Why Craig Needs to Go

United States senators are elected to show good judgment and good character.

I know many of them don’t. But the day we throw up our hands and merely laugh at their intellectual, moral and ethical transgressions is the day we throw all the standards out the window.

No doubt many reading this column think we’re already there.

After all, as long as Ted "Chappaquiddick" Kennedy remains a member in good standing of the upper house, it’s difficult to make the case that any other human being could possibly be removed for "disorderly behavior, " as the Constitution calls it.

Nevertheless, the citizenry that respects the Constitution and the traditions of American government must never lower its standards. Never.

That’s why we should demand the resignation of Larry Craig. And he should mean it this time!

About a week ago, Sen. Craig, R-Idaho, hinted his resignation announcement of days previous may have been premature.

Craig was arrested in a men’s room of a Minnesota airport in a sex sting operation. He was charged with disorderly conduct in connection with soliciting sex from an undercover police officer in an adjacent stall.

Though Craig denies doing anything wrong, saying his actions were misinterpreted by the police officer, he agreed to plead no contest and pay a fine. Now he has hired a high-priced attorney to try to overturn his original plea bargain.

Now, there are essentially two possibilities here:

— Craig indeed intended to solicit sex from the undercover officer,

— or he was innocent and copped a plea because he was embarrassed, rushed for time, scared of the consequences of a public legal fight, etc.

In either case, Craig exhibited incredibly bad judgment unworthy of a U.S. senator or even an ordinary responsible citizen determined to protect his own rights as well as those of the rest of us.

If he is guilty, he needs to go. I don’t care that technically he only rubbed his shoe up against the officer’s shoe. We don’t need any more sexual perverts and deviants in the U.S. Senate who would risk their careers, their family lives and their dignity for a quickie in a public restroom. Period. End of story.

People like this are subject to blackmail. People like this have no business making laws while breaking laws. People like this need to be ostracized and held accountable for their grotesque behavior so that it can be discouraged.

But even if he is 100 percent innocent, he should still go. Why? Because he used profoundly bad judgment in caving in to pressure from a local policeman. Is that the kind of leadership we expect from a U.S. senator? Would a U.S. senator who did nothing wrong cop a plea on a bathroom sex charge if it were not true? I find it hard to believe.
But, if he did, it proves his ability to make good judgments is impaired, to say the least.

Some have accused me of being too harsh on Craig. Some have accused me of being uncharitable and unforgiving. Some have accused me of jumping to conclusions.

I’m sorry, but this is not rocket science. Craig is unfit for office — either way. Now his flipflopping about resigning demonstrates once again the man has no guts. He’s a spineless weasel who doesn’t know what to do even about matters in his own life.

Does someone like that belong in the U.S. Senate?

Please don’t tell me it’s a den of thieves. I know. But it’s a den of thieves and even vipers because we allow it to be. At some point you have to start cleaning up the house that Harry Reid built one body at a time.

I don’t care if they are Democrats or Republicans. The corrupt, the malefactors, the sociopaths, the drowners, the rapists — they all have to go. But they will never go without even some minimal standards being set by the people.

We don’t need Larry Craig in the Congress. He’s been there 27 years. That’s long enough for anyone. It’s time to turn over the players. Any chance we get an opportunity, we have to take it. I wouldn’t want him representing me. I doubt very much if the people of Idaho are proud of the senator today.

That’s why he needs to go now — not Sept. 30. After all, he may change his mind a few more times before then.