The Craig Case, Simply

Let's give Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) the benefit of the doubt for a moment. Let's assume that he really didn't have any intent to pick up another man in that airport bathroom in Minnesota. Let's presume that he really did plead guilty to a lesser charge because he figured a guilty plea would improve his chances of avoiding publicity. Let's put aside the political ramifications and posturing; let's just look instead at the arrest record initially filed on June 12th by Officer Jacalyn Hudlemeyer and then later edited on June, 26th by Officer Dave Karsnia. And then let's look at the transcript of Craig's police interview.

Read them both, one after the other, and then reach your own conclusions about what Sen. Craig did or did not do in that bathroom. Have you ever stood outside of a stall in a public bathroom peering through the crack for a minute or two? Have you ever touched the feet of the person next to you in a stall? Have you ever put your hand under the divider and over onto the next stall? Have you ever picked up toilet paper from the floor near a public toilet? Did you know before this incident that the police consider such actions to be a request for sexual activity?

Ask yourself whether the Senator's stuttering explanations-- he was just waiting for a stall to open, he's large and his feet spread out a bit, he was reaching to pick up some toilet paper-- make sense to you. Ask yourself whether you think the police officer had any incentive to lie or exaggerate the circumstances of the arrest. Ask yourself whether there was any room for misinterpretation. Ask yourself if it is merely a coincidence that the Senator would be accused of engaging in precisely the sort of conduct the police seemed to be looking for.

These are the sorts of questions that any decent prosecutor would ask jurors to consider if Craig had fought (or will fight), the charges against him at trial And they are precisely the sorts of questions that Craig needs to publicly answer if he is reasonably to expect anyone to support his bid to retain his treasured seat in the U.S. Senate. Proclaiming that he is "not gay" simply isn't good enough. And pretending this is just another political witchhunt doesn't fly, either. The Senator has to convince the barristers in the court of public opinion that he's not a liar, hypocrite and criminal.

Maybe that's why he now is saying that he may try to retain his seat after all and perhaps even challenge his own guilty plea. Want to change your mind? Go for it, Senator. Your trial is surely one I would like to cover.

By Andrew Cohen |  September 5, 2007; 8:44 AM ET
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That was well said. I mean the guy used his left hand to reach across himself to go under the partition on his right!!! Hence the ring finger being seen as well as the thumb position, reported by the police officer. Also the police officer mentions there were many other open stalls when they left.

Posted by: Go Drew | September 5, 2007 10:13 AM

Wait, was that a woman who first noticed this event? Why is a woman the choice to work "plains clothes detail" to see lewd activity in a MEN'S restroom? Doesn't seem very "plainsclothes" to have a woman just sitting in a stall in a men's restroom, and that's EVEN if she looked like a cleaning person (what, it's expected that a female cleaning person will just remain in a men's stall while men are using it?

And what if she had been discovered by someone looking to see if someone was in the stall, or who used the next one? Seems rather risky, and a very weird judgment of procedure if the object is to find if men are engaging in unsanctioned activity in a bathroom.

Oh, and it's OK that a woman, while under cover of being an offical policeperson, gets to be in a men's bathroom when they are in a state of undress (oh no, no way a woman is expert at hiding private, silent sensations under cover of an official costume and behavior!).

(by the way, in case anyone wants to make a thoughtless, comfortable assumption, I'm about as far from a homo-ist as one can get, so have NO personal vested interest in this matter)

Posted by: Steve | September 5, 2007 11:09 AM

Yeah, a men's bathroom while people are using it is such familiar territory for a woman- no way she could have any doubt how to "interpret" signs or jump to conclusions, no way she could have felt at unease or on guard...

Posted by: | September 5, 2007 11:13 AM

Read both pages of TFA (The Fine Article) and you'll see that the report was written by Sgt Dave Karsnia, typed by Officer Jacalyn Hudlemeyer, and then subsequently editted by Sgt Dave Karsnia. There was not a female officer in the men's room at the airport.

Next time try doing your research before spewing your alleged thoughts all over someone's blog.

Posted by: Craig | September 5, 2007 11:30 AM

Read the police report. The arrest was made by officer DAVE Karsina. DAVE Karsina is a man.

This is the problem when you get too far away from original sourcing. People start making incorrect assumptions.

Posted by: Nellie | September 5, 2007 11:30 AM

Misled by reading the transcript with Jaclyn's name, and which states in the first person, and I thought that would be a very strange procedure indeed.


Very sorry , my apologies to any rubbed the wrong way (sad face).


I was going to add a statement to the above misinformed post that I would feel like a fool if the woman wasn't the officer who noticed it. I didn't do that, and do. That's what happens when one takes a risk and reads hastily (which hopefully I don't believe I'm in the habit of doing).

Apologies again.

Posted by: Steve | September 5, 2007 11:42 AM

I do hope he reconsiders his resignation and fights to keep his seat in Congress. This is just too much fun. Although, I don't think this crime is worthy of being booted from his seat, I do think he is guilty of a far more serious crime...being a Republican. I do want to relish in all those other hypocritical Republicans squirming in trying to deal with this seedy character.

Posted by: Jim | September 5, 2007 11:54 AM

What I find most interesting about this latest situation is that Craig's change of mind comes directly on the heals of the GOP's crowing about how swiftly thy handled this whle affair and engaged in some public patting themselves on the back. Now, all of a sudden, Craig may not resign at all and has the backing of other key GOP Senators. What was all that self congratulatory crowing all about anyway?

Posted by: Willie | September 5, 2007 12:05 PM

why is it illegal to solicit sex (not for money) in a lavatory but not in other public places. I guess its because of the ambience ...ugh....incidentally is ithe law constitutionaly valid ??

Posted by: robert lipton | September 5, 2007 12:17 PM

Dirty and politics have been hand-in-hand for centuries. Craig really scraped the bottom of the barrel (or toilet stall) to prove that coinage 100% correct.

Posted by: C Cat | September 5, 2007 12:28 PM

Please don't cover the Craig trial. What a waste of time this whole thing is. So the guy's a hypocrite, along with other gay-bashing jerks, some of whom hold public office for that very reason. Note it and move on. This doesn't rise to the Gonzales standard of trading heat for light.

Posted by: Mike S | September 5, 2007 01:29 PM

Mr. Lipton, if you check the statutes in your state you will probably find one prohibiting "lewd conduct" in any public place, not merely in a public restroom. Public parks are another popular location for sexual activity, and since there is no obstacle to mingling of the sexes in parks, both gays and straights can be involved in this offense. Police sting operations like the one that snared Craig usually occur only in places for which police have actually received complaints of sexual activity -- they don't simply choose a place at random and post officers there.

Posted by: Simon | September 5, 2007 01:31 PM

I hate to say it but I don't care whether he was soliciting sex or not. I have two questions that seem more relevent to this situation for me.

1) Since when is a misdemeanor conviction a valid reason to demand a Senator's resignation?

2) Can a guilty plea be withdrawn without proving malfeasance on the part of the prosecution or police?

I would appreciate a response.

Thank you.

Posted by: DemChristian | September 5, 2007 01:47 PM

It seems to me that Sen. Craig would have a chance to be acquitted in a trial, if he would admit that he was gay and argue that he was entrapped by the police officer that caught him. He could plausibly argue that he wouldn't have engaged in any illegal conduct if the officer hadn't made any advances. If he were a Democrat, he might even be able to maintain some kind of career in politics after this. But as a Republican, he would seem to be doomed, since a large fraction of the Republican base is quite homophobic.

Posted by: Dave | September 5, 2007 01:52 PM

DemChristian - The calls for resignation are strictly political; at least the ones that count, from the Republican establishment.

The misdemeanor is incidental in a sense; it is an issue because Craig is hurting every other Republican. If he was found out to be gay or committed a homosexual related act felony (if there is such a thing), the response would be pretty much what it is now.

Craig's admitted conduct is in conflict with the current stands and beliefs of most Republicans. As long as he is around, he gets negative attention which encompasses them and that hurts all of them politically.

Forget, Law; think, Politics.

Posted by: DC | September 5, 2007 02:00 PM

Dave, nothing I've seen indicates that the officer was pro-active and made any advances.

The spider simply let the fly come into his web.

Posted by: DC | September 5, 2007 02:02 PM

The common-sense questions Andrew posed are exactly the ones my friends and I explored during a recent gathering. Because when you put Sen. Craig's actions in the context of what an ordinary person does in the restroom, his story falls apart (e.g., to determine if someone is in a stall, one either looks under the door for feet, pull the handle and encounter a locked door/voice saying "occupied" or rap lightly to elicit a response). The other question our little group discussed was whether a normal person would consult an attorney in these serious circumstances and the unanimous verdict was "yes," since most of us had consulted an attorney for much less (such as a speeding ticket).

Posted by: Gardenia | September 5, 2007 02:40 PM

When the story of Senator Craig's misadventures in the men's room was first published, I took some pleasure in the downfall of another Republican hypocrite.

On further reflection, I think Senator Craig is right to fight the Republican leadership by not resigning. The recitation of the facts in the police report is somewhat ambiguous. Even if Senator Craig did all the things that the officer said he did, it requires intimate familiarity with the signals of the "Tearoom Trade" to read foot shuffling and hand waving as an invitation to what was apparently presumed by the officer to be an invitation to a consensual sexual encounter.

The human capacity for rationalization and self deception is limitless. Craig may not consider anonymous sexual encounters with other men to be evidence that he is gay. Perhaps his definition of gay requires a desire for a relationship with the other person. His rumored encounters in the various loos are just some form of release.

His opposition to same sex marriage and civil unions is consistent with his apparent notion that same sex relations should remain anonymous and in the toilet. I think the Senate Republicans should just have to put up with him for a while and try to articulate just what it is about this particular incident that makes him unfit to be a Republican officeholder.

Posted by: Fabius | September 5, 2007 03:29 PM

Why did the police have a sting operation in the first place? The answer is homophobia. This is the same department that a decade ago would hold bets to see if a man charged with this type of offense would try and commit suicide -- and they would go out of their way to make sure it made the paper. Sex in a public restroom is a crime. I'm not sure what all that positioning is about and whether it is truly worth a man loosing his career. Even if the man is a hypocrit.

Posted by: Dave | September 5, 2007 03:38 PM

The damning thing about Craig's behavior isn't just the sex, it's the fact that he, like so many other Republicans, have built a career out of damning others for their sexual conduct, to the point of using gays as a target population for political gain. The hypocrisy is the chief crime, not the sex solicitation. Americans can handle a lot from their politicians, but can't stand hypocrisy.

Posted by: Zondarg | September 5, 2007 03:46 PM

As an Idahoan who used to work for Larry and knows him quite well, he like any of us is most concerned about restoring his good name. He's barely over 60, and has many more years on this earth. Who in their right mind would want to live with a cloud overhead -- virtually irrespective of whether he would return to the Senate.

Posted by: greg s | September 5, 2007 03:49 PM

Dave writes
"Why did the police have a sting operation in the first place? The answer is homophobia."


The answer is that people were complaining about the sexual behavior in the bathrooms. It doesn't matter whether the behavior is solo, homo or hetero, sex in public is illegal. Or are you clamoring about 'heterophobia' every time someone's arrested for trying to join the mile high club?

.

Posted by: bsimon | September 5, 2007 04:11 PM

Why don't we consider the family of this man. I was married to an air force officer who I finally verified was gay. He also was a hypocrite and a miserable person who made everyone around him miserable. If Craig isn't gay, why did he sign the papers? Just another loser in my book!

Posted by: Martha Nichols | September 5, 2007 04:22 PM

This article didn't state it, but there had been complaints that there was this type of activity in this particular bathroom at the airport. The police were responding to the PUBLIC as they should. Why, pray tell, should sex or soliciting for sex be legal in a public bathroom.

why is it illegal to solicit sex (not for money) in a lavatory but not in other public places. I guess its because of the ambience ...ugh....incidentally is ithe law constitutionaly valid ??

Posted by: robert lipton |

Posted by: | September 5, 2007 04:28 PM

Oh honestly, people! Larry Craig is gay, and, whether he likes it or not, he's out of the closet. That in itself is not a big deal- I'm LGBT and I'm not in the news,

What's at issue here is his hypocrisy, i.e. the fact that he is still pushing the "family values" agenda and was pushing it while being gay.

The government shouldn't lay him off- rather, we should keep him in the limelight, and every single time he pushes "family values" we'll simply point to the evidence in the airport bathroom and cough loudly ("ehemm...").

Posted by: post883 | September 5, 2007 05:23 PM

I am a liberal, democrat and an Idaho native. I have a basic test in issues like this. And that is the smell test. This does not pass the test and I urge the Senator to fight. I have never supported him in the past and will not in the future but I believe he is being "railroaded" by his good Republican buddies. Kudo's to Senators Specter and Schumer.

Posted by: wd | September 5, 2007 05:39 PM

There is little doubt in my mind that the officer assigned to the sting was very familiar with this form of activity and I would therefore have to trust his judgement that Craig was soliciting. Craig claims that his behavior was a coincidence that gave a false impression of solicitation. Yeah right, he just HAPPENED to do those things in that place.

The only alternative is that the officer is lying and I see no evidence of that.

Posted by: MarcMyWords | September 5, 2007 06:01 PM

For me, the issue is errors in judgement:
1) The actions in the mens' room.
2) Taking a reduced-charge guilty plea without the advice of a lawyer.
3) Taking a reduced-charge guilty plea in hopes of avoiding publicity (in the current political climate? No way!)
4) Resigning over such a stupid thing. If he were a Democrat, he'd just come out, say he's sorry for being a hypocrite all this time, and hang in there. really poor judgement being a Republican if you're gay.
5) Reneging on the resignation. What kind of respect will he get in the Senate if he survives this?
And, of course, being a gay-bashing family-values drum beater shows poor judgement in the first place!

Posted by: JMyke | September 5, 2007 07:10 PM

It does seem a rather bizarre coincidence that a man who has long been rumored to be gay, and who has in the past denied being homosexual when no one had accused him, would just happen to go to a men's restroom that is known to be a gay pickup spot and accidentally make the very signals that gay men make when trying to hook up for anonymous sex in bathrooms.

But, bizarre coincidences do happen, otherwise we wouldn't need a word for them.

Posted by: hgillette | September 5, 2007 07:13 PM

zondarg...oh please...the dem party is chock a block with hypocrites...who preach morality at every turn. why...teddy must go to bed every night thanking his lucky stars that no one oin that side of the aisle (you know...the one that preaches feminism and carps about Republican lawlessness and moneyed interests) cares that a woman killer whose family bought his way out of trouble.

nahhhhh....no hypocrisy there! it's just a Republican malady...just ask the former klu kluxer "elder statesman" Mr Byrd.

hypocrisy even finds its way to blogs it would appear. no surprise there.

Posted by: | September 5, 2007 07:52 PM

my only wish is , that people like larry craig will stop demonizing gay people , then they dont have to go to bathrooms and upset other people in the first place.

Posted by: my only wish is | September 5, 2007 07:54 PM

It's perfectly legal to pick up someone in the bathroom for sex. Had the senator propositioned the cop at the sink, and invited him back to a hotel room, there wouldn't be anything to talk about.

But it's not legal to 1) have sex in the bathroom or 2) to stare into a stall when a man is doing his business. The man has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

The prosecutor dropped the peeping Tom charge in exchange for a guilty plea on the lessor charge. It almost sounds like Craig wants to go to fight the disorderly conduct charge, but have you noticed he's said squat about the more serious charge. Hmmm??

Still, I want someone to ask why he called the police a week later, demanding information for "the law firm." (page 4 of the entire police report -- go to www.thesmokinggun.com)

This man is as arrogant as they come and appears to be addicted to his power. He will do and say whatever he can think of to save his hide. Frankly, I would say his conduct is unbecoming of a U.S. Senator, regardless of the validity of the charges.

Posted by: Cheryl | September 5, 2007 08:00 PM

It seems to me the big question is: don't the police have better things to do than this? No crime? No drugs?

Posted by: Fred | September 5, 2007 08:24 PM

This column just *rocks*, Mr. Cohen!

Posted by: Chris Fox | September 6, 2007 01:36 AM

If I was a family member of someone in this sort of predicament, as mentioned by Martha Nichols, I would want the person concerned to explain to me why he, or perhaps she, had got drawn into living such a double life. I'd try to persuade myself, were I close to him, that he wasn't just a cheap hypocrite but someone experiencing genuine moral tension arising from the divergence between personal need and religious teaching. I'm not close to Senator Craig, not even an American citizen. But these religious and cultural questions echo round the world (there was a long article in the Independent, the UK newspaper I read, only yesterday) and I would like to hear him explain candidly, for the benefit of the Western world, how he came to this point.

Posted by: MHughes976 | September 6, 2007 07:50 AM

Thank you MHughes for a thoughtful, intelligent and sensitive posting. Craig, whose political positions I find distastful, would seem to have a difficult personal life and - IF he is involved in these activities - it reflects a conflict that is truly painful for the individual involved. This is frequently more the result of societal influences and perceptions and an individuals fears that thyey will be abandoned, indeed hated and, as we have seen repeatedly, even killed, if found to be gay. Much better to deny it, hide it.
Many in this world get instantly and actively involved when an item such as this becomes 'news' and yet we have allowed the executive branch of this government to damage this country - hurting and effectting each and every one of us - for years and whaqt has been done? Very Little. Where is that outrage? I don't feel anywhere near the noise about our government being involved in possibly TORTURING people,and wanting to make it a policy to do so, or turning the accidental death of a fine American service man into a PR event, or lying about trying to manipulate and twist the Constitution to suit what they want?
They are like spoiled children who want things their way and only their way. I take that back - even spoiled children can have SOME redeeming qualities.

Senator Craig - I wish you peace and enlightenment some day.

P.S. AG Gonzales is suppose dto be appearing and speaking at the Coast Guard Academy tonight according to the Hartford newspaper this morning - yet it is not mentioned in the Coast Guard Academy's website listing of 'events' for today - I guess they would prefer to keep it quite...I dislike the idea that he will be in the same state I'm in.

Posted by: Helen | September 6, 2007 09:46 AM

ARTICLE 2, SECTION 4 of the Constitution of the United States states that the President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States may be impeached and if convicted of "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors" removed from office.

It would appear that the Constitution does not consider a "misdemeanor" a minor item as does Craig and his Republican defenders. Regards, Carl W. Lundquist, JD, Colonel, Army of the United States (Retired) .....Boston

Posted by: Carl W. Lundquist | September 6, 2007 10:28 AM

Mr. Lundquist, "misdemeanors" in that context is supposed to be of a comparable class as "crimes" (simply, literally "bad behavior") , and anyway the operative word is "high" (they were aware of the possibility of a low or minor crime). Misdemeanors as used here isn't the same thing as misdemeanor commonly used now as a crime necessarily inferior to a felony.

Posted by: | September 6, 2007 11:08 AM

Helen, if it makes you feel better, I have that outrage you speak of, as certainly do some others. But yes, it isn't remotely enough, and makes one feel somewhat ineffectual.

Posted by: Lon | September 6, 2007 11:11 AM

I am indeed a clueless doofus. Having no experience with sexual encounters in airport bathrooms, I'm wondering what exactly can two horny gay guys DO in a busy airport bathroom and where can they do it? I have heard of 'glory holes' but this doesn't seem to be one of those operations. I presume the toe-tapping and bottomofthestallwall caressing is intended to lead to some genital contact but how and where? Seems like Mission Impossible to me.

Posted by: CluelessDoofus | September 6, 2007 11:12 AM

Even though you took it back, I'd say many of the administration's actions indicate a lot more/less than "spoiled children".

Posted by: | September 6, 2007 11:13 AM

MHughes976:


With due respect, what does religious and cultural teaching, have to do with basic honesty (one knows acutely well if they are playing a hypocritical position) on one hand, or self-protective prudence out of necessity on the other? These to me are basic things that are independent of whatever particular religious/cultural circumstance one happens to be affiliated with.

Posted by: Steve | September 6, 2007 11:18 AM

Well, we've read the reports correctly we see that there is consensus between Craig and the Policeman on very critical points needed to make the case against him. The difference is only in intrepretation, but "coincidence" is too big a stretch to be a believable explanation.

It is normal for straight people to complain when confronted with unwanted advances, so that's probably the source of the complaints the police were acting upon.

But anyone who isn't already fed up with the way the Republican party has been acting over the past ten years or so, needs to go read the wayne madison report:
google Jack Abramoff, Tom Delay, "The permanent Republican Majority", Suncruz and "The K Street Project". That should do it for starters, and if that doesn't destroy any vision of what Republicans intended to do to our democracy, then look in on the P.N.A.C. whose plans have now been implemented and are in the processes of failing one and all.

If you are not aware of these things, then yes, you probably will still support the republican party! But then, you'd probably also still support Hitler, if all you knew about him was his road building, eh?

Obwon

Posted by: Obwon | September 6, 2007 11:40 AM

I don't like the idea of a Senator lieing but then which Senator does not lie. Which one is holier than thou. I do not care if Craig is gay or straight but I am appalled by entrapment and I regard that as an indecent act by the State.

You suggest that you are giving Craig the benefit of the doubt but you are not doing so. You treat him with scorn.

You say: 'The Senator has to convince ... public opinion that he's not a liar, hypocrite and criminal.' Well, I am a hypocrite and a liar just like you, your readers and Craig's colleagues in Congress. As for 'criminal' that is a contrived notion. Entrapment is not a criminal offence but it is a dirty game in which the State is trying to get people to commit 'crime'. Is that decent?


Posted by: Robert James | September 6, 2007 11:45 AM

I am a native of Idaho. I used to spend the winters in Arizona and, believe me, Idaho's legislators have been the butt of ridicule more than once. I am sick and tired of the programmed split of parties and us vs them. We should be pulling together for the good of the nation, not spending all our time discrediting party affiliations.

What makes this so interesting is the party of family values and the man who supported a ban on gay marriages is doing worse than being gay. He is involved in a sex sting in a public toilet. I heard the transcript. It was desperate fishing for answers. The things that makes it suspect:

1. How many people pick up paper of a public toilet floor? I sure wouldn't.

2. How many times have you seen anyone with such a wide stance, with their pants down, that their feet went into another stall? I'm only 5'2" and with my pants down, I don't have a wide stance.

3. How often would you use a stall, and men don't use a stall to urinate, and fail to flush? I guess that is plausible.

People, here are saying he was set up. One letter to our newspaper went so far as to claim it was Nancy Pelosi who planned the entire thing and they should make that policeman confess. I was at a meeting the other day and you should have heard them. A whole different attitude than when Clinton was involved in a scandal.

I can understand why the rest of the world thinks we are ignorant out here.

Posted by: Mr-C | September 6, 2007 12:10 PM

I have a question:

How do men have sex in toilet stalls? Wouldn't one of them have to cross over?

Posted by: Mr-C | September 6, 2007 12:14 PM

Senator Craig seems to have no backbone. The minute word spread of the incident he offered to resign for a misdemeanor! Now his spokesman said Craig will not fight to save his seat. What a wimp! He has no balls. Pathetic performance.

Posted by: mascmen7 | September 6, 2007 12:50 PM

My concern is that Mr Craig presented his card identifying himself as a US Senator, as though that should have allowed the incident a pass.

Posted by: Jane | September 6, 2007 01:29 PM

gee, you'd think if a guy is a U.S. senator, traveling back and forth to his district, he might be a member of an airline club and not have to "stoop" to a public men's room.

Posted by: Scott | September 6, 2007 01:40 PM

It really is odious that we are supposed to believe everything happened, as the police report states, the confusion about the author of the police report, illustrates this point. Imagine the voir dire.

Whether or not normal people, tap their foot or run their hands under a stall is moot because that is a protected form of free speech.
If the serious charge of looking into a stall, allegedly for two minutes was true, why did the cop work so hard to have this charge dismissed, if not for the motivation to secure a fine for disoderly conduct which was dubious at best?

And anyone that thinks bringing one's luggage into a stall(in between flights) should be one of the grounds for arresting someone needs to really get a grip on reality (where the hell was the man supposed to put his bag)?

I care about children and don't condone bathroom sex, but folks, this basis for an arrest, was an over reach by the police.

Please put sargeants making 75,000 dollars, with masters degrees on better assignments from now on, please.

Posted by: gil-roc | September 6, 2007 02:04 PM

There are certain rules in the men's room. We all know it. No one talks
about it but we ALL know the drill.
No one taught us these things, but we know them anyway.

1. Use the urinal farthest away from the next guy.

2. If all the urinals are in use, unzip, wiz and look at the interesting
tile in front of you.

3. DO NOT LOOK AT THE NEXT GUY

4. DO NOT TALK TO THE NEXT GUY (if he is a stranger). Chatting with buds
is allowed.

5. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE YOU TO LOOK AT THE UNIT OF THE NEXT GUY.

6. In the stall, read the graffiti or play tetris on your cell phone, DO
NOT COMMUNICATE WITH THE GUY IN THE NEXT STALL (the only permissible exception to this is to ask the guy in the
next stall for TP if you don't have any)

7. It is fully understood that cracking the plane of the next stall is
verboten (except for item 6)

Posted by: warped99 | September 6, 2007 04:04 PM

Mr-C...can I assume from your post, then, that the democrat party is not concerned with or an advocate for family values?

Posted by: | September 6, 2007 04:38 PM

Craig is a hypocrite and doesn't deserve to be a senator (although I can't think of a single senator who does deserve to be a senator. I think Dennis Kusinich sp? would make a fine senator--at least he speaks and acts seemingly from conviction). The police were responding to public complaints. There's no redeeming Craig's good name--he's just another power-addicted jerk who is reaping his just deserts. It's true, there are many more serious subjects on which to focus--but this one is just too fun. Not since Jack Abramoff has someone this powerful and seedy stumbled so glaringly. Hey Senator Craig! If you're reading this, get a hotel room next time!

Posted by: Dave also | September 6, 2007 05:11 PM

Getting back to the logistics of the whole affair, does anyone remember the spy thriller (it might have been Day of the Jackal), in which the main miscreant needs a new identity or something; so he goes into an airport men's room, makes the assignation signals with a willing young man, AND THEY GO OUT TO A CAR IN THE AIRPORT LONG-TERM PARKING LOT. So I'll give him the benefit of doubt; maybe Senator Craig did intend to get a hotel room. It's just so interesting learning the salacious details of these types of exchanges.

Posted by: Dave again | September 6, 2007 05:56 PM

None of the comments in this blog nor any of the news articles I have read have focused on the location of this particular rest room within the Minneapolis airport. It has been stated this rest room was known for homosexual activity and, hence, the location for an undercover police operation. My questions are: Why was Senator Craig in this particular rest room? Was this rest room the closest to the gate of one of his connecting flights? If not, why was he in this rest room? Has he flown through this airport before? How often?

Posted by: Ed | September 6, 2007 10:05 PM

Let's take the questions in order:

Have you ever stood outside of a stall in a public bathroom peering through the crack for a minute or two?

- No. For many reasons, the least of which is... I wouldn't want someone doing that to me!

Have you ever touched the feet of the person next to you in a stall?

- No. And having been to the Minn. airport, I can tell you the Senator can't argue the stalls are small. They're normal sized stalls and there are bigger guys that Craig out there and I doubt any of them have ever made accidental contact with the feet of the guy in the stall next to them.

Have you ever put your hand under the divider and over onto the next stall?

- No. That could be dangerous- you don't know who's on the other side of that wall. Not only that, it could be terribly unhygenic.

Have you ever picked up toilet paper from the floor near a public toilet?

- No. Heavens NO! Rule #1 in a public mens room: Don't pick anything off the floor!

Did you know before this incident that the police consider such actions to be a request for sexual activity?

- Yes. I did, in fact, know this. Why? Because all you need to do is read the paper. That such activities go on in mens rooms around the world isn't news. That police nail people for it isn't news either.

At the end of the day, the senator's explanations to the public don't add up. Which says nothing of his misleading statements - you could call them lies - to the police offer in the interview.

Oh. And someone above commented asking since when does a misdemeanor like this mean a senator should be forced to resign?

I'll tell you - it's when a senator hands over his SENATE BUSINESS CARD rather than his ID (that is, driver's license) when instructed to do so. That, I believe, was an attempt to use his office to wiggle out of getting nabbed for fishing for sex in a public restroom.

Posted by: corbett | September 7, 2007 09:00 AM

Thanks for kind word, Helen. Zteve - I agree that Senator Craig has not distinguished himself recently for prudence, nor for the even more important 'cardinal virtue' of justice, since he seems to tolerate in himself what he denounces in others. Mere cynicism, perhaps. Indeed, I've often suspected the leaders of the Religious Right of being people who manipulate in others, rather than share in their own hearts, certain harsh religious beliefs. But what if someone really believes that God both loves and hates him? This must be a terribly harsh, disturbing and inwardly subversive idea.

Posted by: MHughes976 | September 7, 2007 01:16 PM

Mhughes, Yeah that's probably a good reason to drop either that belief, or of any coherent one in a god.

Posted by: Steve | September 8, 2007 03:10 PM

I can see nothing illegal in Craig's behavior, as described by him or the officer. His behavior may be considered bizarre, but precisely what did he do that was illegal? You pass a thousand laws and guidelines for proper behavior and everyone who has posted here would be accused of something. And "yes", most of you and I might very well plead guilty to a lessor charge just to avoid publicity...look at how judgemental the posters here are.

I don't care if Craig is a homosexual or not. The law was the predator here and Craig was the victim. I'm not only not a homosexual, I'm truly conserva-phobic. Save me from you do-gooders who jump on anything even mildly suspicious...like my post.

Posted by: maddog56 | September 8, 2007 10:09 PM

There are a lot of predator laws, but most aren't exercised in response to public complaints. Craig's behavior was contemptible on a number of fronts.

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