Thursday, August 30, 2007

Conservative ‘Homophobic Hypocrisy’ In Craig Scandal

Earlier this month, Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) pleaded guilty to “misdemeanor disorderly conduct” for “lewd” sexual conduct in a men’s public restroom. In July, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) also admitted to the “sin” of a sexual crime — frequenting an escort service run by the DC Madam.

To date, five Republican lawmakers have called on Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) to resign:

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN): “Senator Craig pled guilty to a crime involving conduct unbecoming a senator. He should resign.”

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): “I believe that he — that he pled guilty and he had the opportunity to plead innocent. So I think he should resign.”

Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI): “However, he also represents the Republican Party, and I believe that he should step down as his conduct throughout this matter has been inappropriate for a U.S. senator.”

Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN): “While additional concerns are being raised, Senator Craig already demonstrated that he is unfit to serve in the U.S. Congress when he pled guilty. I believe that he needs to step down.”

Reps. Jeff Miller (R-FL), Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL), Bobby Jindal (R-LA), and Ron Lewis (R-KY): [A handful of Republicans] urged Craig to step down…including Jeff Miller and Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida, Mark Souder of Indiana, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Ron Lewis of Kentucky.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has also stripped Craig of his committee leadership positions and called for a Senate ethics investigation into the affair.

In contrast, none of these nine lawmakers reprimanded Vitter after he admitted to soliciting a prostitute. He even received “‘thunderous applause‘ from Senate GOP colleagues during a policy lunch held a few days after his admission.” Matt Foreman of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force explains the hypocrisy:
Let’s see - one Republican senator is involved in soliciting sex from a man and the Republican leadership calls for a Senate investigation and yanks the rug from underneath him. Another Republican senator admits to soliciting the services of a female prostitute and there’s not only no investigation but the senator is greeted with a standing ovation by his Republican peers. What explains the starkly different responses? I’d say rank and homophobic hypocrisy.
The nonpartisan watchdog group CREW has called on Vitter to resign his committee seat. Glenn Greenwald has more on the right-wing blogosphere’s hypocrisy.

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