Five men claim to have diddled Larry Craig!
Five gay men, four of whom are willing to put their names in print and whose allegations can’t be disproved, have come forward since U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s guilty plea to say they had sex with Craig, that he made a sexual advance or paid them unusual attention.
They are telling their stories now because they are offended by Craig’s denials, including his famous statement, “I am not gay, I never have been gay.”
David Phillips is a 42-year-old information technology consultant in Washington, D.C., who says Craig picked him up at a gay club in 1986 and that they subsequently had sex.
Mike Jones is a former prostitute who told the world he had sex with the Rev. Ted Haggard last year. Jones says Craig paid him for sex in late 2004 or early 2005.
Greg Ruth was a 24-year-old college Republican in 1981 when he says he was hit on by Craig at a Republican meeting in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Tom Russell, now 48, is a former Nampa, Idaho, resident who lives in Utah. Russell said his encounter with Craig occurred at Idaho’s Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area in the early 1980s.
A fifth gay man, who is from Boise but who declined to be named for fear of retaliation, offered a recent account: He was in a men’s restroom at Denver International Airport in September 2006 when the man in the next stall moved his hand slowly, palm up, under the divider.
What a sad, sad man. But he’s not a ghey. Don’t ever call him a ghey!
What a lot of cooties he must have.
What’s even more sad was his wife’s complete denial and dismissal of the idea as unthinkable in whatever joint TV interview I saw them in recently.
You really got the sense that she completely believed his denials… because she just had to. Closeted gay men often produce traumatized women, it seems.
Add me to the not surprised list. My guess: The Lord of the Stance (h/t whoever) is a pitcher and makes the penetrator/penetrated distinction. ‘Cos, like, only kweers let people stick it in them. [snort]
In other words, if Craig and another guy are a Super Tuber, Craig is not the potato.
Now the interesting question becomes: Has he sworn in any court document that he’s never had sex with a man? Because if he did, he’s fucked.
I have to go bathe in bleach because thinking about Republican’s sex lives make one feel soo unclean.
This IS sad. It reminds me of the experiment that sociologist did for the Brown v. Board of Education case, where he had black children choose which doll they preferred between a black doll and a white doll, and the majority chose the white doll. It reminds me of how much self-education I needed back in the 60s to rid myself of the prejudice that men were superior. It reminds me of why chants of “Black is beautiful” are not at all the equivalent of “white is beautiful” rallies. I feel very, very sorry for Craig. How awful to have a head full of delusions so powerful that you need to claw your way through them before you can ever be happy; but the delusions themselves prevent you from starting the job.
The Idaho Statesman has been out to get Senator Craig!
This is a Librul Media conspiracy!
I still can’t figure out what the police department thinks it will accomplish by sending undercover officers into bathrooms to patrol for sexual solicitation. Is that why people in America lock their doors–because their afraid of gay people?
As usual, The Onion already said it best.
P.A.T.: speaking for myself, I need cops to stop all these fags from sucking my cock in the bathroom. EVERY damn time I go in there, some fag sucks my cock. I really HATE those guys.
Larry Craig’s response is why being a gay Republican is just not an option anymore. It’s one thing for the older generation to hide their orientation because that’s what they were taught when they were little.
But even when confronted with overwhelming evidence, to be a Republican, you have to be a self-hating, lying, shell of a person – because lord knows an out gay Republican is an anathema (ok, maybe we’ll take your votes, but that’s it. Nor rights for u!). Likewise, Republicans’ continued embrace of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is another pathetic policy stance destined to go down as misguided as Jim Crow laws.
I only hope Democrats wise up and stop pandering (repeal DOMA, support gay marriage, repeal don’t ask/don’t tell). Being on the right side of history is something the public gets behind.
The cops don’t write the laws. Plus, potty patrol is probably a great way to haze the rookies and punish cops for mild screw ups. I’d give you a ten bucks for every officer who likes sitting on the crapper waiting for a toe tapper.
dunno, maybe try to stop people from having sex in public places like airport bathrooms.
At the same time?
What? No wingnuts spluttering about how homophobic – and therefore hypocritical – these five self-hating Sodomites are for trying to make out that Larry Craig did something bad by buggering/recieving buggeration from/ rubbing up against them?
Why do they hate (Teh Gay) America?
I dunno. Do you get to bring donuts?
Do you want to take your kid to the bathroom in an airport and have to explain what the noises coming from the next stall are?
Neither do I.
Mike, I’ve been in airport bathrooms all over the country, as well as mall bathrooms, department store bathrooms and other public places. I have NEVER seen or heard ANYONE having sex in the men’s room. I have only ONCE in 55 years been propositioned in a men’s room. Hardly anyone I know has had this happen. I HAVE had gays try to pick me up in truck stops, but it was to go to my truck, NOT do it in the men’s room. When I said no, that was it. You are just a whiny, scardeycat who is afraid he might be gay himself. Just like all republicans. THAT is why you are anti-gay. You are really gay yourself. Just like Larry Craig.
Don’t waste your time on that very sensible argument, Bob, the hypocrites and snark addicts here just dont get it.
I made that argument months ago, and it was made much better than I could by Frank Rich in NYT, the idea that Craig was the victim of harassment law, probably unconstitutional law (the idea that someone can be arrested for tapping his foot apparently hasn’t struck the keyboard liberals around here as being absolutely outrageous). Hell, even gay activists think nothing of throwing Craig under the bus, even though they themselves are considered fodder for the same bus wheels by an entire political party in this country. To top that off, the guy who started this thread arrived on this scene announcing himself as a Republican! A supporter of the very beast that threatens the liberty of every American. Go figure, the craziness and stupidity can be just as thick here as they can on any Red State thread, maybe worse because at least the real Red State crazies are just … crazy, whereas the people here are people who would set fire to their grandmothers for a political advantage, or even a blog snark advantage.
We are really free in this country when the street level accepts the idea that other peoples’ sex lives, unless they are abusive to children or unless they are abusive to an unwilling partner, are nobody’s business. Not ever, not under any circumstances. No excuses, no exceptions.
Given the typical American’s diet these days, I actually would have a hard time explaining the increasingly bizarre, scary, and disgusting noises coming from the next stall. Something like passing an entire gas-infused chocolate cake maybe? I don’t know.
Oh climb down from your high perch. I read plenty of top liberal bloggers note that the city had absolutely no case against Craig and he should never have been arrested, much less convinced to plead guilty. Since he did, and he can’t change that (at least so far), we can still appreciate the delicious irony of how his party treated him in the aftermath. After all, he was as much a part of that legislative demonization as any other Republican.
Fuck you, you don’t tell me to climb down from anything. And you can read what you want, the tone here at Balloon-Juice has been gratutously and disgustingly anti-Craig since day one, and that’s what I’m talking about, and that’s what I will continue to talk about as I see fit.
I’m not talking to his party, I wouldn’t waste my time with those fucking lunatics. I’m talking to my party, which has taken the approach that it’s okay to fuck over gays, as long as they are Republican gays, because, you know, they deserve it. A very stupid and destructive point of view. And I’m talking to gays who have done essentially the same thing.
When policy, law and the conduct of the country are based on “delicious irony” and other feeble-minded motivations, then we are all fucked, and we are all Republicans. I am not willing to descent to their crummy level, and I think for us to do so is not only repulsive, it’s politically foolish and self-destructive.
TZ — It’s only throwing him under the bus if he’s one of your allies. Seeing as how Craig’s been anti-gay from the get-go, it’s not throwing him under the bus – it’s throwing him an anvil.
Craig’s reaping a whirlwind of his own making.
TZ, it’s called “hoisted on your own petard” and is delicious to see happen, especially to a finger-wagging moralistic boob like Larry Craig. That’s all.
Unfortunately, a lot of busybodies never understand the concept of civil rights until they need them. At which point they whine bitterly.
What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
And why have you chosen Larry Craig to be the hill to die on? I’m sure there are far better causes and more sympathetic victims out there–why have you not discussed them instead?
Yeah – I don’t really understand TZs “principled defense” of Larry Craig – who continues to lie about what he did in the bathroom and his sexual orientation.
I can get the idea that this is “bad law”, but beyond that, Larry doesn’t have anything defensible in his behavior.
He’s supported anti-gay legislation time and again, been having extra-marital sex (likely while also railing against adultery) and continues to lie even when confronted with the reality of his behavior.
I feel a little bit of sadness that he’s so closeted he feels forced to deny reality, but other than that, he’s just getting what he deserves.
Well, you can scream that stuff at someone who agrees with you all you want (as productive as that is), but it doesn’t change the fact that many liberal bloggers, most notably Marshall at TPM, noted that Craig was stupid to plead guilty because it was likely any competent lawyer would have it dismissed at the first hearing. Whatever the “tone” here has been, I’ve not heard any liberal blogger claim he should have been arrested for his behavior.
The reason people are “anti-Craig” is because he’s a fucking hypocrite, who has been working against gay rights his entire Senate career. In that sense, what he got was poetic justice, even if it shouldn’t have happened to him.
But you were spluttering, please go on.
What an idiotic and dishonest question. First of all, I’m not dying on any hill. I’m taking a position and defending it, and so far, in several months of doing so without giving an inch of quarter to the stupid, without any argument in opposition other than “It’s really fun to watch this jerk take it in the ass.” That’s it, the entire argument.
Not a word, not a fucking word, in defense of the toxic idea that watching somebody take it in the ass because you don’t like him is exactly what Republican thinking, and their harnessing of bigotry toward gays is all about, and that doing what they do advances their agenda, not ours.
Better causes than equal protection under the law, and the abolition of harrassment and persecution of the powerless because, you know, they’re queer?
You tend your own “causes” and I’ll tend to mine, I don’t need any fucking advice from you.
Yeah, but that’s the point where I don’t see what your point is.
The response here has been anti-Craig, not pro-the stupid fucking laws and trawling operations that got him into the shit in the first place. Yeah, everyone agrees that what Craig wanted to do shouldn’t be a crime, and that there’s nothing shameful about being gay, except for Craig himself and the party he represents.
I really do not understand why you’re the only person here who seems to think that every commentator should ignore the fact that Craig is a hypocritical piece of shit and treat him sympathetically because… because what?
I do not get what your point is.
That very assertion was advanced from day One of the Craig story on these pages. Go back and read it for yourself.
As for “liberal bloggers” I could care less. I hang here and I am talking in the context of this blog. What part of that do you not understand?
Piss on Larry Craig. When your opponent is drowning, toss him an anvil. After what’s happened to this country during the past seven years, we’re going to have to put our boot on some necks before we see daylight.
My point, stated early and often in the story going back to last summer, was then and is now:
If you want to pretend to stand up for the rights of gays to be left alone and treated equally under the law, then you stand up for Larry Craig. You do this whether you like him or not. You do that because that’s what “equal” means, it means whether you like him or not, otherwise, “equal” means nothing. You don’t celebrate his persecution because you don’t like him and suits your purpose or your inclination.
You defend him. Without reservation, because he is a citizen who is entitled to those protections and to his job whether we like him or not.
And secondly, if you don’t like the way I handle this issue, you can go fuck yourself. I pay the same rates you do to be here and I will post as I like. And if you try to get in my way I will ride your ass like a country mule. I’m right about this, and I am a lot better at this than you are.
But Craig isn’t gay. Ask him yourself.
Very high-minded, TZ.
Craig has been my senator for a very long time, so despite your noble ideals, I’ll still be over here celebrating his political demise.
Uhm, for the potty apologists up there — I don’t care if you’re gay, not gay, metrosexual, bisexual, or Martian. Potties are for one thing, and that’s getting rid of poop and pee. If I have an airliner leaving in 30 minutes I don’t want to wait for the next 15 minutes for somebody to use the potty for, well, non-potty purposes, before I can get in and do my bizness. Potties are for pottying, not for partying!
So yeah, if an airport potty has become a meeting place for partying rather than a place for pottying, damn straight I’m gonna complain, and enough people complain, damn straight the cops are gonna get called in by the airport to handle the situation of people partying rather than pottying in the potty. Fear of Teh Ghey has nothing to do with it. A desire to use the facilities for their intended purpose is the point of the matter.
– Badtux the Potty Penguin
I havn’t heard Craig rail agianst the practice either. I’d wager he still publicly supports the practice.
Larry Craig (so far as I know) continues to assert he isn’t gay. Ergo, no gays are being harmed by this snarkfest. Unless you want to assert the poor chap is a liar or he has gotten so high on the mothballs at the back of the closet that he doesn’t know who he is and what he’s doing.
Which seems to imply that closeted gays are psychotic. Oh well, no need to panic!
I say AGAIN, that all Craig had to do was lawyer up. A reasonably alert attorney could have gotten this thing thrown out in five seconds and, hey, maybe struck a blow against the sex police. But instead there’s even some dispute (by Craig’s own account) as to when he retained a lawyer. So, we’re left with another lying “Fuck you, laws are for little people,” Republican shit sack. Craig gets a pass because he had his hand out to grab a guy’s cock instead of a bribe?
I don’t think so.
Sorry, I had no idea your blog-reading scope was so limited.
Oh, I completely support him in his keeping his job. I would prefer his own state be willing to re-elect him to another term if he so wanted. But that’s impossible due to bigotry, now isn’t it?
Again, he should keep his seat, and have a great shot at another term in a better country. But we’re never going to get there while he and his own party demonize himself. The more we can show that gay people are not some aliens the Republican party is completely “clean” of, the better.
No, that is exactly and precisely wrong.
I have never advocated treating him “sympathetically.”
I have advocated defending his legal rights, first, and his right to be left alone and treated fairly, second. And thereby set a standard for the treatment of all people in all situations, whether you are “sympathetic” to them or not.
When the law, and public treatement of citizens, is based on flabby emotional motivations like “sympathy” and “piss on the guy” then we are all fucked. When you are willing to screw over somebody because you don’t like them, then you are setting yourself, and me, up to be screwed over when somebody doesn’t like you, or me.
I think Larry Craig is a jerk. That is exactly why I will stand up for him in this situation. To demonstrate that that’s the right thing to do. Otherwise, what’s the point of having something called “equal protection?”
Leave the fucking guy alone. If his sex life is fodder for the mob, then yours is next. Since you apparently don’t have the good sense to realize that, I have to do it for you.
Let’s have a list of the people you’ve “diddled,” shall we? Then we can advance this thread in its intended fashion. That’s what this is about, right? That we can talk about who diddled who and all have good laugh? For the people we hate, I mean. Right?
Wow. Take a damn Xanax or something. Please don’t turn into a liberal version of Darrell.
What? Are you now going to descend to “I read more blogs than you do” as an argument here?
If you read so many blogs, how come the best you can do here is basically agree with me, and then tell me to shut up? What’s this about?
that’s not why Craig was arrested.
put down the straw.
What the fuck is the matter with you? What is your problem?
If you have an argument, make it.
Really? What was he arrested for?
And in between starting that response and finishing it, I see you’ve made your point.
But I disagree. People aren’t failing to jump to Craig’s defence because they’re embracing “Republican thinking”, and not jumping to Craig’s defence isn’t proof that anyone is willing to let ‘the other factions gays’ suffer from bad law and bad law-enforcement.
No one here (apart from yourself) is willing or able to defend Craig, because Craig himself is displaying full-scale, no-buts-about-it ‘Republican thinking’ of his own by continuing to insist that being gay is something to be ashamed of and something you should be criminalised for.
And no one at all is speaking out in favour of the harrassment and persecution of gays, or against their rights to equal protection under the law. It’s just that Larry Craig is a homophobic prick who still thinks that harnessing bigotry toward gays is A-OK, unless it’s directed towards him.
So no, I don’t agree that an anti-Craig tone is the same thing as embracing Republican thinking.
Yes, and you think we do that by ridiculing him, letting the harassment run him out of office, and turning our faces away from the bullshit “law enforcement” idea of having cops sit in crappers all day waiting to trap queers?
Or do we do it by standing up for the guy, putting the principle ahead of our “delicious irony” appreciation and making him an example of fair treatment?
I say the latter. That’s what separates me from the Republicans. Not lowering myself to their shitty level because I think Craig is a craphead.
Now where is the right wing fluffosphere when you need them? They should be out there defending the good senator against what is most obviously an attack by the velvet mafia. I expect to hear about testing out various “stances” and “positions” with each other to prove once and for all that Larry did not get Craiged by any of these guys, he was the one craiging them and he did not enjoy it therefore he is not gay.
i’m beginning you remember when and why TZ was banned from posting here once…
Um, no. Not sure where you got that idea by me referring to bloggers who don’t blog here.
Again, WTF? Who told you to shut up?
Well no, I’ve only made it to you. I’ve made it twenty different times here going back to the initial break of the story.
I see that we don’t agree, and I could not disagree with you more strongly. What we are talking about is Rush Limbaugh thinking. If Craig can be mocked, or dismissed, or persecuted, and he’s an unlikeable person, well, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Thinking, and then government and policy, by a standard that is basically that of the schoolyard bullies.
Because that’s what the entire GOP position on gays is about, it’s about putting lipstick on the pig of schoolyard bullying and bigotry.
You’re either for it, or agin it. You can’t pick and choose when it suits you. Eh?
You know, the days are long gone when bluster made up for argument, though they were wonderful days and we do miss them so. But really, that’s just huffetypuff. No more destructive in its nature than a Darrellite barb. And if I don’t like the way you deploy it, well I know I can just go fuck myself.
Still, you’re horrifically wrong in the way you’re going about this.
You’re right. Being a public figure, demonizing a class of people and wielding your power against them, and then turning out to secretly be one of them is something that should be kept silent.
I’m against Craig because he’s a lying weasel of a hypocrite and yeah, throw the idiot an anvil. It’s not about being gay–it’s because he’s such a moralistic little hand-wringing nincompoop who would cheerfully sign into existence the exact same sort of legislation that he got clobbered under.
Look–the twit pled guilty to the charges, then turned around and tried to reneg on the agreement. Can’t the guy take responsibility for anything?
Oh we also can’t forget the lineup where all those in the line up are hidden from the waist up, they are made to drop trou and then each of the accusers must identify which penis they claim to have sucked, after all that’s the lewinsky way.
Hang on. Any minute we’ll hear one of those guys is a minion of teh Clagina, another has granite counter tops, along for calls for Mr. Ruth’s head on a platter. And Clinton got a blow job in the Oval Office so Democrats are worser.
Did you order your Larry Craig doll? You could do recreations with it, a Ken doll (he won’t mind since Barbie dumped him) and a some cut up shoe boxes to represent the stalls. Don’t forget to check the kerning!
I think that the only way to resolve this is for Thymezone to have sex with Larry Craig while wearing a sexy cop stripper outfit.
Oh yes, I’m sure millions will die thanks to my horrific mistake.
Just so you know, a couple of things:
1. I am not “going about” anything, I’m just slinging obscure posts onto an obscure blog, making an argument, and letting the chips fall where they may. So far, I haven’t seen a single counter-argument that could stand up to ten seconds of scrutiny. Unless you consider “Craig’s a putz, fuck him” to be an arument.
2. You are arguing with a disposable persona who does not actually exist. And he’s kicking your ass. That should be something to give you pause, but I doubt that it will.
3. Craig is up there with Keith Olberman’s Worst Persons In The World. That fact is exactly why he is the guy you have stand up for. We define the quality of equality by where we draw the line. If we only draw it around people we think are cool, then our equality is just worthless. When we draw it way out there around people we hate, then it means something. They taught us this is high school almost 50 years ago. I still believe it.
And as for …
He pled guilty to reduced charges on the level of public littering, and probably did so in an effort to same himself embarassment, embarassment which was unfairly used against him to get him to do just that. Ha ha, we made a queer plead guilty to something. A great day for justice.
Well, no Thyme. In short, I think you’re the one pushing the Limburgh line. You’re the one saying that mocking Craig is exactly the same thing as dismissing him (in a legal sense) or persecuting him, and that recognising that he’s an unlikeable person is the same as saying that he – as a gay man – deserves to get screwed over by a homophobic law.
I don’t agree with any of those things. There, I’ve said it. Doesn’t that mean that it’s over to you to explain how you can make the equation ‘Doesn’t adopt a sympathetic tone towards Larry Craig’ = ‘Believing that Larry Craig should be screwed up the ass just because he’s a Republican’.
Did I mention that I don’t get your point. I thought I did, but it’s escaped me and I don’t know what it is.
I have never had sexual relations with that Senator, Mister Craig.
What I wear is none of your beeswax.
If Larry Craig’s arrest/plea AND a prominent Democrat’s identical arrest/plea had been made public at the exact same moment, where would this argument have gone?
I agree with TZ. I want shadenfreud without the mixture of hypocrisy on my part.
I was going to but I was waiting for the bathroom stall deluxe playset to come out, I also heard they were making another figure with an extra wide stance and kung-fu grip.
You can’t be fucking serious. That’s exactly what people here have said*, and what my argument is clearly against.
And if you are going to argue that mocking and dismissing him, in this context, are not essentially the same thing, then …. wow. Good for you. Whenever I find myself wondering whether public mockery is actually a defense of the mocked person, I’ll think of you.
*over the full course of the Craig story, not in this thread to a great extent. Although …
.. will give you the flavor.
And what a foolish argument that is! When your opponent is drowning under the weight of his own foolishness, and you can rescue him and expose the foolishness for what it is, you do it, and thereby set the bar high.
Even as metaphor, letting somebody drown because he’s your opponent is pretty ugly.
How do you see this working? After Craig takes the pummeling and loses his job, THEN you step up and say, oh by the way, look how unfair that all is when you do it to other people? You know, the people we like?
I should have copyrighted that LOL.
Easy come, easy go.
I’m sorry TZ, but exposing the hypocrisy of powerful politicians who go about demonzing whole classes of people must be done, one way or another. If they don’t want to be exposed, they can either stay out of powerful political positions, or not demonize the very same damn people they are.
We’ll never get anywhere but very bad places if closet-case politicians (did I mention these people have quite a bit of power?) are left to exercise their bigotry without the population knowing they are giant hypocrites and force the people to wonder why exactly they are bigoted demagogues.
Thank the Lord for Mr. Craig.
His antics have taken the heat off his colleagues who may, from time to time, simply for reasons of curiosity, go to a prostitute and slip into a pair of Depends.
p.s. Despite appearances, I am NOT a naughty baby and I do not need a spanking!
It’s never happened to me at all.
There was a cop in that particular bathroom because people were having sex in it. Presumably, that’s the same reason that Craig chose it.
Tell me, do you think Craig was looking for someone with whom he could exit the secure area, find a motel room, have sex, check back through security, and still make his connecting flight? If not, where do you think was he planning going to go?
As far as I’m concerned, Craig can have all the sex he wants with anybody he chooses, as long as he does it in private. Enforcing the laws against public sex (and a public rest room counts as public) isn’t prejudice against gays.
Yes, but don’t you see, by far the best and most powerful way to expose it is to stand up for this despised guy?
By far the most powerful way. The hapless Dems missed a huge opportunity here. The pols missed it because they are too self interested, and the netroots missed it because they are too filled with hate for Craig. But the point is, they missed it.
By tapping his foot and waving his hand, he was explicitly stating that he had a plan to conduct spcific illegal activity, and without actually conduting any such activity, he was thereby subject to arrest?
That’s okay with you? The elevation of hand and foot gestures to criminal acts based on supposed “plans” is all you need to throw a US Senator in jail?
In that case, shut down the blog. We’re Republicans.
Craig was not arrested for, charged with, and did not plead guitly to, having public sex.
Where is the public sex you are referring to? Have you seen it? I’m 61 and I have spent an awful lot of time flying around the country and relieving myself of beer and bloody marys in public restrooms from coast to coast, and I have never seen or heard a sex act in one of those restrooms. Have you? Have you seen cops hauling away the cornholers from airport restrooms? Pairs of them, of course?
WTF? What the hell are you imagining? Are we the same people who laugh at the GOP for being scared of turrists, but we ourselves cower in fear of ass-fucking queers in restrooms? Are you serious?
WTF do you expect people to do? I agree he should never have been arrested and we should never have known about it. But there aren’t any liberals who have control over his political future. The GOP wants him gone, and no amount of protest from you or anyone else will change that. Despite these facts, I’m glad for the results of his exposure. It makes a mockery of his entire anti-gay voting record and shows the country that Republicans can’t continue to be so anti-gay when they can’t even guarantee that we don’t populate its ranks throughout.
They were? Where is the record of this, where are the arrests, where are the reports?
Who said they were? What investigative process proved it out? What process produced the “cop in a crapper” solution to this supposed “problem?” What’s the background on this protocol for handling the big imagined problem of public ass fucking and cock sucking in public restrooms?
Where are you getting this?
If we fight against the bathroom policies of the police in this case, won’t it expose the hypocrisy of Larry Craig? If he continued to claim that the policy is a good one–except for him–he’s going to expose that hypocrisy himself.
It’s a hard thing, denying yourself the “satisfaction” of watching someone you dislike get what you think is coming to him. It’s harder still when others provide so many “reasons” that you should let go of any squeamishness and flat-out enjoy.
I’m not sure what’s at issue here. I have no trouble holding these two ideas in my head at the same time:
Larry Craig, as with any adult, is entitled to have whatever kind of consensual sex he wants, with or without wetsuits, and it’s none of anyone’s business.
Larry Craig, who based his career in part by vilifying a certain group of people, turns out to be one of those people. As such, he is a lying hypocrite and a Republican (but I repeat myself) and should be hounded for being a lying hypocrite. And/or a Republican.
IOW, Senator, I don’t care that you’re gay. I do care that you’re a lying hypocrite. Would you please explain yourself on that score, Senator?
Interference of Privacy and Disorderly Conduct
I’ll answer as if you meant the question literally.
I expect — or suggest — that they have their brief moment of schadenfreude, and then realize that the right thing to do is to stand up for Craig and make him an example — a powerful example — of how you defend the rights of the powerless and despised. You shame his GOP buddies, and you show what equal protection really means.
The bottom line is, if you have federal government power over people’s lives (in the form of your legislative votes), you just don’t get to have the same kind of deference to your privacy regarding what you get caught doing publicly, even if you’re caught unjustly. The fact is he was still caught doing what was obvious, and behaviors confirmed by veteran restroom-cruisers. It was a major news story because of his hypocrisy, and no one can stop the GOP from doing what they do to their openly gay members.
WE ALL FALL DOWN
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
Nobody here would be willing to speak up and defend humanity besides ThymeZone. I’m amazed and confused. Keep pushing it TZ, maybe they’ll figure it out one day.
Sure, after he’s defended himself and kept his job with our help. That’s when you ask that question.
The alternative is to turn away from his destruction, and then try to come back and say, oh BTW, that destruction is wrong. Oh, we let it go by in his case because, you know, we don’t like him.
That’s called Ends Justify Means, and it is exactly what we hate the GOP for. You can’t act like them and then pretend to be better than them. Their WHOLE SCHTICK is trying to prove that you are no better than anyone else, therefore you have no moral standing. Why hand them a winning example?
Well, that’s the thing. Craig did plead guilty, partly to avoid embarrassment. OK. It was his embarrassment about being accused of “lewd conduct” which is why he was so desperate to keep the whole thing under wraps. He then turns around after all the dirty laundry has come out in the open and goes against the plea agreement, trying AT THAT POINT to claim he was “innocent.” Which he had already admitted he wasn’t.
What Craig wanted to do is have his cake and eat it too–keep the whole thing under wraps, and when then didn’t happen, claim that nothing had happened.
I’m sure we would all like to have the same freedom to argue everything both ways in law court. It would be so nice, after I’ve pled guilty to tax evasion and arranged for a repayment schedule with the IRS, suddenly be able to say I was innocent and shouldn’t be there at all.
No wonder Craig pissed off the judge. And why didn’t the silly idiot have a lawyer in the first place?
WE ALL FALL DOWN
delicious irony, poetic justice… this is all just a food fight and worth no weight in the real world.
The entire human race is sinking into a deep hole of “fuck you, I’m better” and we will ALL sink down that way eventually.
Wake up people.
Look at his voting record. If his record on gay rights is similar to Larry–have at him–because He deserves a certain amount of public scrutiny. Barney Frank had some issues, but we knew Barney’s “stance”. He was scorned and ridiculed by the right because he was gay, not because he was a hypocrite.
With that said, I do agree that it appears Craig had a good entrapment case. However, I am not an attorney, so this opinion is strictly from a layman with no special knowledge other than what I read in the police report and other news reports.
The issue of public restrooms and entrapment seem problematic. Sex in public is generally a no-no, but that is a result of Americans somewhat puritanical views towards sex. I have not seen any data (or statistics) that shed light on how many of the men entrapped in these sorts of stings are closeted, or married to women. But, unless, and until we have marriage equality for all Americans, we force people to find alternatives for their very natural desires for sexual gratification.
I predict that 20-30 years from now we will look back at this time in the same way that we now look back at the time in when interracial marriage was outlawed. Those who oppose interracial and gay marriage will always exist. They are entitled to their own beliefs. They are not entitled to force laws upon us, that take away our inalienable Right to marry the person of our choice. If the god of your choice forbids you to marry someone outside your race, or marry someone of the same sex, then you must obey your conscience. But your god has no authority in my life, nor upon my rights. It really is that simple. Unfortunately, simple does not translate to easy.
Arrgghh. Don’t you get it? This is not about Craig, it’s about the protection of the law. If you weaken it for him, you weaken it for everybody.
I don’t care what he wanted. That’s why Justice has a blindfold, we are not supposed to judge him by the likeability of his motives. It’s what WE want and need that counts, and what we need is a system that protects everyone the same way, the closeted queers, the skinheads, the powerless, no matter who they are.
So there’s outrage when cops leave purses full of Amex cards in public places then arrest those who don’t turn them into the cops but it’s ok to set up entrapment stings for icky gay people when it catches a republican senator with a record of voting against gays. As John would say, amirite?
WE ALL FALL DOWN
I couldn’t have said this better myself. Awesome post TZ. Don’t expect them to understand, but, carry on and fight the good fight anyway, I’ve got your back.
Well, that’s probably true. I know I now live in fear of being persecuted just for my name.
True enough. But if Craig wants relative privacy about what he gets caught doing, he needs to not be a major politician with some serious power. Would you be making these same arguments if a journalist undercover had done the sting instead? Where he wasn’t arrested, but it was merely a reporter that he solicited? Where would your equal justice argument be then? He shouldn’t have been arrested, but the circumstances in which he did are certainly worthy of interest.
And it was so horrible for him–he pled guilty, didn’t fight the charges, paid $575, promised to resign, contested his guilty plea, had that motion denied, and then reneged on his promise to resign.
So, now that we’ve got that covered, could we talk about, say, someone who’s still in prison and hasn’t been charged with a crime? Or maybe a US soldier who was gravely injured by US soldiers who thought he was a detainee while working in a military detention center on foreign soil and then subsequently shafted by the US government? I mean… really.
I don’t have time to read all the comments, but has anyone pointed out that this hits a bit close to home for ThymeZone?
Being publicly outed for a sexual dalliance is no fun for anyone.
That said, I don’t recall TZ condemning adultry so there isn’t the hypocrasy angle.
See, you need don’t to go this far. Once your name goes on a police blotter or winds up in a court document, it might well wind up in the paper because those are public documents. It’s just that “jake arrested for tap-dancing in the toilet” is a lot less likely to make the news because who the hell cares? Craig was arrested and accused of breaking a law, happens to a lot of people. It was news because he was Larry Craig R-ID. Such is the life of the rich and/or famous.
Now you can call it a stupid pointless law, and a stupid pointless arrest, but it doesn’t get you around the fact that he was arrested and he was accused of breaking a law. So, what was the Senator’s next logical step?
ThymeZone (who isn’t a lawyer as far as I know) has come up with a number of excellent defenses. Imagine what a lawyer could have done for Senator Craig. But for whatever reason Craig waited at least a month to plead guilty and then, once the story hit the paper, wanted to withdraw his guilty plea. JUST BE-FUCKING-CAUSE. (Did he have a lawyer when the plead guilty? I’m not sure. Based on words from the Senator’s own mouth, he didn’t. And he did.)
So without getting into expectations of privacy, I would just say people have to obey the damn law. If they get snared by a stupid law they should try, to the best of their ability, to fight the stupid law. If they lie and squirm and and whine and try to get a state’s court system to change the rules everyone else has to abide by just for them, just be-fucking-cause they’re special … fuck ’em.
What Larry Craig did after the fact matters not one whit to TZ’s argument. (And I call it his argument because I’m not the one who gets answered here, he is. But it is my argument, too.)
TZ’s been arguing that here we have a horrible police setup that criminalizes symbolic gestures because they supposedly imply intent. Because this setup is wrong, we should stand up for ANYONE who is caught up in the legal system for it. (Note: don’t go further than the gestures. Anything else you want to claim are facts not in evidence.) We should stand up for Larry Craig even though we would love to see the downfall of this asshole who has had the holier-than-thou temerity to speak and vote against rights that we would like upheld.
But we’re NOT standing up for Larry Craig, the hypocritical asshole. We’re standing up for Larry Craig, citizen of this country, in the way that we’d want ALL citizens of this country to be supported.
Damn it, Larry Craig could have checked out some of those empty stalls, found them foul, and decided to wait for one (presumably being used because it wasn’t horrible).
He could have looked into the stall to see if the guy would be finished, fidgeted with his fingers because what the hell ELSE do you have to do standing in a bathroom (and given the cop inside a GOOD look at his hands so that he sees the gold ring on his finger).
He could have looked in again because he is wondering what the hell the guy inside is doing since there’s not the “usual” bathroom movements caught out of the corner of the eye–moving feet, leaning forward, reaching for toilet paper–and he’s been in there since Craig walked in.
He could have placed his bag at the front of the stall because there is someone on both sides of him, and what if they reached under the wall and stole it? Someone approaching from the front, he would know about him, but the other two guys are already there! (And he knows one of ’em hasn’t moved in a while.)
And every bit of this (and what came after) is “he said, he said.”
Rule of law, not rule of men. That’s why the law slapped down Craig’s attempts to withdraw his guilty plea.
Wrong. The law slapped down Craig’s attempts to withdraw his guilty plea because the law doesn’t allow do-overs unless you can show there was something irregular about the way in the plea was obtained or entered. Yes, there are a billion and one defenses Craig could have raised and perhaps banished vague lewd behavior and public nuisance laws to the dustbin. But he had to do it before he entered the plea. And I have even less sympathy because he wasn’t some poor schmuck who couldn’t afford a lawyer.
Sorry, even framed as the defense of Joe Everyman, I’m not going to defend Joe when he takes nearly two months to consider his options (with the aid of legal counsel), picks a course of action and then changes his mind, just because.
If Joe’s going to be such a dumb ass, he’s on his own.
Here, if you’re a huge geek and this sort of thing interests you, is the ruling on his motion to withdraw.
The guy’s a fucking weasel.
Wait. I said that the rule of law struck down Craig’s attempt to withdraw his guilty plea and you tell me that I’m wrong because the law doesn’t allow do overs?
What is that except the rule of law? I wouldn’t be allowed to withdraw a guilty plea without something like the irregularities you mentioned. Larry Craig is not allowed to withdraw a guilty plea without something like the irregularities you mentioned. It applies to everyone equally.
I thought I’d kept separate what happened at the time of arrest from how Craig handled it later by starting with it not mattering one whit to the original argument. I didn’t agree with his argument for getting his guilty plea withdrawn. I didn’t expect him to get it withdrawn. I think his trying to do so was part and parcel of his hypocrisy in that he couldn’t admit that his defense of such ambushes (before he was caught in one) could conceivably catch someone “innocent” among “those people.”
Maybe the problem is that the time frame in which liberals could have profitably behaved more in sync with our ideals has passed. Immediately after the announcement, we could have done more than stood back with hands upraised at shoulder level, the “I didn’t touch it” expression on our faces, later to gape and giggle and get in our digs at the scramble that followed.
Sure, we might have been drowned out by Craig’s own side and undercut by the man’s continued stupidities because he thought he could wriggle out of it. However, we’d be able successfully to point at the “live boy, dead girl” attitude about sexual conduct of his side and not get bashed for the “you gleefully out gays when they’re not on your side, so gays ought to realize it’s you LIEberals who are against them.”
I’ve made the point here and my place that the bathroom charges were BS, but I have a political axe to grind with Larry and his policies that created the bathroom zone BS.
I mock Craigs’ hypocricy, I mock his politics. He’s toast in ID, they don’t like what he’s accused of. He’s not my Senator, I don’t care about Craig other than I don’t like hypocricy for political ends.
Whatever Craig’s sexual orientation is, I don’t care. I do care about his crap politics. I can think of no reason I’d want to defend him from his Party or any reason Democrats would. It’s his Party that’s tossed him off a cliff, it is the natural consequence of his Party affiliation and their policies and his free association with such people.
Mocking his orientation sucks, mocking his political association with those people and his personal gain from that association is scarcely “out of bounds.” He is, also, the individual making the statements he makes. If he wanted behavior private, he should have engaged in that behavior in a private manner with people who would maintain that. Not to mention not being in a position that invites scrutiny.
I get it, TZ, it’s the ACLU “we defend the KKK too” thing. But other than asking if the sting operation was necessary, as in addressing real complaints, I can’t see putting any energy into the issue.
I also get the point thatasking someone if he or she is interested in sex should most definitely NOT be a crime. That’s hideous and scary intrusion from Big Brother. But from what I’ve read, that kind of come on made in the privacy of the booth is a “let’s do it now! in here!” sort of come on. (tell me if I’m wrong) Supporting the right to have sex in public restrooms, that’s just not on my list of top ten Civil Rights I’ll put much energy into.
There’s a better reason not to force the weaselly hypocrite into a rallying point for gay civil rights. He wouldn’t want it anyway. He’s not gay, remember. So respect his choice to be a hiding weasel and find someone who needs and wants that kind of support.
WTF? What the hell are you imagining?
Why do you think there happened to be a cop in the same restroom that Craig was tapping his toe in? Pure coincidence?
I’ve asked a gay friend of mine about this, and it’s not that tricky. There are web sites (I’m not going to post a link) that list places where men are looking to hook up. Some of them are public rest rooms. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, so long as “hook up” means “agree to go elsewhere together”.) This particular one at the airport made the list, which resulted in enough traffic there to cause a nuisance. Thus undercover cop to try to abate the nuisance and thus Senator Craig to attempt to become part of it.
By the way, I told my friend that it was pretty pathetic to have to have sex in a rest room, and he agreed. “It’s not a gay thing,” he said. “It’s a married man thing.”
If Craig had really felt he was innocent, why in the heck did he plead guilty?
That’s the weaselly bit about this. Pleads guilty, then wants a do-over. What, did he just have amnesia for two months? “Your Honor, but I was totally INNERCENT of everything and just happened to carry out a series of behaviors that happened to be just coincidentally exactly what homosexuals do when trying to hook up with each other in a bathroom well-known for sexual activity.” Ok, possible argument. Slightly fishy, but ok. So why did the silly dummy plead guilty in the first case?
Or, as I said to a friend of mine: “Let us say you live in a town where all the prostitutes wear red dresses. There are no laws against you wearing a red dress. You also can’t act surprised when people make certain conclusions about you.”
TZ, the snarky one Princess Sparklepony had the low-down on this infamous bathroom, which was on at least two prominent gay meat-up boards (mis-spelling intentional). And yes, it was a MAHvelous tea-room trade party spot while it lasted, with dozens of complaints documented to the airport commission about how the restroom was being used for partying rather than pottying.
From what I understand, Craig was arrested for soliciting sex using the same protocols described on those gay meat-up boards. Go read the good Princessess’s accounts if you want the, ahm, pony’s-eye view. About two pages down she quotes from one of those gay meat-up boards the exact protocol to use to solicit sex in that restroom — which Craig followed exactly. (Note: You may wish to scroll all the way down and read the stories in chronological order, they are simply, ah, MAH-velous).
Once again, I don’t care whether Craig is gay, not gay, bisexual, Martian, or just confused, it’s clear based on his behavior that he was going to be using this potty for partying rather than pottying and that’s simply a misuse of public facilities regardless of his sexual orientation or lack thereof. You may whine that the cops are being “thought police” here by penalizing the solicitation rather than actual sex, but note that threatening to kill someone is a crime just as actually killing someone is a crime, albeit with a lesser penalty. I suppose you’re gonna say the cops are being the “thought police” when they enforce that one, to?!
– Badtux the Potty Penguin
There was an article in one of the Seattle papers about citizens complain about gays trolling for sex in the public bathrooms at a park down in the Georgetown neighborhood. Now while there was no political angle, I certainly think there was a judgement (a good one) being made by the other users of the park that it’s not OK to have to fear running into people having sex in the bathroom of a public park.
I don’t particularly think trolling for sex in public bathrooms is in the same league as what goes on in the privacy of your bedroom (or even a bath-house). It’s not even the same as Larry Craig and an anonymous partner signaling each other
So, unless you believe Larry Craig’s denials, or think that he would have just met the guy in the bathroom and then gone somewhere else (very doubtful, from what I’ve read), this is a basic public decency kind of thing. Not what I want the police spending a lot of time on, but hardly a law I’d oppose enforcing or the spectre of Big Brother that TZ keeps making it out to be.
And TZ, far from being a “someday we’ll get it” scenario, it’s just something you see differently than the rest of us. That’s obviously fine, but the fact that you can’t see how incensed you are out of proportion to the responses you get and the situation is kind of telling.
(sorry, add this to the second paragraph)… signaling each other on the street and then going back to one or another’s apartment.
Again, everything I’ve read and seen says that it’s not casual signaling in the bathroom and then back to an apartment.
I live in the gay district in Seattle, and see the men trolling for sex in the parks, despite plenty of gay bars/clubs, a bath house and a lack of discrimination in Seattle in general for gays.
The police here generally avoid policing it unless someone complains. But they do lock the bathrooms and design them so it’s harder to have dark corners for a reason.
“Your Honor, I pled guilty so this would go away quietly, but since that didn’t work I’d like to switch to ‘not guilty’.”
I find it quite revealing whenever liberals crow about a homosexual being outed. It should demonstrate to gays that the Democrat party’s “tolerance” is a smoke screen.
If the only thing keeping a gay person from voting Republican is the urban myth that the left loves them, they should reread threads like these and smarten up.
If you’re gay and want your taxes lowered, social security privatized and wasteful spending on useless social programs cut to the bone, vote Republican. The Democrats pretend to like you, but to them you are just weirdos who wear two wetsuits.
Yet liberals pretend to think this is nobody’s business. Hypocrites to the core.
Oh, but we don’t hate gays. Are you calling TZ a snippy little homer?
Uh huh. The only reason that TZ comments about this is because he’s queer. More breathtaking hypocrisy from the “tolerant” left. It’s who they are.
Count me also with Time Zone. If we’re going to defend the rights of terrorists and terrorism suspects (and I do), we should also defend the rights of homophobic hypocrits. Being a jerk does not in any way, shape or form diminish the rights of the accused.
Bathroom sex bothers me. So does the thought of the Sex Police haunting public restrooms making arrests for such heinous crimes as (gasp!) foot tapping. There have got to be better ways to discourage restroom sex. And I don’t see how you can prove Larry Craig didn’t mean to take it somewhere else unless you let him go a lot farther than any undercover cop would care to. Which just takes us back to the point that there must be less intrusive ways to discourage restroom sex.
ACLU principles aside, Larry Craig does not have the right to engage in sex in the stalls of a PUBLIC restroom. And neither does anyone else.
You would be an idiot to believe Craig’s signals were unintentional. He passed FOUR restrooms to use that particular restroom. A restroom, mind you, that was in the opposite direction from his next connecting flight.
It was his intention to engage in sex in a public place. That’s a problem.
it’s the same hypocrisy bothering them that you’re displaying. By all means, if you’re gay and would like to be legislated into 2nd class citizenship vote Republican. If you’d like a bunch of ‘whatever closet’ closeted hypocrits legislating your morality vote Republican. Despite the fact that I could not engage in the act, I cannot countenance the idea of denying people love and a legitimate family life for that reason.
short version-you suck
Hey Psycho, does the Sun revolve around the Earth, or vice versa? We’d love to hear your thoughts on that, because it’s such a controversial theory, and your blog has expressed an opinion on this.
that’s right, TZ, they goddamned fucking well deserve it just like a Jew who would help the Nazis would deserve it or a black person who would help the KKK would deserve it.
These aren’t just run-of-the-mill everyday hypocrites, they are part of a political movement which has the power and the influence to deprive homosexuals of their civil rights, of their right to equal employment opportunity, of their right to live where they please and with whom they please.
These are people who regularly incite otherwise decent (and many indecent) people to hate and fear gays.
What is wrong with you people?
crows about a homosexual being
Factchecked for Psyche’s wellknown distate of the truth.
crows about a homosexual being
Factchecked for Psyche’s wellknown distate of the truth.
The 2006 Republican party platform demanded that the Constitution be amended to ban gay marriage, insisted that gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered partners be prohibited from visiting one another in hospitals on the same terms as heterosexual couples, demanded that health insurance and retirement benefits be outlawed for GLBT couples, and was against granting any sort of legal status to domestic partners of any orientation.
But wait, there’s more! Republicans demanded that GLBTs not be allowed to have custody of children, not be allowed to adopt children (that one is actually mentioned three different times in the platform) and not even be permitted visitation with minor children in the event of divorce.
And for the final coup-de-grace, the GOP platform demanded homosexuals be excluded from the Americans with Disabilities Act, and that there be no hate crimes classification for those who assault or kill homosexuals because of their orientation.
That’s just the GOP platform from the most recent election year. I don’t think I need to go into what Republican politicians say and do about homosexuality… or do I?
I promise to pay you $1,000 when the Democratic party platform incorporates this kind of queer-hating into it.
Until then, I’m not sure if you’re campaigning for World’s Biggest Asshole or World’s Stupidest Troll. You’re not either but I’d say you’re giving it a pretty good run for your money.
what an asinine statement. Who among us is demanding that Larry Craig not have the same rights as anyone else?
I didn’t know Larry Craig had a ‘right’ to hold federal office regardless of his scumbag behavior. I’m not aware that anyone passed a law that said a hypocritical scumbag can’t serve in Congress. (insert obvious joke here)
I didn’t know Ted Haggard had a ‘right’ to be the pastor of a megachurch. I am not aware that any judge had him thrown in jail or forcibly removed him from his job. In fact, he resigned of his own free will.
Calling out obscene hypocrisy is not exactly the same as taking away someone’s rights. Get a fucking grip.
ho. ho. ho.
this is a completely unscientific survey of course, but if you live in a city large enough to have a good amount of activity on Craig’s List, go check out the “M4M” ads or the “Casual Encounters” ads.
I got the impression from reading CL, that there are a LOT of married guys who are on the down low or like to suck some cock while out of town for business.
hmph. That’s the same old tired faux-outrage crap Republicans have specialized in for the last 30 some years. Just because they say it, it doesn’t mean that it carries any weight.
When Republicans quit hating on gays and using hatred of them as a cruel, cynical political strategy to acquire power, then it won’t be necessary to out homosexual Uncle Toms.
ThymeZone still refuses to acknowledge what Craig was actually charged with, and what he pled guilty to. He was charged with disorderly conduct, and according to the appellate judge his attempt to back away from that guilty plea was without merit.
As I pointed out here, I read the judge’s decision and he dismantled Craig’s arguments completely.
Now, if TZ wants to argue that the law should not be on the books, that’s fine, let’s have that argument, and I’ll argue on the side of eliminating the law. But to continue to try to argue that Craig was guilty of nothing more than tapping his foot and waving his hand is a bogus argument. It’s bullshit, in fact. There was a law on the books; Craig was charged under that law as it has been applied in numerous other cases; Craig pleaded guilty; when he tried to walk away from the plea, a judge found he had no basis to have the plea (and conviction) reversed. End of fucking story.
man, i had no idea that not wanting people having public sex in airport restrooms made me gay. shit, this is a fuckin’ revelation. i thought it had to do with fuckin’ guys. wait til i tell my wife that i’m gay.
so please explain how being against sex in public places makes you anti-gay. i guess if someone is for having the cops bust johns in a sting on the corner down the street they must hate middle-aged straight white men. maybe they just don’t like prostitution.
and that’s the thing. you can get busted for solicitation long before you busted for the crime you’re soliciting. again, prostitution.
now, people will point out that the kooky stuff craig was doing were the standard ‘signs’ for soliciting public sex. others will say it was merely toe tapping and hand waving.
of course, a john busted in a prostitution sting will say ‘hey, i didn’t ask the bitch about sex. i just asked her if she could show me where “dick street” is’. the judge, on the other hand, will not be amused.
So, jumping in here, I still agree with TZ and I think the entrapment of Craig and dozens of other possibly gay men (remember, there were many people who were arrested in that bathroom sting operation) was an affront to the way our country should be run and a deliberate attack on people who would solicit for in gay sex (inside or outside of bathrooms).
The police were over the line there.
(Full disclosure: I’m a journalist and I write the political column for Colorez!, and every now and then I’ve made Larry Craig jokes in that column. But the gist of the joke is disbelief in his public profession of “not gay” — I also wrote the Colorez! editorial which said, in short, that this is non-news and represents an unfair targeting of people who seek to in gay sex.)
Read the ruling on Craig’s attempt to withdraw the plea. Besides sitting in a stall at the airport, what the hell did the cop do that would be considered “entrapment”? The police had previously been alerted to complaints about the activity at the airport, and were following up on them. The cop did absolutely nothing to lead Craig into any criminal activity — Craig initiated all contact, from standing outside the stall and staring through the crack in the door, to going into the stall next door as soon as it bacame available (ignoring other empty stalls available at the time), and proceeded to reach under the separating wall. He was arrested for disorderly conduct; he pleaded guilty.
I don’t give a flying fuck if Craig is gay, straight, bisexual or a duck — this was not entrapment, and he wasn’t arrested for “tapping his feet”. He violated a law which had previously been declared constitutional by Minnesota courts, for “disorderly conduct”. He pleaded guilty.
Personally, if I was in a men’s room stall and someone started groping around under the wall into my stall, I’d probably grab his hand and start snapping his fingers in two — there are some places where I expect privacy and that’s certainly one. I think the law is valid, and was, in this case, appropriately applied. Disacgree with the law? Fine — work to get it repealed. But cut the “entrapment” bullshit.
Uh, they were sitting around in a stall specifically busting people who may or may not have been propositioning for sex — they were looking for people to bust and fine.
They weren’t, however, looking to cut down on sex in public bathrooms. Because there are a lot easier ways to do that than have a cop sitting around waiting to see what happens.
Plenty of other people were arrested for the same thing, and they plead guilty too — because the cops promise to make the whole thing go away with a small fine.
But does this cut down on public sex in bathrooms? Eh, not really. It does make more money for the police department, though, and after all, who is going to defend a bunch of homo cocksuckers in bathrooms, right? Eww, icky!
Apparently it’s up to 8 people who are willing to go on the record about their trysts or being hit-on by Larry Craig.
This reminds me, in a sad way, of Jim West in Spokane, WA.
Uh, this is not entrapment. Just like it’s not entrapment when an undercover cop (male or female) poses as a prostitute.
Emphasis added by me. Larry Craig was not unwilling. He saw someone in the stall, which is the “initial signal”, but then he initiated the follow-up contact, including all the “rules” he followed as outlined by others.
Regardless of what you otherwise believe, it’s not entrapment just because the police officer was not a prostitute, gay man wanting sex, drug dealer, etc.
I personally think prostitution (but not public sex) should be legal. However, prostitution stings, drug busts, public sex busts, etc. are legal, and well supported by case law.
If a couple of people (gay or straight) want to have sex in a toilet stall, fine — I can think of better places to do it, and so, I’m sure, can you. But you used the word that’s key in all of this — “propositioning”. We’re not talking about a couple of willing partners here — we’re talking about someone trolling for a partner, by unwanted and unsolicited means.
Are you seriously advocating that it should not be illegal for someone to make unwanted advances to perfect strangers in public places? Are you seriously advocating that you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy when you’re sitting on a toilet in a stall in a public restroom? That it’s OK for someone to peer in at you through the crack at the door, and to reach out to you under the wall that separates your stall from his/hers? Would it make a difference if the person just stood outside the stalls and said, “Hey, wanna fuck?”
Please tell me that’s what you’re advocating — complete unfettered ability to make unwanted advances to anyone, anywhere, anytime. That’s the only way your argument makes any sense, and it’s still a bullshit argument.
I have had several incidents in public mens rooms over the years. In one situation at a truck stop, a young guy stuck his head over the top of the stall and made me an offer that I had no problem refusing. We were the only ones in the bathroom at that moment, and the guy quickly left. In other cases, it has been men drilling holes in bathroom stalls to watch other men use the urinal while they get off on it in the stall. Stupid shit happens in public mens rooms, and anyone who thinks it doesn’t is an idiot. If they can bust these people, more power to the cops.
Was the sting legit? Who knows. IMO, Craig tried to keep the whole thing quiet with his plea and he should have known that there was no way that this was going to stay under wraps. No f’ing way. But for some reason Craig decided to take the plea and not fight it as any innocent person would (I know I sure as hell would have!).
I do not hate Larry Craig, nor do I care about him any more or less than any other person out there. He took the hit on his record without a whimper, until it became public. All of the sudden he wants a do-over (what is it with the right always wanting do-overs?).
Craig is getting his due, and he is the one who put himself in that position by pleading guilty instead of getting an attorney and fighting the charge. He made his bed, and he can lay in it.
Toss him an anvil is damn right. Craig has alienated people on both sides with his positions (in his party, the Senate and the restroom), and he is the one who has to bite the bullet on this.
In the end, Craig could not make it go away, and he knew it. The smart thing would have been to lawyer up and fight it openly. I guess he is not very smart.
Anyone who wants to cry foul over his position is free to do so, but that will not change the facts. Larry Craig is his own worst enemy.
by that logic a cop shooting radar on the side of the road is entrapment.
But does this cut down on public sex in bathrooms?
If the web sites that previously said “Try the men’s room across from gate A-17” now say “The Minneapolis Airport is not safe. It’s full of undercover cops”, then, yes, it does.
And in fact, according to Princess Sparklepony’s postings, said gay sex web sites indeed now do say “don’t go to that restroom, it’s full of undercover cops”, and complaints of people partying rather than pottying in that restroom have gone way down. To quote the Good Princess, quoting the web site “CruisingForSex.com” about the series of busts that ensnared Larry Craig:
“I just got busted here. Young white guy sitting in the stall, waiting for you to show cock and then he flashes his badge. I think he and his partner tag team. They cruise lots of sex sites looking for guys to set up.”
“Twenty people were arrested within the past week. Plainclothes officers wait in the stalls and tap their feet and even put their foot on yours and then arrest you when you look under the stall wall. This is a very homophobic group.”
And from another sex site:
“Cops arrested 3 airport employees 3 weeks ago that were getting it on in the washroom. They are aware of what goes on there and cruising should be avoided. I got this info from a reliable source who works at the MSP airport. Beware.”
etc. etc. etc.
Needless to say, the partying was over in that potty, and it was once again usable for pottying.
Once again, the beef is not that the folks having anonymous sex in this bathroom are gay, not gay, bisexual, Martian, or bovine. The beef is that they’re using the potty for a purpose which precludes its use for its intended purposes, thereby inconveniencing dozens of airport travelers who complained about the issue over the months before the busts began. As I stated before, potties are for pottying, not partying.
– Badtux the Potty Penguin
If this is right, regarding the cops doing the tapping and such, that screams to me of entrapment as it would be the cops doing the propositioning. Ask any cops who have done prostitution stings, they CANNOT bring up the money or sex for money, if they do the case would get tossed for entrapment.
I wonder if any of the people getting upset about gay men being arrested for trying to have sex in a public bathroom would argue that civil liberties are at stake if a straight couple was arrested for having sex in a bar restroom. I fail to see how equal protection extends to making exceptions for violating laws against lewd public behavior if the lewd public behavior is also gay.
Also, TZ would like it to be known that from now on, it is unconstitutional to arrest anyone who tries to buy “weed” from an undercover cop unless the cop actually transfers marijuana to the subject, sees him roll a joint and smoke it. Otherwise, it could all just be a misunderstanding, as the subject could have been trying to buy crabgrass.
Undercover police officers in prostitute sex stings should not make arrests barring contracts in writing, and if the client merely asks to “slip you the salami” the contracts must be in triplicate and explicitly state the nature of the sex acts to be performed, otherwise the subject could just be looking for private tutoring for his Butchering vo-tech program.
I have to disagree with Josh Marshall; I doubt a lawyer could have gotten Craig off any lighter than he did because judges unlike the general population, see this all the time and know better than to believe that specific series of taps and gestures are mere coincidence.
But since TZ thinks they can be, there’s a raised middle finger right here for him. Not that that means anything.
This is an “ends justifies the means” debate. Craig got busted for doing what he condemned others for doing. Moreover he also did his best to deny those others their civil rights on the basis of their sexual behavior. So how should those of us who believe that rights are for everyone–gay or straight–respond? What’s fair? What’s practical? Is this a case when the fair and the practical are opposed? I think TZ is right for pushing us to consider if we’re doing the right thing by indulging our Schadenfreude.
I don’t think cops should be policing hook-ups–I think there’s less punitive ways to stop public sex–but I’m more concerned about the GOP’s anti-gay policies, since they create a lot more harm than the tickets those cops were handing out. In order to disempower those who use “morality” as a legislative club against those they disagree with, I think it’s a useful strategy to expose their hypocrasy at every opportunity, whatever form it may take. Expose it and mock it. But do so in a way that does not infringe on their civil rights.
I pity Craig, but I think he should be publically mocked for his hypocritical attempts to deny others their rights. In this case it’s a necessary tactic to protect those rights. But I think we can and should also work to stop people from getting busted for consensual sex. Even if it’s Craig getting busted.
By the way, ACLU has been working to protect Craig’s rights. I don’t have the link, but I read about it a few weeks ago. Someone with more time can google it.
Nobody was getting busted for consensual sex. They were getting busted for consensual sex IN A PUBLIC RESTROOM. I don’t care what people do in the privacy of their own bedroom, whether it’s with a man, a woman, a threesome, or a goat (well, maybe with the goat, that seems like animal cruelty). But when I go into a potty, I go there to potty. If the potties are occupied by partying tearoom queens, I can’t potty. It’s a PUBLIC RESTROOM, not a PUBLIC SEXROOM. Why is that such a hard concept to understand?
It’s not–and if people are being indiscrete to the point that others are aware of what they’re doing, then it’s simple enough to have a cop bust them at that point, or even just give them a warning (like when John’s neighbors call in a complaint about him blasting the Beastie Boys at 3am). There’s no need for the lengths the cops went to–they just wanted to bust some queers. Typical overkill.
Jess, I would have to respectfully disagree with you about whether or not the police should be policing ‘hook-ups’. If the person is looking for a hookup in a public bathroom, I say that the police have a responsibility to go after them. I have been verbally solicited for bathroom sex, and that was not what was on my mind when I entered it. I should be not subjected to this, nor should anyone else. IMO, you have to be a sick fuck to be looking for sex (hetro, homo or Martian) in a public bathroom. That is just gross in so many ways. Any guy who has seen what other guys can do to a public mens room knows exactly what I am saying.
BadTux is right, pottys are for pottying, not partying. When I travel, there are several mens rooms that I will never use again because of the problems in them. I don’t often agree with the cops, but in this case, as long as they are doing it legally (no entrapment) then I have no problem with it. If it was entrapment, I am sure that it would have been exposed by now.
i dunno too much about public bathroom sex but i can’t imagine that these hookups take too long due to the environment. will they still be in the act by the time you run out, find a cop, explain the situation and bring him back to the john?
But you can see the dangers involved–think back to Michael’s posts about the sex-offenders registry. It’s just too easy to ruin someone’s life over a misunderstanding or because someone was grossed out. I’m not going to accuse you guys of homophobia, but you do realize that some police actions can have unintended consequences that are worse than the original problem, and policing sexual activity has historically been one of those fraught areas. I’m not saying it’s all swell and dandy to impose your sex life on an unsuspecting public, but demanding criminal proceedings, even just tickets, against those who offend us can come back to haunt us in unpleasant ways (as Craig found out the hard way, so to speak).
Here’s an example from the other side: A week or so ago there was a big brouhaha over at Shakespeare’s Sister about boob novelty items and obscene fixtures in men’s bathrooms. Deeply offensive and gross to a lot of women, many of whom were ready to Do Something (what, I don’t know). I disagreed with them because there’s only so much stupid behavior you can stamp out before you’re the one being a stupid jerk imposing on others. But I ask you, would you agree with those women who would love to see those obscene (in a heterosexual way) fixtures in public men’s rooms banned?
If idiots want to use bathrooms with female anatomical fixtures, AND the bathroom has a notice regarding this and that minors are not allowed in, then I would not have a problem with it. Hell, if women wanted to put anything representative of men in their bathroom and wee on it, as long as minors are not allowed in and it is posted outside of the restrooms, then go for it.
Personally, I would not use a mens room that was designed like this unless necessity forced me to. But that is the big sticker regarding sex in public bathrooms, minors use them. Would you like some perv ogling your son through a hole bored in the stall while he uses a urinal? Hell, it is creepy when I have to stand sideways so I don’t let some perv get his jollies. I have been temped to pull the stall door open and beat the fuck out of the assholes, but my better sense keeps me from doing it. That and they probably would like it. ;)
If it was a gay bar that the cops were staking out, then I would call that going too far. Not that gay bars are or should be this way, but you get people drinking and shit happens. At least it is in an adult only situation. But rest stops, gas station, airport and other public bathrooms are used by kids, and it is no place to be having sex. Heck, when traveling with our daughter who was then just out of diapers, I had to take her in to mens rooms in some places because when nature calls for a kid, you better move or there is going to be a mess. Luckily, in those cases the bathroom was either empty, or the men there were polite and respected her privacy.
If they ever make a list of men who were busted for bathroom sex, then that is going too far and I think most any logical person would agree. Forget the moonie wingnuts though…lol! But busting them for pulling this crap is just fine with me. I think most parents would agree with me on this.
Okay, CL–I think we’re dealing with fuzzy shades of gray, and I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but I generally think we should err on the side of conservatism (or would that be libralism? I can’t keep it straight any more–so to speak!) when it comes to criminalizing behavior that doesn’t actually harm people (other than their sensibilities).
Anyway, my point was directed more towards TZ’s concern about ridiculing Craig for the pickle he got himself into. I think it’s a separate issue from whether his civil rights were infringed on when he got busted, and even if he beats the rap, he should still be exposed as a hypocrite so that his power to harm others is diminished.
I would not want to see bathroom sex become a felony, that is for sure. If it is going on, and people are complaining about being offended, then hit the offenders with a misdemeanor charge. If a few people get nabbed, the word will get out quickly and I am sure that the ‘toilet plungers’ will move on.
I don’t know if it is erring on the side of conservatism or liberalism. I am both, so I guess either is fine with me!