I feel for gay men who have to go into the dark corners of society to get their sexual freak on. I'd feel badly for Senator Craig too were it not for his overflowing hypocrisy, dished out to the public for decades. His is the worst kind of bullshit. Here's a man who had the power to make a difference in the very lives of the men he disdained in public but sought out in the privacy of an anonymous john (sorry), head (oops), stall. Does my heart go out to him for the shame and life shattering exposure he's faced over the last week? Yes, it truly does. But then, Bill Maher aired file footage of Sen. Craig talking to Chris Matthews in January of 1999, calling Bill Clinton a "nasty, bad, naughty, boy." Once the creepiness of his words went away, I figure he's getting what he deserves.
There's nothing worse than a self righteous, moralizing hypocrite. We all have dark corners in one way or another. Most of us just know better than to proselytize about the sinners during the day and drink with them at night. Folks tend to enjoy a good weenie roast for guys like that. None more so than myself.
Sadly, it looks as though he's been lying to himself for a lot longer than to us. Sadder still, it's sort of our fault. No, I'm not suggesting that Senator Craig's toe tapping off, off, off Broadway musical in the Minneapolis men's room was set in motion by anyone in particular, save perhaps the delicious looking feet of the undercover cop in the stall next to his. But, we have to ask ourselves this: what sends a grown man, with everything to lose, into a bathroom stall in order to get his jollies in the first place?
If homosexuality were not sinful in the minds of so many folks who are sure that they know what's best for the rest of us, if entire families weren't shattered because they couldn't possibly accept their son or daughter's sexuality, if homosexuality were not feared but rather accepted or just plain old normalized in the holier than thou minds of a significant portion of our population; bathroom stalls in airports would be used for what God intended: hiding your weed before passing through security.
Guess what? It serves us right. We've been shaming homosexual men and women in this country since Jamestown. And, you can be damn sure some sexy English sailor was making goo-goo eyes at ye olde ship's mate way back when. They probably even tapped their feet a time or two -- but far enough away to make sure that the taboo relationship that had tongues wagging was John Smith and Pocahontas.
What do we expect? We've shamed and marginalized one of the kindest most decent slices of our society -- homosexuals -- sending into the shadows some of our brightest stars, and now we have the moxie to wonder why those people act this way in public bathrooms.
We put them there.
Senator Craig's voting record makes him no friend of mine. But, man, what a price he's paying now. I wonder if, now that the cat's out of the bag, he'd like to go back and change a few of the votes he made over the years? Unfortunately, I doubt it. I won't pretend to know him or his mind, but I'd bet he's still clinging to his positions he struggled so hard to establish over his decades in public office.
And, where dos he go now for comfort? His Republican base? No. Republicans have dropped him like the radioactive dead weight that he is. What of his loyal conservative voting record? Old news. He's worthless to them now. No surprise there. The right wing wouldn't, couldn't have it any other way.
Will his family stay by his side? I hope so. Like any man or woman in his unfortunate position, he needs their unconditional love and support. (Insert poetic irony sigh here.) If Saturday's press conference announcing his resignation is any indication, it looks like they are. Time will tell.
I wish Senator Craig no harm. I wish him a future where he can, if only in the back nine of his life, live out of the shadows. I wish that for him on one condition, that he hopes and supports the same thing for everyone else.
Live free or die? Catchy slogan... It's not just for New Hampshire anymore. I hope he gives it a try.