Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) Press Conference

Here’s the Larry Craig press conference today, wherein he explains that although he plead guilty to a crime, he definitely did not commit that crime, and most importantly, HE IS NOT GAY. It’s an interesting statment, to say the least, but that’s what happens when you fight to demonize or disenfranchise the very thing you secretly are (or ARE NOT). If homosexuals could live openly and happily as homosexuals, there’d be a lot less action at the Minneapolis airport. I guess.

I’m all for exposing GOP anti-gay hypocrisy, and appreciate the two or three per year pace we’ve been on of late. But I guess I just don’t know that what Larry Craig did in that restroom was what I would consider a “crime”.

Pay attention to the very last part of the clip. Somebody shouts out, “So what if you were gay?”, which I think cuts to the heart of the matter.

Also pay attention to the very beginning of his opening statement. This guy’s a heckler’s dream.

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17 Responses to

  1. Dave R says:

    I never knew that public restrooms were such seething hotbeds of public (full) service shenanigans. The Grand Oral Party is really letting their hair down these days.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/state/orl-allen1307jul13,0,5667267.story

  2. Tony Emerson says:

    Oh my goodness “Thank you all for coming out!?!”

  3. Mike Berre says:

    The under cover cops at the airport are just looking for that. The Senator was cruising, trying to find something to tide him over until that hot Boise action.

  4. pipelineblog says:

    Craig’s spokesperson says it was a “he said/he said misunderstanding”. But still, I guess the line between intent to commit a crime and the actual committing of the crime needs to be less blurry for me. And even then, what’s the crime? Who’s to say Craig and his new pal weren’t just going to get a latte? I understand why you can’t just have open sex happening in airport restrooms, but how do they know that’s what Craig was intending to do? I don’t see how these charges could stick, other than the fact he plead guilty already.

  5. David says:

    I think you have a good point about the crime, Doug. However, even if he hadn’t pled guilty, just the accusation (he was arrested) of soliciting sex can be sufficient to ruin a political career. Plus, the Strib stated the undercover police officer was there based upon tips that people were soliciting sex in that bathroom. Now, I’m no expert, but I’m guessing there’s some common understanding about how to pick someone up in a public restroom, most likely shared on various GOP Senatorial chatrooms. I think the likelihood that Sen. Craig just “accidentally” gave all the signals of wanting some action is pretty unlikely. And can you imagine if he pled not guilty to the solicitation and there was an investigation? Who knows what could have been discovered.

  6. Katy says:

    I have a friend who does prosecutions for the airport (sadly, she did not handle this one) who has told me that “stings” of this sort by the airport police have become common because MSP is now known nationwide as a place where gay men can meet for an anonymous quickie. Apparently these prosecutions happen quite regularly now, and they do indeed “stick.”

    There’s a post over at tpm where a reader writes about the history behind bathroom encounters between gay men. It sounds like the signals given by Craig were unmistakable, though the reader suggests that Craig is rather behind his time as there are much, much better ways for gay men to meet in this day and age. But maybe it is nostalgia or mere ignorance that drove him.

  7. Dave, I agree that Craig’s options were probably pretty limited at the time. If he lawyers up and fights the charges at the time, that’s going to get out for sure, and given the speculation around him in Idaho that’s going to be be a bad situation for him. His best hope was probably to plead out and hope it never came up again.

    And, let me be clear, I’m certain that Craig was doing what the cop says he was doing. It just all feels out of whack to me. I know people can be arrested for solicitation and all that, but soliciting a prostitute involves a promise to pay money for a sex act. How could they have proven that was Craig’s intent, even if he was using the most time-honored gay pickup methods?

    I understand that on Craig’s List (no relation to Larry Craig that we know of), you can now post a message detailing when you are held up at an airport and want some “quick, discrete action”. Other readers in the same airport see the message, and voila! I have to say that makes me a little jealous, given all the lame entertainment options I am typically confronted with when at an airport for multiple hours. But, I guess being a married hetero male dooms me to boring layovers.

  8. paul says:

    A couple of things:

    First, Craig has apparently been dogged by “he’s gay” rumors for years now, including three men claiming to have had sex with him (one in the bathroom at Union Station). It would be a huge coincidence, to say the least, for the Minn cops to happen to bust someone for soliciting gay sex in a public bathroom, for that person to claim that he’s not gay, and for that person to also just so happen to have had numerous witnesses in his past claiming both that he is indeed gay and that they themselves have had gay sex with him in a public bathroom. When you add in the fact that he pled guilty, I think the writing is on the bathroom wall on this one.

    Second, I agree that soliciting sex shouldn’t be a crime. I don’t like it when guys solicit me in public bathrooms (as has happened once or twice, the time I’m thinking of involving both the stare thru the crack and the hand gesture under the partition), but I don’t know that it crosses the line into criminal behavior. Having sex in a public bathroom is probably another story — disturbing the peace and whatnot.

    Finally, what a schmuck. These anti-gay gays are the worst.

  9. Yes, quite a coincidence that all those gay guys keep allegedly going down on him and vice-versa in all those gay hotspots, even though he himself IS NOT GAY.

    If the GOP lost all its gay staff, organizers and candidates, it would probably cease to exist. The back of the closet must be a very, very strange place to live.

  10. paul says:

    The more I think about it, the #1 criticism I currently have of the man isn’t that he solicits gay sex in public bathrooms, its that he’s currently lying his ass off, basically calling the cop that arrested him a liar, and claiming that his guilty plea (which was almost certainly made under oath!) was a lie to the court. It’s behavior that not just dishonest, but outrageous in its dishonesty.

  11. Yes, with a little “What do you think about me being a Senator?” thrown into the mix after the arrest. Though in fairness, that may be something he asks of all the guys he meets in the restroom.

  12. Nathan D says:

    “But, I guess being a married hetero male dooms me to boring layovers.”

  13. Scotch says:

    Why do these gay men keep sucking my dick?!

    Check The Onion archives for the full story.

  14. Stanton says:

    Virtually every courtroom makes the official record via an audio recording system these days. And the official record is also, generally, a public record. So I would expect that we’ll be hearing the tapes (well, CD’s) of that particular proceeding real soon.

  15. Stanton says:

    P. S. I’m really hoping he put “I’m not gay” on the record.

  16. pipelineblog says:

    As I explained to my fantasy basketball league today, which doubles as a political satire lab, some diligent internet research has allowed me to decipher Larry Craig’s nasty, naughty bathroom code. The translation is as follows:

    ACTION:
    Craig looks into officer’s stall through the crack, so closely that the officer can see Craig’s blue eyes.

    TRANSLATION:
    Craig likes face/crack contact

    ACTION:
    Craig puts his luggage in front of the stall.

    TRANSLATION:
    Where else are you supposed to put the luggage in that little stall? This is a red herring.

    ACTION:
    Craig taps foot three times.

    TRANSLATION:
    The first tap means, “I’m available.” The second tap means, “To have you blow me.” The third tap means, “Then I deep kiss you like a Congressional page.”

    ACTION:
    Craig touches his foot to that of the officer in the next stall.

    TRANSLATION:
    Cash only.

    ACTION:
    Craig runs his hand, palm up, underneath the dividing wall three times.

    TRANSLATION:
    The palm up means, “I am not a clergyman, though I can pretend to be one if necessary.” The first hand swipe means, “Let’s use your stall.” The second hand swipe means, “And be fast! I have a plane to catch.” The third handswipe means, “Actually we have all day, because my flight is on Northwest.”

    ACTION:
    Craig points to the to the front of the stall.

    TRANSLATION:
    Let’s rock out with our cock out, right now!

    ACTION:
    The police officer shows Craig his badge under the door.

    TRANSLATION:
    Today I’m pretending to be the Cop from the Village People.

    ACTION:
    Craig screams “No!”

    TRANSLATION:
    I wanted you to be the Cowboy instead. After all, I am from Idaho.

    ACTION:
    Craig gets arrested.

    TRANSLATION:
    Craig thinks this is some of the hottest roleplaying action he’s ever had at the MSP airport.

    ACTION:
    The arresting officer doesn’t use handcuffs.

    TRANSLATION:
    Craig realizes this is a real arrest.

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