Friday, August 31, 2007

Craig: Give it up

Instead of persisting in his foolhardy, quixotic quest to reverse his guilty plea in that unseemly Minneapolis bathroom incident, Idaho's Sen. Larry Craig should instead be submitting his resignation as a U.S. senator.

This is not an issue of whether Craig is gay. He vows he's not.

The concern now is that day by day, Craig will lose his influence and thus his value to Idaho in Washington.

His colleagues have stripped him of key committee posts that gave Craig clout for Idaho interests. The Senate Ethics Committee has launched an investigation that could further erode his worth by holding public hearings and questioning him under oath about the police report and Craig's "signals" for sex.

The drip-drip-drip of disapproval has begun among powerful Republicans. The White House has expressed its "disappointment" in Craig, and Sen. John McCain, among others, has called for his resignation. Usually reliable conservative groups have pulled their support.

Unless he resigns, Craig will be paralyzed by further resignation demands by senators, the ethics investigation, dissipating public support, late night TV jokes and, worse, the possibility of further revelations about his personal life unearthed by Democratic foes and a curious media.

As he stubbornly tries to wriggle out of his self-inflicted public scandal, Idaho will be held up to humiliation in an unwanted national spotlight for months at a time when the state has serious needs.

By his own hand, Craig has messed up his political career and his personal life. His selfish obsession with staging a public spectacle of denial can only mean shortchanging Idaho's respect and representation in Washington.

It's time for him to go.

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