In the light of Idaho Senator Larry Craig's resignation, and the hypocrisy of the Republicans when it comes to punishing their own, take in these essays by Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin and Glenn Greenwald at Salon.
First up, Jim, on the public restroom cruising and the real double standard.
And while I'm well aware of the history of overly-aggressive police campaigns that have targeted gay people in more private settings or for more innocuous behavior, let's not forget another key point. This was a public men's room at a public airport visited by members of the public. There's nothing private about it.
When I go to a public restroom, the last thing I want is some dirty old man's blue eyes looking into my stall trying to decide whether I'm tap-worthy. And the second-to-the-last thing I want to encounter in a public restroom is someone who has found someone else tap-worthy. Please people, when you find someone you want to get down and dirty with, do what any other normal self-respecting person would: get a room, for crying out loud!
…The double standard we really need to be concerned about is the reaction among others in the GOP to the revelation that Sen. Larry Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct — a misdemeanor.
Sen. Craig may be a hypocrite, but that doesn't automatically disqualify him from the Senate. If it did, they'd never have a quorum. And copping to misdemeanor shouldn't disqualify anyone either, unless it disqualifies everyone who cops to a misdemeanor. But as it stands now, it doesn't.
Just last month, Sen. David Vitter (R-La) admitted to using the services of the so-called “D.C. Madam.” And while Vitter fully admitted his guilt publicly, he never had to do it in the justice system. And he probably won't since the statute of limitations has passed for solicitation — another misdemeanor.
As we all know, Diaper Dave Vitter activities didn't generate calls for resignations or ethics investigations. The craven political reason that Vitter wasn't vilified — Louisiana's governor, a Dem, would replace Vitter with a Dem, so that wasn't palatable. The other reason, of course, is faux moral outrage at the thought of Craig hitting on/having sex with men, twisted the knickers of McCain, Norm Coleman, Mitt Romney and other Republicans, who fell all over themselves to condemn Craig publicly. Jim also points out that the Log Cabinettes also called for Craig's head, but there has been silence about Vitter.
A snippet of what Glenn has to say about John McCain's hypocrisy is after the jump.
Glenn's post — McCain's selective defense of “traditional marriage” — takes a look at the Arizona senator's personal history regarding marriage. As Glenn notes, John “Straight Talk” McCain dumped his first wife and the mother of his kids to take fresh new vows with his younger, rich mistress.
How can John McCain claim to believe that the law should recognize only “traditional marriages” while simultaneously demanding that the law recognize his own so-called “second marriage” — also known as “an adulterous relationship” under the precepts of “traditional marriage” (Mark 10:11 — “And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her”).
The issue is not that McCain sinned in the past. It is that he argues now that the law ought to recognize only “the traditional definition of marriage” while simultaneously demanding that the law recognize and treat as equal his own “marriage,” which is as much a deviation from the “traditional definition” as the same-sex marriages he opposes. How can someone with this “family” stand up in public and claim to support the “traditional definition of marriage”?
Also, check out this DKos diary, Republican Culture of Corruption: 2007 So Far. The list is long.