September 6, 2007

Craig Continues His Tap Dance

Senator Larry Craig continues his curious tap-dance on the national stage today. After offering broad hints that he planned to rescind his resignation, Craig's office now says that he will almost certainly depart unless Minnesota overturns his guilty plea before September 30th:

Sen. Larry Craig has all but dropped any notion of trying to complete his term, and is focused on helping Idaho send a new senator to Washington within a few weeks, his top spokesman said Thursday.

"The most likely scenario, by far, is that by October there will be a new senator from Idaho," Craig spokesman Dan Whiting told the Associated Press.

The only circumstances in which Craig might try to complete his term, Whiting said, would require a prompt overturning of his conviction for disorderly conduct in a men's room at the Minneapolis airport, as well as Senate GOP leaders' agreement to restore Craig's committee leaderships posts taken away this week.

Those scenarios are unlikely, Whiting said.

Unlikely? Craig has better odds playing the Powerball lottery. Once someone pleads guilty in court, the only reason courts act to vacate the conviction is if the defendant was somehow coerced into the plea. It stretches credulity to the point of delusion to think that a United States Senator could not grasp the consequences of his plea and lacked the resources to consult an attorney about it, especially since almost two months passed between the incident and the plea.

The question at this point is not whether Craig will depart the Senate, but how he got there in the first place. Any slender reed of sympathy people had over his plight has been drowned in the ridiculous vacillation that followed. First he claims innocence in his police interview, but chooses not to fight the charges. When it comes out, he chooses to resign, changes his mind and says he'll fight his own guilty plea, and now changes his mind again. Will Craig ever take responsibility for his own actions?

Craig is only prolonging his own agony now. He needs to depart the stage quickly and let his constituents find better representation in the Senate.


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