It's not easy being conservative
Now Craig's career is on the line.
He has pleaded guilty to "disorderly conduct," following an encounter he had with an undercover cop in a restroom of the Minneapolis Air Terminal.
Everybody knows that. It's the lead story on every news/opinion website, every news broadcast, and every newspaper across the Fruited Plain.
What did Craig do?
According to the complaint, he:
- Tapped his foot in a stall of the restroom - a secret gay mating signal, apparently. (Who knew?)
- Played "footsie" with the undercover cop in the next stall (obviously unaware it was an undercover cop).
- Put his hand underneath the partition.
(The lurid details can be read HERE.)
Frankly, I'd ask... where's the crime?
But Craig told the judge he's guilty... a fact that's difficult for even his most ardent supporters to ignore.
(There have been rumors about Craig's sexual orientation for years. If Craig is not gay - and he vehemently denies being gay - I feel sorry for him, because it would be miserable to be deflecting the accusations. If he is gay, I feel equally sorry for him, because it would be miserable to live a double life, being the "conservative" in the public eye, and a whole different person in private.)
When the story broke, a firestorm of indignation followed.
For me, it's most interesting to observe who's indignant.
It's a no-brainer that Craig's liberal detractors would join in the beat-down. His fall from grace is a godsend for them.
They point out the apparent hypocrisy, since Craig has consistently voted against "equal rights" for gays, gay marriage, etc.
But - they are joined by a sustained chorus of conservative voices, who condemn Craig and call for his resignation.
Yep - it's not easy being conservative. Mess up, and both teams pile on!
Let's compare, for a moment, the sad story of Larry Craig with a champion of the liberals, Mr. Al Gore.
(I hope this is a valid comparison. If I'm being unfair, I invite dissenting viewpoints.)
Al "Inconvenient Truth" Gore says all the right things. He preaches the gospel of Global Warming and conservation, and living a "small carbon-footprint" lifestyle.
But then - shockingly! - it comes to light that Gore's Tennesee mansion consumes $36,000 worth of energy per year!
(Not to mention the fossil fuel he burns as he private-jets from lecture to lecture, takes limousines from the airport, etc. Gore explains that he purchases "carbon credits," and that he's trying to cut down on his consumption. I have yet to hear an explanation that I could understand, of how that carbon-credits stuff works. But that's a different topic.)
Who criticizes Algore?
His "conservative" detractors lay it on thick. Like Craig's critics, they point out the hypocrisy of a guy who says one thing in public, while living a private lifestyle that's apparently contradictory to his Good Word.
But strangely, most of his supporters rush to his defense! They are more than happy to give him a pass. After all, he's saying all the right things. And he should be cut some slack because of all the good that he's doing, preaching the Good Word of Global Warming.
(Perhaps the Gore Faithful actually feel relieved that Gore doesn't practice what he preaches. After all, it assuages their guilt for doing the same thing... criticizing SUV drivers, corporations, etc., - the high-visibility offenders - while doing precious little themselves to reduce their Carbon Footprints.)
So, what's the difference?
Well, let's compare the alleged offenses.
Craig is accused of being secretly gay. Algore is accused of being a secret global warmer.
Which is worse? The liberals would say that being a Global Warmer is far worse than being gay! There's nothing wrong with being gay!
They say they're not outraged by Craig's gayness, but rather by his hypocrisy.
So what about Algore?
The difference, it seems, is that liberals don't like what Craig says, and they like what Gore says. It doesn't matter what they do, as long as they're saying the right thing (and Craig isn't). And darn it... conservatives expect you to do what you say!
It's not easy being conservative.
P.S. - I think Craig should step down, or at least declare he won't run for reelection in 2008. I've generally supported him over the years, but these ongoing allegations have become enough of a distraction that he's ineffective representing Idaho's interests in Congress. And if he's gay, he's a hypocrite. (By the way, we're all hypocrites to one degree or another. But when you choose to be in the Public Light, you have a higher duty, in my opinion.)