Thursday, September 06, 2007

Rolling out the Smokescreen

The idea that liberals would rally to disgraced Sen. Craig's defence out of some sympathy for him personally is a ridiculous non-starter. Liberals will pay out just enough line to prolong Craig's agony and, if possible, the GOP leadership's current tongue-tied handwringing. The GOP leadership needs to turn this about and, if Craig will not go willingly, bring the issue to the floor to force the Democrats to get serious and either vote for the continuation in office of a man everyone understands to have been cruising for sodomy in a public restroom, or acknowledge the existence of public decency and the unfitness for office of a man who cannot acknowledge it himself.

Foot tapping alone is not obscene, but context matters.

Even if one isn't privy--so to speak--to all the ins and outs of cruising signals, one wouldn't have to be an expert to know that someone engaging in the various actions of which Craig is accused was acting similarly to men who seek to engage in sodomy in public restrooms. This would constitute sufficient cause for alarm to constitute disorderly conduct.

This also is where the comparison to Vitter falls down. The behaviour in which Craig was engaged was a precursor to sodomy in a public restroom--let's be clear that this sort of thing isn't a solicitation to "dinner, drinks and maybe going back to my place to look at my etchings." Gay men who are seeking longer-term male companionship could engage in their cryptic courtship rituals in public in that case, they wouldn't need to confine them to public restrooms. The solicitation occurs in the restroom because that is where the consummation is expected to occur, and that behaviour simply is unacceptable to a society which clings to the fiction that sexuality is a purely private concern.

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