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Craig and his arresting officer traded accusations
Police release a tape of Sen. Larry Craig's questioning after his arrest. There was no evidence against Craig, said The Strata-Sphere blog. Except that he pleaded guilty, said The Miami Herald.
T
he Minneapolis Airport Police late yesterday released an audiotape of an officer interrogating Sen. Larry Craig after his arrest for soliciting sex in an airport men’s restroom. Craig disagreed with the officer’s version of the events that led to his arrest, and accused the officer of entrapment. “I’m not gay,” the Idaho Republican said. “I don’t do these kinds of things.”

The male officer, Sgt. Dave Karsnia, said Craig had initiated a series of toe-tapping and hand signals used by men seeking anonymous gay sex in public bathrooms. “You’re not being truthful with me,” Karsnia told Craig. “I’m kind of disappointed in you, senator.”

Karsnia isn’t the only one, said The New York Times (free registration required) in an editorial. “The Republican Party is in quite a rush to keelhaul” Craig, although there has been no such clamor to cast out Republicans who are merely corrupt or whose sex scandals are heterosexual in nature. The chorus of GOP calls for Craig to resign “betrays the party’s intolerance, which is on display for the public in all of its ugliness.”

Give the poor man the benefit of the doubt, said The Strata-Sphere blog. He was guilty of “foot tapping and some vague signals,” and pleaded guilty to make the embarrassing mess go away. “Can Craig’s critics make the claim they read the facts before making fools of themselves?”

Only one fact matters, said The Miami Herald (free registration) in an editorial. “Larry Craig pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct following an arrest for lewd conduct.” That alone calls into question Craig’s “fitness for the job of U.S. senator,” and ensures that his days as an effective lawmaker “are over.”

It’s amazing that “a culture awash in sex” can be scandalized by anything any more, said Naomi Schaefer Riley in The Wall Street Journal. “Perhaps it is precisely because social boundaries are drawn so widely that we guard them so vigilantly.”

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