“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Senator Craig

On Way to Gonzales Vote, Craig's GOP Star Extinguished
Washington Post

How's this for political scandal synergy?

The Alberto R. Gonzales scandal may have indirectly claimed another victim yesterday: Sen. Larry Craig, the onetime rising Idaho Republican star who admitted yesterday to pleading guilty to disorderly conduct in an airport men's restroom.

Shortly after 1 p.m. EDT, June 11, Craig was in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, making a connection to Washington. Detained by police for 45 minutes that day, Craig made it back to the Capitol for an early Monday evening vote to support Attorney General Gonzales. Democrats, led by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), had forced a highly unusual, non-binding vote of no-confidence in Gonzales, and Republicans used procedural tactics to prevent the vote.

A loyal Republican member of Congress for more than 20 years, Craig voted "nay" on June 11 on the procedural motion, along with more than 35 other Republicans, successfully blocking the no-confidence vote on Gonzales.

Make no mistake, this is a major event in the political life of a politician who once envisioned himself as Senate majority leader. Unlike Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who had been in the Senate barely two years when he admitted a "sin" when his name ended up on the client list of the "D.C. Madam", Craig has been a major force in the Senate for almost two decades. On gun rights, Craig is a member of the board of directors of the National Rifle Association and has been the leading GOP voice opposing any efforts at restricting gun rights on the Senate floor for years. A co-chairman of the Congressional Property Rights Coalition, Craig's biography begins by touting how he was born and raised on his family ranch in Midvale, Idaho.

A member of the Appropriations Committee, Craig is the top Republican on the subcommittee that doles out funding for the Interior Department and several other agencies.

And within the Senate Republican Conference, Craig had charted a course through the party's leadership ranks beginning in the early 1990s. He chaired the informal Steering Committee, a caucus that was formed in the 1980s to push the conservative agenda back when GOP moderates such as then-Sens. Bob Packwood (Ore.), William Cohen (Maine) and Alan Simpson (Wyo.) cast major influence in the party. Craig used that perch to win a narrow leadership victory in June 1996 over then-Sen. Dan Coats (Ind.) to become the Republican Policy Committee chairman. Craig assembled a strong staff that was in charge of putting out policy missives designed to back up the conservative flank.

Craig became a loyal soldier to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), who was GOP leader during Craig's six-year tenure as the Policy chairman, the No. 4 ranking position. Under conference rules, all leadership posts face six-year term limits, and in 2002 Craig prepared his biggest political move - a bid to become Republican whip, the No. 2 spot.

That 2002 whip race was viewed as a proxy battle determining who would be in line to succeed Lott. Craig faced off for months and months against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), with each man quietly jockeying for support among their colleagues for a race that would be held shortly after the 2002 midterms. But McConnell got out to an earlier start and raised more money for his colleagues. McConnell also had served in more critical positions that built up years of chits - chairing the Ethics Committee, the Rules and Administration Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Just before Election Day 2002, Craig officially bowed out of the race, handing the whip by acclamation to McConnell, who used that job to become Republican leader this year. [Lott's intemperate remarks at the late Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday in December 2002 hastened his demise, leading to a four-year reign by Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) as leader during which McConnell was always assumed to be the leader-in-waiting.]

Craig never again sought a leadership position, but remained influential within the conference on certain western issues. He is currently second in GOP seniority on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, behind Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), 75, who has been on a retirement watch in recent years. If he wins re-election in 2008, Craig could easily become chairman of that powerful panel before his term would expire in 2014.

But now political observers are anxiously awaiting Craig's next move, considering he was already being eyed for a potential retirement himself. And that decision may have been irrevocably altered by his pit stop in a Twin Cities restroom while jetting back to Washington for a Monday evening no-confidence vote in mid-June on Gonzales -- whose surprise resignation announcement was the story-of-the-day yesterday ... until Roll Call broke the Craig story.


  1. Senator Crapo(not crap-o, but gray-po) supports Craig, says he believes song and dance 'wide stance' story. Idaho Statesman

    Craig was ok in his earlier years, steller NRA record, been bought out for a long time to a few businessmen--really ticked everyone off with his refusal to even consider Idahoans arguments against the immigration fiasco--I'm glad he's outta there, as I feel certain he is--we can do better than this.

  2. I'd like to know what Crapo really knows, and thinks, about Craig, because all he is doing is rising, as he is almost obligated to do, pro-forma to his colleagues defense.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. The WSJ story you referenced, bob, last thread, is really a piece of comical relief. Seems to me.

    Weakness or hypocricy is how the WSJ frames the debate, when it's a big dose of both, neither being exclusive of the other.

    A weak hypocrite, worse than a man like Mr Kolbe or Mr Franks.
    A citizen knows where those politicos stand in the rest room, while men like Mr Craig, putting moral judgements into the law that they do not ascribe to themselves.

    Weak for not admitting their own nature, and hypocritically dismissive of those that do.

    The WSJ submits that it is the blogger who is at fault, for not respecting Mr Craig and his "privacy". That is not even a serious thing to assert, in this post-modern age.

  5. Romney throws Craig under a Bus Good thing he didn't throw him in the lavatory in the bus. harharhar

  6. Craig blames the Idaho Statesman newspaper for his decision to plead guilty:)

    Them damn reporters...

  7. "I overreacted in Minneapolis because of the stress of the Idaho Stateman investigation and the rumors it has fueled all around Idaho," he said.

    Damn them reporters....damn the free press....

  8. I'm really busy now fellows, but I feel it is important for you all to know this:

    I'M ***NOT*** GAY!

  9. In fact, gays disgust me, and the only thing worse, to my mind are the Democrats, Cops, and MSM that throw around false charges to the contrary.


  10. I suppose if I still had my wide track Pontiac, and it's tires touched those of a Gay Pontiac Owner, that would constitute some kind of damning evidence?

  11. Besides, I was just pulling over to the center 'cause it looked like some of those reflectors were missing, 'K?

  12. Mess NBC and Politico got it wrong:
    It was NOT his first public statement, as he appeared earlier on Laura Ingraham.
    Tore Rudy a new one on sanctuary cities.

    Wish he was electable:

    He went down to San Diego and talked to people who know just about all there is to no about illegals, then applied his considerable intelligence and problem solving abilities to encapsulate the whole thing and what needs to be done, and then proceeds to articulate it better than anyone else could.

    Too bad we are not back in the backwards era of his father where his religion would not be held against him any more than they do now with Harry Reid.

  13. According to FOX, when the Idaho Statesman reporter played a taped interview, of a GOP businessman who said that he had engaged in boy on boy sex with Mr Craig in a DC train station rest room, his wife burst into tears. Mr Craig leaned over to her and said "I'm sorry, honey".

    So it is little wonder that he was afraid of the Statesman and statements they had on file.

    The Statesman had their story ready, but did not publish, due to Mr Craigs denial of all the charges, rumors and innuendos.

    That being the responsible thing for them to do. This newest story, the guilty plea and the charges leading to that plea, are public knowledge, giving credence to the previous allegations that had been investigated.

    Given that background, their publishing the entire tale is not irresponsible, but denotes a pattern of behaviour on Mr Craigs part.
    His continued denials are being given fair play by the media. The fact that the folks believe the policeman in the restroom and not Mr Craig, ah well ...

    There is a pattern of behaviour that, for a person of high public office, should be made common knowledge, as it goes directly to his character, as a truthful man.

  14. Also to that fact that he's a sleazy scumbag on the order of gays that enjoyed the glory holes in SF Bathhouses.

  15. A Far Cry from someone like Tammy Bruce and her long time partner.

  16. Did you guys see that 1992 Video Report on him I linked?
    ...DC Pages and Coke and such, way back then.

  17. Maybe '82?
    Was he in office as a rep then Bobal?

  18. There is always that, I guess, doug.

    Seems you do not believe the denials, his self-proclaimed upstanding moral character or his basic truthfullness.

    Another part of a larger GOP meltdown for '08. Hastert, Renzi, and a few others have already announced thet're out of the running.

    Many of the GOP up for reelection in the Senate, like Mr Domenici, are older than the hills.

    How many of them will decide to retire, rather than remain in old age and minority status?

  19. Romney had the correct word for the effect on Supporters of the once maybe Grand Old Party:


  20. Well, that, and Foley, and the Criminal Bush in the Whitehouse, but he judiciously did not mention THAT guy that's done more damage to the domestic tranquility here than the rest of them combine.
    Peace, safety, and Tranquility suffer when we elect a corrupt crook that laughs at the laws of the land.

  21. Turns out I was naive in linking glory holes only to SF Gay Bathouses.

    (although that WAS where the AIDS Epidemic got going, Big Time)

    Glory hole (sexual) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    A glory hole is a hole in a wall, or other partition, often between public lavatory stalls or video booths for men or women to engage in sexual activity or ...

  22. From the mid-to-late 20th century, a glory hole could be found in many public men's room in the United States. They could be found in adult businesses, bus and train stations, office buildings, and several other public buildings.

  23. Foreign student numbers increase in US

    The number of foreign students accepted by US graduate schools has risen for a third consecutive year, according to a survey to be released on Tuesday.

    Many in academia say the 8 per cent rise is a clear sign that US government efforts to improve the tedious student visa process are working.

    The number of foreign students applying to US graduate schools dropped in 2004 and 2005 after the state department imposed restrictions on students seeking visas in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001.

    The drops fed fears in industry and academia that US competitiveness would eventually be harmed.

    The US State Department responded by revamping its policy, extending visas for science and engineering students and increasing staff levels to shorten visa processing times.

    The survey found that nearly a third of US graduate schools have established joint or dual-degree programmes with international universities
    – an indication of the growing globalisation of higher education.

    More Egyptian and Saudi Engineers Needed!

  24. How would limiting the number of foreign students hurt US competitiveness.

    Is it assumed that once those students get here, they never leave?

    Wouldn't it improve US competitiveness if all those foreign students went to Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, instead?

  25. He's a three term senator, and was a rep for quite a while before that. Yes, he would have been a representative in 82. I've never heard anything about him using drugs, or drinking to excess. Just this quicky quirky sex stuff.

  26. sam said...
    Ahmed Mohamed is from Kuwait and entered USF in January as an engineering graduate student. He did his undergraduate studies in Cairo.

    Yousef Megahed is from Egypt, but he is a permanent U.S. resident. He enrolled in USF in 2004.

    Lt. Ross says USF Police have had only minor contact with the either student.
    Explosives Charges

  27. Here's the DC Pages, Coke, etc Video:

    Craig didn't start last week either.

    Maybe he just entertained Coke-Heads but only gave Head and did not Inhale?

  28. He was "Mad as Hell"
    back in 1982.
    His Head must be exploding now!
    (no pud, er pun)

  29. I don't know Doug. I don't know what to think of that. Kinky sex, guilty. Drugs--?

  30. What is this "Kinky Sex" Shit?
    Man's a Moral Black Hole!
    ...have you been hanging out with the BC Boys again?

  31. Coke or no coke.

    Public Bathrooms, Pages, elevator boys, Jeeze!

  32. Besides, what's wrong with Kinky Sex?

  33. Remember when Habu was telling Teresita how hot she looked in apricot?

  34. He was really dogging her for awhile.

  35. Filthy, Unhealthy, Sleazy, Morally Corrupt (pages)
    maybe we have a problem?

  36. I remember Holy Man Al doing much worse.

  37. I thought a 'glory hole' was when you hit a gusher in the Texas oil fields. Shows what I know. Or rather what I don't know.

    This is a family blog, Doug, I try to tailor my words so as not to offend.

  38. Old Al acted just like a Schoolyard Bully.

  39. Since Craig is for lifting the embargo on Cuba, maybe he could take his retirement there:)

  40. BEFORE Fidel kicks the Bucket!

  41. Give him some last minute entertainment.

  42. Maybe they'd BOTH be entertained if they could come to a "final" agreement.

  43. I've heard it does more for orgasms than self-strangulation.

  44. I recall the remarks about her teeth, more than any of the others. That and her ethnicity, like he thought she was Japanese, the way he went on about that meidcal experiment unit, the one that Ike pardoned the members of.

    He was on that rant for quite a while.

  45. Really Truman, though. The Russians had overrun the camps themselves in Manchuria.

  46. I think that's the one, cutler.

    He stopped when the pardon was made part of the discussion.
    Hard to disparage Ike.

  47. You think it was Truman that pardoned them? I recall it as Ike, well after the War.

    Though Wiki says it was Douglas MacArthur that granted the miscreants immunity.

    It was US, regardless.

  48. And This:
    Oral History interview, April 13, 1970, Truman Library

    In which Dr. Judd describes how our State Dept, Marshall, and Truman delivered China to the Commies:

    Dr. Walter H. Judd
    Physician and missionary with experience in China, 1925-31 and 1934-38, member of Congress from Minnesota, 1943-62. United States delegate to the 12th General Assembly of the United Nations, 1957.
    (also WWI vet)

    When the President said, that the Chinese hadn't followed our advice, I said,
    "Well, Mr. President, most
    of the times they got into trouble were when they did follow our advice."
    And I can give you half a dozen instances of that.
    We advised them to enter into a cease-fire in 1945 with the Communists when they had overwhelmingly the upper hand, the main body of Communists was surrounded.

    Four times in 1946 alone when the Nationalists had the upper hand, our government forced them to enter into a cease-fire.
    They took our advice--allowing the Communists to escape the encirclement.

    After the Japanese surrender Wedemeyer and Barbey, under MacArthur's orders, promptly helped transport Chiang Kai-shek's best troops from South China up to Tientsin and Peking to take the surrender of Japanese troops--and on up toward Kalgan.

    The only land route by which the Communist forces in Northwest China could get into Manchuria where the Russians had moved in was through the Kalgan pass and a road going through Jehol and Chahar provinces.

    The Nationalists were within a few miles of Kalgan when General Marshall put pressure on the Generalissimo (early January 1946) to pull back his forces
    "in order to show his good will."

    (Just like the cease-fires and cease-bombing of North Vietnam we are urged to do now to "show our good will, to make a conciliatory gesture.")

    Tragically Chiang followed our advice, pulled back his forces, allowing the Communists to get into Manchuria.
    That's where the Chinese lost the war--that's where we lost the war!--in 1946.
    The Russians gave them all those supplies that Japan had stored there for its crack Kuantung Army.

    (Its crack army never was in combat against us. Its Kuantung army was held in reserve in Manchuria because the Japanese originally were prepared if necessary to retire from Japan to Manchuria and fight on from there. The same way Churchill had said, "If we can't hold in Britain, we'll retire to Canada, or to Australia and fight on."
    And if the Japanese Emperor hadn't intervened to order surrender, the Japanese army itself would have done that.)
    The Russians had those enormous supplies in Manchuria, Chennault said, as I recall, "Enough to last an army of a million men five years."
    The Russians gave all of that at one stroke to the Chinese Communists, more than we ever gave Chiang from beginning to end.

    The Russians also turned over to the Communists most of the 600 shiploads of American arms we had shipped to Vladivostok.
    Yet Truman was saying the American arms the Communists were using had come from Chiang.
    And our leftists used to say Chiang was the Communist supply sergeant

    It was also said the Chinese forces had no will to fight--but when General Marshall went out
    there, his main complaint was that they had too much will to fight; they were ready to defeat and disarm the Communists.
    He intervened and forced them not to fight.
    He broke the will of the Chinese forces in late '45 and the beginning of '46.

    Again, it was complained that "whole Chinese armies went over to the Communists" which was true in 1948-49.
    Truman apparently didn't know about the so-called "deactivation" program, another of Marshall's projects in which the Chinese followed our advice.

    On and on.
    Very sad.

  49. China, the world's biggest cigarette producer and consumer, will ban all tobacco advertising by 2011, Chinese media reported on Tuesday. Chinese are the world's most enthusiastic smokers, with a growing market of more than 300 million making it a magnet for multinational cigarette companies and focus of international health concern.

    "China should take the issue of tobacco advertising seriously," the Beijing News quoted Xu Guihua, the deputy head of the China Tobacco Control Association, as saying.

    "China is quite backward when it comes to controlling the use of tobacco, and the biggest problem is the lack of national regulations to ban smoking."

    Tobacco Advertising

  50. I don't know for sure, but considering we picked them up in 1945 and Ike didn't become president until 1952, I suspect it preceded him, though it may have continued under him.

    As with the Nazi scientists, the Russian had overrun the actual camps, but we had the experts. If I remember correctly, the initial reasoning was that we needed to find out what sort of expertise that the Russians were going to get, but in reality we soon found out how primitive their experiments had really been.

    Some of the most gruesome stuff, however, that you will ever hear about. Vivisection, replacement of human blood with horse blood, surgical amputations, plague bombs...Mengele type stuff.

    Mostly Chinese, but also Allied soldiers such as American airmen. Some of the people involved became prominent in Japanese society after the war.

    And Doug, something that you won't find highlighted in most history books: For a couple years after the end of the war, we had two US Marine divisions, the 1st and the 4th, in North-eastern China. Also transported hundreds of thousands of Nationalist troops into the area from Southern China and Burma. This book is fascinating on the topic.

    Marshall was probably a dupe with regard to the negotiations between the Communists and Nationalists, but wasn't treated badly by us overall.

  51. *"Chiang was not treated badly by us overall"*

  52. I guess he would dispute this account?

    "Tragically Chiang followed our advice, pulled back his forces, allowing the Communists to get into Manchuria.

    That's where the Chinese lost the war--that's where we lost the war!--in 1946.

    The Russians gave them all those supplies that Japan had stored there for its crack Kuantung Army.