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William C. Altreuter
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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Senator Larry Craig says he isn't gay, and I'd have to say that he is probably right. "Lame, stupid things aren't gay. Only cool, excellent things are gay." Poor Senator Craig is merely another creepy Republican, no doubt filled with horror and self-loathing. His own self-hatred saves the rest of us-- and particularly actual gay people-- the effort.

I used to wonder about the Log Cabin Republicans. What could they be thinking, being gay and members of a political party that viewed them with loathing? It is tempting to joke about it, but I can't bring myself to do it. I'm exhausted by the Republican Party's apparent ability to exist with its own contradictions. They are the party of fiscal ruin and invasive, intrusive privacy policy. They are religious zealots who lead lives that utterly contradict the moral rules they insist that the rest of the world must abide by. If you told me that in Republican families abortion is mandatory I'd shrug and say, "Well, sure." I'm hard pressed to think of a single thing that Republicans say they stand for that isn't belied by their actual policies. Maybe Rudy Giuliani is the perfect guy for this bunch: he dresses in drag, his family hates him, he lived with a gay couple when his wife threw him out because of his serial adulteries. He seems to have the base just about locked up.

Ironically, it is possible that Senator Craig may live in one of the few places where he might get away with this denial. Slate's Bruce Reed is far more familiar with Idaho politics than I ever want to be, and recalls that back in 1982 Craig called a press conference to deny involvement in the House page sex scandal. There are 535 elected officials on Capital Hill-- most of them know better to call attention to themselves by denying stuff.* "Idaho is the Don't-Show-Me State". Voters have been content to know that Craig is Republican; anything else would be too much information. If you want to know why we chose to live in our own private Idaho, this case seems like a pretty good reason," Reed says, and that makes a certain kind of sense. Frankly, I hope he hangs on-- even if he isn't gay, he apparently is cool with same sex relations, and the Senate could use a few more people who feel that way.

*The paradigm, I'd always thought, was Virginia's Senator William Scott, who called a press conference to deny that he was the stupidest man on the Hill. Senator Craig has outdone Scott for dumb. If Larry Craig denied having feathers at this point, I think we could justifiably assume he is a pillow.

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