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September 12, 2007

I do not think it means what they think it means

One thing I’ve been hearing a lot over the past few weeks is that if Senator Larry Craig did indeed solicit sex from an undercover police officer, using various methods of Secret Homosexual Communication, he’s a hypocrite because he’s come out (so to speak) against gays in the military and same-sex marriage and civil unions.

How is this hypocrisy? You can be a smoker and still believe that smoking should be prohibited in public spaces and that taxes on cigarettes are good policy. You can believe that adultery should be illegal, yet nonetheless adult. It may not make you an honorable person, but there’s no hypocrisy there: You’re stating your honest beliefs, even though they might be in your best interests.

doonesbury-craig.gif

A little closer to true hypocrisy would be the fact that while Craig’s fellow Republicans are calling for his resignation, they’re fairly mum about Senator David Vitter’s recently-revealed adventures with a prostitute; though even that wouldn’t be hypocritical if said Republicans are open about the fact they consider homosexual sex to be inherently wrong. They may be homophobes, but that doesn’t make them hypocrites.

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13 Comments »

  1. Exactly so!

    Comment by Its justme — September 12, 2007 @ 7:05 pm

  2. Homophobia has nothing to do with it. Otherwise, Democrats calling for Craig’s head should be painted with the same broad brush. It has to do with who replaces the respective Senators once they step down. Craig gets replaced by another Republican, Vitter gets replaced by a Democrat. From an RNC pov; Craig needs to be cut loose while Vitter’s departure hurts. From DNC pov; well, anything to embarrass a Republican and gain a seat makes it a win-win.

    Comment by William Matheny — September 12, 2007 @ 8:56 pm

  3. Before the airport men’s room incident, Craig had been protesting (too much apparently) that he was not gay. If these allegations are true, then that is surely hypocrisy. If the allegations are untrue, it constitutes one of the most amazing series of unfortunate coincidences that I can imagine and my heart bleeds for the man’s Kafkaesque predicament. But, come on, it’s like a SNL skit in the improbability that that’s the case.

    Comment by Lola — September 13, 2007 @ 9:53 am

  4. Bill, I think what makes him a hypocrite is that he spoke out against gays, while being (presumably) secretly gay (or bisexual). I’m actually having some trouble thinking of a more straightforward example of hypocrisy. If someone tells me that they think eating meat is wrong, but that they can’t stop themselves, I don’t think they’re a hypocrite. But if they tell me that it’s wrong to eat meat, and that they don’t, and I shouldn’t, and then I find out that they’ve been plowing through hamburgers late at night, I’d think they were a hypocrite. And if the smoker in your example claimed that she didn’t smoke, and moralized about smokers, but was actually secretly a smoker, then I’d say that she was a hypocrite too.

    In Craig’s defense, I don’t see that he’s done anything worthy of resigning. We don’t normally make politicians resign for being hypocrites. If we did, we wouldn’t have many politicians left from either party.

    Comment by Autumn Harvest — September 13, 2007 @ 10:23 am

  5. Autumn, I’m not familiar with the esteemed Senator form Idaho’s positions. Ha she actually said that being gay is wrong or a bad thing? If so, that would be hypocricy. If his position has been that he is against gay marriage or gay military service, that may not be construed as hypocricy, since Sen Craig hasn’t married a man or tried to serve in the military.

    Comment by Blinky the Wonder Wombat — September 13, 2007 @ 10:52 am

  6. It may be that Republicans would like to see Craig step down because
    he has no chance of being reelected (the voters in his state apparently weren’t particularly pleased with him even before the restroom incident came to light) and they would like to have someone else who may have a chance run for his seat.

    Comment by Robert Warden — September 13, 2007 @ 10:55 am

  7. Blinky, I don’t know what Craig has said publicly about being gay. But I infer a message that there’s something wrong about being gay from his votes to discriminate against gays.

    Comment by Autumn Harvest — September 13, 2007 @ 2:29 pm

  8. It’s probable that he sees no hypocrisy in his actions, or his statements.

    He probably views himself as a straight man who occasionally has sex with men, just as I consider myself a non-smoker, even though I used to smoke once every three months at a quarterly poker game.

    I am all for the indoor smoking bans that have been passed here in Minnesota, even though I have an occasional cigarette. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite.

    I’m sure Mr. Craig thinks along these same lines WRT being gay:

    “Gay people want to marry other men, they want to march in those icky parades, they want to hold hands with men and go to those bars and wear leather and all that. I’m not gay; I’m not like that. People like that should not be accepted in polite society. They should not be able to flaunt their lifestyle choice like that.

    I am an upstanding married family man and Senator. I have this occasional itch that I cannot help but scratch. I am not like those gays, who do not want help with their affliction.”

    [speaking in character there, just to forestall flames. Not an actual quote from Mr. Craig]

    Comment by Chaz — September 13, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

  9. Inconceivable!!

    Sorry – I couldn’t just leave that Princess Bride reference lying there…

    Comment by Molly — September 15, 2007 @ 1:47 am

  10. First – this whole discussion is based on the assumption that Sen. Craig is in fact gay. If he is not then this is a (as Joey on Friends once put it) MOO point. While I have no proof, I like other believe that the Senator is gay and has been in the closet.

    A smoker CAN be against smoking in public places and not be a hypocrite. But if that same smoker lights up in a public place, while railing against the act he certainly is a hypocrite. In my view, Senator Craig was lighting up.

    In addition – to continue the analogy, Senator Craig is smoker, who claims not to smoke and never has smoked and who has lit up in a public place.

    To me this is all very hypocritical.

    Now add his add his chastising of Bill Clinton on the Chris Mathews for his adultery
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3879788029405552981&q=Larry+Craig+bill+maher&total=19&start=0&num=100&so=0&type=search&plindex=17
    Assuming that Senator Craig was soliciting sex, the he was certainly planning on committing adulteery — he is married. This also is extremely hypocritical in my eyes.

    Add to all that the ‘family values’ platform of the Republican party and Senator Craig’s support of that and I have to disagree with Bill – in my mind Senator Craig is a hypocrite.

    But as someone else said — he shouldn’t resign for hypocrisy — that is not a crime and ALL politicions are guilty of it. However, if what Senator Craig is charged with is true, then he broke the law, and that may be a reason for him to resign.

    I do think it exceedingly hypocritical for there to be calls for Senator Craig to resign, and not Senator Vitter, who also broke the law by visiting prostitutes.

    All this being said — I think this is not really a major issue and yet another distraction for the really pressing problems that our country faces.

    Comment by Nicole — September 15, 2007 @ 11:58 am

  11. Molly — I thought that was “InconTHeivable!!”

    Comment by Nicole — September 15, 2007 @ 12:16 pm

  12. From the sublime to the ridiculous

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6998619.stm

    You’ll have to click to find out what it says

    Comment by Nicole — September 17, 2007 @ 1:16 pm

  13. But Nicole, the law that he was convicted of was a misdemeanor—disorderly conduct. That hardly seems resign-worthy.

    Comment by Autumn Harvest — September 17, 2007 @ 2:01 pm


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