Thursday, January 7, 2010

Larry Craig & the Decade in Sex

Just when we thought the barrage of toe tapping, bathroom stall jokes were a thing of the past, those purveyors of aggregated opinion at The Daily Beast have included toe-tapper-in-chief, former Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) in their slide show of the decade in sex.

Yes, in a decade that included Janet Jackson's infamous wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl, an affair made public when a congressional intern went missing, the more recent fall from grace of Tiger Woods, too many celebrity sex tapes to count, and the creepiness that was the Michael Jackson trial, Larry Craig was deemed worthy of Beast's list.
Unfortunately for Larry Craig and Idaho's image, Craig's arrest in a Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport's men's room was fodder for the late night talk show hosts, spawned a new and satirical take on a Tony Orlando tune, supplied the The Daily Show with months of material, and made a fairly obscure Idaho politican a household name. Senator Craig did himself no favors by explaining away the location of his feet inside the bathroom stall with the excuse that he has a "wide stance" and by then going on to give a most bizarre press conference where he said he isn't gay and never has been. Never has been? Who says that? Only closed minded, conservative hypocrites who believe gays choose to be so and are a threat to the institution of marriage. Larry Craig's arrest was a story not just because he was able to keep the unusual arrest quiet for months, but because his behavior was something he had railed against his entire political career.

Then there was Senator Craig's whole "intend to resign" speech followed by refusing to resign and then attempting to overturn his Minneapolis disorderly conduct (instead of the initial charge of lewd conduct) conviction.

Where is Larry Craig now? Running a consulting firm and still taking a great deal of flack from Idahoans and his clients alike, conservatives who question his morality over his professional effectiveness.

A decade that began with a President of the United States disgraced and leaving office on the heals of a sex scandal is ending as the golden boy of gold tarnishes his image every day that another woman comes forward establishing his long string of infidelity. And somewhere in between, a member of congress flashed his business card to an arresting officer who was conducting a sting in an airport bathroom known for gay men cruising.

South Carolina's image is currently connected to a politician "hiking the Appalachian Trail," also known as visiting his mistress in Argentina; Idaho's image is apparently linked to a toe-tapping senator for longer than any of us would have liked.

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