I’m traveling in Europe at present (Ireland last week, Italy this week and next), so I have little opportunity to keep up with U.S. news, but the Larry Craig case leapt out at me. Craig is the second U.S. Senator to be exposed in the last few months as a major sexual hypocrite who espouses ‘family values’ but can’t keep his pecker in his pants. Schadenfreude is just the right term for the pleasure I take in seeing these dickwads hoist on their own petards.
David Vitter (brother of one of my professors at Brown, Jeff Vitter) repeatedly consorted with prostitutes. Larry Craig has pled guilty to soliciting sex in a men’s restroom, joining the long line of homophobic Republican closet cases, such as Mark Foley, Ted Haggard, Mayor Jim West of Spokane, and Florida State Representative Bob Allen. The homosexual homophobes particularly irk me. I don’t know what particular pathology drives them to be so homophobic. All of the names that I just mentioned repeatedly went out of their way to attack gay people, to deny them equality, to whip up fear around gay marriage. Is it self-loathing, a hatred of their own forbidden sexuality? Is it a cynical act of misdirection: to be so virulently homophobic that no-one could possibly think that they’re secretly sucking dick. In the end, I don’t really care: I’m just glad to see them taken down, while enjoying the irony of the manner of their political demise.
I do feel sorry for those like Gov. Jim McGreevey of New Jersey, who sublimated their sexuality and hid in the closet for years, but who did not hypocritically attack fellow gay people. (Though McGreevey apparently abused his office and sent sweet deals his boyfriend’s way.)
I have some experience of the closet myself, as I hid my bisexuality for a decade before coming out. It’s an ugly, fearful place to be, and no-one should ever have to hide such a fundamental part of their makeup, but that’s no excuse for virulent homophobia.
Alan asks a good question: Why were the police staking out an airport bathroom in the first place? Sex stings for acts between consenting adults are a waste of taxpayer money, and a way to punish closeted gay men by ruining their reputations. I must say, however, that an airport bathroom doesn’t seem like a smart place to get your rocks off.
Good riddance, Larry Craig.