Maf54, Where Are You? or, Sen. Larry Craig's Bathroom Confession


Forget Atlanta Falcons QB Michael Vick's guilty plea and literal come-to-Jesus moment for a second.

There's another guilty plea making the rounds that's a tad more central to how power and politics play out in these United States.

It's just come out that, on August 8, Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), who had a role in the presidential campaign of latter-day anti-gay Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.), entered a guilty "plea on misdemeanor charges stemming from complaints of lewd conduct in a men's restroom at the Minneapolis airport."

The 62-year-old Craig doesn't just put the party back in the "Grand Old Party," though he certainly does that. Back in the day, he voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, a clearly anti-gay measure, and he supported the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

America is the land of opportunity and more power to Craig if he wants to have consensual sex with men in toilets (although, good libertarian that I am, I do believe the owners of said facilities should be allowed to regulate what behavior goes on in their crappers).

But I find it despicable that Craig would deny the option of matrimony to gay men who want it. Shouldn't the people he wants to fuck have the right to decide if they, like Craig, want to enjoy the bounty of marriage? (Not to mention, as seems likely in Craig's case, the right of divorce?)

There was a time–long ago in a distant galaxy, it seems–when small-government Republicans along the lines of Barry Goldwater would talk about getting the government out of the boardroom and the bedroom (and by extension, the bathroom, too). The national leadership might think about revisiting its libertarian chops, which the relatively tolerant Ronald Reagan called "the very heart and soul of conservatism." Conservatives have (rightly and thankfully) lost the culture war, at least as it relates to the mainstreaming of gays and lesbians. They should re-learn their supposed political philosophy, which is that government should leave people (and their money) alone as much as possible to pursue happiness.

Back before the midterms in 2006, reason's Kerry Howley explored the legislative hypocrisy of another tormented Republican, Rep. Mark Foley of Florida, whose instant messaging antics as Maf54 helped kill the GOP's congressional majority.

Update: Belated tap o' the foot to commenter crimethink, who notes below that he discussed this story yesterday in a post about a wandering pedophile. I hadn't seen the comment, but am happy to point it out.