Just when I was beginning to like Mitt Romney, he belligerently goes after Larry Craig, a strong supporter of Romney’s campaign, with the wholly unflattering disgusting describing his alleged indiscriminate behavior in a men’s public rest room.
Larry Craig’s handling of this whole incident suggests his guilt, and he has definitely made a mess of his long political career. It is not surprising that Romney felt it necessary to jettison this loyal supporter, but his demeanor and aggression in casting aside this man chimes of rhetoric we would expect from Hillary Clinton.
Romney’s disgusting adjective calls into play the sort of low-class demagoguery designed to enrage a narrow-minded and prejudiced base. (If any gay or lesbian people do intend on voting Republican, Rudy will get those votes, Mitt.)
It seems to me Mitt Romney could have dismissed this supporter with the sort of self-deprecating humility that would have shown appreciation for his loyalty, but understandably, not embrace his support during this difficult time when trying to wage a conservative campaign.
Why the Democrats are not protecting this guy I can’t imagine. Calling on his hypocrisy, instead of praising his humanity and embracing his weaknesses to undermine his position on the Defense of Marriage Act seems to me, passes up a great opportunity. Isn’t it empathy, forgiveness, and understanding that Democrats consistently regard as the foundation of their philosophies? I guess that only applies if there is no Republican blood in the water but Democrats are the compassionate ones. Yeah, right.
Democrats pride themselves in protecting every homosexual indiscretion; they don’t just protect them they laud them. Larry Craig ought to be their patron saint! Obviously the Democrat propensity to embrace homosexual values is not connected to any under-riding liberal ideology; it is only done to buy votes.
This latest media spectacle has been emblazoned with the favorite epithet from both the left and the right, hypocrisy. I am convinced this word is destined to become meaningless. The conservative position in the Defense of Marriage Act is simply that marriage should be recognized to only occur between a man and a woman.
Larry Craig has supported this act, but somehow, given this alleged indiscretion and behavior which he himself might describe as a sickness (not unlike alcoholism is a sickness), supporting the Defense of Marriage Act makes him a hypocrite.
That is like saying a heroin addict ought not to pontificate to his children that the drug is dangerous and should be avoided, or hearing a man on death row lament that capital punishment could result from murderous activities. Having sickness or indulging indiscretion doesn’t change facts inherent to right and wrong or good and bad.
The hypocrisy epithet suggests, any bad behavior engaged by any individual is an endorsement of that behavior by that individual, but unquestionably it is not.
Saying, I can do it, and you cannot is hypocrisy.
Saying, None of us can do it, but I have succumbed to my weaknesses and did what I should not have done is not hypocritical. It is an important distinction.
At this time Senator Craig has alleged he pled guilty only to dispatch this fairly unimportant charge, and move on. Perhaps he is lying, perhaps not. He definitely has not said, I can do it and you cannot.
There was a time when homophobia, zealotry, and racism identified particular extreme positions of fringe groups in our society; today they are only perverted monikers our public officials throw at each other to try and gain some partisan political advantage.
To politicians on the left and on the right hypocrisy is nothing more than a good cuss a nine year old would throw at his brother, integrity on the other hand, only means you’re on our side.
No wonder congress has the American people’s approval of less than 20%, ten points below the President’s anemic 30.
Copyright 2007 Jim Pontillo