<?xml:namespace prefix =”” o ns =”” “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
OK, Senator Larry Craig, R, Idaho, is not gay. He said so… in front of millions… on national TV. He’s a United States Senator, for God’s sake. As such, he wouldn’t lie about something like this, would he? Well, WOULD he?
The cable talking heads have been having an absolute feeding frenzy over this. The network news channels have been talking about it ad nauseum. Even the local radio talking heads, some of which are clueless about everything, have weighed in.
Show callers seem to take one of two stances. The rightish ones claim that the lefties set him up. The leftish ones claim that he’s a typical right wing moral phony and deserves everything that’s happened to him.
I emailed one radio host who seemed to think Craig wasn’t guilty because there was not enough evidence for a conviction. Here’s what he said. “Interesting that most people seem to think he did it, but he could've beaten the charge because there wasn't enough evidence to prove he did it.”
Well, I’ll concede that it may be interesting to some, but it’s easy to understand once people get beyond the legalese. All it takes to understand it is a bit of reflection on the difference between “actual” and “legal” guilt.
Prosecutors must prove “legal” guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. By its very nature, though, the legal process does not emphasize “actual” guilt; not because it’s unimportant, but because our Constitution declares us innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and protects us against self-incrimination.
In other words, a criminal defendant does not have to say a word. The burden of proof falls entirely on the shoulders of the accusers.
But, in a growing number of cases, our courts have had to release people after years of incarceration due to wrongful convictions.
It seems, from these facts, sometimes it matters not what YOU did, but rather what THEY can convince a jury that YOU did, whether YOU did it or not. Of course, it works the other way, too. It’s scary, but it’s a fact of life.
I believe that Larry Craig did what the arresting police officer reported. I believe this for a couple of reasons.
First, the majority of police officers, uniformed and plain clothed, are not out-of-control bullies on a perpetual mission to fill alleged monthly arrest quotas. While some may very well be out of control, most are well-trained professionals dedicated to doing a tough job.
Officers assigned to this kind of duty are particularly well versed in human nature. They know precisely what to look for, not to mention the legal ramifications of righteous busts.
Second, Larry Craig was no stranger to accusations of his being gay. Such accusations go back at least two decades. In terms of direct evidence of his alleged sexual orientation, this means nothing. However, circumstantially, it has the same effect as pouring gasoline on a smoldering fire.
I don’t know if the man is gay. I don’t care if the man is gay. I don’t think that the majority of folks in the country care if he’s gay. While Idaho is a definitive “red” state, I’d also bet that the bulk of its citizens don’t really care, either, until he intentionally lies about it.
Unfortunately, the good Senator did precisely this. I don’t think he considered it a lie because in his mind at least, he doesn’t WANT to be gay. Unfortunately, not wanting to be gay is not the same as NOT being gay.
In this respect, half-truths always equal whole lies and constituents, no matter how forgiving they want to be, will revolt with the fury a rabid pit bull in pursuit of your leg.
Also, as shocking as this may be to some people, if you’re gay, you’re gay, whether you choose to manifest it through sexual activity is immaterial. Unfortunately, however, a strong sex drive tends to trump self-restraint, in both gays and straights.
The question is why. Why would a supposedly intelligent person, with everything to lose and nothing to gain, resort to the risk of virtual political suicide through such stupid, irresponsible displays of public lewdness?
At the very least, I believe that Senator Craig is conflicted in terms of his sexual identity. I think he has been conflicted for years. Sexual identity conflict is a serious psychological issue for many people. Its basis lies in past and present social norms.
As Bill Maher has often joked, “The Republican Party does not recognize homosexuality; only straight people living in sin.” However, not all Republicans think this way, nor are all Democrats devoid of the same thoughts.
I’ve said it before. Here it is again. I do not recall when I decided to be heterosexual. I think it comes naturally to me. I maintain this contention with the fact that something always comes up whenever I think about… shall I say, certain women in certain ways.
On the other hand, the mere passing notion of those same kinds of thoughts, relative to some hairy-assed dude, simply evokes projectile vomiting on my part.
They make me shudder, you know… with those involuntary shivers that shoot up and down the spine at the thought of something particularly disgusting.
Other men, however, cannot recall when THEY decided to be homosexual. In their cases, what I think of as disgusting hairy-assed dudes may well represent, to them, various manifestations of Mr. Fantastic: literal personifications of their personal Marlboro men.
Some people—I’m male, so I’m using that perspective—deal with these issues honestly and let the chips fall where they will. Others hide their feelings and end up with the chips falling inside of men’s room stalls, or behind bushes in public parks and other wooded areas.
Much of the time, people who are open and honest—but not flaunting—about their sexuality, end up as relatively productive members of society, enjoying the respect of most of those around them.
The seriously conflicted, however, many times end up under a reporter’s byline in a newspaper column or the lead story on TV and radio news. They become the brunt of muffled sneers and pity-parties thrown, on their behalf, by those who “thought” they “knew” them.
No matter what happens to Senator Craig because of this, he'll continue to engage in this sort of clandestine sexual behavior until he resolves his own sexuality issues. If he does not come to grips with them soon, he may well end up medicating himself in a liquor store and landing in another headline: a suicide headline.
Now, let me get to the reason for it being such a public “big” deal. Seriously, is it because Senator Craig is a Republican?
Yes, but, not because Republicans are inherently moral hypocrites. Most are not. It’s because of the holier-than-thou perception that many Republican office seekers have endeavored to instill in the American psychic over the past twenty or so years.
The Republican Party of the Barry Goldwater era was the party of small central government. They stayed the hell out of the nation’s bedrooms. Their message was one of fiscal restraint, social justice with a minimum of central government intervention, and self-determination.
They didn’t particularly like abortion and didn’t profess a fondness for boys kissing boys. Although, as I remember many of them, all men, they didn’t seem to profess an awful lot of disgust over girls kissing girls, if you get my drift.
Overall, with the exception of some of those Dixie dudes, they stayed out of this stuff because it wasn’t any of their damn business.
I was eligible to vote that far back. There was no way that the Republicans of that time would have permitted Creationism to trump good health care issues. They didn’t have to differentiate themselves from the loyal opposition by claiming to be the party of “family values,” as though all others were immoral: virtual emissaries of the Devil, himself.
For the Republicans of that era, there was a clear differentiation between what should come from a church pulpit and what should come from a political podium.
The Republican Party of the past twenty or so years has lost sight of this. They’ve done all that they can to dub themselves the party of “moral certainty,” all the while attempting to constitutionally ban gay marriage even as pension fund after pension fund, including social security, circle the drain of fiscal oblivion.
Yes, the lefties are picking on Larry Craig, BIG TIME. They have the audacity to pick on this man… a public servant of unprecedented self-proclamation, who regularly reminded the nation of his personal claim to a sizeable chunk of the moral high ground.
Yes, how dare they pick on Larry Craig, the most reliable ally that the Leviticus Lobby has ever been able to buy. The guy was a fine, upright, “family values” proponent his entire political life.
Hell, he’d still be flaunting himself as the patron saint of moral impeccability had it not been for that pesky cop catching him in the act of trying to sexually score with another man in a public men’s room stall!
Eeewww! One of those shivers just stomped up and down my spine as a picture of him sitting on that commode shot across my mind. Thankfully, another vision took its place, a vision of the lovely, sexy, erotically clad Lovey Kravesit, from the days of my early adulthood. See? I’m NOT gay! Something’s come up. I’ll be back next week.
Joseph Walther is a freelance writer and publisher of The True Facts. Copyright laws apply to all material on this site. Send your comments. Just click here.