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Senator Larry Craig - A Democrat who Feels Sorry for Him

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As a bona-fide, card-carrying and self-admitted member of the bleeding hearts club, I often feel sorry for people who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances. See, I did it again. I know that people do not "find themselves" in unfortunate circumstances, at least not most of the time. The reason people get into trouble is usually actions they chose to take. Senator Larry Craig is no exception. He is in the situation he is in because of choices that he made. Still, I feel sorry for him.


There are two possibilities when it comes to the Senator Craig situation and either would generate sympathy from me. Either #1, he IS gay or bisexual and did try to initiate a sexual encounter with an undercover police officer in a public bathroom, or #2, He is innocent but bungled the situation badly. If #1 is the truth, as I think likely, then he was a person at war with himself. He was at war with himself because he is a Republican senator in a Red state at a time when a fair amount of people, mostly conservative Republicans, still think it is OK to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation. As I say that, I have to acknowledge there are still far too many people in blue states who think the same. I try to imagine what any of that would be like, constantly feeling like you have to deny being who you are. I have spoken to gay men and women about being in the closet and what that feels like and the fears that keep you in it. I stand with people in the GLBT community in fervently hoping that the day is not far away when those who choose to be openly homophobic are treated with at least the common level of disgust that those who are racist against blacks or Jews are treated today.


As Republicans pressured Senator Craig to resign from the senate, they claimed that this had nothing to do with the possibility that he might be gay, that it is all about having committed a crime. I have a very hard problem believing this coming from people who completely rejected and maltreated the gay caucus of their own party. The GOP has treated the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay caucus of the Republican Party, over the last seven years as a particularly bad spouse abuser treats their spouse. The fact that until the 2004 Presidential election, the Log Cabins were happy to act as an enabling abused spouse had been a source of bewilderment to me. It took a figurative beating from the 2004 Bush campaign for the Log Cabins to step up and start holding their party officials and representatives accountable (they refused to endorse Bush for President in 2004). I wish the Log Cabin's luck. The forces arrayed against Gays in the Republican Party are daunting. The below is an excerpt from a page on the Log Cabin website includes the following anti-gay statements (among others) from bigots on the far right:


Talking Points: What the Radical Right Says About Us


You can learn the radical right's true intentions by reading what they say about us.  Whatever they try to say about traditional marriage, their true motivation is trying to marginalize gay and lesbian Americans.  Their own words, based on fear and intolerance, reveal their true motives.




"I really believe that the Pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and lesbians, ... the ACLU, People For the American Way - all of them who have tried to secularize America - I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this [terrorist attack] happen."—Jerry Falwell, 700 Club, September 13, 2001




"Barring a miracle, the family as it has been known for more than five millennia will crumble, presaging the fall of Western civilization itself."—James Dobson, Focus on the Family, in a 2004 anti-gay fund raising letter




"For the sake of our children and society, we must OPPOSE the spread of homosexual activity! Just as we must oppose murder, stealing, and adultery! Since homosexuals cannot reproduce, the only way for them to 'breed' is to RECRUIT! And who are their targets for recruitment? Children!"—Don Wildmon, direct mail letter from the American Family Association




"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything," Santorum said in an interview published April 21, 2003 by the Associated Press.  "All of those things are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family," Santorum continued. "And that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist, in my opinion, in the United States Constitution."—Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), April 21, 2003, AP interview.




"The family unit is under attack by dark and conspiring forces who desire to redefine the bond of marriage to include same-sex partners. This design is an abomination of nature and, if adopted by society as normative, will ultimately lead to society's downfall and destruction."—American Society for the Preservation of the Family

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A political blogger for the International Business Times, Steve Leser is a hot national political pundit. He has appeared on MSNBC's Coundown with Keith Olbermann, Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Russia Today's (RT) Crosstalk with (more...)
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