Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Larry Craig -- urged to resign by colleagues

The day this hit the newswires, we were among many bloggers that called for him to resign. We're not the only ones, though. Many people being asked in Idaho about his actions say that it's "disgraceful." Setting aside the shenanigans in the bathroom itself, he plead guilty to a crime. No matter how grievous the crime is or isn't doesn't matter. This wasn't a traffic ticket. It wasn't a parking ticket. Misdemeanor it may be, but it's not a crime that most people overlook. The AP reports that the calls are now coming from his colleagues in Congress:

Two Senate Republican colleagues, including John McCain, called Wednesday for Sen. Larry Craig to resign. The White House, too, expressed disappointment in the case of the Idaho Republican caught in a men's room undercover police operation.

Arizona Sen. McCain and
Norm Coleman of Minnesota, the state where Craig was arrested, became the first senators to join Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., urging Craig's resignation.

McCain told CNN the decision was Craig's to make, "but my opinion is that when you plead guilty to a crime, you shouldn't serve. That's not a moral stand. That's not a holier-than-thou. It's just a factual situation."

"I think he should resign," McCain said.

Coleman said in a statement, "Senator Craig pled guilty to a crime involving conduct unbecoming a senator."

Hoekstra said Craig "represents the Republican party" and that "his conduct throughout this matter has been inappropriate for a U.S. senator."

Craig pleaded guilty in August to a charge of disorderly conduct following his arrest in a men's room at the Minneapolis airport. He said Tuesday he had done nothing wrong and was sorry he pleaded guilty.

Senate Republican leaders have called on the ethics committee to review Craig's case, and White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said he hoped the panel could do its work quickly.

Stanzel made no expression of support for Craig. "We are disappointed in the matter. It has been referred to the Senate Ethics Committee, so they will have to deal with it," he said.

There were other signs of difficulty for Craig.

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, issued a statement calling on the senator to consider stepping down. The organization is a self- described conservative government watchdog group.

"Senator Craig admittedly engaged in illegal activity that brings serious disrepute to the public office he holds," Fitton said.

Fitton's suggestion that the senator leave office suggested tenuous support among conservatives who make up his core political supporters. ...

... Ignoring that plea, some social and religious conservatives and right- wing radio talk show hosts called for Craig's resignation. And political analysts said Craig will have trouble convincing Gem State voters that his 27-year political career is worth sparing.

In Idaho, with its 1.4 million people, politicians know many supporters by name. The state also likes its Republicans. The GOP controls the statehouse and Congress, and
President Bush carried the state in 2004 with 68 percent of the vote.

More than 166,000 residents are Roman Catholic and more than 385,000 Mormon.

Republican leaders in the Senate called for an Ethics Committee review of the case.

"This is a serious matter," they said in a written statement issued in Washington over the names of Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the party leader, and several others.

Two Republicans seeking the party's presidential nomination didn't mince words.
Mitt Romney, in whose campaign Craig was playing a prominent role until he quit amid the scandal, told CNBC, "He's disappointed the American people." McCain called for the resignation.

This problem for him will end in only one way -- with his resignation. Some experts are saying that he should pull a "Clinton." Get out in front of it, bluff his way through it, and hope that he can make it to the end of his term. That's not good enough. Not only did he plead guilty to a lesser charge, mind you which means that the initial charge was much harsher, but then he kept it quiet from everyone. He didn't tell his wife or his family. He didn't inform anyone in the Senate to allow them to decide if it warranted an ethics probe. He covered this up.

Constituents don't like this sort of behavior, and while we may not be able to vote for the man (we live in Arizona, not Idaho), he still represents us in the US Senate. He represents EVERYONE in America in the Senate. We rarely agree with John McCain, but he's right. So is Norm Coleman and Max Baucus. This sort of behavior is conduct unbecoming a man in his position. He has no political future now, and it would be smart to simply announce that he's stepping down. He can claim he "found Jesus," or that he and his family need to work this out, or whatever. But he can't stay in the Senate. He's an embarrassment to the body and to his party.

Publius II


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