Sen. Craig’s waffling erodes public trust
September 6, 2007
Much has been made about the toe-tapping allegations that Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho solicited gay sex, as well as his defensive, “wide-stance” response.
The allegations not only indicate a behavior unbecoming of a senator, but of an elected official who has a problem telling the truth, or at least making a conclusive decision about his future without trying the patience of his fellow senators and the American public.
Craig pled guilty to a disorderly conduct charge related to a sex sting in a Minneapolis men’s room. He later claimed he did nothing wrong and refuted questions about his sexuality. He then announced his resignation from the Senate, but is now reconsidering the move if he can withdraw his guilty plea. What may result is a very public legal battle that will continue to draw headlines and lead to divisiveness in the Senate.
A Senate ethics committee was correct in refusing to set aside a complaint against Craig Wednesday, a wise decision considering Craig’s recent history of indecisiveness.
More so than his alleged behavior, Craig’s subsequent handling of the scandal has lead to further erosion of public trust in our nation’s leaders. Americans deserve politicians who under scrutiny either come clean about their behavior or seek to clear their names with a consistent position – opposing strategies Craig has both embraced and distorted into an unprofessional and embarrassing mess.
The best and most honorable choice for Craig is one that he has already made and now seemingly abandoned: Resign and let the country go about its business.
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This editorial appeared in the Lahontan Valley News on Thursday.