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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.

Sick of Larry Craig? Republicans Are Counting On It

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.

But conservative blogs in Idaho Adam’s Web, Dennis Mansfield
and Moscow’s Right Mind are silent on the subject of Craig’s Ethics Committee rebuke.

____________________________

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.

About Jill Kuraitis

Jill Kuraitis is an award-winning journalist who specializes in news of Idaho and the Rocky Mountain West. Her B.A. in theatre management is from UC Santa Barbara, and she went on to work in theatre, film, and politics before writing became a career. Kuraitis has two excellent grown children and lives in Boise with her husband of 30 years, abundant backyard wildlife, and two huge hairy dogs.

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3 comments

  1. Quite frankly, Bill Clinton engaged in an act of self-disgrace solely because he couldn’t keep the pants zipped in order to honor the office he had attained as well as the institution of marriage. What I do not find is that an affair or having a young mistress was ever an impeachable offense or that far more presidents than just Clinton would have been threatened with impeachment for simply having one on the side. But it is another matter for the GOP to wax the sort of hatred toward Clinton, who was at least heterosexual, because he won against their favored candidates twice. And so, they had to try to “get him” as a punishment for having the votes of the people. Talk about sore losers. And where Craig is concerned? Closet homosexual with a politically correct family. Needs to be publicly seen with a family in order to represent religious Idaho. It wouldn’t do to be recognized as a gay. The GOP leadership in Idaho in particular, spouting the religious values that have them opposing better regulated day care, abortion, the partnership rights of gays, better pay for Idaho’s workers, and etc. Who loved to hate Clinton over his sexual peccadilloes, now seem to be far too willing to NOT apply that “Christian” outrage to a fellow that the Apostle Paul would have said to throw out because of his sins. Be silent, and maybe it will all go away. Not really, and this non-Christian Republican will be happy to make sure that it DOES NOT go away.

  2. The longer Craig is there, the more he humiliates himself. That, in and of itself, sells a lot of newspapers. Leave him there to dangle in the winds of his wide stance. We need the humor of it all.

    The higher they rise, the farther they fall, and Craig’s freefall is not over. The great big Splat! has yet to happen. It will. And then the chortling and hee-hawing can begin anew.

    Craig is like the winsome young thing who when asked if she would sleep with a man for a million dollars, said emphatically “Yes!” How about $5 dollars? “What do you think I am”, she replied. You already established that, and now we are just haggling about price, was the answer she got. Craig is haggling about price, pensions, a place to hide, and where to stash his ego in comfort. He has already established what he is.

    Craig has lost it all, only it is not yet gone, and his frantic attempt at personal salvation, at saving his sorry ass, is still under way. He will run out of gas and inertia, and the great fall to that Splat! will happen. Just be patient. Let him do it to himself. No need to be a party to all that grief and discomfort.

  3. The Idaho Republican Party and its congressional delegation are tired, lame, & worn out with the same old same old. They don’t have the pairs to stand up and be counted about one of their “own’s” hypocrisy and police sting admission. Their legislative endeavors are just more of the same year after year: bills in favor of a limited range of special corporate interests. The people of Idaho mean nothing to them or to their Party. If ever there was a state of mediorcity, it’s Idaho today.
    Vote Democratic and vote for change–movement–improvement– in November!