A Republican must have reached a sorry condition when his plight elicits sympathy from Alec Baldwin.p>”I feel sorry for Larry Craig. Truly,” Baldwin wrote in a two-paragraph commentary at HuffingtonPost.com on Saturday, the same day the Idaho Republican announced that he would retire from the Senate. br> /p>
Craig has been behind some of the most intolerant and anti-gay legislation that a US Senator could put his mark on. Now the very condition that drives countless gay men and women into the closet, the bathroom stall or the hospital may have claimed Sen. Craig himself…br> What is interesting in Baldwin’s argument is the transfer of agency, rendering a U.S. senator a helpless victim of unnamed others. According to Baldwin, Craig is a victim of intolerance, or of overzealous police or — best of all — of Republicans who “cut his throat.”
No one can honestly say what Craig did or did not do….In the new, jacked-up reality of airport ‘security,’ maybe those cops in Minneapolis jumped the stall. But if Craig has the chance, especially now that his Republican colleagues have cut his throat, maybe he will experience a change of heart and realize that to be gay, whether he is or not, ought not be a shameful thing, let alone a crime, for anyone.
Moreover, Baldwin changes the subject entirely, from the concrete facts of Craig’s disorderly conduct arrest to the abstract question of whether homosexuality should “be a shameful thing, let alone a crime.” But sexual preference is not being criminalized; homosexuality is not a crime in Minnesota. “Jacked-up” or not, airport police have better things to do than arrest people on suspicion of homosexuality.
Let’s hear from the arresting officer, Sgt. David Karsnia: “The Airport Police Department had received civilian complaints and has made numerous arrests regarding sexual activity in the public restroom.”
“Civilian complaints” — that is, law-abiding taxpayers had visited the restroom, expecting to use the facility for its intended and lawful purpose, only to discover other people using it for other purposes. Were the complaining citizens all intolerant bigots, crusading to criminalize homosexuality? Or did they just want to use the restroom without being harassed or disturbed?
The Associated Press examined police reports in 41 arrests made during the course of a four-month police effort launched in response to these citizen complaints at the Minneapolis airport. Arrestees ranged from airport employees to corporate executives, and many of those arrested engaged in actions that Sgt. Karsnia called “a signal often used by persons communicating a desire to engage in sexual conduct.”
Such actions — including reaching his hand under the stall divider and sliding his foot over to touch the foot of the policeman in the adjacent stall — were what led to Craig’s arrest and his subsequent guilty plea to a disorderly conduct charge.
Notice, however, Baldwin’s agnosticism on the undisputed facts of the case: “No one can honestly say what Craig did or did not do.” No one? Really? Does Baldwin mean to impugn the honesty of the arresting officer?
IT IS, OF COURSE, POSSIBLE that Sgt. Karsnia misinterpreted Craig’s actions. Yet who is a more competent authority on what the “signals” are in the matter of airport restroom sex than a police officer who has spent weeks assigned to the onerous duty of preventing such activity? (In fact, after Craig’s arrest became public knowledge, several gay writers verified Sgt. Karsnia’s account of the toe-tapping toilet-tryst code.)
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?