Is it the simple solidarity of silence, or are Idaho Republican leaders relying on story fatigue to allow them to get away with saying nothing about Larry Craig’s latest?
The silence was predictable, but outrage finally boiled over among state Democratic candidates and leaders Thursday after a Senate Ethics committee rebuked Larry Craig for his behavior after he was caught in an airport bathroom sex sting, and Republican leaders were silent.
“It’s now time for Idaho’s Republican Party leaders to make their position known: Are they going to support the people of Idaho, or are they going to support the tawdry self interests of Larry Craig?” asked Democratic party chair Keith Roark in a press release.
Former Congressman Larry LaRocco, Democratic candidate for the Senate seat to be vacated by Craig, also called for Craig to resign.
Candidate for the 1st Congressional District nomination Walt Minnick has ten questions for current Congressman Bill Sali, including “When will you explain to the citizens of the First District the reasoning behind your continuing support of a now officially reprimanded fellow Republican?”
New West’s call to Sali’s communication director was not returned.
Idaho’s junior senator, Mike Crapo, has made multiple statements about Craig – here’s a list of them – but has issued no public statements since the Ethics Committee report. However, Crapo did remark about Craig Thursday on KBOI radio, saying, “I think the Ethics Committee should have waited.”
2nd CD Congressman Mike Simpson has said nothing.
Gov. Butch Otter is silent.
“That issue is Larry Craig’s issue,” said Lt. Gov. Jim Risch during a television appearance Wednesday.
Are you bored yet? Beyond incensed with the Craig story? Sick to death of the whole maddening thing?
Republicans are counting on your boredom. What’s worked for Craig will probably work for them, at least for now.
The fall elections will be the test.
Serephin at 43rd State Blues wants to know why Idaho Republicans won’t “grow a pair” and call for Craig’s resignation. After all, Otter could appoint Jim Risch to the seat and give Risch advantage over LaRocco in the race to replace.
Julie Fanselow at Red State Rebels thinks Obama’s visit to Boise had started to rehabilitate Idaho’s image, until the Ethics Committee letter.
Randy Stapilus at Ridenbaugh Press writes there is “nothing to shake him from his course of hanging in there till the end of this year.”
Joan McCarter of Daily Kos (and New West) has a column.
There’s a good discussion on Dave Oliviera’s Huckleberries.
Democrats’ attempts to keep the story alive should be respected. The admonishment from the ethics panel is far more important than all the YouTube videos and wide-stance jokes put together. Now it’s not only about Craig’s truth, but about the fundamental truths of the Republicans in Idaho.
If they’re willing to overlook this, what in the world else are they letting pass?
They haven’t let former President Clinton get away with his sex scandal, in case you haven’t noticed.
The hypocrisy of that is bad enough, but what’s worse is the hypocrisy of Craig’s record about civil rights, the pack of lies he’s told since the story broke, his disregard for what’s good for Idaho and his poor-me manipulation of his predicament.
Now, leaders of his party in Idaho are going along with those betrayals of Idahoans.
Republicans have always been good at party loyalty, a not always negative attribute for people on both sides of the political bar.
In this case, their loyalty belongs not with a disgraced colleague, but with the citizens they represent.