Thursday, October 04, 2007

Craig sticks around

WASHINGTON (AP) - Idaho Sen. Larry Craig defiantly vowed to serve out his term in office on Thursday despite losing a court attempt to rescind his guilty plea in a men's room sex sting.

"I have seen that it is possible for me to work here effectively," Craig said in a written statement certain to disappoint fellow Republicans who have long urged him to step down.

Craig had earlier announced he would resign his seat by Sept. 30, but had wavered when he went to court in hopes of withdrawing his plea.

The third-term lawmaker issued his statement not long after Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter relayed word he has selected a replacement for Craig in the event of a resignation.

"He is ready to act should we receive a letter of resignation," said Jon Hanian, Otter's spokesman in Boise, in what seemed like a calculated signal that home-state Republicans want Craig to surrender the seat he has held for 17 years.

In his statement, Craig said he will not run for a new term next year.

But in the meantime, he said: "I will continue my effort to clear my name in the Senate Ethics Committee - something that is not possible if I am not serving in the Senate."

The ethics committee has already signaled it is reviewing the facts of Craig's case, taking the step after the Senate Republican leadership requested it.

Craig's decision to stay and fight raises the strong possibility of public hearings - virtually certain to be televised live - centered on the issue of gay sex.

In other words he is pissed off at the Republican Party for not sticking by him (translation - going down in flames with him) and is damned determined to see that his Senate seat goes to a Democrat in the next election.

Homosexuals inhabit the deviate fringes of society. This is territory which I know well because I also live there. As a heterosexual man who has chosen to remain unmarried and childless I represent a minority a bit larger than the homosexual community, but I recognize that my lifestyle choice is, in its own way, just as sub-optimum as the gay lifestyle.

My lifestyle is suboptimal because in a time of falling birthrates in the Western (civilized) world the United States is only just managing to maintain a birthrate at the replacement level. Those cultures which are breeding at above the replacement rate (sometimes well above) are those which range from merely dysfunctional (Mexican) to downright evil (Arab/Muslim).

Fortunately our culture is resilient enough to absorb a certain minority who chose to live outside the norm. The difference between me and most of those in the homosexual community is that I recognize that my life choices are less than the best from a cultural point of view and I support tailoring the laws, customs and attitudes of society to support the better choices.

For example unwed motherhood is a bad idea and society used to discourage it through social pressure, by stigmatizing women who became pregnant out of wedlock. In the interest of compassion and a desire not to be judgemental we removed that stigma and instead made unwed motherhood a job description through various social programs which give unmarried mothers subsidized housing, food, medical care and even spending money. The predictable result (at least to sane people) was an explosion of single parent families and all the social pathologies that go with it.

I'm not suggesting that single motherhood be criminalized any more than we should put homosexuals or confirmed bachelors in jail. However we should never become so afraid of hurting somebodies feelings that we fail to make the distinction between those choices which we encourage and support and those we merely tolerate.