Posted by: Amelia | August 28, 2007

Sex Scandals ‘R’ Us

Okay, this is getting ridiculous. What is up with Republican sex scandals? Larry Craig, a Republican U.S. Senator from Idaho, was arrested in June for lewd conduct in an airport men’s room and pleaded guilty earlier this month to disorderly conduct. Craig maintains the incident was a misunderstanding, and I have to admit that the facts sound a little fishy. Craig’s alleged overtures to a plainclothes officer in the next stall over included waving his hand under the divider and playing a strange game of footsie:

According to the arrest report cited by Roll Call, Craig tapped his right foot, which the officer said he recognized “as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct.”

I don’t know if that is conclusive evidence of a proposition, but I’m not an expert in the field of men’s room hookups. Maybe with some justification, Craig is now publicly regretting his guilty plea and denying any inappropriate conduct.

Yet, even if we dismiss his case for the moment, the number of Republican sex scandals in recent years is shocking. The party that loves to grandstand on sexual morality is also home to David Vitter, Mark Foley, Bob Allen, Jack Ryan, Bob Livingston, and the list goes on. Young Republican Michael Flory deserves his own heinous category:

The former head of the Michigan Federation of Young Republicans admitted today that he sexually abused a colleague during a national convention here last summer.

Michael Flory, a 32-year-old attorney from Jackson, Mich., pleaded guilty to sexual battery on the day he was to stand trial for rape.

The teary-eyed college student he overpowered in a downtown hotel room gasped and dabbed her eyes as Flory replied to Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Peter Corrigan’s question, “Are you indeed guilty?”

“Sure – yeah,” Flory said.

Klassy. Now, it’s not that Democrats don’t have sex scandals. Clinton/Lewinsky will forever haunt us, and phrases like “Chappaquiddick incident” and “Gary Condit” don’t exactly help public perception of Democrats. The most recent Democratic sex scandal I can recall was Jim McGreevey’s 2004 self-outing amidst a harassment suit brought by his former employee/clandestine lover.

So yes, Democrats aren’t scandal-free. But it’s a little shocking how lopsided the distribution of sex scandals between the parties has been as of late. Of course, the distribution of corruption scandals is just as lopsided. Democrats may have Bill Jefferson and Alan Mollohan, but Republicans have the whole Abramoff crew (Tom DeLay, Bob Ney, Tom Feeney, Steven Griles, etc) plus do-it-yourselfers like Duke Cunningham and Jim Gibbons. Two out of three members of the all-Republican Alaskan Congressional delegation are under investigation for corruption (Ted Stevens and Don Young).

Still, the sex stuff grates in a special way. Jim McGreevey’s decent record on gay rights didn’t leave him open to charges of hypocrisy in the way that Larry “0% Rating From Human Rights Campaign” Craig has. Indeed, I may have been too quick to dismiss Craig from the scandal roster. Craig, it seems, has long been known to troll Union Station bathrooms – perhaps in between votes to ban same-sex marriage and block the addition of sexual orientation to hate crime and job discrimination laws. And Senator Vitter, did you realize that those prostitutes you cheated on your wife with were having sex before marriage?

How, exactly, are Republicans going to promote their rhetoric when so many of their leaders violate it?

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Responses

  1. “Family values” indeed. If your family is the De Sades, perhaps.

    Being gay doesn’t make you a pervert. Being gay and being so twisted you troll public toilets for sex even while you enact legislation that makes it easy for people to hate gays…now THAT makes you a pervert.

  2. The whole Larry Craig thing is a riot. How do you plead guilty by accident? Oops, didn’t mean to plead guilty.

    What he meant was, he was arrested in June, and plead guilty hoping this would quietly go away. Since it hasn’t, not he has to defend his name, and therefore is “taking back” his guilty plea to prove his innocence.

    Sure.

  3. Great blog, reading it through RSS feed as well

  4. Sorry for the double post, just wanted to let you know that i think something is wrong with the RSS feed of your blog and you might want to check it out, thanks


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