There’s certainly plenty of head scratching going on as people try to figure out the reasoning behind Larry Craig’s announcement that he may take back his resignation, after earlier announcing his intent to try to take back his guilty plea.
For my part, there is what I think is going on, and what I hope is going on:
I think he still intends to resign. However, he's probably been reminded by his attorneys that he made a mistake by resigning too quickly, giving up the small bit of leverage he had against the Senate Ethics Committee (by his threat to try to stick it out and turn the whole Senate into a circus!) My guess is that he was advised to use that leverage to head off any further investigation that might uncover new evidence against him. So far, the committee says they won’t call off the investigation. However, by hanging around rather than resigning, Craig can increase the pressure on them to do anything to get him to leave, including ending the investigation.
Realistically, at this point, I’ve got to think that Craig must be happy just to have his family still willing to buy his apparent charade. If he can cut off any further probes into his behavior (no pun intended), he can at least keep that part of his life intact.
As for overturning the guilty plea, I think this has the same hollow sound as O.J. Simpson vowing to “catch his wife’s killer!” Saying it keeps a tiny shred of doubt alive, so that he can have something to cling to during the rest of his life, but actually doing something about it is another story!
After listening to the tape of the arrest, there is no way he’s going to want to risk having to defend his actions in front of a jury of his peers. His own defense – that he panicked and agreed to a hasty guilty plea “to make it go away”- is a confession in itself! Clearly, the fact that he immediately knew the seriousness of the possible charges is an indication that the customs of “public bathroom cruising” were well known to him!
I mean, jeez, if I happened to be sitting in a stall tapping my foot to an imaginary I-Pod, and I accidently touched some guy’s foot near the edge of the stall, I would just apologize. If a hand holding a police badge appeared under the divider, my first reaction would probably be to ask him to explain exactly why in the World I should need to know that I was crapping next to a police officer!
Until I heard about Larry Craig, I wouldn’t have known: a) that I had done anything wrong, or b) that it might have had some sexual connotation. I certainly wouldn’t respond by saying “You solicited me” or “I don’t do those types of things because I’m not gay!”
On the other hand, what I hope is going on is something quite different. I would love to see Larry Craig try to clear his name at any cost, in defiance of Mitch McConnell and the rest of the GOP attack dogs who were so quick to turn on him.
By keeping the attention of the media, and the country, on his efforts to regain control of his reputation, he could turn the Republican Party, heading into the 2008 election season, into something very entertaining indeed.
The situation reminds me of the genre of movies where a protagonist spends the whole film trying to discern potential allies from those who are actually murderous, flesh-eating zombies – members of the Undead (who, of course, we know are actually dead!)
If Larry Craig is suspect, but continues to deny that he’s
Could be a real thriller of a campaign season!
[Update] I don't usually get to gloat so soon (or ever, really), so I've got to add this new twist coming out today:
An ethics committee member, who spoke Thursday on background because of confidentiality rules, said it would be virtually impossible to conduct an investigation in a few weeks, and therefore the panel will not act if Craig resigns soon.Small consolation though, because apparently my "hoped for" scenario ain't gonna happen!