by Constance Daley
American Reporter Correspondent
St. Simons Island, Ga.
September 5, 2007
WHAT SEN. LARRY CRAIG DIDN'T SAY
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- I've been waiting. Nothing has been written or reported and I think it should have been by now. U.S. Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) said more than once, "I am not gay; I have never been gay."
This line, spoken by him to explain away any notion that he could be guilty of lewd and lascivious behavior in an airport men's room because he is not "one of those," is to suggest that such behavior is more typical of another segment of our society, but surely not of him, a respected Senator from Idaho.
The disclaimer I'm looking for is one that tagged every remark about homosexuals on the Jerry Seinfeld television show. From what I understand, the producers were afraid to mention homosexuality in any context lest it court the ire of the whole gay community, a huge audience they could always bank on.
Someone at a meeting on the topic said off-handedly, "...not that there's anything wrong with it," and it became a running expression anytime the script dealt with homosexuality. The gay and lesbian audience laughed - and loved it.
I wish Senator Craig's response to the question about his being gay had been, "I'm not gay and have never been gay - not that there's anything wrong with it."
That simple disclaimer would have worked for me. Whether this man is gay or straight was not the issue until he made it so. He pleaded guilty to behavior that is unbecoming at best, and against the law at worst - gay or straight, male or female.
This otherwise dignified man who sits in the United States Senate and once traipsed through our White House at will was allegedly playing footsies with an undercover policeman, apparently with a view toward a more personal rendezvous. This was occurring in a place where most people wash their hands and then use a paper towel to open the exit door.
This is not a place to linger or be part of the bathroom brigade who never learned, "A man's ambition must be small, to write his name on a bathroom wall." That came right after the Golden Rule in my house.
It's likely the gay and lesbian community was as outraged as I am, but they probably just listened in disgust while choosing not to dignify his churlish remarks with commentary.
It was with sympathy and with sensitivity to his embarrassment that his defenders said, "He's only human." I can sympathize with his embarrassment, but more because he is actually less concerned about his behavior than by the possibility that someone might think he is gay. That is so sad.
Human? Doesn't that mean male, female, gay, straight, black, white, red, yellow and tan? Did I leave anyone out? We are all human.
America gets outraged over a notable's behavior with some regularity. In August, 1949, during a scandal featuring Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini, Walter Winchell quoted the following, written by an anonymous poet:
Saints and Sinners