I'm curious to know when Romney found out, though; did he find it 'disgusting' only because it hit the press?
posted by troybob at 3:01 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Best part of his statement was the opener:

"Thank you all very much for coming out today."

Yes, I'm 12.


Meanwhile, now that he's declared he's not a gay American, his previous flings are really going to start coming out of the woodwork now, aren't they? What a schmuck.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:03 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Larry, now that you've left the Romney campaign, maybe you can ask Mitt to get you autographed copies of the new 2008 Former Mormon Missionaries Beefcake Pin-up Calendar, as a parting gift!
posted by ericb at 3:04 PM on August 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


“Idaho in Congress. Over the years, I have accomplished a lot for Idaho, and I hope Idahoans will allow me to continue to do that. There are still goals I would like to accomplish, and I believe I can still be an effective leader for Idaho.”

That there is the crux of the problem. If we take him at his word - if, f’rinstance, he’s a crackerjack leader and he does everything well and performs in a stellar manner, etc. - why does it matter at all that he’s gay? Or not? Now, it would matter to me that he’s soliciting anyone for sex in an illegal manner (given - as concession to Ethereal Bligh’s point the execution of the law is not persecution in some form) or indeed doing anything illegal.
But it’s interesting that he appeals to that form of argument now when he argued against it in the Clinton impeachment. The moral relativism there is obvious - the shame and guilt and such lay the conditions so that a gay guy like Craig has to repress his feelings and sneak around and get bent up like this - which is then used as an example of the perversion of homosexuals and why they’re poor leaders. Horse manure.
If it wasn’t set up the way it was maybe he’d be married to some guy, but maybe have the same set of fiscal and (to a lesser degree obviously) social concerns and be as good (or bad) a leader as he was when he was elected.
And yet now he’s clinging to that instead of the “lie is bad for the future of the country” crap he had during the Clinton impeachment.
I truly hate this identification with party/person/etc. that impedes adhering to principle.
As far as the papers go - if he wasn’t charged and there’s no evidence it’s tough to go around allowing accusations.
But it is funny how people react when they’re accused of being a homosexual in the media. It’s a real bellwhether. I’d love to see a response:
“Senator - Joe Blow said you are gay.”
“Yeah? So?”
“Well...are you?”
“No. But that’s none of your business.”
“But Joe Blow said you were.”
“Yeah, well, I’m not. But it doesn’t really matter to any of my campaign platform or issues so I don’t really care.”
“You don’t care if people say you’re gay.”
“Not at all. My sexual life is only the business of my wife and myself.”
“But...do you support gay marriage?”
“Yes, I do, because it’s discriminatory to segregate part of our population.”
“Um....you’re so gay, shut up.”

At some point the hate and (self?) loathing becomes self-evident in the drive to marginalize a certain segment of the population whether based on religion, skin color, ethnicity, whatever. It’s not consistent (and in Craig’s case not even self-consistent) and it certainly isn’t based on any principle.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:04 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


2008 Men On A Mission Calendar available at MormonsExposed.com.
posted by ericb at 3:09 PM on August 28, 2007


I'm taking bets on the next "_________ forced me to suck cock!"

Hillary?

Obama?

Osama?

Al Qaeda?
posted by ericb at 3:13 PM on August 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


That there is the crux of the problem. If we take him at his word - if, f’rinstance, he’s a crackerjack leader and he does everything well and performs in a stellar manner, etc. - why does it matter at all that he’s gay?

One of the first questions asked of Craig as he left the podium was: "Come out. Even if you're 'gay' what does it matter?" He obviously didn't respond to that or any other questions asked of him.
posted by ericb at 3:16 PM on August 28, 2007


So, as for our reactions to it, I think it's helpful to call these people liars and not perverts wherever applicable.
Except that trolling for sex in public bathrooms, besides being illegal-- and exciting and dangerous --is really perverted. It's a perverted response to being in the closet, and an anachronism too. If people want to go there for sex, they take a great and omnipresent risk--and also rarely practice safe sex at all.

Bathroom sex and reststop/truckstop sex, etc--all the province of the closet, and for the most part exclusively so.

There are tons of online sites for hookups, and tons and tons of clubs, bars, groups, organizations, bathhouses, bookstores, etc--tons and tons of places to go have sex or meet people to have sex later.

I say this as someone who's done it but found it weird when there are so many millions of other opportunities to hook up without so much danger. Even sex on the street or in an alley is safer than bathroom sex--and especially bathrooms in highly patrolled and policed places like airports post-9/11.
posted by amberglow at 3:40 PM on August 28, 2007


Perverted is fun sometimes, but it's still perverted. : >
posted by amberglow at 3:43 PM on August 28, 2007


It's even more perverse when you consider he's not a nobody but a very public figure on the national stage for decades. He was playing with fire for a very very long time.
posted by amberglow at 3:46 PM on August 28, 2007


also, that whole Senate business card thing--was he using that as a "get out of jail free" card--over and over? did it work in the past? how many times?
posted by amberglow at 3:48 PM on August 28, 2007


i really wonder how many times the Idaho police caught him and let him off over the decades?
posted by amberglow at 3:56 PM on August 28, 2007


“Perverted is fun sometimes, but it's still perverted”

Sometimes?
Seriously - yeah, the lousy part is that it’s dangerous and all the baggage you mentioned. I think part of the denial is not making it easy on yourself. It’d really suck if I had to go through all that as a heterosexual.
And I really don’t get how people don’t see that approval - tacit or otherwise - of this kind of oppression cuts both ways (hell, a number of ways). Today it’s Craig, tomorrow it could be me. For no reason other than my particular kink or pleasure - even basic cunnilingus, say - can fall out of taste (no pun int’d). The hell with that, this crap has to stop.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:09 PM on August 28, 2007


Today it’s Craig, tomorrow it could be me.
But it's Craig's own actions in public in Congress and in the media that help make his own being arrested in a public bathroom much more likely. That he wasn't aware of how his own demonization -- of himself -- would come back to bite him in the ass by raising the stakes is astounding. That's the difference between you or me and Craig and his ilk--we're not advocating against what we ourselves do. All these Republican closetcases think that being publicly and loudly antigay protects them, but it hurts them even more.
posted by amberglow at 4:27 PM on August 28, 2007


Mitch McConnell has called for the ethics investigation against Craig--he's shaking inside, no doubt, but thinks this will shield him against the same sort of trouble.
posted by amberglow at 4:33 PM on August 28, 2007


Perhapsthis should be on AxeMe rather than the blue, but here goes anyway: how exactly do these closeted gay Republicans find these spots to go cruising anyway? Are all public restrooms this cruisy and I'm just too much of a clueless breeder to see what is really going on? Are there signs like a hobo sign or something (though I suppose in this case they might be called homo signs)? Is there some sort of hetero equivalent to this that I am equally blind to? How exactly does a guy go about locating the local glory holes when on the road?

Really, I'm not joking, I'm always facinated by these stories when they crop up, especially places I've been (for example the bathrooms at Union Station in DC as mentioned above) and I was completely clueless that the guy at the urinal beside me wasn't just tapping his foot to the great tune on his iPod. [Not cruising]
posted by Pollomacho at 4:33 PM on August 28, 2007


amberglow - I can see how you could call it perverse. And it's definitely reckless behavior. But I'm not sure that it's particularly dangerous to society. Or, more accurately - what this guy does occultly in bathroom stalls doesn't seem nearly as antisocial as what he does on C-SPAN.

Speaking of perverts, I'm off to the sensory deprivation tank with my Susan Sontag realdoll.
posted by kid ichorous at 4:34 PM on August 28, 2007


"Except that trolling for sex in public bathrooms, besides being illegal-- and exciting and dangerous --is really perverted. It's a perverted response to being in the closet, and an anachronism too."

Oh, bullshit. So only gays like you who have gay sex like you are deserving of civil rights and respect. The rest of those fags...they're fucking perverts.

Unfuckingbelievable. You've shown your true colors today. I'm reminded of an Uncle Tom who cheers on the police as they hose down the Black Panthers who fail to comform to how society—and respectable Negroes—expect the "good" Negro to behave.

Goddamn, your attitude drips of privilege. Have you forgotten your Stonewall history? Not everyone is comfortably out, not everyone lives where there are more conventional places for gays to hook-up, not everyone has a computer and an Internet connection. People still hook-up in bathrooms and parks and wherever and it may be seedy, but that's a big part of gay American history and it continues to be a big part of gay American culture. And the police have always focused on those places to attack gays. They've always used entrapment tactics and they've always justified it on the same basis that people are justifying it here: that it's supposedly icky and a public nuisance.

Well, you know, it's never particularly alarmed me when a gay has hit on me in somewhere, even in a men's room. I don't respond, or I say I'm not interested. Is it that difficult? No. Does it threaten my heterosexuality, as it apparently does some here? No. Does this tiny, insignificant inconvenience justify a police patrol that entraps gays who solicit sex, gays who for whatever reason feel that this is the only outlet for the sexuality—gays who are arrested, often publicly humiliated, and often lose their jobs just because, supposedly, some person somewhere felt some discomfort when he was propositioned in the men's room? No, it does not. And, at root, it's not about that anyway. It's about criminalizing behavior that people think is perverted. And here you are, amberglow, using that very same word, calling gay sex in a bathroom "perverted".

"Shorter Ethereal Bligh: When a gay-bashing senator turns out to enjoy cock-sucking, the real issue is that we maintain our high level of decorum and political correctness."

No. Fucking pay attention. When a gay-bashing Senator turns out to enjoy cocksucking, a sad and counterproductive byproduct of the resulting scandal is that people all across the political spectrum, including those who claim to support gay rights, allow themselves to engage in blatantly homophobic rhetoric. Homophobic rhetoric should be opposed, always. Refusing to tolerate this has nothing to do with decorum. It has everything to do with opposing the bigotry we claim to be opposing.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:01 PM on August 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


Pollomacho, check out www.squirt.org, as mentioned above. EXTREMELY NSFW (unless you work in gay porn).

kid ichorous, you're a sick fuck :P
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:03 PM on August 28, 2007


Sympathy for a Hypocrite
posted by chunking express at 5:04 PM on August 28, 2007


how exactly do these closeted gay Republicans find these spots to go cruising anyway? Are all public restrooms this cruisy and I'm just too much of a clueless breeder to see what is really going on? Are there signs like a hobo sign or something
There used to be real glory holes inbetween stalls all over the place (actual cutout/gouged-out holes)--now it's more subtle. Everyone pretty much knows about it--it's really a thing you see only if you're looking to see it, i think. Most people who just want to pee or shit don't even look at other people.

Most people ignore the signs, and ignore the guys loitering and cruising in and outside of bathrooms and highway rest areas/truckstops.

Obviously that airport bathroom was popular, since there had already been complaints, and the undercover cops knew to be there. They usually don't bother with setting up stings like that unless there's real reason to, especially nowadays.
posted by amberglow at 5:04 PM on August 28, 2007


it's so cute that Brits call it "cottaging"
posted by amberglow at 5:06 PM on August 28, 2007


Yeah, uh, amberglow?

There's nothing wrong with being perverted. Fly your freak flag! It's just that your (generic 'your') right to be a freak ends where my right to enjoy a private shit begins.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:12 PM on August 28, 2007


completely unsurprising: Hannity Ignores Stories On Gonzales’ Resignation, Sen. Craig’s Arrest--...The show’s silence contrasts with the eight segments (on 3/31, 4/3, 4/4, 4/5, 4/6, 4/7, 4/10, 4/19) it did in a one-month period in 2006 on the arrest of former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who punched a Capitol police officer when he “mistakenly pursued her for failing to pass through a metal detector.” ...
posted by amberglow at 5:26 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


hahaha ... what a joke. "I am not gay" ... he's also proven he's not a man - who can stand up and admit his mistakes for the good of his family and state. more disgusting republicon hypocrisy.
posted by specialk420 at 5:41 PM on August 28, 2007


edited (for the children?) transcript of the Union Station/Craig "encounter"
posted by amberglow at 5:46 PM on August 28, 2007


so it's clear that you've never found yourself in a designated anonymous gay sex location, EB, or else you'd understand it's not so simple.

these places are public nuisances, and people complain about them. are you saying that it should be a free for all? are you saying that we should live and let live when it comes to anonymous bathroom/truck stop sex?

as much as i hate the "what about the children" argument, well, what about the fucking children? should a boy who's going to use a bathroom in a rest stop have to deal with other people having or soliciting gay sex? for that matter, should anyone?

i think not. the reason that craig was busted for what seemed like so little is that these hookup locations have their own codified and known practices, due to, as amberglow said, their nature as an outlet for the closeted. in a place that's a known anonymous gay sex location, a foot tapping isn't innocent. putting your hand under the stall isn't innocent. it's a language, and participants (and cops) know exactly what it means.

seriously, EB, you act like it's no big deal or it only happens on occasion at these locations, or that you wouldn't be bothered, but the reality is far different, i think.
posted by Hat Maui at 5:47 PM on August 28, 2007


I was kind of stunned to find out that it's illegal to have sex in public bathrooms. What kind of brave new world is this? If you ban sex in bathrooms, then only outlaws will have... sexy bathrooms!
posted by mek at 6:25 PM on August 28, 2007


speaking of that-- i wasn't listening closely, but i think Tucker Carlson just said on MSNBC that someone came on to him in a Georgetown bathroom, and that he beat them.
posted by amberglow at 6:25 PM on August 28, 2007


You know who else got arrested in a public bathroom?
posted by mek at 6:30 PM on August 28, 2007


"The senator now recognizes that he has a problem," stated a Craig staffer, "and for the sake of his wife and his family he has elected to enter a treatment program for his affliction."

[weeps]

For the sake of himself and everyone he loves, he should face the truth: he is as gay as Dan Savage.

attempts to treat latent homosexuality through sensory flooding techniques.

That sounds like the"smoke 'em all, and smoke 'em all at once 'til you puke, kid" technique for curing teenagers of smoking.

Craig's gonna find himself sucking on a big ol' endless bucket o' cocks.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:35 PM on August 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


... Perhaps there is no greater comparison between the stability of being comfortable with who you are and the self-denial and self-hatred of the closet. It's not just the "old" gay culture of anonymous sexual encounters vs. the "new" gay culture of monogamy; it's self-loathing vs. self-affirmation.
posted by amberglow at 6:38 PM on August 28, 2007


CREW: Did Republicans’ take different approach to Vitter and Craig ethics complaints because of gay sex factor in Craig's case?
posted by amberglow at 6:40 PM on August 28, 2007


...newly released court documents - signed by Craig on Aug. 8 - show that the senator's plea included his admission that he had engaged in conduct which he "knew or should have known tended to arouse alarm or resentment" from others. This statement, given to the Hennepin County District Court which handled the case, appears to contradict Craig's statement Monday that he did not engage in "any inappropriate conduct" and that the undercover police officer was "misconstruing my actions." ...
posted by amberglow at 6:42 PM on August 28, 2007


Boise on the Side ; >
posted by amberglow at 6:47 PM on August 28, 2007


They only have those preconceptions because society forces many to go to bathrooms for sex instead of bars.

Pray tell, how does that work, then? Forces them to the bathrooms?

Hey, EB: You're right about how the social liberals should be called on their shit. You are dead wrong about appropriate toilet behaviours. No one should be hitting on people who are shitting.

You're sitting there with pants around your ankles, a big turd dropping out, and some fuck-up starts invading your space? That just ain't legit no way, no how. People get killed for lesser offenses.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:55 PM on August 28, 2007


Miss South Carolina's Statement on Larry Craig.
posted by ericb at 7:21 PM on August 28, 2007


Ethereal Bligh, as usual you protesteth too much. Sure there's gloating here, but most of it goes hand-in-hand with the larger issue -- yet another right-wing hypocrite is busted, and yet again people have a chance to wake up and realize that those who shriek the loudest about morality are often the ones breaking their own rules and dictums. (And nine times out of ten, they're Republicans. That's just a fact these days.)

But you're trying to grind your axe against amberglow, so I shouldn't try and distract you from that. But really, you're pretty unhinged on this one, as usual.
posted by bardic at 7:21 PM on August 28, 2007


amberglow writes "'The senator now recognizes that he has a problem,' stated a Craig staffer, 'and for the sake of his wife and his family he has elected to enter a treatment program for his affliction.'"

Err, that's satire from a fake news site.
posted by orthogonality at 7:25 PM on August 28, 2007


Blurb from local weekly City Pages regarding why local media missed such a scoop for 3 months.
posted by gimonca at 7:37 PM on August 28, 2007


Aha. The bridge collapse happened just before the plea. No wonder it fell through the cracks. I was wondering why everyone in Minneapolis seemed asleep at the switch. Thanks gimonca.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:10 PM on August 28, 2007


Does this mean Craig engineered the bridge collapse?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:52 PM on August 28, 2007


A Scandal-Scarred G.O.P. Asks, ‘What Next?’
posted by ericb at 10:01 PM on August 28, 2007


55% in Idaho Say U.S. Senator Larry Craig Should Resign

Job Approval for Craig down 26 Points to 34%

posted by amberglow at 11:10 PM on August 28, 2007


... "This is all a terrible misunderstanding. The Senator is a bus station man."

"He was with me in Provincetown at the time."

"He doesn't need to cruise bathrooms to find guys."

"Oh, no she didn't!" ...
--(Jonah Goldberg, no less)
posted by amberglow at 11:27 PM on August 28, 2007


Here’s the question: why does the Republican Party recruit and promote so many closeted gay men?-- ... Closeted gay Republicans serve a very important function in the GOP ecosystem. The GOP likes to put them in key positions where they can be trusted to hold the party together among warring factions, putting a face on the party to promote the party without promoting themselves at anyone else’s expense. If they ever fail to perform the assigned function, well, secrets have a way of finding daylight when the people who keep them need to keep a man in line. ...
posted by amberglow at 11:57 PM on August 28, 2007


oi, ericb, that times article you posted has this steamer right in the middle:

Republicans, of course, do not have an exclusive hold on scandal. As Democrats accused Republicans of engaging in a “culture of corruption” during the 2006 midterm elections, Republicans eagerly put the spotlight on Representative William J. Jefferson, the Louisiana Democrat who stashed $90,000 in his freezer — ill-gotten gains, the authorities said.

such weak-ass on-the-other-hand-ism. the republican party is essentially imploding, and this dipshit reporter feels the need to bring up the ol' cash in the freezer. pathetic.
posted by Hat Maui at 12:25 AM on August 29, 2007


I was going to stay out of this thread, but I was reading the Beeb and I guess Craig was with the Rommy campaign at one point... well lets just cut to the chase "Mr Romney said the senator had disappointed the American people, adding that his conduct reminded him of former President Bill Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky."
bwhahahah, they STILL are trying to shift everything to Clinton, nothing like comparing consensual oral sex with solicitation of anonymous sex.
posted by edgeways at 12:39 AM on August 29, 2007


Romney that is
posted by edgeways at 12:41 AM on August 29, 2007


Roll Call, a Washington newspaper, broke the story Monday after spending a week pursuing an anonymous tip, finding it difficult to unearth the records from the airport bureaucracy, said John McArdle, the reporter who wrote the story.
- The Statesman.

Love to know who that tipster was....
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:25 AM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


A Scandal-Scarred G.O.P. Asks, ‘What Next?’

There are currently 13 conservatives in Congress caught up in corruption and/or sex scandals so far this year.
posted by ericb at 9:38 AM on August 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Major Darryl Tolleson, Atlanta Police Dept. on sex in public restrooms in Atlanta: 'You would think that it would be a gay issue but more and more, overwhelmingly, we're seeing that these are people with families.' That's the key information in this story - it's the ashamed closet cases that are the problem."*
posted by ericb at 9:44 AM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


I guess Craig was with the Rommy campaign at one point...
He was their liaison to the whole Senate, campaignwise. (He was also the 4th most important GOP Senator for a long time)

The White House now is chiming in too--they're "disappointed".

GOP Runs Away from Craig
posted by amberglow at 10:06 AM on August 29, 2007


Compare and contrast to the treatment and support of Vitter--the diaper prostitute GOP Senator.
posted by amberglow at 10:07 AM on August 29, 2007


The Forced Freeing of Gay Men from the Republican Closet
The GOP's Outed All-Stars

posted by amberglow at 10:09 AM on August 29, 2007


Photo Gallery: A Brief History of Bathroom Busts.
posted by ericb at 10:23 AM on August 29, 2007


Craig reacted to arrest by trying to keep it a secret, but reporter got anonymous tip
"...[Criag] also acknowledged that he had told no one about his June 11 arrest, when an undercover police officer said Craig made sexual advances toward him in a men's room at the Minneapolis airport.

But 11 days later, on June 22, Craig revisited the Minneapolis airport to complain about how he'd been treated by police and ask for someone with whom his lawyer could speak, according to police records.

...Until the news of his arrest came out Monday in a Washington, D.C., political newspaper, Craig told no one, not even Senate leaders.

Court and arrest records released Tuesday show that Craig negotiated his plea over the telephone, then signed and returned it to the courts in the mail, much like a traffic ticket.

In his plea, signed and dated Aug. 1, but not recorded until Aug. 8, Craig agreed that by handling the matter through the mail, he was giving up a trial and his right to be present at the time of sentencing.

Judge Gary Larson, who handled Craig's case in Hennepin County, would not comment on the senator's plea. A spokesman for the judge told McClatchy Newspapers that since Craig remains on probation, Larson considers the case open and doesn't consider it ethical to discuss what happened until the case is fully resolved."
So, contrary to his claim yesterday that he didn't have counsel back in June, it is now clear that he was "lawyered-up" soon after the arrest.
posted by ericb at 10:41 AM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


That photo gallery link ericb posted is one of the most worthless things I've seen in a long time. Someone should be fired for it.

Also, Garance Franke-Ruta writes:
Why, then, do police continue to act as though it [ed: soliciting gay sex] is? Because of the long and only-recently ended practice of firm legal discrimination against gay people. Until 2001, consensual sodomy was a crime in Minnesota, meaning that it was only six years ago that gay people in that state stopped being treated by the letter of the law as, quite literally, outlaws and criminals.

Meanwhile, in Idaho, the state Sen. Larry Craig has represented in Congress since 1981, consensual sodomy was a felony punishable as a “crime against nature” by five years to life in prison until 2003, when the Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that a similar statute in Texas was unconstitutional, thus striking down the state’s law. From 1996 until then, the state sex offender registry was written so as to add those convincted of even consensual sodomy to the sex offender rolls for life.

Until the sodomy laws were struck down by the Supreme Court, solicitation of sodomy was a crime in many of the states that had sodomy laws, and it was this “solicitation for sodomy” provision that allowed men who sought sex from other men to be targeted for arrest by police in, for example, public restrooms, under circumstances where there was no money or coercion involved.
She later agrees that the charge against him is peeping, which requires a sexual intent to be proven. The sexual signaling provided that proof. So, technically, he wasn't arrested for soliciting sex, he was arrested for peeping, and a mere solicitation wouldn't, in theory, be sufficient for an arrest. However, the point I've been making and which Franke-Ruta makes is that whatever they charge someone with is opportunistic—the basic thing is that they want to prosecute homosexuals for having gay sex and these are good places to do so, and always have been.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:56 AM on August 29, 2007


But they're not good places to do so--not anymore. They never were.

They were once the only places to do so.
posted by amberglow at 11:27 AM on August 29, 2007


I think he means they are good places to do (find subjects for) the prosecuting, not to do the hooking-up.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:43 AM on August 29, 2007


What Kirth said.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:47 AM on August 29, 2007


wouldn't they have to be both?
posted by amberglow at 11:48 AM on August 29, 2007


No. Even when sodomy was still illegal, it was much more difficult to target gays for prosecution when you don't have easy access to where they are having sex. Even if only a small minority of gays have sex in public places, it's an ideal place to persecute them because, as we've seen in this thread, even those normally sympathetic to gays have a hard time defending gays who have sex in public.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:58 AM on August 29, 2007


it was much more difficult to target gays for prosecution when you don't have easy access to where they are having sex.
No, it was always much easier to prosecute those who act inappropriately in public places--straight or gay. It's related to all obscenity and exposure and lewd conduct laws.

Prosecution of us was even always much easier as compared to straight people doing stuff in public, tho--because of the closet and the dire consequences of being outed publicly, and because we lacked other places to meet men (and most if not all newspapers printed the names of people arrested for this stuff)
posted by amberglow at 12:13 PM on August 29, 2007


...From the very beginning, tearooms fell under police scrutiny. The first arrests in Manhattan occurred soon after the opening of public facilities in 1896. To circumvent arrest, one man would often remain outside the restroom as a lookout, warning those inside if a policeman was approaching. An arrest could ruin a man's life: When newspapers published the names and addresses of those arrested, men lost families, jobs, and housing.

More intricate surveillance techniques soon came into use. In 1920 in Boise, the men's room at one downtown building, the Boise Valley Traction Company, was a popular tearoom. During the summer of that year, the management hired one of its employees to spy through a hole in the men's room ceiling. His surveillance resulted in the arrest and conviction of two men, who were sentenced to five years each in the Idaho State Prison.

Entrapment was another method for policing tearoom sex. As early as the 1910s in New York, plainclothes officers entered park toilets and subway washrooms, pretending to be cruising for sex. In some cases, police decoys blackmailed men for hush money. In the early 1960s, a man in St. Louis admitted that he had made eight such payoffs to undercover cops, ranging in amount from $60 to $300 each, in order to avoid arrest. ...

posted by amberglow at 12:24 PM on August 29, 2007


an interesting collection about it: Public Sex/Gay Space
posted by amberglow at 12:28 PM on August 29, 2007


like highway speedtraps, or other honeypots of all kinds, public bathrooms have always been easy arrests and prosecutions.
posted by amberglow at 12:31 PM on August 29, 2007


tons of related stuff from Gay New York (google books pages)
posted by amberglow at 12:38 PM on August 29, 2007


McCain and Coleman both just called for Craig's resignation. (it's that "live boy or dead girl" thing)
posted by amberglow at 12:44 PM on August 29, 2007


and now he's thrown off all his Senate Committees. He's gone.
posted by amberglow at 12:57 PM on August 29, 2007


...Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan all said Craig should give up his seat in Congress. ...

Needless to say, not one said Vitter should resign.
posted by amberglow at 1:03 PM on August 29, 2007


Tucker Carlson: He-man
posted by amberglow at 1:13 PM on August 29, 2007


Susie Bright--... The GOP Narcissists aren't the exception to the rule— they ARE the rule. They personify the very sexuality they campaign against. If they vote against gays, we know they're queer. If they're hopped up about "child porn," we can guess their internet habits. If they hold up monogamous marriage as a Christian ideal, we know they're adulterous, blasphemous fools. ...
posted by amberglow at 1:32 PM on August 29, 2007


“even those normally sympathetic to gays have a hard time defending gays who have sex in public.” - Ethereal Bligh

I dunno EB, if the sexiest woman on Earth offered herself to me while I’m on the pot with 1/2 a turd hanging out of my ass, I’d pretty much turn her down. That’s not to dispute your point about persecution but to recognize that the reason for such laws aren’t solely to go after gays. Can it be used as such? Sure. But y’know, Charlize Theron sticks her head in the stall when I’m crapping, I’m going to knock her out.

“All these Republican closetcases think that being publicly and loudly antigay protects them, but it hurts them even more.”

Agreed. But not addressing the actions, just the anti-gay fanaticism.
(point you made tho)

Funny thing about the Tucker Carlson b.s. - in the military there are loads of stories about beating the crap out of gays or t.v.s posing as girls, etc. Happened to a buddy I was hanging out with. I’m not into hookers so he went of with one that was, to my less drunken eyes, a bit mannish. Well, a lot of times the pros like to rip off drunk young servicemen so I kept an eye on him. The story back at the base is the hooker lifted up the skirt and there’s a set of jewels and he pounded the crap out of her- him whatever, etc. etc. etc. Usual story. Fill in whatever stereotype you like. But pretty much he got his dick out (I suspect, I was around the corner) and stuck his hand under the pro’s skirt. All I heard was “Oh...you’re a dude? Awww....” and he came shuffling around the corner with his pants 1/2 off, pulled them up, we got a cab and split.
There’s no percentage in actually fighting with those folks, I mean they’re probably packed (t.v. whores I mean, not homosexuals in general of course), if they’re not they’ve got back up (pimps, other pros) and hell, what if you lose?
posted by Smedleyman at 1:44 PM on August 29, 2007


Funny thing about the Tucker Carlson b.s. ...
The rightwing has called Tucker a fag for decades--he obviously feels he needs to prove something. Admitting to bashing someone, and having the others just laugh about it is sick.
posted by amberglow at 1:50 PM on August 29, 2007


Craig stripped from Senate committee assignments.

Larry, starting packing your bags. They're not gonna' vote you off the island, but there gonna' make it so goddam unpleasant for ya,' you'll wanna high-tail it outta there yourself in a week or two.
posted by ericb at 1:55 PM on August 29, 2007


I dunno EB, if the sexiest woman on Earth offered herself to me while I’m on the pot with 1/2 a turd hanging out of my ass, I’d pretty much turn her down. That’s not to dispute your point about persecution but to recognize that the reason for such laws aren’t solely to go after gays. Can it be used as such? Sure. But y’know, Charlize Theron sticks her head in the stall when I’m crapping, I’m going to knock her out.

But...this is moot. Multi-stall bathrooms are segregated by gender. This is only one of the reasons that Charlize hasn't offered you twenty bucks so that she could blow you immediately post-dump.
posted by desuetude at 1:57 PM on August 29, 2007


The rightwing has called Tucker a fag for decades...

Freeper comments on his promotional photo for ABC's 'Dancing with the Stars.'
posted by ericb at 1:58 PM on August 29, 2007


Gagging on Haggard (and totally relevant for Craig) --...OK. Conservatives and evangelicals who are wringing your hands over this, and gearing up to blame the gays, the Democrats, or both … Come a little closer and let me, as we say where I come from, “break it down for you.”

You’ve freaked out over Foley. You’ve cringed over Craig and Crist. Now you’re gagging on Haggard (largely because he may well have been gagging on somebody else.) Well, stop it. You don’t get to do that.

Here’s the thing. When you prefer or even require your homosexuals to be closeted and/or psychologically and spiritually tormented, you do not get to bitch when something like this happens, because you made it inevitable. ...

posted by amberglow at 2:11 PM on August 29, 2007


great comment at the NYT: ... And they are invariably Republican Conservatives. It’s the safest place to hide! Our rigid ‘hanging judge’ morality creates grounds for subtrafuge and then goes into cardiac arrest when it results in pathetic scandals like this one. The Senator should’ve been free to come out a long time ago, live a normal life, and be able to enter government as an openly gay man from Idaho. That is, in fact, the saddest message we can send to kids: that our only means of honest expression is in the toilet.
posted by amberglow at 2:33 PM on August 29, 2007


"What Larry Craig Should Have Said."
posted by ericb at 5:30 PM on August 29, 2007


Video: "Larry Craig -- Thank You All For Coming Out Today"
posted by ericb at 5:34 PM on August 29, 2007


A 'foot-tap' to Larry Craig from Sir Norman Fry, Carlos and Eduardo [Little Britain].
posted by ericb at 5:44 PM on August 29, 2007


even those normally sympathetic to gays have a hard time defending gays who have sex in public

For the umpteenth time, it's not the gay that is the problem, it's the having sex in public.

WTF is with your dogged determination to assert that this is a persecution issue. Cops target a number of places that have a reputation for public sex, including red light districts, alleyways, public washrooms, and foggy-windowed cars at Lovers' Leap.

You need to find another hobby-horse: this one is dead.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:44 PM on August 29, 2007


[Crickets chirping at the Lover's Leap Lookout, midnight]

Billy: You look really great tonight, Jenny.

Jenny: You, too, Billy.

[She leans over and kisses him.]

Billy [whispering in Jenny's ear]: I love, Jenny Sue. Let's do it...right now!

Jenny: Are you sure, Billy?

Billy: I've never been more sure of anything in my life. You...Huh? What are you doing? Handcuffs aren't really my thing. Jenny!

Jenny: You're under arrest for soliciting sex in a public place.

Billy: Jenny? Why are you doing this?

Jenny: My name's not "Jenny", kid, it's Officer Reilly. Now, get out of the car and no funny stuff.

So goes another night of police enforcement of the laws upholding decency—a night like so many across the USA, where young lovers never know whether a proposition to their attractive heterosexual partner might send them to the clink.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:07 PM on August 29, 2007


Cute, EB. But watch "Cops" and see how often they set up stings with female cops posing as hookers to bust johns. Very common.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 8:32 PM on August 29, 2007


Glenn Greenwald with a bit of a rap-up.

Ethereal Bligh, try as you might, the analogy you're searching for is not there. A hetero couple or a homo couple fucking in public will get arrested. As will overt displays of a sexual nature of any sort. Simple as that.

(As someone who has been busted for getting it on in a parked car, I was actually told to "get your tongue out of her mouth drive the fuck home right now" by a friendly cop, with no arrest or ticket. Swell guy.)
posted by bardic at 10:36 PM on August 29, 2007


"Cute, EB. But watch 'Cops' and see how often they set up stings with female cops posing as hookers to bust johns. Very common."

I specifically excluded prostitution from the first time I made this argument.

"Ethereal Bligh, try as you might, the analogy you're searching for is not there. A hetero couple or a homo couple fucking in public will get arrested. As will overt displays of a sexual nature of any sort. Simple as that."

The analogy I'm "searching for" is right there in front of you. The police will arrest people for having sex in public, but they do not have undercover sting operations where they entrap heterosexuals into propositioning sex. Other than prostitution, there is no extensive history of organized police activity against heterosexuals having sex in public. They will arrest people when they come across it, they'll arrest people when specific incidents are reported, and occasionally they'll make periodic sweeps of public areas if someone decides it's gotten excessive. But enforcing decency laws against heterosexuals is not an ongoing priority for any US police force and which includes things like undercover officers entrapping people.

There is, however, a long, long history of US police forces targeting and arresting gays for being gay. In all cases, the laws are/were against actual sexual activity, like sodomy, but those laws were used as excuses for wholesale sweeps of gay bars where every patron was arrested and names were published in the newspapers. The abolition of sodomy laws and other widely discriminating laws, as well as an increasing respect for civil rights and pressure from gay rights groups and such have all meant that police forces have to be much more circumspect in their persecution of gays. So today they have regular entrapment operations where orientation-neutral public indecency laws are the nominal justification but a continuation of the age-old practice of arresting homosexuals for being homosexual is the actual motivation. That this is so is freakin obvious to the greatly disproportionate enforcement and dissimilar tactics used against gays than against any heterosexuals in comparable situations.

The only thing comparable on the heterosexual side is prostitution which, revealingly, is enforced at least as much as an enforcement of conventional morality as it is to lessen a supposed public nuisance.

If we're using anecdotes in place of verifiable arguments about documented and common police practices, then I'll offer my own. Once, I was having sex with a girl in the back of a station, parked among some trees on the edge of a town of about 35,000 people. A police car pulled up behind us, lights flashing, and the girl managed to put her panties on by the time the officer tapped on the car window. I rolled the window down, at which point the cop pointed his flashlight at me, then the girl, and then asked her if she was consenting. She said,"yes". The cop then asked our ages. I said I was seventeen, she said she was fifteen. (Both truthfully.) The cop then nodded, turned and walked back to his police car, got in, and drove away.

I convinced her to resume where we left off.

If we had been two boys, what do you think would have happened?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:48 AM on August 30, 2007


"in the back of a station" --> "in the back of a station-wagon"
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:50 AM on August 30, 2007


Senator Craig: Guilty of Act? Guilty of Denial? Or Just Plain Guilty?
"He claimed a higher moral ground while he was cruising for sex in bathrooms because... well, because his fundraising clearly depended on it. It's doubtful that a gay man in Idaho would get elected Senator but I might be wrong about that. Regardless, if he wanted to be in the closet, still stay married, be a Senator, well, I can understand all of that. It's not easy to be out, it means job discrimination, it means physical harassment and sometimes violence, it means not being able to have your loved one be your legal spouse or any of those benefits. It means, often, losing your family and friends. It's not an easy path. I can respect anyone who chooses to live in the closet on one condition: They don't actively fight for laws in an elected office that allow for discrimination, hate and bigotry. If Senator Craig needs a pick me up every now and then from the men's room, I think that's pathetic, but ... to each his own and understand, you're going to get caught."
posted by ericb at 8:55 AM on August 30, 2007


[Crickets chirping at the Lover's Leap Lookout, midnight]

this whole analogy is just plain stupid.

look, if heterosexuals sneaking off to have sex in public bathrooms was as common as homosexuals doing the same, you can bet your ass there'd be enforcement efforts directed against it.

it's not harassment to prevent people from doing each other in public bathrooms or other public spaces, regardless of sex or sexual orientation. QED.
posted by Hat Maui at 10:41 AM on August 30, 2007


comic on topic
posted by anthill at 10:54 AM on August 30, 2007


look, if heterosexuals sneaking off to have sex in public bathrooms was as common as homosexuals doing the same, you can bet your ass there'd be enforcement efforts directed against it.

It's actually pretty common for lust/lurve-driven hetero couples to sneak off to have sex in public bathrooms, particularly in nightclubs/danceclubs/bars. Certainly security (note: not cops) keeps an eye out for it and generally ejects the (usually tipsy) offending couple from the club. What's uncommon is for individuals to go to a public meeting place for anonymous hetero sex.

The organized system for anonymous sex thing drives up the squick factor, prompting a bit of gay-panic among men who realise that they may have unknowingly BEEN IN THE SAME ROOM AS TEH GAY SEX! This, of course, leads to the "natural" fear that the dirty gays in the Sears bathroom are also engaged in a forcible recruitment campaign towards any ol' straight guy who has the misfortune to accidentally stumble into their tearoom.
posted by desuetude at 11:44 AM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


“But...this is moot. Multi-stall bathrooms are segregated by gender.”

There are some unisex bathrooms some places. I’d concede it’s perhaps too fine a point to make, but my focus is on the transgressional part of the act, not the homosexuality.
So I’m with FFF (and others) on the public sex thing.
And I’ve been harrassed and arrested by the cops as a teenager for having/trying to have sex in public. Fishing for the statutory rape cases I guess (I was big and hairy for my age).
And when I used to bounce I’d throw people out for trying to have sex in the toilet.
But yeah - spending money to hang out in public toilets looking for people who do that, I don’t know is a good use of police time and money, so I’d have to put that in the discriminatory category.
If someone lodges a complaint tho, or the guy happens to be a cop, or the area is prone to that, different story.

But I’d second the gist that it’s a self-fufilling sort of social expectation from amberglow’s quote - “When you prefer...because you made it inevitable.” And there is a history of oppression (as EB points out) that makes the subject touchy.
I make a point to avoid the word “coon” for example even though it’s not as much in use and when I use it in context (lousy coons come out of the woods and knock over my garbage cans) people know I’m talking about racoons. Hell, I can’t remember the last time it was used (locally) as a racial epithet. The kids out here say ‘coon’ all the time. Still, gotta recognize the history there and its easy enough to avoid.
I’m not sure how to fufill both conditions here though - preventing the violation of private space and avoiding discriminatory law enforcement.
I’d argue simply tapping your foot isn’t harrassment, particularly if you don’t know WTF is going on. But sticking your hand under the stall and gesturing is really pushing it.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:29 PM on August 30, 2007


EB, I understand where you're coming from, but in the case in question the officer was there because there had been complaints about lewd behavior. What consenting people do behind closed doors is their business, but Craig was making a public nuisance of himself, much like the theoretical hetero guy peeking under the theoretical hetero girl's stall.
posted by lekvar at 1:01 PM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Minneapolis police release Larry Craig interview -- audio [9:36]
posted by ericb at 1:14 PM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Transcript of the interview [PDF].
posted by ericb at 1:15 PM on August 30, 2007


How often do they have sting operations in women's restrooms to bust lesbians? I'm not asking to dispute EB's double standard claims above, I just think it would be hot.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:19 PM on August 30, 2007


Political cartoon round-up of the Larry Craig affair.
posted by ericb at 1:25 PM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Larry Craig meets the puppets of Avenue Q.
posted by ericb at 1:33 PM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Here's the police interview.

Good times.
posted by bardic at 2:36 PM on August 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


omg--CNN's airing that now...hysterical!

(and pathetic)
posted by amberglow at 2:51 PM on August 30, 2007


How often do they have sting operations in women's restrooms to bust lesbians? I'm not asking to dispute EB's double standard claims above, I just think it would be hot.
Never. Lesbians don't have a history of sex in bathrooms, nor are there urinals or any kind of open exposure in women's rooms.
posted by amberglow at 2:53 PM on August 30, 2007


from the transcript:

DK: ... i mean, people vote for you.
LC: Yes, they do (inaudible)

DK: unbelievable, unbelievable.
LC: I'm a respectable person and i don't do these kinds of...

DK: And (inaudible) respect right now though
LC: But i didn't use my left hand.


just hysterical...He's not going back to DC on Tues. No way, no how.
posted by amberglow at 2:58 PM on August 30, 2007


What's uncommon is for individuals to go to a public meeting place for anonymous hetero sex.
For straight people it's always either a couple who knows each other, or a prostitute and john--they don't really just go cruising in parks or bathrooms--they go as a couple. They often get caught tho--very very often.
posted by amberglow at 3:02 PM on August 30, 2007


from those comics--this one is perfect: Psst.
posted by amberglow at 3:04 PM on August 30, 2007


It's not "hysterical", it's not "good times". This man's life is being destroyed, very publically.

It seems awfully unusual for the police to release a tape of the interview. Are they obligated to?
posted by Nelson at 3:24 PM on August 30, 2007


This man's life is being destroyed, very publically.

Pain + Distance = comedy!
posted by Artw at 3:29 PM on August 30, 2007


It seems awfully unusual for the police to release a tape of the interview. Are they obligated to?

Isn't it all a matter of public record? The arrest reports and other paperwork certainly are.

His life is not being destroyed. His life is built on lies and deceit and hypocrisy--those things are now exposed. That's not destruction.
posted by amberglow at 3:37 PM on August 30, 2007


Was Vitter's life destroyed by the statements and interviews with all the madams and prostitutes?

Why is it destruction of someone's life when it involves the closet and being gay, but not straight shit?
posted by amberglow at 3:40 PM on August 30, 2007


If these people can't take it, they should be dishing it out (i.e., legislating and demonizing and using it for political gain). They're all adults, and they're all public figures. Sunlight is the best disinfectant--it's not destructive.
posted by amberglow at 3:42 PM on August 30, 2007


oop--shouldn't be dishing it out. : >
posted by amberglow at 3:42 PM on August 30, 2007


This is a man who has consistently acted in such a way to deprive people of their lifestyle options while engaging in the very practices that he denounced as being morally bereft.

And in light of this hypocrisy, I agree with amberglow. This is not destruction; this is poetic justice.
posted by quin at 3:43 PM on August 30, 2007


... But Greenwald goes on to observe that attacks on gay Republicans have "no political cost" because they condemn none of the "values voters" upon which the party relies. Conversely, heterosexual perversion, divorce, and out-of-wedlock childbirth are substantial problems, especially in the very regions of the country where Republican support is highest, so the party is unwilling to lead moral crusades against those sins, Greenwald argues.

"The only kind of 'morality' that this movement knows or embraces is politically exploitative, cost-free morality," he says. "That is why the national Republican Party rails endlessly against homosexuality and is virtually mute about divorce and adultery: because anti-gay moralism costs virtually all of its supporters nothing (since that is a moral prohibition that does not constrain them), while heterosexual moral deviations -- from divorce to adultery to sex outside of marriage -- are rampant among the Values Voters faithful and thus removed from the realm of condemnation."

posted by amberglow at 3:45 PM on August 30, 2007


Gay Groups Call On Tucker, MSNBC To Apologize For Assault Remarks
posted by amberglow at 3:53 PM on August 30, 2007


Tom Delay had his face lifted--weirdly (he's on MSNBC discussing Craig--one criminal about another)
posted by amberglow at 4:03 PM on August 30, 2007


the national Republican Party rails endlessly against homosexuality and is virtually mute about divorce and adultery: because anti-gay moralism costs virtually all of its supporters nothing (since that is a moral prohibition that does not constrain them), while heterosexual moral deviations -- from divorce to adultery to sex outside of marriage -- are rampant among the Values Voters faithful and thus removed from the realm of condemnation."

Utterly sickening. There is no level of hell painful enough for people who raise & exploit hatred & intolerance for political ends, and especially when they do so with such cynical hypocrisy. Christ, what an asshole. I just hope he doesn't go and do anything silly like commit suicide, but that's only really because I'd like him to live the rest of his life squirming in shame, worried that every time he hears somebody laugh in a public place, they're laughing at him.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:28 PM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's just it--the GOP shelters and protects all these people for years if not decades (still does) -- while exploiting hatred and bigotry and discrimination in order to appear clean and moral and godly.

And the speed they're using to kick Craig to the curb and disassociate themselves from him makes a mockery of all their purported "Christian values" and the rest.
posted by amberglow at 5:28 PM on August 30, 2007


Yes, Christian values dictate that they should turn the other cheek towards Craig, but I can't see any of them doing that. Well, not in public, anyway.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:07 PM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Romney's obviously scared it's gonna rub off on him or something: That didn’t take long. Mitt Romney just sent out a statement about an Iowa court’s decision striking down the state law banning gay marriage: ...
posted by amberglow at 7:07 PM on August 30, 2007


What's uncommon is for individuals to go to a public meeting place for anonymous hetero sex.

For straight people it's always either a couple who knows each other, or a prostitute and john--they don't really just go cruising in parks or bathrooms--they go as a couple. They often get caught tho--very very often.


Yep. When I said "uncommon" I meant...not ever. But if I said never, someone would undoubtedly point out this one bathroom they'd been to where they heard that you could get the easy girl to blow you if you knew the password.

Not never, though, actually. Swingers' clubs are a somewhat relevant exception to the rule that it's only gays that these lewdness laws target, though swingers' clubs are still populated largely by couples.
posted by desuetude at 7:22 PM on August 30, 2007


but swingers clubs (all clubs, actually) are private, no?
posted by amberglow at 7:32 PM on August 30, 2007


great David Ehrenstein oped in LA Times: ...
As for the less blinkered among us, in the age of Ellen DeGeneres, Neil Patrick Harris, "Brokeback Mountain" and the smooching gay teens on "As the World Turns," bathroom cruisers seem almost antique. Today's gays want to get married, and an airport men's room is no place to propose.

Moreover, if what you're "proposing" falls well short of marriage, there's always the Internet. Larry Craig, meet Craigslist. In short, never has the admonition "Get a room!" seemed more apropos. It's up to the I'm-not-gay(s) to discover the real freedoms fought for and won by the people they so fiercely claim they're not. ...

posted by amberglow at 8:10 PM on August 30, 2007


I wonder if Craig goes on those sex offender lists now?
posted by amberglow at 8:40 PM on August 30, 2007


... When I was covering Capitol Hill just before Clinton's impeachment, every other young, spiffily manicured male staffer I met in Republican Congressional offices was at least androcentric, if not obviously gay. I don't have a sensitive gay-dar, but there was something about them. Ties never askew, hair immaculately groomed, cuffs gleaming, they usually knew more about my shoes than I did.
...
Republicans in Washington know there are probably more gay men in their ranks than there are on Castro Street.

Still, against all logic and sense, they won't utter a word about tolerance.

It's time for Republicans to embrace their own gay wing and stop fueling the sickness of suppression that drives men like Larry Craig into airport bathroom stalls. Until they do, they're headed straight for the toilet with him -- not that they shouldn't jump right in anyway.

posted by amberglow at 8:44 PM on August 30, 2007


the Washington Post (surprisingly) is not stupid about this -- WaPo on Mr. "I am not gay"
posted by amberglow at 9:33 PM on August 30, 2007


WOW! 352 comments, all by delmoi amberglow!
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:40 PM on August 30, 2007


(stop the asshattery, Ubu--take it to meta) ; >
posted by amberglow at 10:08 PM on August 30, 2007


Swingers' clubs are a somewhat relevant exception to the rule that it's only gays that these lewdness laws target, though swingers' clubs are still populated largely by couples.

And, btw, are perfectly legal in Canada now, due to a recent Supreme Court decision. Yay, Canada!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:10 PM on August 30, 2007


(stop the asshattery, Ubu--take it to meta) ; >

Agreed!
posted by ericb at 10:11 PM on August 30, 2007


amberglol
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:25 PM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Gotta go with the angry mob on this one, Ubu. I have nothing but respect for ya, but a.g.'s posts (and a fist-in-the-air nod to ericb for this as well), while extraordinarily prolific almost always tend to be right on topic and serve to keep the newsfilter alive without cluttering up the front page.

If you want to call them out, take it to MeTa, but know that I'll throw my efforts into reversing it, and turning any thread about their habits into an accolade.

[they scratch my newsfilter itch.]

posted by quin at 10:30 PM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


he was joking-ish, everyone : >
posted by amberglow at 10:34 PM on August 30, 2007


one more telling tidbit, slipped into a WaPo story on the Idaho journalist: ...The following month, says Popkey, Craig sent the Statesman "a nasty letter telling us to cut it out," but declined to provide some documents requested by the paper, including a waiver that would allow access to his FBI file. Craig was arrested in Minnesota days later. ...
posted by amberglow at 10:44 PM on August 30, 2007


ohno! an angry mob of three!

not a callout at all, just a joke. you know, the immortal bard used to throw such things into his tragedies, as a momentary relief for the audience amongst all the heavy drama.

and for the record, i'm enjoying this immensely, and defer to amberglow's awesome research & presentation skills.

the only way this story could possibly have been any better for ecstatic grave-dancing would be if the rev fred nile had been caught instead of an american senator.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:58 PM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's not "hysterical", it's not "good times".

It absolutely is. As this piece in Slate points out, he was one of the writers of "don't ask don't tell." He got re-elected because of an appeal to family values, writ large, and homophobia in particular. He's taking a fall that was a long time coming.

As with Haggard, I do have sympathy for his family members, but Craig only has himself to blame.
posted by bardic at 12:52 AM on August 31, 2007


From the Slate piece (which sums up my feelings re: gloating and/or potential schadenfreude quite nicely):

"I feel sorry for Craig. I hate the idea of cops going into bathrooms and busting people for coded gestures of interest. I'd rather live, let live, and tell the guy waving his hand under the stall to buzz off. But that's not the standard Craig applies to others. Any gay soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine who admitted to doing what Craig has admitted would, at a minimum, lose his job for violating DADT. In fact, many have been kicked out for less."
posted by bardic at 12:54 AM on August 31, 2007


more from TPM:

"A foot-tapping ritual was a common thread in many of the 41 arrests reported during a four-month airport bathroom sting that snared Sen. Larry Craig...

(snip)

The reports said the department had received complaints from the public..."
posted by Hat Maui at 2:28 AM on August 31, 2007


And now, in England...
posted by patricio at 3:48 AM on August 31, 2007


but swingers clubs (all clubs, actually) are private, no?

Oh, yes. It's not a perfect comparison, by any stretch of the imagination. And there are more gay men than swingers. But it does occur to me that it's the other bust we see on the nightly news for consensual "immoral" behavior with a similar whiff of "oh noes protect us from the weirddirty sexing in the neighborhood -- these people walk among us! Aaah!"

(Again, excepting the whole other thing of prostitution.)
posted by desuetude at 6:03 AM on August 31, 2007


“But i didn't use my left hand.” is the new “Well YOU masterbate in your sleep”

“This man's life is being destroyed, very publically.”

Heh heh. Yeah.
...oh, you mean as a bad thing?


“A foot-tapping ritual was a common thread in many of the 41 arrests reported during a four-month airport bathroom sting that snared Sen. Larry Craig.”

*discreetly stows tap shoes*

Yeah, I don’t swing myself, but I’m similarly astonished police time would be spent on curtailing it. (Hell, if they had a place next door to me - as long as no one was driving drunk and the music wasn’t loud - I would hardly care... and y’know, took care of the lawn. Wanna wife swap? Screw fish? Fine - just make sure the lawn is mowed and you fertilize every once and a while.)
Although I’m very suspicious about such investigations, not only from the EB type point of view, but from the taxpayer pov - Lenny Bruce does a great bit on why the 4th amendment exists - not only to protect people but to provide judicial oversight to the executive branch (e.g. the judge has to swear out a warrent for the cops) so the police aren’t spending all their time “investigating” whorehouses on the public dime.

So - could be a similar deal here. I mean vice cops have a lot of lousy duty, but if you’re any kind of professional sitting in a public toilet waiting for some closeted goofball to tap his foot in a recognizable pattern, s’gotta be a serious waste of time. Anyone who doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder or is repressed/self-hating (like Craig) and maybe looking to prove something probably would avoid it.

I remember on a job one time some guy down the street motioned toward his mouth. The crew I was with wasn’t a stellar bunch (some superstars, but...) and one of our guys said “Smoke? Smoke some dope?” and the guy mouths no “suck your cock.” Sent the guy on his way, but for two hours after that heard nothing but “we should have nailed that guy.”
No sense of proportion.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:09 AM on August 31, 2007


not a callout at all, just a joke.

*puts down torch and pitchfork*

Aww man.

Sorry bout that. My snark-o-meter has been really mis-calibrated of late.
posted by quin at 10:01 AM on August 31, 2007


look, if heterosexuals sneaking off to have sex in public bathrooms was as common as homosexuals doing the same, you can bet your ass there'd be enforcement efforts directed against it.

it's not harassment to prevent people from doing each other in public bathrooms or other public spaces, regardless of sex or sexual orientation. QED.
posted by Hat Maui at 10:41 AM on August 30 [+] [!]


You're right, anonymous sex in semi-public locations is almost exclusively a homosexual activity. Maybe it is somehow connected to the fact that homosexuals are a persecuted minority in a heterosexual society? Just going out on a limb here, but I'd hazard a guess that heterosexual men don't sneak off to the bathroom because they're fucking their secretary on their desk. Maybe these anonymous sexual activities in half-public spaces have something to do with the problem of being unable to express one's identity publicly, while unable to satisfy sexual desires in privacy, ie. alone.

Maybe. The magical internets was a social networking breakthrough, especially for homosexuals who may be invisible in "RL" but it's not exactly universal, and old habits die hard.
posted by mek at 10:10 AM on August 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


You know, it strikes me that the timeline is an angle everyone is missing here.

The Statesman interviewed him about bathroom sex allegations, making his wife cry.
They asked anyone he ever knew if he were gay. He sent the paper a letter telling them to cut it out.

And the just days later he's tapping his toe in a bathroom?

I mean, there's a pretty strong argument to be made that sex of any kind aside, the man's judgment is not sound enough to represent his state.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:12 AM on August 31, 2007


As a measure of the pressure Craig faces, party officials said a statement had been drafted at Republican Party headquarters calling for the third-term senator to resign.
posted by amberglow at 10:18 AM on August 31, 2007


Despite reports today quoting anonymous 'GOP sources" that embattled Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho., will resign Friday, his Idaho staff maintains the Senator will return to Washington, D.C. next week to continue his work, ...
posted by amberglow at 10:23 AM on August 31, 2007


The staff is always last to know.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:46 AM on August 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


People in this thread keep ignoring the difference between arresting heterosexuals caught having sex and things like four month long sting operations with undercover officers who entrap homosexuals into and arrest them for nothing more than propositioning sex. If you can find a heterosexual equivalent to this, other than prostitution, I'd like to hear it.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:08 PM on August 31, 2007


--heterosexual men are arrested all the time and the subject of permanent sting operations with undercover cops dressed as prostitutes all over the country.

--heterosexual men are arrested all the time and the subject of permanent sting operations in dirty hetero movie theaters and hetero adult porn book and videostores all the time. (see "pulling for PeeWee" for just one famous example)

--heterosexual men are arrested for indecent exposure and frottage/groping all the time in public transit and other places--all over the world, and they use undercover stings there too.

there are many many examples--all men do stuff like this--straight or gay--and all cops know all about it, and run sting operations.

You shouldn't exclude prostitution--it's the closest equivalent to the anonymous, quickie, non-strings, public or hotel or alley sex that us gay men have.
posted by amberglow at 1:29 PM on August 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


not all men, but you know what i mean.
posted by amberglow at 1:31 PM on August 31, 2007


Legitimate Journalism or Witch Hunt? -- "Two prominent gay journalists discuss Sen. Larry Craig’s arrest and what it has to say about the outing of public officials."
posted by ericb at 1:43 PM on August 31, 2007


I think reporters, editors and news producers are gradually seeing the importance and the relevance of looking into this issue with regard to public figures. If people are going to make other people’s lives into campaign issues by promoting "family values," then it is right to look into issues relevant to their own lives.

Signorile rocks.
posted by amberglow at 1:56 PM on August 31, 2007


Well, it's Friday afternoon. Think they'll throw him overboard in the next few hours to try and avoid some press?
posted by bardic at 2:02 PM on August 31, 2007


cnn just said he's going to be making a statement Saturday (holiday weekend, and it'll get less attention, i'm thinking)
posted by amberglow at 2:22 PM on August 31, 2007


If he had any balls, he'd repay the GOP for immediately throwing him away like this.
posted by amberglow at 2:23 PM on August 31, 2007


Minnesota officer who arrested Craig has reliable reputation.
posted by ericb at 2:26 PM on August 31, 2007


If he had any balls, he'd repay the GOP for immediately throwing him away like this.

no, I bet they'll repay him.
they have to take him out because politically he's radioactive, but they'll repay him with some nonexistent "think tank" job as a consultant or something -- hush money basically. what does he have to gain by slamming the party or, even worse, outing some Republican fuckbuddies of his? Zero. They have to get rid of him but the money will ease his pain. He can also find Jesus, Jesus will heal his gaytude away, and he'll become a minister, and in a couple years open a church for "ex-gays" or something. there, surrounded by all those "ex gays" who really, but really really, nmever think of teh cock anymore, he won't even need to tap his foot.
posted by matteo at 2:40 PM on August 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


that's true, but it must be eating him up that he has to go down while all the other GOP criminals and pervs get to stay, no? Even the fact that the only GOP person (himself a criminal) defending him on TV is Tom DeLay must be galling.
posted by amberglow at 2:43 PM on August 31, 2007


Ah, now you're comparing sexual assault to merely propositioning for consensual sex. Yeah, arresting straight men who grab strange women's breasts on trains proves that when the police arrest gay men for propositioning each other they are being even-handed. Uh-huh. Unbelievable. If dios were to say the same thing, you'd have posted a MetaTalk thread complaining about his bigotry.

Furthermore, no one entrapped Pee Wee Herman to play with himself. As I said, the police will make sweeps of places where heterosexuals have sex and arrest those they find having sex or exposing themselves, but they don't go undercover as a potential heterosexual partner and entrap straights into a mere proposition for sex and call that illegal. Anyway, the biggest reason that cops patrol porn theaters and the like is to arrest gay men who hook up at those places.

The best heterosexual analog to what we're discussing would be the toilets at an edgy, cocaine-ridden heterosexual singles bar where people do occasionally have sex. And you know what? The police don't have undercover officers who hang out in those bathrooms and pretend to be straight people interested in sex so that they can arrest another straight person who propositions them. Doesn't happen.

Here's the bottom line: the mere propositioning of one straight person to another straight person in a public place is not prosecuted as a crime in the US. But the mere propositioning of one gay person to another gay person in a public place is prosecuted as a crime in the US. And while the police may arrest straight people who are having sex, they don't go undercover and pretend to be straight people interested in having sex in public so that they can arrest straight people interested in having sex in public. But they do go undercover and pretend to be gay people interested in having sex in public and then arrest gay people who proposition them.

There is no comparison between how the law is enforced for gays and straights. None.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:11 PM on August 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


it's not sexual assault to be arrested for lewd conduct or for propositioning someone. it's not sexual assault to be arrested for having consensual sex somewhere.

they did entrap PeeWee and do so often--it wasn't some fluke that they just happened to be there. they entrap many men--gay and straight. they do undercover stuff in many places--not just against gay men.

Nightclubs and bars and other places here in NY are shut down all the time, and often have undercover stings going on--all the time--and directed at straight people going out to have fun as well as gay. We have Police task forces that only do this kind of thing--and don't only do it just to gay people and clubs and places where we go.



NYT Editorial today: Disowning Senator Craig
posted by amberglow at 3:23 PM on August 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ethereal Bligh writes the mere propositioning of one straight person to another straight person in a public place is not prosecuted as a crime

Not sure why I'm bothering, since you aren't listening to anyone but yourself, but yes it is. Or more specifically, it can be.

The police don't have undercover officers who hang out in those bathrooms and pretend to be straight people interested in sex so that they can arrest another straight person who propositions them. Doesn't happen.

Yes it does. I've seen it happen. They probably aren't "staked out" the way public park toilets are, but public indecency is public indecency. People get busted for it all the time.

For the final time, I'll grant that the laws are, in practice, more pointed towards gays due to homophobia and a general "gay panic" type of disorder, but this is because closeted men can't go to gay bars and risk their supposed reputations.

At the end of the day, Larry Craig, an astounding hypocrite who made sure that gays would be hounded out of the military even under the supposedly benign "don't ask, don't tell policy" has been caught red-handed, so to speak. He has been shamed. He will step down as a US Senator this weekend. This is a net-gain for people who think that consenting adults have a right to do what they want with one another, and that gays should have the same rights as straight people.
posted by bardic at 3:48 PM on August 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


Minnesota officer who arrested Craig has reliable reputation.
posted by ericb at 2:26 PM on August 31 [+] [!]


Damn hot too. I'd hit it.
posted by yesster at 4:06 PM on August 31, 2007


Damn hot too. I'd hit it.

That's why they picked him for bathroom duty. ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:30 PM on August 31, 2007


But the mere propositioning of one gay person to another gay person in a public place is prosecuted as a crime in the US.

Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. He peeked into an occupied toilet, physically touched someone in a suggestive manner and he stuck his hand into an occupied stall. That's called being a nuisance and it should be prosecuted.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 4:52 PM on August 31, 2007


four month long sting operations with undercover officers who entrap homosexuals into and arrest them for nothing more than propositioning sex.

Next season on The Wire, McNulty gets reassigned to Baltimore's cruisiest public washroom.
posted by mek at 5:08 PM on August 31, 2007


amberglow writes "And why is that anonymous woman the only one mentioned as a serious girlfriend between then and his marriage?"

Not to buy into the senator's story or defend him but contrary to popular belief not every heterosexual has led a "Friends" lifestyle.
posted by Mitheral at 6:54 PM on August 31, 2007


Heterosexuals seeking and serving in public office don't just have one girlfriend who they treat like luggage and never touch in the first 40 years of their life. I'm actually surprised Idaho elected him as Rep or as Senator as a single man without any history of "normal" relations--or a family.
posted by amberglow at 8:19 PM on August 31, 2007


Craig just resigned

(Gov. "Butch" Otter was behind him)
posted by amberglow at 9:42 AM on September 1, 2007


Wait, the Governor is named "Butch Otter" and they're worried about a guy named Craig being gay?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 9:58 AM on September 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


ah--it never stops! Giuliani event aide quits over sex, theft charges--... According to a Florida State University arrest affidavit: Edwards was first charged after a 19-year-old FSU political science intern claimed Edwards, then an adjunct professor, plied him with beers, trolled briefly for prostitutes, watched 'heterosexual' pornography and then exhorted him to masturbate in a game.

The intern said Edwards threatened him with bad grades if he didn't 'get into it.' He declined to press charges. Edwards said the claims were 'lies' but he didn't 'want to revisit it.' Edwards was fired from FSU.

Shortly after his extortion arrest, state Capitol police then arrested Edwards on charges of theft, burglary and dealing with stolen property after the cops said he stole at least $10,000 worth of computer equipment from offices of the Florida Legislature....

posted by amberglow at 10:02 AM on September 1, 2007


... if you're marching under the banner of wholesomeness and family virtue, you'd damn well better hold up your end of the bargain, otherwise, you're going to get exposed one way of another. I mean, don't wave the red cape and expect the bull not to charge after your ass.

This self-inflicted exposure, if you will, is going to cost Craig his seat in the Senate, cost him his juicy position as an adviser to Mitt Romney and jeopardize his seat on the board of the National Rifle Association, which, I guess doesn't want to hear the jokes that are sure to come about a board member who can't shoot straight. ...

posted by amberglow at 10:14 AM on September 1, 2007


ah!!!!! too funny!

It should be noted that someone brilliantly chose to hold the presser at the historic Boise Train Station — we sincerely hope the Senator used his bathroom at home before leaving to make his announcement… (with video of the statement)
posted by amberglow at 10:16 AM on September 1, 2007


and McHenry's next: Florida murder/suicide's NC ties --Florida police are saying that Jason Robert Drake,* a man with North Carolina ties, left shot two republican political consultants, Ralph Gonzalez and David Abrami, and then himself last week. What they're not saying is why. After first calling it a lover's triangle, they're now saying:

Drake was found carrying a firearm and backpack full of ammunition. Deputies said in a short statement witnesses had mentioned "a number of potential motives."
...
Sources tell The North Carolina Conservative that Drake volunteered on several Republican campaigns in western North Carolina, and was an associate of Congressman Patrick McHenry. ...

posted by amberglow at 10:20 AM on September 1, 2007


a house of cards? North Carolina Conservative: ... As the Crime Blog reporter rightly says, “we may never know what happened in that house”, but given the recent outings of several prominent gay Republicans (Former RNC National Field Director Dan Gurley, Jeff Gannon, former Rep. Mark Foley, Sen. Larry Craig, National College Republican Chairman Glenn Murphy, etc), a disturbing pattern may be emerging. ...
posted by amberglow at 10:25 AM on September 1, 2007


amberglow writes "Heterosexuals seeking and serving in public office don't just have one girlfriend who they treat like luggage and never touch in the first 40 years of their life"

Really? While not common it's not unheard of for our politicians to be unmarried and to have lead chaste lives. Are there no unmarried senators? If any they've all been active?
posted by Mitheral at 3:49 PM on September 1, 2007


He's out.

Good riddance.

But the question remains: Why do gorgeous, blue-veined cocks hate America?
posted by bardic at 4:09 PM on September 1, 2007


Damnit, bardic, I was hoping that by "He's out" you meant he'd finally come out. Oh well.
posted by lekvar at 4:41 PM on September 1, 2007


Really? While not common it's not unheard of for our politicians to be unmarried and to have lead chaste lives. Are there no unmarried senators? If any they've all been active?

There have been single senators--a lot of them. There have never been any without dates or beards.
posted by amberglow at 5:28 PM on September 1, 2007


(especially in our media age)
posted by amberglow at 5:29 PM on September 1, 2007


... However, if the party wants to start drawing these lines, then one has to wonder why David Vitter isn't getting the same push. He didn't plead guilty in court, but unlike Craig, he openly admits he broke the law and solicited prostitutes. Others serving in Congress at the moment have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors of more import than disorderly conduct without being forced to resign. If morality and credibility are at issue, why isn't Vitter being held to that standard? ...
posted by amberglow at 5:36 PM on September 1, 2007


More on the FL/GOP/McHenry/deaths: ... MAKING THE REPUBLICAN CLIENT LIST OF THE GAY ESCORT BUSINESS PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE. ...
posted by amberglow at 7:18 PM on September 1, 2007


Mike Gravel nailed it on Bill Maher's show:

"There's nothing wrong with their [homosexual] sex, it's the problem of their hypocracy. They need to come out of the closet. Then they'd be normal."

So true, that. Everyone knows that, like slavery, exclusion of females from voting, and segregation, the "issue" of gay rights is going to come out on the side of equality.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:33 PM on September 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


"So it is quite thinkable that when Sen. Craig claims not to be gay, he is telling what he honestly believes to be the truth." [slate]

News Flash: Straight men do not "experiment" by seeking blow-jobs in public bathrooms. Indeed, that is exclusively gay behaviour. If that's your urge, do yourself a favour and just go to a gay bar instead.

Your stall neighbours will greatly appreciate it.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:19 PM on September 1, 2007


"News Flash: Straight men do not 'experiment' by seeking blow-jobs in public bathrooms. Indeed, that is exclusively gay behaviour."

That would depend upon the covertness, I think. If the rituals are transparent or nonexistent and curious straight guys are aware of a thriving pick-up location, then it will be an appealing opportunity for those who want to experiment but don't know where else to go and/or want complete anonymity and no social interaction.

If your claim is that straight men don't experiment with gay sex, then that's total bullshit. Both straights and gays of both sexes experiment with sex of other orientations. A small portion of those who thus experiment decide they are bisexual. Some discover their orientation is not what they thought. The rest discover that their orientation is what they thought and their experiments aren't that compelling. The relative proportions probably vary both by sex and orientation. I won't hazard a guess at them other than that it's almost certainly the case that a larger number of straights than gays experiment (because there are more straights than gays) and most straights who experiment confirm that they are mostly straight (because there are more straights than gays or bisexuals).

Most out and self-identified gays who experiment with straight sex probably discover that they are indeed gay because societal pressure being what it is, I'd guess that a very high percentage of gays sooner or later experiment with heterosexuality. That is to say, social pressures greatly magnify gay interest in trying the cultural norm relative to the similar curiosity among straights to try the culturally marginal.

In general, then, assertions about someone's sexual orientation based upon a small sample of their sex activities is faulty, especially any sort of "if you've done x even once, then you're..." assertions like you make in your comment. Many people seem to have some trouble with this idea, as evidenced by, for example, many people's assertions that the character "Alyssa" in Chasing Amy couldn't be lesbian as she claimed because, after all, she had fallen in love with and slept with a man. And of course I get many interesting reactions from people when I say that I've tried gay sex three times, and enjoyed a few aspects of it, but discovered that I'm quite heterosexual.

A lot of this has to do with a combination of identity politics and homophobia, depending upon the specific example. For both homophobes and gays for whom gay identity is a highly-charged sociopolitical statement (as well as, or regardless of, actual innate orientation), there is a strong tendency towards "one drop of [Negro blood]" type thinking that sees any "deviation" from the subculturally correct behavior to be irrevocably tainting and disqualifying. Too, I think, an unexpected aspect of the move toward asserting biological determinism for sexual orientation is a lesser acceptance of genuine uncertainty and/or curiosity about one's presumed homosexual orientation. After all, if it's some deep switch turned on at conception with wide-ranging consequences and a fundamental orientation, then why would anyone be that terribly uncertain unless they have been brainwashed?

At any rate, people do experiment with sex of other orientation, just like they experiment with sex in general. There's always some interest in novelty with regard to sex, I think. And those who have the self-confidence to experiment (and, of course, those who do not but have the courage to experiment anyway) should be given the social space they have a right to when they experiment. Trying to pigeonhole people on the basis of individual behaviors is both ignorant and intolerant.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:30 PM on September 2, 2007


In bathrooms?
posted by Artw at 7:42 PM on September 2, 2007


Larry Craig had every right and/or opportunity to put up a want ad in a "Male Seeking Male" personals section. He was welcome to go to "Boy's Night" at a club or bar. Given his age, he might have been most comfortable with a personal add on match.com or something like that.

Pestering someone for minutes on end in a public toilet? That's not exploring alternatives to hetero-normativity. That's rude. And in many places, like Minneaplolis apparently, illegal as well. It's not how grown adults act.
posted by bardic at 9:02 PM on September 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Trying to pigeonhole people on the basis of individual behaviors is both ignorant and intolerant.

I'm sick of this excreably stupid idea that one can pretend that one can stuff A's cock in B's mouth and simultaneously not be having gay sex.

Straight men. Do not. Have sex with men. It is not normative behaviour.

Now gay men and bi-sexual men, they do have sex with men.

That isn't pigeon-holing, it is fact and it does not make a value statement.

Being hypersensitive to the point of removing all boundaries is a stupid and, in my opinion, long-term damaging act of treason against our ability to maintain a healthy social environment.

There is not one chance in hell that we as a global species are going to survive another hundred years of existence if we do not get serious about resolving our differences.

Painting everyone the same shade of grey is not the solution. We need to recognize and accept personal differences in private lifestyle behaviours. We need to make very large strides toward an attitude of "live and let live."

Tolerance means respecting others for who they are, not pretending they're someone different.

Straight men do not have gay men's sex. Muslim people do not worship the Christian people's godhead. And more or less vice-versa. They don't have to and that is okay.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:04 AM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Here, perhaps this phrasing will be more to your liking, thought I still thing you're full of dangerous bullshit:

Straight men do not have a complusion to get/give a blowjob in the god damned men's washroom.

Ferchrissakes, here's a head's up: if you're even thinking about trolling the men's room, you are bixsexual. Please accept the facts. Do us all a favour and go visit your nearest gay bar.

Thank you.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:15 AM on September 3, 2007


News Flash: Straight men do not "experiment" by seeking blow-jobs in public bathrooms. Indeed, that is exclusively gay behaviour.

Major Darryl Tolleson, Atlanta Police Dept. on sex in public restrooms in Atlanta:
"...But we have arrested certainly some high-profile people. It's ranged from CEOs, bank presidents...professors, college professors....so, it really runs the gamut as far as who we actually apprehend and who has been involved in this in the past.

...I can't say [whether or not they're gay]. I can tell you that a good majority of these men do have families. And that's been a little bit shocking to us. You would think that it would be more of a gay issue, but overwhelmingly more and more we're seeing that these are people with families.*
Do us all a favour and go visit your nearest gay bar.

Exactly.
posted by ericb at 8:49 AM on September 3, 2007


People are confusing behavior with identity. It really doesn't matter whether Craig identified as gay, or as a man who liked cock once in a while, or as a "dirty, naughty boy"--his repeated and continual behavior over his whole adult life (there were stories from him back in college too) are classically those of a closeted gay man who never integrated his desires for men into his daily life, and continued to sneak around--eventually breaking the law overtly. His actions in Idaho, and in Congress, against gay men show that clearly.

It's not like he was in prison and couldn't have hetero sex so had gay sex. It's not like he was far away from all his loved ones and so took whatever was available at the time and place. It's not like he was an ancient Greek taking pleasure with boys sometimes and mentoring them. ...
posted by amberglow at 9:40 AM on September 3, 2007


"I'm sick of this excreably stupid idea that one can pretend that one can stuff A's cock in B's mouth and simultaneously not be having gay sex.

Straight men. Do not. Have sex with men. It is not normative behaviour. "


That's a load of bullshit.

Of course it is having "gay sex" in that it's homosexual sex. No one, certainly not me, has attempted to characterize sex between two men as being heterosexual sex. But that doesn't make the persons having it homosexual. Your assertions are amazingly stupid.

Stop asserting your homophobic biases as if they are Truth. They're not, and you're revealing your bigotry in the process. When you get rid of the homophobic assumption of revulsion being the natural reaction for a heterosexual to homosexual sex, then it's obvious that heterosexuals can, and will, try homosexual sex. You know, when they're not homophobes. Like you.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:02 PM on September 3, 2007


No, your assertions are amazingly stupid.

We can have a whole other discussion about what happens inside people's heads, but when it comes to actions things are pretty fucking black-and-white.

You can not be "a bit" pregnant. You can not be "a bit" eggplant. You can not be "a bit" straight.

As for homophobic, just plain-out fuck you.

I am stating this, and I request you actually read what is being said: straight people do not have homosexual sex. Bisexual people do have homosexual sex.

There is no moral valuation made in that statement. I am not revealing a revulsion. I am not expressing a homophobic fucking statement, asshole.

I am saying there are heterosexual people, a large number of bisexual people, and homosexual people.

And, again, fuck you.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:23 PM on September 3, 2007


What's really annoying is that you're asserting something that I know from personal experience is simply untrue. It's only your homophobia that puts me in this weird situation of "proving" my heterosexuality, but I'm forced to in order to demonstrate that your assertion is false, false, false.

So, I've tried gay sex three times. I was interested in trying it, I'd imagined that I'd like it and that I was bisexual. And, as I've famously said, I enjoy some aspects of it, particularly giving fellatio. Which is your example, therefore, according to you, I'm at least bisexual. On the other hand, while I found some aspects pleasurable, they weren't enough to really keep my interest. In all three cases, I didn't find myself interested or enjoying it enough that I was able to orgasm. I sort of just got kind of bored.

Okay. Well, let's see. Let's look at my porn collection. That should be revealing, right? Won't people's porn collections reveal their sexual inclinations? I'm sure that both of us, and amberglow, will all agree that any gay or bisexual man is going to have gay porn if he has any porn at all. So what do I have? On the photographic images front, I have slightly less than 28,000 images. I can tell you off the top of my head that six—six!—of those can be construed as gay, and they're of the chicks with dicks variety. Which, actually don't do much for me and whenever I see them lately in my collection I always make a note to myself to delete them.

On the video front, I have fifteen porn DVDs, digital full movies, or videotapes, all straight. I have about 2,000 short digital video clips, all straight.

On the relationship front, other than the three casual gay encounters—two with strangers, one with a coworker—I've had sex with about twenty different women. One marriage, and two longer-than-six months cohabitations. I've been in love with many of these women, I've had crushes on quite a few more. When I look at personals ads, I look for women. When I hope that I'm going to meet someone and get in an relationship, it's a woman that I hope to meet.

My best friend is gay, and I can say that I love him. We've been best of friends for seventeen years now. And, believe me, if I could fall in love with a man, I would have fallen in love with him. When I say that I "love" him, I mean it the same way I've loved other people in a non-sexual way, like my family. I know I feel strongly, but I also know that I have no sexual attraction to him at all. And I can almost imagine, as we're such good friends, living together with him—but the idea doesn't have quite the same attraction to me as that of being both best of friends and lovers with a woman and spending my life with her.

Basically, other than finding some aspects of my experiments with gay sex mildly interesting, there's just no indication that I'm inclined sexually or romantically toward men in any way.

Oh, another example is "crushing" on someone. My experience of this with regard to men is so rare, that they number only twice in my life, and both occasions I was confused by it and had to think about it a long time to recognize it. One was a coworker I worked with in my twenties. I just thought he was the coolest guy. Only one day did I realize that I had sort of a crush on him. The other occasion was watching an interview with Peter O'Toole, who I suddenly realized I found pretty attractive in a way that was very unusual for me. Those are the only two occasions when I think I can say I've crushed on a man, while, in contrast, I've got a bad habit of doing this with women all the time. Women I know, work with, and celebrities all will evoke that giddy fascination for me.

I'm straight. There's just no comparison between my sexual and romantic feelings for men and for women. They are almost zero with men and overwhelming with women. I'm not bisexual, because that would require that I could get at least a moderate amount of romantic/sexual satisfaction from a homosexual relationship, and I have every reason to believe that I can't. What I've tried, I haven't, and there's been instances, like with my friend, where in an ideal world I would, if I could.

My friend, by the way, considers me one of the straightest people he's known, for all these reasons. Al the indications are a less interest in men than many other heterosexual/bisexual men he's known. And, furthermore, and proving it, in his analysis, is that I'm entirely open to the idea of homosexuality, I've tried it, I'm not the least homophobic. There's no reason to believe that I'm closeted. What closeted gay man posts on MetaFilter that he sort of enjoyed sucking cock? That's not closeted by any definition.

Finally, my friend's own experience from the other side also reveals the falsehood to your claim. He knew he was gay by his teen years. By college, he was firmly out. He had many relationships with men and enjoyed them. But while we were in college in his middle-twenties, he met a woman that, later, after college, he decided that he loved. They got together. She loved him very much. He loved her, and enjoyed living the heteronormative life, but after about a year he realized that it just wasn't doing it for him. He was gay. He thought about having sex with men, he was missing it. He didn't think sex with his girlfriend was unpleasant, it was pleasant, he enjoyed it. It was different. But he didn't enjoy it that much, really. When he broke up and started dating men again, he felt much happier. He's gay, he's not bisexual, he became certain of this after trying a heterosexual relationship. Why did he try? Because it is possible to meet one particular person that attracts you enough that you try it. I was that person for a lesbian friend of mine—that experiment ended unhappily for both us, by the way. She's a lesbian. She had sex with me, but she's a lesbian. No question about it. She's been living with the same women ever since, and that's been 23 years since our dalliance.

So that's three people that are example that disprove your absurd claim. Three people who tried walking on the other side, only to have it affirm that the sexual orientation they thought they had is, indeed, their sexual orientation. Having the opposing experience doesn't make any of the three of us "bisexual".

It's only in a homophobic worldview that it's taken for granted that a straight person would never even think of having gay sex, would never consider it. Among those of us who aren't homophobes, the idea of trying it out has some appeal. Partly for pure sexual experimentation reasons, partly as a part of getting to know oneself, partly for external social reasons (either, in my case, because I wanted to be bisexual, which I think is the ideal, or for many gays because there's so much pressure to be straight). People can try sex differing from their orientation and that doesn't change their orientation. As it happens in the three examples I give you, it actually reinforces it.

The less that people are hindered by homophobic expectations on behavior, the more they will experiment. And the more your assertion will be proven false.

On Preview: "As for homophobic, just plain-out fuck you."

Deal with the reality of what your viewpoint indicates. You're a homophobe. That's the only reason your absurd assertion makes sense to you. So, fuck you for being a homophobe and fuck you for telling other people who they are when you don't know fuck all about who they are, you ignorant twit.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:39 PM on September 3, 2007


If your claim is that straight men don't experiment with gay sex, then that's total bullshit. Both straights and gays of both sexes experiment with sex of other orientations. A small portion of those who thus experiment decide they are bisexual. Some discover their orientation is not what they thought. The rest discover that their orientation is what they thought and their experiments aren't that compelling. [etc etc etc etc etc]

If this argument about 'experimentation' is supposed to have anything to do with Larry Craig, do you think he was going through some kind of two-thirds-life crisis, whereby he felt that this point in his life was some kind of crisis point or watershed, and he just needed to experiment & determine his true sexuality that very instant by giving a random stranger a blowjob in a public toilet in a busy airport?

I thought most people went through that sort of experimentation - if at all - in their teens & college years, not when they are in the latter half of their life, in a public position of power & respect, with everything to lose from such behaviour. It really seems like a strange time & manner to start exploring one's sexuality, don't you think?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:47 PM on September 3, 2007


Jesus, EB, TMI.

But whatever your porn collection proves, Larry Craig wasn't just "experimenting". How do we know this? He used the "tap code" and the hand movements known in (and generally only known in) gay cruising circles.
posted by orthogonality at 4:51 PM on September 3, 2007


UboRoivas and Orthogonality: Oh, I agree about Craig. He's gay, and any claims to the contrary are laughable. I agree with what UbuRoivas says; even if there weren't rumors of this behavior from him going way back, it's highly unlikely that he'd be experimenting at this late stage of his life. Indeed, in myself and the other examples I give in my comment, all were early in life.

So, no, nowhere was I defending the claim that Craig isn't gay.

But five fresh fish made a strong claim about everyone, not just Craig, and his claim was that anyone who ever has gay sex is necessarily either gay or bisexual. That's a very strong claim and simply false from every reasonable point of view. It's not even true or descriptive from a purely behavioral point of view because surely bisexuals are people who have sex with both sexes—that is, this characterizes their behavior in general, not just on the basis of a single exception. To no one is it useful to define sexual orientation this way except those for whom the idea of "taintedness" plays a role in their explicit, or implicit, worldview. When someone tells me they are a vegetarian, I don't ask them if they've ever eaten meat and then tell them, if they have, that they're not vegetarians. That would be obnoxious, as well as being untrue.

As for the objection that this was too much information. Well, yeah. But I didn't see any way of more forcefully proving the point. If fff is right, then I think we can all agree that you'd see some proof of it in my own experience. But you don't. His insistence that I'm "bisexual" is almost entirely useless in describing my orientation or even on his own terms of behaviorism. I don't behave as a bisexual behaves. I don't behave as a gay man behaves. I behave almost exactly as a straight man behaves, excepting my three experiments with homosexuality. FFF made the implicit point that someone wouldn't experiment if they didn't already have that orientation. But if I had that orientation, you'd see evidence of it in my sexual life, certainly my porn.

I've often thought that the people that had trouble with my claim to have enjoyed some aspect of gay sex but to be straight thought like apparently fff does and that I must not be, in orientation, straight and that if I would just come out of the closet and admit it, I'm attracted sexually to men. And, I think, those who believed this would fully expect me to have gay porn. I mean, I would expect that if I thought someone was bisexual or gay. With men, I think, porn is the bottom-line truth of the matter.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:19 PM on September 3, 2007


If porn is the bottom-line truth of the matter, I guess I must be asexual, for I do not own any, nor ever have.

Actually, I vaguely recall that when I was a teenager I was once granted custody of a sticky mag for a while, but I guess that must have been the final spurt of my sexuality.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:36 PM on September 3, 2007


"For the millionth time, taking pleasure in Craig's bust isn't the Zen thing to do, but it's hardly an act of homophobia either. Hypocrites being brought down low is generally a good thing."

I never said otherwise. I take pleasure in Craig's bust. However, there are problems with the way that the police enforce these laws related to the persecution of homosexuals. I'm not the only person who has written about this with regard to Craig's case.

But since you're more in the personal insult mode, given this is at least the second comment in this thread you've made that personally insults me, then can I mention how you're basically a stupid fuck? I noticed this some time ago. I suppose that this might account for your confusing my argument with saying that anyone who is happy about Craig's bust is a homophobe.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:43 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


"If porn is the bottom-line truth of the matter, I guess I must be asexual, for I do not own any, nor ever have."

That's a logical fallacy, I think. That one would expect porn to indicate preference does not mean that a lack of porn indicates a lack of interest.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:47 PM on September 3, 2007


Thanks, EB, for correcting my phallusy.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:02 PM on September 3, 2007


Whoops, typo.

"You gave me a correction" is what I meant to say.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:04 PM on September 3, 2007


Ethereal Bligh writes "But five fresh fish made a strong claim about everyone, not just Craig, and his claim was that anyone who ever has gay sex is necessarily either gay or bisexual. That's a very strong claim and simply false from every reasonable point of view. "

It's entirely semantic.
posted by orthogonality at 7:11 PM on September 3, 2007


What's really annoying is that you're asserting something that I know from personal experience is simply untrue. It's only your homophobia that puts me in this weird situation of "proving" my heterosexuality, but I'm forced to in order to demonstrate that your assertion is false, false, false.

Fuck off. Once again you throw out that stupid homophobia accusation as a means of scoring points.

I do not give a good goddamn what you do with your body. None. At. All. There is absolfuckinglutely nothing homophobic about me and my life. I just Do. Not. Care. What. You. Do.

You are not heterosexual. You are bisexual. Probably bisexual with a strong preference for women, but bisexual nonetheless.

Accept it already. Own your thoughts and behaviours. You are the one who thinks (thought) about and performed gay sex. And it's okay. Just own it for gods' sakes.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:52 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't behave as a bisexual behaves. I don't behave as a gay man behaves. I behave almost exactly as a straight man behaves, excepting my three experiments with homosexuality.

You are dead mistaken, EB.

I behave as a straight man behaves. I have not had sex with men.

Next, you'll tell me you can cheat on your wife and be monogamous; or fuck a child but not be a pedophile.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:56 PM on September 3, 2007


And finally, think on this:

Promotion of bi-sexuality as a normative life experience does a helluva lot more to promote tolerance of homosexual behaviour.

You've managed to piss me off thoroughly, a guy who, while straight, is about as gay-friendly as you could desire. Imagine how much more antagonistic your idiotic hijacking of "straight" is to someone who isn't friendly toward the gay community.

If your goal is to promote greater understanding and acceptance, you're going about it in precisely the wrong sort of way.

Also, because I really can't stress this enough, fuck you and the horse you rode in on. Asshole.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:13 PM on September 3, 2007


You are not heterosexual. You are bisexual. Probably bisexual with a strong preference for women, but bisexual nonetheless.

Accept it already. Own your thoughts and behaviours. You are the one who thinks (thought) about and performed gay sex. And it's okay. Just own it for gods' sakes.


Sorry fisho, but what people do is more significant than what they 'are'. Specifically, there is a point at which past doings become irrelevant, if they have not been repeated, and if there is no desire to repeat them.

What EB does at this point in time is want - or have - sex with women, from the sounds of things. Whatever he did decades ago has long expired, and is no longer relevant to who he is today.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:43 PM on September 3, 2007


The thing that worries me about the 'it's what you do' line of thinking is - where does that put all the repressed people who say "Oh noes, fagz is yucky', sleeps only with women and seriously, seriously, would not be ever be engaging in any homosex whatsoever (not everyone is a Haggard or a Craig, after all - some do manage to restrain themselves) but get aroused in an experiment when you measure their tumescence when exposed to gay porn. Are they more or less gay than someone who snogs another guy while drunk, has no particular guilt issues about it but decides that it's not for him and forever after remembers to shave. Or are they both bi?

A friend of mine wants to know.
posted by Sparx at 9:00 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


and forever after remembers to shave - brilliant! (but i must add: lucky indeed is the man whose girlfriend is turned on by stubble).

as for your question, what you are/do, for me, relates to the current point, or period, in time. somebody who had a drunken college experience or three, decided it did nothing for them & forever left it behind = totally straight, imho. from that point onwards, what they are/do is completely hetero-oriented.

the straight (-acting?) guy who gets wood over gay porn: i'd say at least a bit bi. remember, though, that there is said to be a continuum between fully straight & fully gay. one might prefer straight but occasionally fancy homo, or vice-versa.

my personal belief is that most people are somewhere in the grey zone. i've rarely known a woman (well) who hasn't expressed an ongoing interest in, or practice of, lesbianism, for example. guys are probably a bit more guarded about such things, for fear of being labelled teh gay.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:24 PM on September 3, 2007


I'd agree with you that our figures for bisexuality are at the very least, vastly underestimated. Bisexuals have very little motivation to report their sexuality accurately, to themselves or to others. Why engage in homosexual activity which has many negative social consequences, when you can gain similar pleasure from engaging in heterosexual activity? In many cases those socially unacceptable impulses may never be acted upon, or ignored until later in life when they become overwhelming.
posted by mek at 10:48 PM on September 3, 2007


I think I'll prank the language, too, then, and call myself a virgin.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:52 PM on September 3, 2007


Indeed, mek.

Also: Being straight is not a choice.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:00 PM on September 3, 2007


You're being disingenuous, fisho. Virginity is a state. Sexuality is a preference, that may or may not be acted on.

Experimenting with gay sex can no more convert a hetero to bisexuality or homosexuality than experimenting with straight sex can convert a homo into a hetero.

Virginity, on the other hand, is like a balloon.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:55 PM on September 3, 2007


(oh, i mean, depending on the results of the experiment, of course...)
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:02 AM on September 4, 2007


"Experimenting with gay sex can no more convert a hetero to bisexuality or homosexuality than experimenting with straight sex can convert a homo into a hetero."

Exactly.

Five fresh fish has a weird strong emotional investment in the claim that a straight person can only be someone who has never had sex, ever, with someone of the same sex. Everyone else is at least bisexual (not that he initially said that if straight man wants to "suck cock", then he's gay).

What people want to know when they ask about sexual orientation, and what people are saying about themselves when they describe their orientation, is an accurate description of both their preferences and their behavior. A straight person who once had gay sex cannot be accurately described, behaviorally, as either bisexual or gay. Only in five fresh fish's world is such a person "bisexual".

"So, you're bisexual, eh?"

"Um, yes."

"So, heh, look at that guy over there. Isn't he cute?"

"Well, actually, I don't really ever find other men attractive."

"But you said you are bisexual."

"Um, well, some guy on the Internet told me that because I had sex one time with another guy, then I am bisexual. I did, one time, but otherwise, I don't actually find other men sexually or romantically attractive."

"Oh. Well, it sounds to me like you're straight."

"That's what I thought. Until this guy on the Internet said otherwise."

Who in the world cares if someone, just once, had gay sex? Aside from the Red Cross?

FFF says that I'm harming attempts to increase tolerance by, effectively, muddling the integrity of "straightness". Does that sound like something someone who is actually gay friendly would say? It sound to me like something a homophobe would say.

I'm not saying that five fresh fish is a homophobe to "score points". I'm saying it because his fastidiousness about the sanctity of heterosexuality is homophobic. It's that simple. He doesn't think he's homophobic, but then lots of homophobes don't think they are homophobic. Lots of homophobes think they are gay-friendly right up until the moment when they have to deal with the reality of gay sex, which apparently gives them cooties and they feel the need to defend themselves from it.

I'm pretty sure that at seventeen years old, I would have expressed the exact same opinions as five fresh fish. I would have thought that anything less than pure heterosexuality, in thought and behavior, means that someone is a fag. It's obvious, isn't it? Well, only to homophobes. For the rest of us, trying other things than heterosexuality doesn't make someone bisexual or gay unless, you know, it's something they do a lot and is important to them the same way that heterosexual sex is to heterosexuals. For the rest of us, when we ask someone their orientation, we are asking them what kinds of sex are important to them in the same ways that sex is important to most people. Someone who tries BDSM is not necessarily then someone who is "into" BDSM. People will try things to see if it is something they like. Many things will turn out to be things they don't like.

Only in a homophobe's world do straight people never even think of trying non-straight sex. In the gay friendly world that I live in that fff only thinks he lives in, gays and straights understand that a straight person who has gay sex as an experiment is not necessarily gay just like a gay person who has heterosexual sex as an experiment is not necessarily straight.

I'd like to see the reaction from all the gays that five fresh fish knows when he tells them that, if any of them ever had straight sex (and perhaps he will be surprised at how many of them have) that they are not "really" homosexuals, but in fact are bisexuals.

Also: "being straight is not a choice"

That doesn't really enter into it. It doesn't matter whether it's a choice or biology for this discussion. Whether biology or choice, most people find that one orientation is "right" for them. Why? I don't know. I think it's mostly biological but that a hard biological determinism argument is ultimately harmful for gay rights. But, anyway, and ironically given this discussion, my own experience has made feel pretty strongly that my own orientation, at least, is innate and biological. Otherwise, I think that gay sex would have worked for me, because all things being equal, I'd prefer to be bisexual.

Note that I'm not resistant to being labeled bisexual because I don't want to be "bisexual". I wish I were. But reality says otherwise.

If I work at empathy, I can understand where fff is coming from. As I said, I can recall a time when I would have thought the same. It does make sense to many people to think in terms of five fresh fish's behavioral absolutism. I'd like to make nice with him, all things being equal. But they're not equal. He blundered into this thread antagonistically. And his views are, in fact, the result of covert homophobia, even if he's not aware of it and takes offense at the suggestion of it. Only homophobes are fasinated by the idea of heterosexual "purity". The rest of us understand that the real world is more complicated. And when you come down to it, you get his "you're hurting tolerance by besmirching the purity of heterosexuality" assertion, which pretty much shows the true face of his viewpoint. Why should I make nice with a bigot, even if he thinks he's not one? Quite a few bigots think they are not bigoted.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:56 AM on September 4, 2007


Can you guys take this argument to email please? It's unpleasant and tedious, it's cluttering up my "My Comments" page with personal vituperation and it's not about Larry Craig anymore.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:57 AM on September 4, 2007


Yes, please. Get a private room. The public bathroom that is Metafilter is tired of your foot tapping noise.
posted by Nelson at 6:14 AM on September 4, 2007


but get aroused in an experiment when you measure their tumescence when exposed to gay porn.
There have been experiments that found that homophobes have exactly that reaction, compared to non-homophobes-pdf of one study at Univ of GA

And this also reminds of one reason given why homophobia is so strong among men of the religious right--... The unspoken truth is that Christian men are required to have a personal, loving relationship with a male deity and surrender their will to a male-dominated authoritarian church. The submission to church authority is a potent form of emasculation. It entails a surrendering of conscience and personal control and deadens emotions and feelings. Glorified acts of force and violence against outsiders, against nonbelievers, compensate for this unquestioning submission. ...
posted by amberglow at 2:03 PM on September 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thanks Amberglow. I was, in fact, referring to that same study obliquely but was either trying be subtle, lazy, or some terrifying combination of both. Your second link is interesting too, albeit quite disturbing. Also, good rerail!
posted by Sparx at 2:17 PM on September 4, 2007


Now that the thread has been rerailed, I would like to point out that CunningLinguist's & Nelson's comments are inappropriate in this public space.

MeTa is the private room you guys should be taking your issues to. If we are doing anything wrong here, then we can expect the heavy hand of the Law to prevail.

Who knows? Perhaps cortex is already hiding in the booth to one side of us, jessamyn in the other...?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:06 PM on September 4, 2007


thanks! : >

one more re-rail: Signorile: After the Purge of Larry Craig: Who's Next?


There was another really good thing on how gay sex always works to rile up religious right men because it's the one sin they can't ever envision themselves doing, as opposed to all the others people get caught for--it's unforgivable and different in their eyes--as opposed to cheating, whoring, drinking, drugs, etc.--which are all forgivable because they can see themselves getting caught doing them, and those things fall under "we're all dirty sinners" or something, but gay stuff doesn't. (i can't find the link tho)
posted by amberglow at 5:17 PM on September 4, 2007


and Ben Stein (paleo-con): Craig Was Lynched Twice
posted by amberglow at 5:20 PM on September 4, 2007


and the WaPo covered Mike Rogers of Blogactive today, but in the Style section--The Most Feared Man on the Hill?
For Gay Blogger, Craig's Resignation Is Just the Latest on His List

posted by amberglow at 5:24 PM on September 4, 2007


and, related to the derail: ... mounting evidence suggesting that sexual orientation may actually be what social scientists call a "master status category," or a defining characteristic that observers cannot help but notice and which has been scientifically shown to color all subsequent social dealings with others.

"Once you know a person's sexual orientation, the fact has consequences for all subsequent interactions, and our findings suggest that this category of information can be deduced from subtle clues in body movement," Johnson said.

posted by amberglow at 5:32 PM on September 4, 2007


Senator Craig May Not Resign, Spokesman Says -- "Official says decision hinges on outcomes of Minn. legal case, ethics probe."
posted by ericb at 6:20 PM on September 4, 2007


how can that be? he pled guilty and was sentenced--he never appealed when he was supposed to, no? (plus, the GOP only started supporting him after he announced his resignation--and it's pretty much only Spector, and Bush only called him afterwards too)
posted by amberglow at 6:26 PM on September 4, 2007


his legal case is closed, no?
posted by amberglow at 6:26 PM on September 4, 2007


and didn't he waive the right to a jury trial by pleading guilty and accepting the sentence?
posted by amberglow at 7:09 PM on September 4, 2007


[a few comments removed - EB/fff, others who want to derail & talk shit, your choices are 1. email 2. metatalk]
posted by jessamyn at 7:51 PM on September 4, 2007


You're not guilty if you've only pled guilty once, and never want to do it again. No matter what some guy on the internets says.
posted by orthogonality at 7:54 PM on September 4, 2007


Larry, fight it. Refuse to resign. Follow the Mark Foley playbook. Drip -- drip -- drip!!! Does wonders for your political party.
posted by ericb at 8:03 PM on September 4, 2007


Hey, serious question here. I think I've got decent gaydar, but Larry Craig doesn't really look gay to me. For other with gaydar, does Larry Craig make your gaydar ping?
posted by orthogonality at 8:15 PM on September 4, 2007


He pleaded guilty earlier this month (two months after the arrest) to the misdemeanor disorderly conduct count.

By doing so he explicitly acknowledged that the court does not accept a plea from anyone who believes that he/she is innocent ("I now make no claim that I am innocent of the charge to which I am entering a plea of guilty." -- Petition to Enter Plea of Guilty | Misdemeanor, signed by Larry Edwin Craig, Defendant [United States Senator, Idaho]).
posted by ericb at 8:16 PM on September 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Orthogonality: Check out the "bad boy" clip of Craig, complete with Chris Matthew's stunned expression afterwards.

An interesting fact that's left off of most reporting on this issue, is that Craig's three children are from his wife's previous marriage, and not related to him - he has no biological children.
posted by mek at 10:35 PM on September 4, 2007


"You're not guilty if you've only pled guilty once, and never want to do it again. No matter what some guy on the internets says."

Though in jest, that's a sadly revealing analogy you're making there, orthogonality.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:50 PM on September 4, 2007


Hey, serious question here. I think I've got decent gaydar, but Larry Craig doesn't really look gay to me. For other with gaydar, does Larry Craig make your gaydar ping?
He has a Mr. Garrison of South Park thing going on.

This is too weird: ... Meanwhile, in a tape released by the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, Craig leaves a voice mail for a man he addresses as "Billy." Roll Call said the phone call was made Saturday morning. Whiting confirmed Craig made the phone call but would not say who "Billy" was or whether it was Craig's attorney, Billy Martin.
In the tape, Craig tells "Billy" about a phone call from Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, and that after the conversation with the senator, he plans to put the word "intend" into his resignation statement. He also encourages "Billy" to make a "bold" statement in front of cameras. ...


And that it was leaked to CNN--is it the GOP leaking it? the new lawyer? Craig's team itself?
posted by amberglow at 11:10 PM on September 4, 2007


Straight means straight. For all else, there's "bi."

I don't even know for sure that we can call him "bi" at all--the kids aren't his but hers, and from the ex-girlfriend's account (she's the only one who ever spoke of him publicly, which is weird too), he's not at all interested in women.
posted by amberglow at 11:13 PM on September 4, 2007


or is this all some Rovian shit to kill the coverage of the GAO chief's testimony on Iraq?
posted by amberglow at 11:53 PM on September 4, 2007


A pawn sacrifice?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:59 AM on September 5, 2007


A little more on the 'intends' statement. Fucking hilarious. Is this guy for real?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 5:45 AM on September 5, 2007


Wait, how could Roll Call have gotten a voice mail from Craig to Billy Martin? Either Craig can't dial a phone or Martin's office committed a horrific breach of atty-client privilege. I don't understand.



(Speaking of Billy Martin....he was Gary Condit's lawyer. Remember when lawmakers committed real crimes? Condit, whereever he is, scoffs at foot tapping.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:04 AM on September 5, 2007


Oh. My. God.


From here: Apparently he had mistakenly left a phone message on a stranger's machine last Saturday hinting at this decision. The message was then offered for sale to the Idaho paper, which turned it down, as did Roll Call. But Roll Call ended up airing the message anyway.


Statesman story here
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:10 AM on September 5, 2007


Roll Call has posted the voicemail recording [MP3]
"Yes, Billy, this is Larry Craig calling. You can reach me on my cell. Arlen Specter is now willing to come out in my defense, arguing that it appears by all that he knows that I have been railroaded and all that.

"Having all of that, we have reshaped my statement a little bit to say it is my intent to resign on Sept. 30. I think it is important for you to make as bold a statement as you are comfortable with this afternoon, and I would hope you could make it in front of the cameras.

"I think it would help drive the story that I’m willing to fight, that I’ve got quality people out there fighting in my defense, and that this thing could take a new turn or a new shape, it has that potential. Anyway, give me a buzz or give Mike a buzz on that. We’re headed to my press conference now. Thank you. Bye."
posted by ericb at 7:21 AM on September 5, 2007


Craig reversal angers GOP colleagues
"Just when Republicans thought things could not get much worse for their scandal-stained party, Idaho Sen. Larry Craig leaked word Tuesday night that he is reconsidering his abrupt plan to resign from the Senate in the wake of his arrest in a police sex sting operation.

Top Republican strategists were neither delighted nor amused by the senator's decision to rethink retirement after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct following his arrest in a Minnesota airport men's bathroom.

GOP Senate sources said Tuesday night that Craig's staff was trying to tamp down the story because Craig still intends to resign but wants to retain the option of fighting the charges with a newly assembled, high-powered legal team.

On Saturday, Craig said he would resign at the end of this month.

A senior GOP Senate strategist said Republican leaders want him gone now and will press for him to keep his promise to resign. The strategist warned Craig is 'losing any goodwill built up among his colleagues,' adding, 'He is simply a fish out of water, floundering right now to get his last gasp of political air.'

'It simply defies reality,' aid a Senate GOP aide. 'You can't make this up even if you are heavily medicated. The American people heard from Larry Craig that he would resign and using the word "intent" as a back door doesn't work with them.'"
Time to get out my lawn chair and start popping a ton of popcorn. This'll be fun to watch.
posted by ericb at 7:29 AM on September 5, 2007


Unfortunately for those of us who wouldn't mind seeing the Republican (i keep Freudian mistyping that as Repubican) party discredited as a bunch of hypocrites, the GOP has thoroughly disowned Craig, dumped him overboard, and summoned the sharks. These senior GOP strategists are getting smarmy on the record with a level of ridicule usually reserved for Democratic Party Presidential candidates. This is throwing an awful lot of cold water on my schadenfreude.

Next exposé needed: proof that these top Republican strategists previously colluded in hushing up the gayness of Craig, back when he was still useful to the party.

And Craig is now doing this weird, pathetic dance where he insinuates his right to stay in office (hey, this was a misdemeanor, after all) without having the balls to say why he deserves to stay in office. Meanwhile, senior GOP strategists prattle about What Idaho and Americans Want.

If Craig really had balls of steel, he could 'fess up to the tearoom activity and call for a statewide referendum to verify whether Idaho voters think he can do his job.
posted by desuetude at 8:02 AM on September 5, 2007


"Craig's hedging may play poorly even among Idaho supporters who believe Craig was railroaded, observers said.

'I'm not sure how Idahoans will take it if they feel like they were misled by his statement on Saturday,' said Jim Weatherby, a retired political scientist at Boise State University. 'He was playing a word game, apparently, with us.'"*

What a flip-flopper! I did it. I didn't do it. I'm resigning. Not I'm not.
posted by ericb at 8:03 AM on September 5, 2007


Craig's fancy footwork is clearly not confined to the men's room.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:53 AM on September 5, 2007


what's the deal with this Rep Gillmor found dead in DC? Any dirt or scandals or crimes?
posted by amberglow at 12:39 PM on September 5, 2007


"Okay, Sen. McConnell has now sanctioned Sen. Craig's bizarre decision to recant his guilty plea and his resignation.

What's Sen. Craig got on Mitch McConnell?"*

-----

“Last week, Mitch McConnell was the aggressive defender of all that was right and good within the GOP when it came to Larry Craig:
The Senate's top Republican says many GOP senators believe Larry Craig should resign.

Mitch McConnell describes Craig's conduct as ‘unforgivable.’ And he says Senate Republican leaders have ‘acted promptly to begin the process of dealing with this conduct.’ McConnell adds, ‘We will see what happens in the coming days.’
Mitch thought he got what he wanted when Craig announced his ‘intent’ to resign.

Larry Craig is getting his revenge this week -- and today, McConnell had to admit that this issue isn't over:
‘He said he is going to try and get the case in Minnesota dismissed,’ said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Republican leader, telling reporters he had heard from the Idaho lawmaker earlier in the day.

McConnell spoke several hours after Craig’s lawyers appealed to the ethics committee to dismiss the complaint against him, saying it stemmed merely from personal conduct, and did not relate to his official duties.”*
posted by ericb at 2:07 PM on September 5, 2007


I wonder if he's threatening McConnell the way McConnell threatened him? McConnell went all McCarthy on Craig the other day.
posted by amberglow at 3:41 PM on September 5, 2007


and how ridiculous is it that the GOP is using McConnell as spokesman on this? unbelievable.
posted by amberglow at 4:09 PM on September 5, 2007


Four More Top GOP Outings Could Be in the Offing--... Rep. Patrick McHenry’s Connection to Gay Murderer Confirmed... Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Won’t Explain Why He was Expelled from the Army after 10 Days ...
posted by amberglow at 4:35 PM on September 5, 2007


Wow.

Is Craig flaming-out in real life? Will the GOP perma-ban him? How much more amusement is left in this?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:32 PM on September 5, 2007


tons of amusement, fff : >

and it's killing their Iraq PR push too, which is good.

The fastest way to clear a room of the leaders of the conservative establishment, it seems, is to ask about the great unpleasantness surrounding Sen. Larry Craig. ...
posted by amberglow at 8:16 PM on September 5, 2007


i've been seeing this phrase everywhere--i think this is the origin: Completing the pre-Stonewall morality fable, Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho will announce his resignation tomorrow. Now, I find the idea of sex with random strangers in bathrooms as off-putting as the next gal, but really, who doesn’t think this move is really about the taint of homosexuality in conservative circles rather than the stigma of infidelity, hypocrisy, or the guilty plea? After all, David Vitter, whose actions were far worse in my estimation — in that they were exploitative in addition to illegal — remains in office. Shame on all of them.
posted by amberglow at 8:35 PM on September 5, 2007


Your Congress Illustrated
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:00 PM on September 5, 2007


I hope there isn't real news being hidden by this hoopla.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:27 PM on September 5, 2007


of course there is, fff, but it's also stopping the massive massive lies and spin.


Supporters of Sen. Larry Craig with the American Land Rights Association are calling for a boycott of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport. ...
posted by amberglow at 8:08 AM on September 6, 2007


fff: Bush was told 2x in 02 before invading that Iraq definitely had no WMDs (and according to one new book, he still believed--or continued lying about it --that they had them thru 06)
posted by amberglow at 9:43 AM on September 6, 2007


How much more amusement is left in this?

From the evidence of the airport boycott - lots!
posted by Artw at 10:47 AM on September 6, 2007


Rogers at HuffPost: ...
The time when politicians can stand with one foot on the platform of homophobia and the other in the closet has come to an end.
During the '08 election, images of Craig, Foley, David Vitter, Bob Allen and a host of others will remind the "family values" crowd that these guys are not so family friendly. ...

posted by amberglow at 4:54 PM on September 6, 2007


Er... what's the WMD link in response to, Amberglow? Wrong thread?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:10 PM on September 6, 2007


Larry Craig's adopted children have been making the rounds, giving interviews supporting their step-father. Today his step-daughter, Shae Howell, appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" to defend her step-Dad. Later in the day it was revealed that she has run afoul of the law and there is an outstanding warrant for her arrest. It was issued this past April because Howell failed to appear at a court hearing related to 2006 charges of unlawful entry and malicious injury to property, both misdemeanor charges.

'The Smoking Gun' has a copy of the bench warrant.

Like father, like step-daughter?
posted by ericb at 8:32 PM on September 6, 2007


LOLCRAIG!

Karma is a bitch.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:22 PM on September 6, 2007


Larry Craig's adopted children have been making the rounds, giving interviews supporting their step-father.

I notice they're frequently referred to as his children, not his step-children. Now, I respect blended families and not hammering home the "step-" for non-biological children as much (er, more, actually) than the next girl.

But given the hypocrisy on all sides of this, I do see the glossing-over of the fact that they are his stepchildren as an attempt to affirm his supposed heterosexuality.
posted by desuetude at 6:34 AM on September 7, 2007


But given the hypocrisy on all sides of this, I do see the glossing-over of the fact that they are his stepchildren as an attempt to affirm his supposed heterosexuality.

Yup--totally.


(fff, that was the news you missed--bush knowing aobut wmds as far back as 02, and the nukes sent south to a base supplying our troops)
posted by amberglow at 7:29 AM on September 7, 2007


Bilerico judged an editorial cartoon contest: the winner, from MonkeyLaw
posted by amberglow at 5:14 PM on September 7, 2007


Not only am I not my mom's husband "child", I'm not his "step-child", either. (Not to say I'm not fond of him; I am.) Were these people children when Craig and his wife married?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:48 PM on September 7, 2007


The kids are 38, 36, and 33. Craig married their mother in 1983, so yes, they were actually children -- they were 14, 12, and 9.^
posted by desuetude at 6:06 PM on September 7, 2007


LOLCRAIG

Not all that good really, but what the hey.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:32 AM on September 8, 2007


Sen. Craig seeks to withdraw guilty plea.
posted by ericb at 9:03 PM on September 9, 2007


... Patrick Hogan of the Metropolitan Airports Commission said the prosecutor will oppose Craig's motion, according to The Associated Press. The commission runs the airport and handled the prosecution of the case.

"We do feel we have a strong case, and he's already made his plea, and it's been accepted by the court," Hogan told the AP. "From our standpoint, this is already a done deal. Mr. Craig was arrested and signed a guilty plea, and from our standpoint, this case is already over." ...



I guess he won't get wingnut welfare unless he fights it?
posted by amberglow at 1:16 PM on September 10, 2007


I apologize if this has been linked already, but here's Dan Savage's (hilarious and spot-on) take: "Finally, part of the thrill of public sex—getting it on in toilets or parks with strangers—is the delicious danger, the exquisite risk, the trouble you know you'll get into if you get caught. So it's hard to have much sympathy when someone who is aroused by the risk of discovery is discovered. It wouldn't be a career-destroying event for an out gay man today—like, say, a George Michael. It would, however, be career destroying for gay-bashing, straight-identified hypocrites like, say, Senator Craig."

Too lazy to find the perma-link, if there is one.
posted by bardic at 1:27 PM on September 11, 2007


(it's the second letter, btw.)
posted by bardic at 1:29 PM on September 11, 2007


savage rocks

MSNBC just said a Minnesota Judge is giving Craig a hearing on Sept. 27th.
posted by amberglow at 4:33 PM on September 11, 2007


Much much more on the McHenry/Feeney/Drake/Gurley/murder/suicide/love triangle/prostitution/GOP staff thing:
Untangling the latest GOP gay scandal

posted by amberglow at 3:46 PM on September 12, 2007


This Modern World: Hypocritical Sanctimonious Moralizers as Metaphor
posted by amberglow at 12:08 PM on September 14, 2007


Condi's bffs: ...
In the book and on the show, Kessler described how Rice's "closest male friend" is openly gay, a man by the name of Coit D. Blacker, a Stanford professor (Rice served as the provost as Stanford in the late 1990s for six years) and a Democrat who served in the Clinton administration. Blacker, whose partner is also mentioned, advised Al Gore's campaign in 2000, while his close friend Rice served as a chief confidante for a president who has tried to make gays into second class citizens in the U.S. Constitution. But wait, it gets better.

Rice's "closest female friend" is a woman named Randy Bean (pictured here), who is unmarried and whose sexual orientation is not stated. She is described as a "liberal progressive;" she's a documentary filmmaker who works at Standford University and once worked for Bill Moyers. She and Rice and Blacker (again, who has a partner) are discussed as a "second family," a term Bean uses, also saying that, "on friends, [Rice] goes narrow and deep."

According to newly revealed information in the book (which Kessler found through real estate records), the two women, Rice and Bean (yes, hilarious), own a home together and have a line of credit together. ...

posted by amberglow at 3:17 PM on September 14, 2007


I agree with the (almost always great) Tom Tomorrow cartoon in the abstract. But I have some reservations with outing gay conservatives in general and a few reservations with the Craig case in particular.

As far as outing is concerned, I am very ambivalent about it because while it does show the deep hypocrisy of the GOP, it also works upon people's homophobia. I'm not sure why the gay activists who are enthusiastic about outing don't seem to be aware that they're playing with fire. Finding out their leaders are closeted gay people doesn't make them less homophobic (as it does with family members). Instead, they are disillusioned and more inclined to think in terms of someone being infected by teh gay. I mean, when people find out a leader is a drug user, it doesn't make them less anti-drug.

And of course the whole context is that someone was caught in doing something scandalous, which is inherently wrong. The message is that being gay is wrong. Activists think the message is that being a hypocrite is wrong, but that's only the secondary message to conservatives (and probably the mildly homophobic center). The primary message is that being gay is wrong and being caught being gay is a scandal.

That's the biggest problem I have with outing.

A secondary problem that is more arguably not a problem is that in a homophobic society there are good reasons for a gay person to decide to be closeted. Obviously, given my personality and beliefs and behavior, I'm of the opinion that the best way to fight these sorts of bad attitudes isn't to be defensive and hide these things, but to live as if there's absolutely nothing shameful about stuff. I do that in my own life with a whole bunch of things. However, I respect both peoples' rights to think differently on a difficult topic and an individual's right to decide what is best for them in their own specific situation. I'm not going to condemn someone for being closeted. I'm not happy about closeting, but I'm not going to second-guess someone's personal decision. And while it's easy to decide that hypocritical gay-bashing, self-hating gays should be excepted from this, I'm uncomfortable with that because the people with the most justification for being closeted are those from communities where being gay is very unacceptable. Somewhere there is a line crossed between conforming to one's community standard which is homophobic and going out of one's way to embrace homophobia, but I'm not happy having to decide where that line is.

For me, these matters greatly confound what otherwise would be a simple case of condemning someone's hateful hypocrisy. I don't deny the hypocrisy or the hatefulness or that they should be held to account for those things. But these other issues greatly muddy the waters for me.

Finally, my particular problems with the Craig case are not (particularly) what I've written above, but that I think that he was arrested for something that amounts to, at most, a minor nuisance. In an ideal world, I wouldn't even worry about public sex, but I'm aware that this is a very minority position. But we're not even talking about actual public sex, here, just the presumption that public sex was intended to follow the proposition. And I have problems with this sort of thing, no matter how common it is to have laws that illegalize the proclaimed intent to do something illegal. It's common, but questionable. That's my general objection. My specific objection is that this particular law is not evenly enforced for straights and gays. While straights are arrested and even targeted for public sex, straights are not targeted for extensive undercover campaigns which effectively entrap people into doing nothing more than propositioning public sex. There were numerous arguments in this thread to the contrary, but I think they were absurd. I agree that public sex is targeted and prosecuted, but I don't agree that it's targeted and prosecuted on anything even remotely the scale and zealotry that it is against gays. And certainly there aren't undercover operations which involve entrapment stings for nothing more than propositions. Coupled with the long, long history of gay sex in anonymous public places (which is half the result of our society's homophobia and half the result of perhaps an inherent sexual adventurousness of gay men), widespread zealous enforcement and prosecution of homosexuals for this is, in fact, a way of targeting homosexuals, as a class, for being homosexual. As long as homosexual men have been doing this, homophobic police have found it a very convenient way of criminalizing and persecuting homosexuals.

In my previous comments in this thread, I don't think I even raised the issue of my general concerns about outing conservative politicians. But all I've been saying about Craig is that while outing his extreme behavior and thus hypocrisy in light of his extreme history of homophobia is, in theory anyway, perfectly acceptable (disregarding my reservations above), the particulars of this case are problematic and I'm very uncomfortable with anyone cheering on this prosecution and his downfall without an accompanying condemnation of the way that police unequally and zealously target homosexuals for prosecution.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:18 PM on September 14, 2007


Travelers Ask to See Craig Bathroom.

ACLU Backs Sen. Larry Craig.
posted by ericb at 3:29 PM on September 17, 2007


"‘It is a crime to have sex in public. It is not a crime to propose or solicit sex in public, whether it's in a bar or in a bathroom,’ Romero said."

Yep. Good on the ACLU.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:42 PM on September 17, 2007


just sick: ... John David R. Atchison, 53, an assistant U.S. attorney from the northern district of Florida, was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Detroit Monday afternoon.
An undercover officer posed as a mother offering her child to Atchison for sex, according to police.
Prosecutors said Atchison flew from Pensacola, Fla., to Detroit on Sunday intending to have sex with the 5-year-old girl.
...

posted by amberglow at 10:34 AM on September 18, 2007


Did you really just call Ben Stein a paleocon? roffle.
posted by Kwantsar at 10:38 AM on September 22, 2007


Airport Prosecutor Slams Larry Craig in Lengthy Brief
“In a 41-page brief filed today, an attorney for the Metropolitan Airports Commission says that Idaho Senator Larry Craig should not be able to withdraw his guilty plea ‘because the basis for his request is not injustice but rather his 'displeasure at the outcome,’ according to the Pioneer Press.

The prosecutor, Christopher Renz, writes that Craig had more than enough time between his arrest on June 11 and August 1st, when the plea petition was signed, to think about what a guilty plea might mean for him.

The AP reports: ‘'Denying Craig's motion ‘prevents further politicking and game playing on the part of the defendant in relation to his plea,' Renz wrote. Renz wrote that Craig didn't decide to withdraw his plea until after he was hurt by the publicity of the allegations. Craig clearly 'had hoped that he could plead guilty and that the plea would not be discovered by the media or public,' Renz wrote. 'The defendant chose to plead guilty and consciously took that risk. The defendant's current pursuit of withdrawal of his guilty plea is reactionary, calculated and political.' Renz warned of a 'deluge' of defendants who would ask to withdraw guilty pleas if Craig succeeds. The prosecutor said his office was contacted by a defendant trying to withdraw his plea after Craig announced that he regretted pleading guilty.’

Renz also blasted Craig's version of events in the bathroom stall: ‘'The defendant's explanation for his hand being down underneath the stall divider - that he was picking up a piece of toilet paper in a heavily trafficked public restroom - stretches the bounds of credibility, particularly considering: the hand observed underneath the divider was palm up,' and it was Craig's left hand, reaching over to his right side, the memorandum said. And Karsnia 'observed no paper on the ground.'‘

Larry Craig is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.”
posted by ericb at 3:33 PM on September 24, 2007


Craig: "I Have Been Advised Not To Attend" My Hearing To Overturn Guilty Plea.
posted by ericb at 12:26 PM on September 25, 2007


Senate Passes Hate Crimes Bill; Larry Craig Opposes. I thought this guy was gone.
posted by Sailormom at 2:47 PM on September 27, 2007


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