September 28th, 2007

All The Larry Craig News That’s Fit to Print

by Philip Baruth

There are many beautiful aspects to the Larry Craig saga, but more than anything we love it because it just keeps on giving. Not since OJ marched out to find Nicole’s real killer has America witnessed anything like Craig’s legal fight to right the wrongs done him in that Minneapolis bathroom.

Craig in boa

But to cut to the chase: Craig’s bid to overturn his guilty plea for Way Disorderly Conduct seems to be headed nowhere fast.

Hennepin County District Judge Charles Porter Jr. did everything but spin his index finger next to his temple in the universal “crazy sign” when Craig’s lawyer rolled out his case yesterday.

But that wasn’t the beauty part. No, the best action was out in the parking lot, among the protestors.

Those would be the pro-Craig protestors. From the Star-Tribune:

A couple of pro-Craig demonstrators came in costume and carried signs. One read: “Fight terrorists, not toe-tappers” and “Next time pee, don’t plea.”

Jason Gabbert, of Apple Valley, was dressed as an airport police officer. Anthony Wright attempted to dress as Craig. They said they brought toilets for a full-on demonstration, but were told to put them away by security officers. The two say they are political centrists, but Gabbert said Craig “shouldn’t have been arrested. There was no evidence to make an arrest.”

Now, that took courage. Almost like the civil rights protests of the early 60’s, except that Gabbert and Wright took off from work, rented toilets, and fought for an aging Senator’s right to frottage. [Cue up “We Shall Overcome”]

Craig, Wolfie

Senator Craig, center, outlines his vision for a Really, Really New American Century to a sympathetic Paul Wolfowitz, right.

It’s all good with this story, and it’s a bit gooder every day. And the best of all is taking a look at the totality of Craig’s output in the Senate, in light of recent events. It gives most of his statements a whole new dimension: width.

Here is Craig, speaking on the floor of the Senate in 1993, about whether the Ethics Committee should be empowered to issue subpoenas:

“We have argued for over two centuries, and very exclusively, that the right of the Member to serve rests only with the citizens he serves or she serves and not with this body.”

Amen, Larry. Although we would imagine that at this point, your constituents back in Idaho would rather not have the right of the Member resting quite so closely.

If you know what we mean.