So Larry Craig is having second thoughts:
U.S. Sen. Larry Craig says he might reconsider his decision to resign if he clears his name in his arrest for disorderly conduct in a restroom sex scandal.
That’s why Craig chose his words carefully during his resignation speech Saturday in Boise, according to a voice mail message he mistakenly left on a stranger’s phone. In the message obtained by the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, Craig tells a man named “Billy” that his choice of language is deliberate because it leaves the door open for him to stay in office.
Craig made the call just minutes before his speech.
“We have reshaped my statement a little bit to say it is my intent to resign on Sept. 30,” Craig said. “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.”
Good for him. And I am delighted it is pissing off his colleagues, who were pretty quick to chuck him overboard:
The GOP Senate strategist said senators are frustrated they will now spend another day or more deflecting questions about Craig and his bathroom behavior. McConnell got a taste of what’s to come at a press conference he held Tuesday.
Why, he was asked, did the GOP leadership seek an ethics investigation of Craig while giving a pass to Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) after he acknowledged in July that his phone number was among those on the client list of an alleged prostitution ring?
“No charges have been made,” McConnell said of Vitter. “And it appears whatever might have occurred, occurred before this individual came to the Senate, therefore raising serious questions as to whether the Senate has jurisdiction over it.
“The situation last week was, there was something admitted to; the legal case was, in effect, over,” McConnell continued. “The only question was what the attitude was going to be in the Senate regarding the admission that was made. It is clearly distinguishable.”
McConnell was pressed again: Were the responses different because the Craig incident involved alleged homosexual activity?
“This had to do with the admission of responsibility as opposed to charges or suggestions,” McConnell said.
That is the standard, apparently- not just admitting guilt, but legally admitting guilt. If Craig can get the charges overturned, they have no recourse but to accept him back in the fold, since unlike Vitter, Craig has never even admitted to guilt publicly.
All in all, it is a no-win situation for the Republicans. The real damage to the party as a whole is giving their critics one more piece of ammunition to paint them as hypocrites, which may hurt them with the base (although in some corners they cheer hypocrites). And we know they won’t learn from the matter, as their bread and butter is wedge issues like the all important battle against gay sex. While that is tedious and time-consuming, and we all know that most of them are privately tolerant of gays, at least we can enjoy the fact that in a couple of months another one of their ranks will be exposed as a closeted queen, and we can watch them all scurry again. Not much solace to homosexuals who just want to be left alone and be allowed to marry and so forth, but it is something.