September 01, 2007

Craig To Quit Resigns UPDATED & BUMPED

According to reports, Senator Larry Craig will resign from the Senate today.

Senator Larry E. Craig, Republican of Idaho, plans to resign his seat on Saturday after Republican leaders put intense pressure on him to leave in the aftermath of an undercover sex sting, Republican Party officials said Friday.

Through intermediaries and unusually harsh public statements and actions, party officials made it clear they wanted Mr. Craig to quit before Congress returned from its summer recess next week, hoping to quickly conclude an embarrassing episode that threatened to complicate an already difficult election cycle for Senate Republicans.

Republican Party officials said Friday evening that they had been notified of Mr. Craig’s intention to give up his seat as of Sept. 30 and that Gov. C. L. Otter, a Republican, would name a replacement.

Let me say for the record -- Craig's resignation is probably a good thing, and I think it should be immediate, not effective in a month. That said, I think it is necessary only because of Craig's poor choices in handling his arrest in an airport restroom.

Craig should not have entered a guilty plea to any charge -- at most, he should have entered a nolo contendere or Alford plea. In addition, as Captain Ed points out, there is a serious question as to whether any conduct Craig engaged in constitutes criminal activity and whether the plea was coerced with political threats. Indeed, does the mere act of seeking gay sex constitute criminal activity in the post Lawrence v. Texas world, where consensual sodomy has been held to be a constitutional right? This is especially true if, as in this case, there was no exchange of money, no indecent exposure, and no actual sexual contact in a public place. Are shoe-bumping and hand gestures actually barred under disorderly conduct statutes?

This is not to say that I approve of Larry Craig's actions in that lavatory, if he was, in fact, seeking sex. I just wonder where the crime is -- and how homosexual activist groups can stand by and not argue that arrests such as this one are legally wrong. Is the greater hypocrisy being a homosexual or bisexual opposed to homosexual marriage, homosexuals in the military, and the inclusion of homosexuals in hate-crime laws, or in objecting to the criminalization of homosexual activity but remaining silent while a political opponent faces criminal charges that in other circumstances you would argue are legally and constitutionally dubious? I'd argue it is the latter.

And let me add that while I oppose homosexual marriage and certainly reject the notion that the 14th Amendment or any other provision of the US Constitution or the constitutions of any state that requires homosexual marriage, that does not indicate an antipathy toward gay individuals -- I simply believe that the authors of any of those documents had any intention of legalizing that which they all condemned. And while I reject the holding in Lawrence v. Texas as flawed, I personally stand with the view expressed by Justice Thomas that laws like the statute struck down in that case should not be on the books because of the nonsensical restriction on individual liberty they impose -- but they do not rise to the level of a Constitutional violation. And while I oppose including homosexuals under hate-crime laws, it is because I oppose the very notion of hate-crime laws and believe that such statutes undermine the notion of equal protection of the law and potentially impact First Amendment rights if used to restrict so-called "hate speech". But as I have said in the past, I am fully supportive of removing any restriction on military service based upon sexual orientation, and I have see no reason to legally restrict individuals from any profession based upon their sexual orientation.

And as for the issue of homosexuals holding public office, I have no objection to it. I have supported candidates I have known to be gay in the past, and will do so in the future. All other things being equal, I'd be supportive of keeping Larry Craig in office as an open homosexual. But the pattern of conduct -- especially in the face of the investigation into his activities by the largest newspaper in his home state -- shows a profound lack of discretion and judgment. That, my friends, is why Larry Craig has been so damaged by this incident, and why he needs to leave the Senate.

Early speculation has already begun about Craig's eventual replacement in the Senate.

A slightly different perspective at The Van Der Galiën Gazette.

UPDATE: Craig has announced his resignation, effective September 30.

Early word is that Idaho Gov. Butch Otter will appoint former governor and current Lt. Gov. Jim Risch as Craig's successor

If Jim Risch becomes the U.S. Senate's newest member, expect him to hit the ground running.

"I don't see him sitting around and saying, ‘I better learn the ropes here and take it easy and see how things are going,'" said Albertson College of Idaho political science professor Jasper LiCalzi.

"It will be interesting to watch him in a different legislative body," Boise State University professor emeritus Jim Weatherby said. "He's been so effective in the state Legislature, but he goes in as senator No. 100, as an appointed senator.

"But knowing Jim Risch, he is going to make the most of it."

Sources told reporters Friday that Gov. Butch Otter had chosen Risch, a fellow Republican, to succeed Sen. Larry Craig, who is expected to resign this morning. An Otter spokesman said that wasn't true, but Risch makes a lot of sense to Statehouse watchers like LiCalzi and Weatherby.

MORE AT Michelle Malkin, Amy Proctor

OPEN TRACKBACKING AT Stop the ACLU, The Virtuous Republic, Is It Just Me?, Rosemary's Thoughts, DeMediacratic Nation, 123beta, Right Truth, Inside the Northwest Territory, Nuke's News & Views, , Webloggin, Leaning Straight Up, The Amboy Times, , Conservative Cat, Right Celebrity, Woman Honor Thyself, The Uncooperative Radio Show!, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, Blue Star Chronicles, The Pink Flamingo, and CORSARI D'ITALIA, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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Comments on Craig To Quit Resigns UPDATED & BUMPED

Craig should not have entered a guilty plea to any charge
Exactly, thats what I just wrote about on my blog.
I said:
He should have plead NOT guilty under any circumstances! Even murderers know that!
Guilty or not, Craig was very stupid in pleading guilty! All I can say is if I went to use the bathroom and some cop told me I was making pickup signs. I'd be the one dragging HIM in to court fighting it like a dog in heat!
Look this whole thing was disgusting I feel that there was no doubt that the Police officer was on the Republican “Hit Squad”

|| Posted by DD2, September 2, 2007 02:51 PM ||

You are posted at the blog carnival, but your trackback didn't ping.

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|| Posted by ahywlg, October 20, 2008 09:58 AM ||
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