Thursday, August 30, 2007

OH NO! 0-8!: Comrade Romney's Friends...That Never Were...

For those of you who understand the second part of the title there will be no bashing of Sen. Larry Craig for his bust over lewd conduct. Just kidding, of course we will have that. However, that is not the focus.

To begin, Idaho Senator Larry Craig was busted in June for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer at a men's room at the Minneapolis Airport. Apparently, such activity is quite a problem at Minneapolis Int'l, and the police take it seriously. After performer a series of gestures with his feet and hands, the good Senator discovered his "neighbor" in the row of stalls was a cop and was thus arrested.

Now Sen. Craig is not the first person known for attempting discreet, if not anonymous activities with "stall-mates." What makes this juicy and simultaneously pathetic is Craig's known, if not vehement, public support for general anti-gay positions. After hearing the tape made by the police following his arrest, it all appears somewhat benign. However, Washington has buzzed before questioning Sen. Craig's sexuality and his role in a page sex scandal in the 1980's when he was a Congressman.

The Romney connection comes in as Craig was up until the Capitol Hill Newspaper broke this story, a lead member of Romney's Presidential Campaign. He resigned when the scandal broke and became a figure of ridicule from those calling on his hypocrisy and Republicans who are probably trying to limit the political damage and responding to the homophobia which guides many Conservative Republicans homophobia. One-time governor Mitt Romney, in a very public attempt to flout his (newly and conveniently discovered) conservative credentials, decided to simply purge Craig from the campaign.

Purge being the operative word, as Craig, who as a sitting U.S. Senator supporting Romney, appeared numerous times in press releases on Romney's site. Not only was any mention of Craig on non-chronological elements of the site removed, but also mentions of him in previous press releases. No dates were changed and no notes on any such archived releases on the site indicate a change was made. Instead, Romney and allies went Stalinist and removed Craig from history. Although it is probable that Craig and his family wish that the purge may include a total wipe from history, particularly the last three months, Romney really has no such power.

Every media organization of any merit noted the existing relationship and archived versions of the site retains by Google, Yahoo, and others still show the old versions. This is not nearly the same as removing people from photographs or film for political purposes (less we forget that Stalin's paranoia far exceeds that of Romney's). Certainly Romney didn't kill Craig, but still. It stinks of the Soviet's rewriting of history and Minitru of 1984 fame.

The fate of Craig is far from known. For the moment he is going to live through the public humiliation. However, he should stay away from the social issues or risk being outed. This was bad, but somebody with direct knowledge of his inclination would be a torpedo to his political career. For the moment, as with David Vitter, whose number was on the infamous DC Madam's Rolodex, we really have no smoking gun (although Vitter essentially did admit to have services from a prostitute). Don't expect anybody to care when either one of them start spouting stuff about traditional family values. Whether this feeding-frenzy is appropriate turns on whether homosexuals/bisexuals are entitled to be such and hold anti-gay positions.

As for Romney, this whole thing is unlikely to have hurt him anyway. The cover up is worse than the story. All he had to do was accept Craig's resignation say this is not his problem and move on. Instead he just saw red.

No comments: