Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Larry Craig, The Senior Senator From Idaho Who Is A Homophobic Republican Right Winger, And Who Said That Bill Clinton Was A "Naughty Boy," Is Not Gay

And neither am I.

OK, I'm just kidding. I am gay.

BWA-HA-HA-HA! I'm not even going to try to be scholarly about this. And anyway, look how wrong I was about Michael Vick. My question is this: when Larry Craig told the Idaho Statesman that the REI sporting goods store in Boise was the last place he would go to cruise men, did he really think that all queer people do not know that Boise was uncovered as a hotbed of homosexual activity during the 1950's? His precise statement was: "I've been in this business 27 years in the public eye here. I don't go around anywhere hitting on men, and by God, if I did, I wouldn't do it in Boise, Idaho! Jiminy!" Whereas, in fact, many gay men in the Mountain West would.

Craig's statement about the REI incident -- and let me say I write with the authoroity of a person partly raised in Idaho -- is exactly the kind of thing someone from Idaho would say, whether he was telling the truth or not. The syntax is perfect. Read more from the Washington Post here.

In the interests of fair and balanced reporting, here is Larry Craig's official statement about not being gay. And in the interests of slinging mud, here is a transcript from the Bill O'Reilly show on Fox that says he is.

Oh dear, oh dear. Can it get any worse for the GOP? I hope so. Since the Democrats can't seem to stop the war or pass any of the legislation they promised us last November, we may have to settle for ritual humiliation.

Ten points if you can name the other Senator from Idaho. Give up?

Mike Crapo, of Idaho Falls.


Emily said...

can i have the moment where i say, 'but he's not gay. he may be a man who has sex with men. but he's not gay, because gay is a socially constructed community identity'?

i mean, that's like sixty times too complicated for the news. but all i could think about the announcement was, 'yeah, of course you aren't, you're a closet case.'

Tenured Radical said...


You betcha you can. I was even going to say it, and then I thought -- hell, I wrote a whole article about that subject, and in the end, what do queer scholars have invested in hair-splitting over a guy like this anyway? So I didn't. But someone had to, you are right.


Anonymous said...

I know everyone's thrilled that a homophobic republican senator was - gasp - caught in a homosex sting. But why were people being arrested for same-sex sex anyway?
Larry Craig was NOT the only person who was arrested that day for little more than playing footsie with the guy in the stall next to him.

Despite Lawrence and our guarantee to "privacy," many queers' preferred sex acts - whether blow jobs in bathrooms, or the use of vibrators - are still just as illegal for us as for U.S. senators (not that it stops us). Would we be rejoicing if the headline was "17 arrested for gay public sex" instead of "Senator arrested for solicitation of gay public sex"?

Edward Carson said...

Here is my take: When any right wing Republican starts up about the family, marriage being between a man and a woman, or other dogma suff, I will figure that he or she has no balls to come out of the closet and stand up for who he or she really is. Why do they put the rest of us through this.

Tenured Radical said...

anon 9.47:

Your point is a good one but -- the last time I looked getting or giving or soliciting a blow job in a public washroom was public sex. I'm not sure that is covered by the right to privacy, or by Lawrence, whereas the use of a vibrator in your home would be covered by both. I don't think people should be arrested in washooms for wanting/asking for sex either, regardless of where htey plan to have it (same for hetero prostitution, although finding people on your front steps getting and giving bjs, as we do in my neighborhood upon going out to walk the dog of an evening, can feel icky and intrusive.) And I agree that public sex has a long and noble history among gay men -- or should we just say men? But neither history or the law supports your point as you made it, I fear.


cd said...

It's really telling how much of the narrative is about whether he is gay or not (gay as an identity) , as opposed to being about the fact he was arrested, the fact he cheated on his wife etc. Maybe he's just being sound byted that way, or maybe I have selective hearing, but its interesting.

Horace said...

My problem here is that the "public sex" or "gay sex" as a target makes me think about a restaurant where I worked where INS came in and only asked the Brown folks in the kitchen for documentation. I'm not saying such undercover policing of restrooms is identity profiling per se, but the idea that public sex has stings that target single sex bathrooms strikes me as being connected to an institutionalized homophobia, so while TR, technically, you're right, but I want to admit Anon 9.47's point here as well.

Anonymous said...

I apologize, my initial point was unclear. What I meant to suggest is that the Lawrence decision is severely limited precisely because it's about privacy - case in point, public sex, or the "lewd conduct" that is waving one's hand underneath a bathroom stall, is still be illegal. (And we'll see what the Supreme Court decides about vibrators.)

I wasn't trying to say that what happened is NOT illegal, but that we should question why it IS illegal, and why so many queer folks are so happy about this "gay sex sting."

-anon 9:47

ada47 said...

Goodness gracious! I hate to go on a tear on a minor point, but, but: "Since the Democrats can't seem to stop the war or pass any of the legislation they promised us last November"?? What?? Huh??

Is this really true? Well, no.

Is ignorance on this point excusalbe? Well, only for poeple who lack access to Google.

Minimum wage (including troop readiness provisions, Katrina Recovery provisions and Iraq accountability), US attorney Independence, implementation of the recommendations of the 9/11 commission, House Page Board Revision, have all been passed, rather quickly, and a bunch of things are pending.

Did anyone REALLY expect they would "end the war", whatever that means? The majority is not veto-proof, Bush is a self-righteous dumb-f*ck with hhis back against the wall and "God's shoulder to cry on" , and the GOP is dug-in for the fight, consequences be dammed. The Dems won't "end the war" unless they impeach Bush. Bush will end the war after he has declared victory and every last GOP ally has leaft him. The Democrats can only speed the process along.

I don't love the Dems, but they are playing the hand they were dealt, sometimes quite well, other times not so much. I believe we need to adjust our expectations, and not contribute to the GOP talking-point that the approval ratings of congress are lower since the do-nothing Dems took over.

Oh yeah, and about Larry Craig-I love the fact that yet another anti-gay Republican was caught up in a same-sex scandal. These people seem to have an endless closet.

This should provide a brilliant and astute Democrat an opportunity to clarify the issue of choice. Something like this: “While one may not have a choice about being drawn to seek physical and emotional relationships with members of the same sex, one clearly has the choice about living openly and honestly versus living a life of deception and restroom sex. And isn’t it about time we as a society rewarded the people who make the first choice with the right to marry.”

A girl can dream.

Tenured Radical said...


well I don't want to get argumentative, but I do ghave access to Google and -- actually the minimum wage didn't pass/ Like a number of other forms of legislation, it was voted down by the Senate, with Blue Dog Dems joining Republicans in a majority. And when the Dems tried to attach it to the war funding bill, it was called "politcal" and htey were convinced to back off.

And real wages, over the last six months, have declined once again.

So goeth much of the progressive legislative initiatives, and so will they go. And have you noticed we don;t see so much of Nancy Pelosi anymore? Someone at the DNC has muzzled her for sure.

And how about enforcing Comgressional subpoenas?

And yes, I do want them to stop the fucking war. Huundreds of people are dying every week in Iraq. If that were happening in Des Moines, or even New York, somebody would do something.

I don't want to lose the light touch on Larry Craig, but really.