Were you surprised by the revelation of Sen. Larry Craig’s arrest? Or perhaps his guilty plea to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge ((which appears to be bogus))? Turns out you weren’t alone! Conservatives across the country were shocked, shocked I say, at the news:
The reaction to the Larry Craig story provides one of the most vivid illustrations yet of how the right-wing movement works. Last October, just weeks before the midterm election, gay activist Mike Rogers reported that the married, GOP “family values” Senator repeatedly had sex with anonymous men in public bathrooms. His report was based on “extensive research,” including interviews with several men whom Craig solicited for bathroom sex.
[…] A virtually unanimous chorus on the Right furiously insisted that nothing could be more irrelevant than whether the married family values Senator had sex with men in bathrooms (acts that are simultaneously criminal and adulterous). The same political movement that impeached Bill Clinton and which has made a living exploiting issues of private morality for political gain insisted that Rogers had reached a new and despicable low in politics even by reporting this.
Whoops! My bad â€” they were shocked about the Craig story last year. And their surprise stemmed from the fact that there was a story about Craig, not that he may have acted inappropriately. Glenn Greenwald (as usual) has the whole sordid affair: the Republican slur machine mobilizing in Craig’s defense and lashing out at Rogers, only to pull a complete 180 when news of Craig’s arrest came to light. Greenwald observes:
But now, with the election safely over, a fundamentally different view — one might say the exact opposite view — has arisen among this same political faction (and, in some cases, though not all, even among the same individuals) over the Craig bathroom sex story, one which confirmed the truth of Rogers’ October report. Michelle Malkin yesterday called Craig a “weasel,” accused him of not caring about the “dignity of his office,” and demanded that he resign. Various other right-wing blogs — noting that a GOP governor will appoint his replacement — also are calling for Craig to resign.