Republicans have taken a couple of interesting tactics towards spinning the Larry Craig arrest:
- The innocent until proven guilty play
- Blaming the liberal media
- Bringing up Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky
These tactics have for the most part fallen short. Blaming the liberal media isn’t working because even conservatives are calling for his resignation. As for the Bill Clinton story, it has gotten old. How much more mileage can Republicans get? And the innocent until proven guilty argument might work if not for the fact that Craig plead guilty to disorderly conduct. An innocent man pleading guilty to a crime does not ring true.
Regardless of whether Craig is guilty or innocent, however, the Republican “family values” brand is in danger. Craig seems guilty of hypocrisy because he leads a different life than the one he advocates for others. In public, he pushes for family values, in private, he behaves strangely in airport mens rooms.
Dennis Prager offered an interesting take on why Craig was not a hypocrite on a recent edition of Hannity and Colmes. Prager presented a Christian view: that Craig was not a hypocrite, but a sinner.
Now let’s consider this “logic” a little further. How would it apply to Bill Clinton? Wouldn’t he be a sinner capable of receiving forgiveness? Clinton has worked hard to overcome his sin. As good Christians, should we continue to persecute him?
It seems Prager is applying one standard to Republicans and one to non-Republicans. Christian Republicans can sin and should be forgiven, while Democrats are not allowed to make mistakes.
The real sin is not that Larry Craig may be gay, but that Larry Craig and conservatives like Dennis Prager keep trying to tell us how we should lead our lives.
If Republicans would stay away from mandating fundamentalist Christian family values, they wouldn’t seem so hypocritical when one of their own is caught with his pants down.