August 28th, 2007

The VT Connection: What Goes Around Comes Around for Senator Larry Craig, And No, We Don’t Mean That In a Hot Way

by Philip Baruth

By now you’ve read more than you probably care to read about Idaho Senator Larry Craig, airport bathrooms, and the complicated semaphore of anonymous inter-stall sex. But if not, you’ll find the arrest complaint here.

Craig in boa

Now, rest assured that VDB isn’t above jumping up and down on the guy for sheer hypocrisy as a legislator, just because he’s down. We’re not.

It’s just that several hundred thousand outlets have already beaten us to the punch.

And so we content ourselves with bringing you, as always, the generally unreported Vermont connection. In this case, there’s a nicely karmic twist.

singing senators

Above, from left: Ashcroft, Lott, Jeffords, Craig, pictured here with vocal coach Renee Grant-Williams

Senator Craig was of course a member of the Singing Senators, an admittedly hokey but good-natured PR vehicle that also included John Ashcroft (currently lionized as the hapless invalid in the US Attorney scandal), Trent Lott (currently undergoing media rehabilitation after pro-segregationist remarks led to his ouster as Senate Majority Leader), and the now-retired Jim Jeffords.

The four friends traveled and sang together, occasionally hooking up with name acts like Charley Pride and the Oak Ridge Boys.

Until Jeffords jumped, that is.

In 2001, after Jeffords announced his clearly agonizing decision to leave the GOP, he was cut very little slack by anyone in the Republican Party, but the least slack of all came from Larry Craig.

According to the Conservative Media Research Center (a low-rent version of Media Matters), Craig had only one thing to say when asked about Jeffords and his decision to caucus with Democrats:

“I will not sing with Senator Jeffords anymore.”

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth, the scorn of a desperately closeted gay family-values Republican.

It’s taken six or seven years for the worm to turn, but it’s fair to say that if Trent Lott or John Ashcroft had their druthers today, they’d undoubtedly prefer to play the Grand Old Opry with Jim Jeffords than with Larry Craig.

And when it comes right down to it, wouldn’t we all.

GOP screwed