Glenn Greenwald has an absolute ball pointing out the blatant hypocrisy of the right-wing reaction to Larry Craig’s “outing” last fall and their screams for Craig’s resignation today:
Nonetheless, it is hard to overstate the intense fury that this pre-election report triggered from the Right — not at Senator Craig for engaging in this behavior, but at Rogers for reporting it. A virtually unanimous chorus on the Right furiously insisted that nothing could be more irrelevant than whether the married family values Senator had sex with men in bathrooms (acts that are simultaneously criminal and adulterous). The same political movement that impeached Bill Clinton and which has made a living exploiting issues of private morality for political gain insisted that Rogers had reached a new and despicable low in politics even by reporting this.
This reaction was so widespread that only a fraction can be identified here for illustrative purposes. At Hugh Hewitt’s blog, Dean Barnett pronounced: “The thuggishness continues . . . . [A] benumbed nation can only look on in horror at what has become of the Democratic Party.” Barnett accused Rogers of being a liar (“Rogers will maintain the anonymity of these three men, presumably because they . . . . don’t exist”) and also claimed that he hasn’t “heard from a single conservative who gives a hoot about Larry Craig’s sexuality.” According to Barnett (and many others), the Left only thought the story would matter because it mistakenly assumes that Christian conservatives actually dislike homosexuals…***
But now, with the election safely over, a fundamentally different view — one might say the exact opposite view — has arisen among this same political faction (and, in some cases, though not all, even among the same individuals) over the Craig bathroom sex story, one which confirmed the truth of Rogers’ October report. Michelle Malkin yesterday called Craig a “weasel,” accused him of not caring about the “dignity of his office,” and demanded that he resign. Various other right-wing blogs — noting that a GOP governor will appoint his replacement — also are calling for Craig to resign.
So revealingly, Barnett’s blog colleague, Hugh Hewitt, demanded Craig’s immediate resignation while openly acknowledging that he does not believe Sen. Vitter should resign. I wonder what the difference might be? It cannot possibly be that Craig’s liaisons were with men rather than women, because the Right is completely indifferent to such considerations.
Pretty much. The only thing that is different is that there is no election and Craig’s replacement will be chosen by a Republican Governor. I thought I would look up what I had to say about this whole affair back in October:
My attitude- so what? Who cares if he is gay?
Oh- that is right- the GOP cares if he is gay, because if he is, it might suppress the voting base. Which is, of course, the only reason why the right wing is having a collective hissy fit about this ‘outing’ of Larry Craig. Even now, the GOP is running on a platform of gay-bashing.
I think these intentional outings of people is wrong- if Larry Craig is, in fact gay, it was his business and his business alone. If it were not for the GOP running around demonizing gays, pretending that acceptance of homosexuality will be the end of the world, and engaging in gay-bashing as political sport, closeted gays would not be closeted. I don’t know if Craig is gay, and I don’t care, and even though I disagree with people being outed against their will, it is, in large part, the GOP’s fault that being outed as gay is still considered a smear.
In other words, it was clear they were hacks then, it is clear they are hacks now (Lawyers, Guns and Money puts it all together as far as Hewitt is concerned. David Vitter is from Lousiana. Louisiana has a Democratic governor. Hugh- the consummate party hack). Film at 11.
*** Update ***
And, amusingly enough, the only people defending Craig are what the deep thinkers in the comments at Protein Wisdom would call the “homophobic left”:
I think that’s about right. Look, I wouldn’t want to bring my 4-year-old son into the airport bathroom and stumble across two people having sex, gay or straight. It’s tough enough getting in and out of the john without him touching every dirty surface or contributing to the mess with an errant aim. But sex didn’t happen here. Even the propositioning is murky at best. And short of a proposition involving sex for money, what is illegal about inquiring about sex? Tactless, maybe. But criminal?
*** Update ***
And just because I want to have this in my archives, Hewitt’s justification for demanding Craig’s resignation is priceless:
But even if I did believe him, this would make his judgment too flawed to be in the United States Senate in a time of war. He has to go.
Uncle Sam needs us all not to have gay sex at a time of war. Otherwise the terrorists win. Insert your own “300” quip.