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August 29, 2007


When Colin Powell, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, or Donald Rumsfeld got caught lying about non-existent WMD's nobody asked them to resign.

I think it's pretty well established by now that "restoring honor and dignity" means "avoiding criminal convictions."

my point . exactly

Apparently, Craig is no longer useful to the GOP in ways that the others were or are.

Plus, his replacement will be a Republican...not so with Vitter.

I am shocked, shocked to hear of such disingenuousness in the GOP. Shall we round up the usual suspects? So ordered! (i.e. Clinton, other Clinton, Clinton's penis, Pelosi, librul DFH bloggers, terrists, the French, etc.) - Captain Renault.

Craig's mistake was pleading. If he'd denied the deed we'd be hearing about the Democratic witch hunt, police entrapment, and "why can't a guy tap his foot when taking a dump, maybe he's got restless legs syndrome; what's wrong with you frenetic people anyway, ya' got a dirty mind or something?"

Well, this is true. But none of those other guys were found guilty of being gay in a US Port of Entry. It's a National Security thing.

I'm sorry, I meant NOT being gay in a port of entry. NOT. He's NOT.


True--which may be why he backtracked. But Domenici did, at least, admit to calling Iglesias. And he has all but admitted to asking Gonzales (though not Bush and Rove) to fire Iglesias.



Apparently putting one's foot in the stall is far more shocking than pulling out and showing the arresting officers one's.... senatorial business card...is not worthy of mention. Why are we not surprised?

Where is J.E.Hoover when we need him? HE could tell us how dangerous gays in government are! The amazing thing is that everyone he didn't like was suspected of being gay (RFK, JFK, M.L.King, etc.).
Why is it he took vacations with his assistant and was NEVER seen with a woman?
This s#$% goes back a long way.

Soory for the OT, but I was WAYYYY late to the party downstairs. I left a longish comment.

Shorter LHP-- My current guess is Mukasey.

Oh oh. Pot is calling the kettle black.

It's only fair to note that CREW did not mention his waving his card to the arresting officer and what that implies ethically and legally in their complaint.

One out of eight isn't all that bad. It's better than none, that is.

Politicians need to take a stance.

Vitter, Ney, Domineci, Stevens, Young & DeLay didn't take much of a stance.

Craig did.

Don't be making fun of 'Wide Stance'.

This is pretty funny. One guy gets so into this that he makes the other anchor act out the police report with him.


It is so indicative of the Repugs to say it is OK for male senators to have sex with female prostitutes, but then get their underwear in a tangle when a male senator apparently has sex with a guy.

What a hypocritical bunch!

Hold on a bit. One of the good qualities of this blog is that most of the statements are properly qualified. But you didn't qualify the bribes here. I can't speak to the other cases, but while there is a lot of evidence being collected on Ted Stevens, at this point there aren't any clear quid pro quos. Alaska has a tiny population (about 670,000) and anyone who wants to meet any politician face to face can. Stevens has been our US Senator pushing 40 years. He knows LOTS of people here. In a state with such a small population, he can't help but know many of the beneficiaries of his actions. I have no doubt that Stevens feels that he's been doing what needs to be done to get his constituents what they need. We are geographically huge, with many towns and villages off the road system, and a significant number of villages without running water and sewers. I'm sure he believes that he couldn't adequately serve his constituents without making a few compromises and that the media have the luxury of being able to criticize without the responsibility to actually do anything. Did you listen to the tape [scroll down a bit to play the audio] of him telling the Anchorage Daily News editorial board sayonara? That said, when the dust settles, I suspect that something will come out the investigations, particularly the fishing issues with his son Ben, and with the earmark to buy the property in Seward of one of his former staffers. The FBI, according to a few people they've interviewed, are pretty confident they've got him nailed. But at this point, "alleged bribes" is the more accurate phrase. And there's no guarantee we won't reelect him, even if he's found guilty. But we're going to try to send a new face.

Probably 'bribe' should be qualified for Don Young too, though he gets less slack because the Coconut Road details are out in the open and he can't use our small population as an excuse for earmarks in Florida.

And I think the list of when they do or don't call for resignation is not all that inconsistent. I suspect many of the politicians are thinking it could be them on the line in most of those situations. Except most of them probably haven't played footsies in the men's room.

It isn't new, this is the norm. politicians are proving they have no concern about law breaking or diddling a hooker in diapers, or one of their reps taking care of the male pages that were "out to get them", they don't care that thousands die, every day. don't care that it is only crooks that they "hang out" with. but one taps a cops toe and admits to a crime, look at the bandini meet the ventilator. note there isn't a word from the democratic 'tics about it. is it because they can't think of anything to add? are they trying to show that this doesn't really matter except to the others? are they simply thrilled that it wasn't one of their own?
the values they share don't matter, they don't have any and they don't share. they blow with the wind, they are 'tics. this is fun watching people fellate one another as they condemn another fellow fellator.

This is one of the great 'ills' of living by an ideology of 'us versus them' and gaining the executive power of the people.

Morality becomes two-faced:

For 'Us' - IOKIYAR - it's ok if you're a Republican

For 'Them' - any transgression by the Dems is 'proof' of absolute evil

The Republicans got where they are, from '94 on, by re-patriating (no offense, EW) all possible loyal party members into positions where they could exercise their influence to support the Party-Over-Country (We know what's best for you) Agenda of the Neocons.

Bush and Cheney have been more than willing to rescue 'ne'er do wells' who will flatback for the Money-Power-Position Sweepstakes Agenda, and they - in a sordid twist - actually consider it a 'plus' to know that a Congressperson is 'compromised.' It makes for good voting blocks! Rove and Mehlman, and the staffs, seem to have kept the equivalent of 'Bormann's Rolodex' on their Blackberries as part of their Political Affairs work.

Ideological movements rot from the inside.

Our challenge as a Country is to restore balance and freedom of operation, within the bounds of our Civil Rights, to the Rule of Law, and re-empower our Constitution - that's primary, imvho. Let's save the Republic with as little collateral damage as possible.

Secondarily, this whole BushCo nightmare has pushed us in a direction that is not healthy for US as a Country or as global citizens. We need to put-up clear-bright-line laws that make sure we never, ever come anywhere near to this kind of catastrophe again. My fear is that the next Republican Administration will pick-up right where they left off - with a lot of the same characters being stage-managed to adore and idolize whoever is the Next Frontdaddy for the Agenda - and come back with even more devious plans than BushCo ever had.

Partisanship that would subvert the Rule of Law is the enemy of US all.

And therein lies our challenge in the long run: To be worthy of entrusting with the mechanisms of our beautiful system of government, so that we can ALL get through times good and bad together.

Ha! With all these demands that he resigns, I think someone on the D side of the aisle should say "We don't care if you are gay, just that you are a hypocrite. If you want to come out of the closet and switch parties, we'd be okay with that." I probably wouldn't agree with him about anything, but it is all just too silly.

Did someone say "this is the norm"? Why, that must be about Minnesota's very own Norm "shape-shifter" Coleman.

Given that Larry the Foot did his gig in a Minnesota john (pun), it is incumbent (pun) on Norm to come to the aid of, ummm, Norm, albeit several months after the fact.

And get this. An LTE in this morning's Minneapolis paper suggested that Norm would be a sterling successor to Alberto Gonzales.

Oh, lordy, there I go rolling on the floor, laughing again. 'Scuse me. Gotta go.

oh, I get it. Domineci asks Gonzo (direct) to fire a USA, who serves "at the pleasure of the president", but we don't need to bother the president with these little details, do we. That makes as much sense as any of this stuff. I'm soooo glad we've got such effective professional political and governmental leadership.
This whole thing--war, pending war, USA political firing, domestic warrantless spying, bathroom-in-the-closet sex, just everything--is beyond the wildest fiction any of our craziest writers could dream up. It's like we are sliding into Stoppard-level absurdity and Orwell-level totalitarianism at the same time. It's a floor wax! It's a desert topping! Sheesh.

"Thank God for Larry Craig." - Sen. David Vitter

Well Steve, I haven't been in Alaska since 1975 or '76, so I can't say much about what it might be like now. And I don't want to be preaching to an Alaskan from down here, California especially...But in '71, when I was working fisheries patrol in the Bering Sea, and '75-76 when I was working on the pipeline, it was wall-to-wall crooks. Oh, some were small time crooks, you know, a few crab pots here and there, maybe a mile into protected waters, who's to know, right? And maybe the Laborers Union was slipping a few bucks into the back pocket for a set of juicy jobs without dealing with the contracting authorities, or the Operating Engineers were putting non-native names into the native-only job slots. Or the contractors and developers were passing around rolls of cash for top-or-the-line consideration on pipeline bids, and suddenly having native ownership/partnership to qualify for top contract consideration. You know, just doing what needed to be done to take care of the folks in the company or the family and friends. I heard about crooked political deals going down in the same way, just a little gig here and a small favor there, an occasional earmark or legislative favor to smooth things out for their friends "in the business".
But it ain't 1975 any more, and any politician who thinks they can act like it is is asking to get his weenie whacked. I, and most people these days, don't give a rat's ass if the politician in question is taking care of his constituents or family or dear friends; we're asking---no demanding---honesty and openness. We're tired of lies and cheating and outright thievery. So if Stevens or Young get their hands caught in the oh-so-obvious cookie jar, well, they earned the repercussions. There's no diff between playing footsie in the stall and passing around a few favors with a bit of a kickback--or whatever the evidence ends up showing. Criminal is criminal: we learned this lesson when Clinton got busted for lying about a consensual (heterosexual) blowjob with an adult. Time to be honest and above board.

With LHP's blessing, Mukasey sounds like as good a choice as we could possibly hope for. Ergo, there is no possible way in hell Mukasey will be the choice. Bush is genetically incapable of making the best possible choice or option. In any situation. Ever.

To be fair, it was just as crooked in California in the 60's and early 70's. SO ya' don't think I'm picking on anyone here.

When the New York Times and TV networks reported Craig's arrest for gay cruising, they failed to say that Craig also has a formidable anti-gay voting record in the Senate. (Craig supported the Federal Marriage Amendment, and among other things, opposed a 1996 law which would have banned antigay discrimination in the workplace. One would be hard-pressed to find a Senator with a worse voting record on GLBT issues, in fact.)

I'm not surprised by the feckless Katie Couric... But why did the New York Times ignore Craig's voting record? Craig's anti-gay voting record is quite relevant to the scandal; in fact, his record is the reason he (and others) were outed last year by blogger Mike Rogers.

Media Matters has the story...

A 400 million dollar bridge to nowhere, and we're supposed to simply think AK is a smallish state with close, tight-knit relationships...meanwhile, a bridge failure kills people in MN. Sorry, Stevens needs to be hounded to the ground. One person's close relations are another's conflict of interests; given a Republican-stacked DOJ, the evidence must already be pretty damning on the face of it for Stevens to be dragged over the coals publicly.

Marksb, I just asked that "alleged" be put in front of bribes for the time being. What tends to distinguish this blog is its care about detail and facts. It's a model I'd like to see other blogs and websites follow. I wasn't excusing anything, just saying how I thought Stevens saw things. And I can't believe California's politicians are all that clean either. In Alaska, however, again because of the small population, more people are more likely to know what is going on.

From a brief UPI article, Aug 2 07:
UPI Editor at Large
WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- The collapse of an eight-lane interstate bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis that was under repair reminds us that 30 percent of America's almost 500,000 bridges are categorized as "deficient" and in "urgent need of repair." The Iraq and Afghan wars have cost more than half a trillion dollars so far. The two conflicts are running at the rate of $12 billion a month, or $400 million a day. The bill for urgent work on the nation's bridges is estimated at $80 billion.
The supplemental funding request about to hit Congress for $50B would take care of most of the bridge work. What a damned shame our priorities are tilted toward death and destruction, in ruining the innocent lives and social culture in a sovereign land, than in compassionately helping our own people and supporting our public safety.

Oldtree, The Democrats approach to finding they have a Gay Congressman in their midst is a little different, and I suspect they would follow the same form in the Senate.

As with Studds and Franks -- first you investigate the hell out of the charges, and then you censure. If after that you get re-elected, then you have to be very out, and the party will celebrate your outness, and Gayness, and ask you to raise money from the Gay Community, make speeches in various Gay forums, be spokesperson on all possible Gay issues. Everyone who has a Gay Constituency will invite you home to meet with them, attend their events and make certain that constituency knows how closely you work together on legislation.

An old friend of mine, Dick Hansen, who sadly died early on in the AIDS epidemic, was key organizer of the first Gay Caucus at the Democratic National Convention in 1980. With much effort, they had managed to elect about 90 Delegates and Alternates to the Convention who were Gay and Out. They invited Ted Kennedy to their first caucus at the convention (remember this was the year he challenged Carter), and he showed up -- looked over the scene, and then started asking questions about language. "You want to be called Gay, Right?" -- any downside to that? Any faction object to that term? Why do you want to be a distinct caucus? -- Do you do fund raising? Which caucuses are you most likely to work with? Which ones would be difficult to work with? OK, I understand.

In otherwords you have a Pol taking care of business. New Group, so how do you fit into normal calculations about doing politics. No morality questions really, no instinct to exclude or hide a newly emerging faction in the party.

Therein is the difference between Republicans and Democrats. Four years later the Gay-Lesbian Caucus had about 200 Delegates and Alternates in San Francisco, but by that time they had demands -- research funds for studying AIDS. About half that first caucus died in the Epidemic in the 80's. Democrats went to the funerals. My Democratic Governor and several other office holders personally paid the rent for Dick Hansen while he was participating in one of the first clinical research efforts. (Dick was a Farmer -- lived 120 miles from the University Hospital where research was conducted.)

Where does the Log Cabin republican group figure into all of this? They were obviously shuffled aside 10 years ago as the machine cranked up the effort to dominate on social values and went after Clinton, but it was an organized faction. Put it under the fantasy category of ways in which the repubs could have actually done some halfway decent governing, along with why can't repubs have a halfway decent environmental agenda? The corruption goes all the way and they pretty much mess up and destroy everything they touch.

But this is the kind of thing that all of these people, all of the insiders, know about. They knew about Foley, they knew about Craig, they know that "family values" is a political ploy and sales pitch. Bottom line, there are a whole lot of gay republicans. The vast majority are in the closet and hanging out with the womanizers like Vitter. The log cabin group never stood up and tried to force the issue of making their party inclusive and contemporary and realistic, despite knowing that a significant part of the leadership is gay. The repubs are too busy capitalizing on fear and insecurity and secrecy.

After Foleygate and then 11/7, it seems, and led by the intrepid 4th branch, the WH seems determined to push down on the gas, grab for everything they can, take the party with them as long as they care to hang on and then just fly off the cliff. There's not going to be much left at the bottom, once it's all over. But maybe the rebuilding process will be more real and genuine and based on some actual principles.

Steve makes a good point, IMHO. Accuracy matters, and it does make this blog a 'must stop' on my daily checkins.

Re Alaska: it's inbred. I've always been kind of amazed by the traditional Alaskan imperviousness to corruption of all kinds -- business, political, personal. Many people seemed to have the mindset that they were 'just passing through' Alaska in order to make a stack of money, and viewed corruption as The Alaskan Way of Life. (The rest of the populace seemed to be either too stoned or too drunk to give a damn.) However, conversations last winter made quite clear that something has changed; the level of corruption had gone completely 'over the top', and even people that I'd never heard talk about politics were fuming.

Evidently, the dollar amounts involved, as well as the ongoing insult of the Exxon Valdez disaster, with the oil companies not held accountable even after so many years, has pushed my contacts to a state of rancorous indignation. In addition, IIRC the Alaska Permanent Fund is pegged at $30/barrel, whereas the selling price is more than double that figure now -- so Alaska has been a honey-pot since the pipeline went in, but now it's even bigger. The "Bush Rat Governor" who set up that Permanent Fund must be rolling in his grave.

As for Larry Craig.... what a tragedy. Idaho's Repubs are not simply one shade of red; Gov 'Butch' Otter is more libertarian, property-rights than wingnut social activist. Idaho had the highest per-capita wealth in the nation until recently, largely due to Sun Valley and the Coeur d'Alene region. (IIRC, Idaho is now #2 b/c of the mega-wealth moving into Whitefish/Kalispell and western Montana.)

Old Simplot, of potato fame, donated his mansion in Boise to the state. Whereas a suckup Rethug of the Rove-Gonzo ilk would have moved right into that Simplot mansion and ordered new, silk curtains; Gov Butch Otter (a millionaire) is staying on his ranch near Boise. Meanwhile, the Boise State Broncos are the nation's top football team, and the state has an influx of people looking for more affordable, less congested lifestyles -- as in much of the Mountain West. (Although Albertson's pulled their corporate headquarters out of Boise in the past year and moved the main group to Eden Prairie, MN, quite a few people quit Albertson's in order to remain in Boise/Caldwell area.)

I wonder how this would play out if Rove were still Rethug Genius at the WH. I'm skeptical that he'd have let the Rethugs push Larry Craig's position on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Ag & Energy out the door over a lewdness charge. Idaho is conservative, but if Craig had handled things differently, he might have been able to ride this out. It's the hypocrisy that's doing him in.

Looks like Butch Otter is going to have a very interesting ball in his court.

Thank you Sara!

I think we all need to emphasize that it isn't being gay, bi, or whatever that matters to most of us; it is the hypocrisy that we detest.

Frank speaks up for ‘hypocritical’ Craig
AP Thursday, August 30, 2007

WASHINGTON - Bay State Rep. Barney Frank said yesterday that embattled Idaho Sen. Larry Craig is a hypocrite on gay rights issues, but he doesn’t think the Republican senator should resign. [...]

"What he did, it’s hypocritical, but it’s not an abuse of his office in the sense that he was taking money for corrupt votes,” said Frank. “I think people should resign when they have clearly done the job in a way that is dishonest.”

Added Frank: “It’s one thing to say that someone can’t be trusted to vote without being corrupt, it’s another to say that he can’t be trusted to go to the bathroom by himself.”


Barney Frank usually has it about right on most everything. Not here.

“It’s one thing to say that someone can’t be trusted to vote without being corrupt, it’s another to say that he can’t be trusted to go to the bathroom by himself.”

See, in my view, Craig can't be trusted to go to the bathroom with anybody BUT himself.

I always like to solve problems, and I see a very obvious solution here.

Step One -- congress shall install wide angle video cameras with recorders in all Capital Hill Bathrooms sufficent to provide full coverage.

Step Two -- rehire Monica Goodling to supervise.

Step Three -- Post signs on all entrances to the buildings on the Hill, "Bathrooms Monitored 24/7/365 by recent Graduates of Regents University."

Step Four -- Enshrine in the Constitution a requirement that any bathroom Hankey Pank caught on video must be broadcast on all over the air and cable TV channels as a loop for one week after the event transpired. No advertising permitted.

See -- there is always a solution to a problem.

You say "think of the children!!!" well go buy some fresh DVD's and set up a neighborhood trading network.

UTube can do what it wants with the footage. We all know the Internet is out of control.

Or, we, as a nation, could just come to grips with the fact that the vast majority of people either in national elected political office, or running for the same are, in fact, probably the last people in the world you would really want in that position. Eh, that will never work; would require the mass of people to actually think for 2.3 seconds. Better that we go with the Goodling Omniscient Program to Eradicate Republican Violators (GOPERV).

Anyone still there? On Craig coverage: NPR reported Craig's guilty plea and ensuing calls to resign, but never mentioned why. No Minnesota, no airport, no bathroom, no footsie.....

Anyone else hear stories on NPR of any length or detail?

And do Craig's substitutes on his committees get his seniority? Does it make a difference and if so in what sort?

bmaz: "would require the mass of people to actually think for 2.3 seconds."

How dare you give away the secret to the GOP's success!

It is a shame that society especially Republicans force Gays into the closet. Hypocritical yes, but I agree with Barney Franks to some degree. Had Craig grown up in the 80's maybe his frame of reference to sex would be a little different. He is older than I am and I know how difficult it was tyo deal with being gay growing up in the early 60's and 70's. I see no difference with Vitter and Craig, sex is sex both are hypocrits. Either get rid of them both or keep both of them. How quaint it was to see Romney on tv last night telling us how disgusted he was by Craig's actions as the showed at a podium at "REGENT" university, talking abou hypocrits.and what about the head of the Young Republicans little scandal haven't heard anything about that in all of this.
sorry for the spelling.

The republican party has become, like the evangelican church, a place for "bad boys" to rehabilitate their reputation, but not necessarily their behavior.

In my humble opinion this speaks to the effectiveness of their product identity.

republicans good = dems bad

Just as church good = atheist bad

It's product identity and black and white thinking. The scourge of society is errors of identification, the inability to distinguish the symbol from the representation.

Dems need to change this...and now is the time. This cognition, the product can and must be relabled so that the word republican becomes "branded" to such words as "liars, closeted, kinky, hypocrits, gluttons, greedy, tricky, dishonest." Let the relabeling begin. It needs to be sold "hard".

Keith Olberman's got one up on Mary's youtube link. Hilarious.


Barney Frank usually has it about right on most everything. Not here. “It’s one thing to say that someone can’t be trusted to vote without being corrupt, it’s another to say that he can’t be trusted to go to the bathroom by himself.” See, in my view, Craig can't be trusted to go to the bathroom with anybody BUT himself. - Posted by: bmaz | August 30, 2007 at 03:42

You are right of course. And Frank would agree with your phrasing.

One night on the local news, the anchor was telling the story about a man who drifted out to see on a life vest and was lost for ten days. Luckily, he was spotted and saved. The anchor said, "That just proves you should tell someone when you go swimming in the ocean." I thought, to the contrary, it proves that if you don't tell someone and you get lost at sea for ten days, you still have a chance of being saved.

The Anchorage Daily News reports this morning that Judge Sedwick identified Senator A in the indictments of the other three Alaska legislators as Ben Stevens. This was always assumed, but this the first official confirmation.

Hmmmm I thought perhaps a Solicitation charge would be more appropriate...! Wonder if we are ever gonna hear from the Missus?

Steve - Can we stop the rhetorical chicanery of "alleged" now?

Alyx - That is exactly right. As I commented somewhere here, I think on a different thread, I would have charged him with solicitation of lewd and lascivious behavior; and I am am pretty sure I could convict him in a jury trial too.

bmaz, This is Ben, not Ted, and he still hasn't been indicted. Rumors have it that they're holding off on Ben trying to get Ted. But other rumors muddy the waters. We know that Bill Allen, the VECO president, pleaded guilty and part of the conditions of his plea were that his son and other family members would not be indicted. So some are speculating that the FBI/Prosecutors are hoping Ted Stevens might also want to protect his son in a similar way. (It was in Allen's Juneau hotel room, with his cooperation, that the Alaska legislators were taped taking bribes. Two of them go to trial beginning Sept. 5.)

But in the meantime, EW's switch to "mighty curious gifts" is a good solution (Thanks.) The pollution of the public forum through made-up facts, hyperbole, invective, and people reporting their delusions as truth means we spend time cleaning up that pollution rather than working to on real issues. It might be emotionally more satisfying in the short run to say 'bribes', just like it's easier to throw the candy wrapper on the ground than find a garbage can. But when there's enough political garbage out there, it's hard to distinguish the truth from the trash and the public gives up and says "They're all liars" and drops out of politics altogether. Now that's voter intimidation! At least here we have a tiny portion of the public forum that is pretty garbage free. Can't keep all the commenters totally clean, but at least the main posts can be.

Steve - I actually understand your point pretty well, and am mostly sympathetic to it. I have been around the criminal justice system to long and can separate wheat from the chaff. I am detecting a lot of wheat surrounding both Stevens. That is my opinion, but in the eye of the law, he is absolutely innocent at this time. I say this only somewhat tongue in cheek, but Ted's best defense may be that he has received so many perks over his decades in office that they could no longer possibly influence his vote and are therefore not bribes.

Bmaz, you nailed it.
I'd revise slightly:
... he has received so many perks over his decades in office that they he would argue that they could no longer possibly influence his vote and are therefore not should not be perceived, nor recognized, as bribes.

...who knew you could get in so much trouble in a bathroom...I am going watch my plea for an extra piece of TP next time my comode has zip...lol wink

bmaz, I'm not going to beat a dead horse. I think your assessment is right on the mark. He's enjoys power, and being able to get a few million here for research into fish, or $28 million for a railroad station at the Ted Stevens Intl. Airport that is only used by the cruiselines, or

"$2 million to clear beetle-infested spruce trees on the Kenai Peninsula, and $5.9 million to try reducing fetal alcohol syndrome. [or] The Federal Aviation Administration ... $2 million that Stevens says will help pilots by tracking volcano emissions....
or $135,000 to dab anti-cavity sealants onto children's teeth..."

he gets a charge out of showing the people back home that he can deliver for them. But amongst all the worthy projects are some real skunks - like the railroad station, and the fishing regulations that benefited his son, and the land deal in Seward that benefited his former staffer. And the FBI is out there working on connecting those cliched dots. So, yes, we basically agree. But I take no glee in his fall if it happens.

Craig joins Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, another "family values" apostle who has been unmasked as a hypocrite. Vitter came clean only after his name was listed as a client on a call-girl list in Washington.

Craig and Vitter have been in the front ranks of GOP members of Congress who preach family values, antigay rights, and opposition to same-sex or civil marriage. Both are married with children.

True, the Democrats have some bad apples, too. Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana still hasn't really explained how $90,000 in cash found its way into the family freezer. But in a recently published gallery of members of Congress already in the pokey or under investigation, the count was 13 Republicans and two Democrats.

Politicians who think voters are blind to these events are dead wrong. Voters can show empathy when presented with forgiveness and apology. But for those who try to conceal wrong and are then defiant, the voters can show little patience.

By John W. Mashek
Copyright © 2006 U.S.News & World Report, L.P.

Is Matt Cooper a McCain fan? Dunno but he does read TPM

Craig and Vitter: What's the diffference?

I think the Republicans are being hypocrites when it comes to Larry Craig. John McCain, for instance, called on Craig to resign because he had broken the law. But Sen. David Vitter, while not pleading guilty to a crime, has come out and admitted soliciting prostitutes. So if one's a crime worth of resignation why not the other? You could focus on the technical aspects: Craig pleaded guilty and Vitter didn't. Our friends at Talkingpointsmemo make this same point and I tend to agree with them. If you're going to call on one to resign, why not the other? McCain has shown courage and libertarian tolerance on gay issues, refusing to vote for the goofy Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. No one questions his goodwill and tolerance but his logic could use some sharpening.

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