Friday, October 5, 2007

OK, more on Larry Craig, if everybody insists

I didn't really know about these guys before. A sociology professor on TV ran through the (apparently well-documented) scenario. There's this elaborate sort of bowerbird bathroom dance involving sustained eye contact through the crack of the door, the notorious foot-tapping movement (that I have experienced first hand), the vague hand-swiping thing and apparently several more behaviors to insure that the agreement to consensual sex is clear. And interestingly this behavior is characteristic of straight-identified men, not "gays." Is there a name for this sexual identity? I thought Larry Craig's saddest moment was when he stood at the microphones and said, "I'm not gay," as if his being gay or not established his guilt, and not whether he had solicited a vice cop in the men's room. Talk about out of it!
I can think of two fairly clear implications of all this, if the facts of the subculture are more or less as described. One is that if the vice cop says, "Yeah, he's one of those guys all right," he's most likely one of those guys. The other is that he was definitely entrapped by the vice cop. The cop had to sustain the eye contact and maintain the posture and so forth, by his own account, for some minutes, and if that's not entrapment I don't know what is. I appreciate that airports and municipalities and so on have to maintain order in the public restrooms, and basically all one can do is prohibit the behavior with penalties. But should the vice cops be sort of trolling around in your sex life, like they do in Iran? How about an attractive young woman vice cop, sent to lure the old goat to his demise? Don't answer that, dear!
As to the political matter of the senator,what, as Comrade Lenin once asked, is to be done? The way the system works is this: the sovereign citizen voter elects their executive and legislature. Those electees then serve terms fixed by the Constitution. At the end of those terms the electors have to decide anew. It's more rigid than a parliamentary system where enough votes can force a new round of elections for prime minister, who is thus always exposed. The President, for example, will serve until January 2009, regardless of shifting political opinion. So will Larry Craig, if he so chooses. And there are good reasons for resisting the idea that party bosses in Washington can oust a "sitting Senator." The clearest message the public was sending during President Clinton's impeachment trial, when the polls were giving him 90 percent approval ratings, was that the national consensus was that only the voters should decide who is President. The Senators invoking impeachment seemed like members of the high school student council, for whom rewriting constitutions and forming new governments is the very thing. Senator Craig has an election next year. Let his constituents decide. There have been Congressmen who have served from their jail cells, for that matter.
Not to imply by any of this that I think Larry Craig should stay on for another year in the Senate. Obviously the Idaho Republican Party will nominate someone else for the Senate race next year. So he could stay on as a faithful Republican, voting as he always has. That's most likely, that way people will deal with him sooner or later. But if he a) truly believes that his constituents don't want him and b) is being asked by his party to resign in the name of the party's political prospects, those are pretty hard arguments to resist. Alternatively he could go indy, come out about his true sexuality (whatever that is), and start really speaking his mind at last. Even if that were to happen, this will be my last word on the topic.

No comments: