Monday, August 27, 2007

Larry Craig

Once again, Mark Kleiman misses the point, mostly, while Hilzoy nails it.

The issue isn't just that a "family values" politician is cruising for sex in airport restrooms. It's that he's built a career on limiting rights for gays and lesbians, making sure they had no opportunity to enjoy the privileges he enjoys as a (supposedly) straight man, while also hiding the inconvenient little fact of his own behavior.

And as Hilzoy points out, the self-loathing behind that kind of behavior has got to be unpleasant. But that's an explanation, not an excuse. That is, it explains how it happens; it doesn't condone it or make the hypocrisy any less rank.

Kleiman's right to call out the press on their lack of interest in the abuse of power, though. I'm not sure it's grounds for expulsion, but some kind of sanction definitely seems to be in order. But Kleiman's distinction between this case and the Vitter case, because "policy toward prostitution is still a live issue" (and apparently gay equality isn't), is galling, and borders on mind-bogglingly oblivious.

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