September 5, 2007

Does Idaho Matter?

Posted by Adam Graham in : Larry Craig

At the end of the horror movie, the monster sinks beneath the sea never to be seen again, or so we think until we see the start of the sequel.

Like a bad horror movie, the scandal that began with Senator Larry Craig’s (R-ID) guilty plea in August to disorderly conduct sank into the distance. Now, it’s baaaack:

“It’s not such a foregone conclusion anymore, that the only thing he could do was resign,” Sidney Smith, Craig’s spokesman in Idaho‘s capital, told The Associated Press.

“We’re still preparing as if Senator Craig will resign Sept. 30, but the outcome of the legal case in Minnesota and the ethics investigation will have an impact on whether we’re able to stay in the fight — and stay in the Senate,” Smith said.

Craig, a Republican who has represented Idaho in Congress for 27 years, announced Saturday that he intends to resign from the Senate on Sept. 30. But since then, he’s hired a prominent lawyer to investigate the possibility of reversing his plea, his spokesman said.

And all across the land, late night comedians are celebrating and media folks are headed back to flyover country as Larry Craig is not resigning for certain. If he can get everything to go right in court and before the ethics committee then maybe not.

Of course, it’s the folks of Idaho that have to put up with it. We have to deal with politics being relegated to jokes about toe tapping and wide stances. It’s those in the Republican Party that have to bare the GOP being the butt of dirty jokes.

There’s only one reason Senator Craig is reconsidering resigning and that’s to hold onto power. Twenty seven years in Congress, that’s what he’s done with his adult life. Well, a career change at 62 can be tough. I’ll grant him that, but the idea that he’s going to back out on his resignation is revolting. The one egging this on, is none other than one of the chief members of the old boy’s club, Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) It’s why careerism is dangerous in the halls of power.

Senator Craig’s reconsideration is Exhibit A for term limits. Two terms in the Senate, four in the House. It’s enough for any man, and perhaps the idea won’t occur to them that the Senate isn’t a place you work until the day you die.

If Idaho matters, Senator Craig should pursue his options in court, but not while serving Idaho. As for the likelihood of success of those options, one lawyer experienced in this case explained on Talk Left why even if Craig gets the guilty plea set aside, he’s unlikely to succeed. The lawyer has tried about a dozen of these cases, winning one and losing eleven:

I’ve read the arrest report as an advocate, placing myself in the position of Craig’s counsel. I’ve also considered the potential admissibility of similar acts, most of which maybe too old to be admissible, but maybe not. Can the prosecutor get in other bad acts of solicitation in men’s rooms if they can bring in a witness? [The Idaho Statesman’s source likely will not testify, even if disclosed.]

The big problem: the judge that tries this case probably has already heard several like it, considering the officer states in his report that there have been numerous complaints about this bathroom at this airport, and that’s why the officer was there. The officer’s detail (which will be recounted on MSNBC’s Countdown tonight at 8 ET) adds to his credibility.

My recommendation: “Senator, you do not want a trial. The odds of conviction exceed 90%, because you have a cop who has successfully arrested others and a judge who has convicted others for the same thing.

Now, maybe with a better lawyer he’ll have better odds, but as one of his new lawyers old clients, Michael Vick will tell you, fancy lawyers can only do so much.

Now, more than ever, it’s time for him to go.

Other blogs:

Michael Medved gives 7 great reasons why Craig should resign.

The Scottish Right has a round up of press coverage.

Michelle Malkin has a healthy debate in the comments.


  1. Comment by W. Lane Startin

    With the possible exception of Chuck Hagel, Arlen Specter is the least partisan Republican in the Senate. It’s hardly an endorsement of Craig by any stretch of the imagination.

  2. Comment by Adam Graham

    Specter’s not about partisanship. He’s about the club: the old boys’ club.

  3. Comment by Andrea Graham

    according to the IVA, he should have a slam dunk case because according to the IVA, it’s unconstitutional to arrest a member of Congress during, on his way to, or coming back from a session.

  4. Comment by Adam Graham

    It’s unconstitutional to arrest and hold him. It’s not unconstitutional to try him when Congress is not out of session. Plus, if he did get off on that, it would be such a technicality.

  5. Trackback by Big Dogs Weblog

    Helping Larry Craig Stay in Office Without Hurting Republicans…


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