Craig Affair Makes for Strange Bedfellows
DANIEL SCHORR: It's been said that politics make strange bedfellows. But then, bedfellows can make for strange politics.
LIANE HANSEN, host:
NPR senior news analyst, Daniel Schorr.
SCHORR: Consider now the strange case of Idaho Senator Larry Craig. He got caught in an airport men's room sting operation and then announced his intention to resign on September 30th.
This past week, Craig hinted that he might instead try to finish his term. That now appears unlikely, but for a moment, Senate Republican leaders were sweating bullets. Their anxiety increased further when Craig retained lawyer Billy Martin to challenge his conviction for disorderly conduct. Martin's clients have included Monica Lewinsky.
Remember Monica Lewinsky? Well, Bill Clinton does. Her experience stood figuratively in the wings on Wednesday night, when the former president appeared on "Larry King Live." Clinton said to Senator Craig, I don't like to see a person suffering from a self-inflicted wound that comes from some conflict in his other life.
As for his impeachment by the Republicans, Clinton told King, every serious student of the constitution new that the whole thing was bogus and that they were jumping on a terrible personal mistakes I made.
Mr. Clinton, meet Mr. Craig, who apparently wishes to be forgiven for one terrible mistake he made. Craig wants to clear his name in the Minnesota courts and if he doesn't resign in the Senate ethics committee.
What the Republicans need like a hole in the head, is a legal process that drags on into the campaign and cast a lurid light on Republican claims of being the family values party. The Senate investigation will proceed whether or not the GOP wants it too.
Article I of the Constitution states that the Senate may punish its members for disorderly conduct and expel a member via two-thirds majority. It doesn't say that a punishable behavior has to be in the cause of doing Senate business.
So settle down. It's going to be a long fall, and it appears a long fall from grace.
This is Daniel Schorr.