Now there have been a lot of jokes as well as commentary and analysis on Larry Craig and what he did or did not do. People have played partisan politics, like this is somehow indicative of the entire Republican party. Well, it doesn’t matter whether it’s Bill Clinton in the oval office with an intern or Larry Craig in the bathroom stall with an undercover cop, it is a simple combination of lust and poor judgement — and no one party has the corner market on either of these attributes. You will find a multitude of examples of hypocrisy, greed, power-grabbing, stupidity, and indiscretion on both sides of the aisles.
At this point, however, Larry Craig’s political career and influence are finished. Bill Clinton, on the other hand, despite being impeached in the House for technically lying under oath, is still highly regarded and could possibly be the nation’s First Husband to President Hillary Clinton.
So why is there such disparity in outcome between these two instances?
To me the biggest difference is the issue of homosexuality. Clinton’s affair involved a young woman, while Craig is alleged to have solicited sex with another man. As much headway has been made by the homosexual community to become more “normalized” in society, there is still a greater outrage to sexual offenses when they involve same-sex partners. Compare George Michael’s consequences and career since his incident in the bathroom stall to Hugh Grant’s continued popularity since his romp with a prostitute. Though they are both just as selfish and lustful, the homosexual act is scrutinized with far more shock and condemnation and has more drastically affected the performer’s career than its heterosexual counterpart.
The second point I want to make or question I want to ask is: Why is what Larry Craig did illegal? From what I understand there was no public exposure, no money exchanged and no sex acts performed. So what was the crime? Simply using hand signals to ask if someone is interested in having sex? Now while I can certainly see the moral issue with that, I fail to see a legal issue. I truly know very little of this law, which seems to be in most states in one form or another.
In talking with my friends, I found out that one of them was arrested when an undercover cop asked if he wanted to go back to his place and my friend responded sarcastically with something like, “Depends on what you have in mind…” So does that mean simply meeting someone and wanting to have sex is a crime? This seems to make as much sense as those sodomy laws that were in the news several years ago. I think government has to walk a fine line when legislating morality. If laws begin to be made that can dictate moral and religious actions that I may happen to agree with, what is to stop legislators from enacting such laws I don’t agree with? It is especially hard to enforce such laws when they involve two consenting adults in the privacy of their homes.
Now getting back to Larry Craig and Bill Clinton. Did they make an error in judgment? Sure they did, but neither of them deserve to be stripped of their political office for that one action alone — unless the people vote them out. Remember: someone is innocent till proven guilty, there is a democratic process in place of voting some one in or out of office, and most importantly we should all exhibit an attitude of grace and forgiveness towards those who are really no better or worse than we are ourselves.
“There but for the grace of God go I…”