Sep 06 2007

Innocent Until Proven Guilty II, Craig A Target Of The Far Right

Published by at 7:29 am under All General Discussions

I took a lot of heat for my first post on the Senator Larry Craig issue where I noted that a guilty plea is not proof of guilt, but many times in the cases of a misdemeanor charge simply a way to avoid a courtroom hearing. Many people admit to traffic charges without fighting them even when thery think they are in the right (and many times when they are in the right). Well it seems we will now have the legal determination of Craig’s guilt – finally – as the Senator has decided to not simply enter the plea for convenience but make the system prove its case. The system will, in all likilihood, fail to prove the case against Criag because there is nothing in the evidence to prove beyond any reasonable doubt there was a solicitation.

But what has become the real disaster of this story was the raging purists inside the GOP again. The quick-draw back stabbing of a fellow Republican who should have been heard, not silenced. And even now the GOP and the many of the talking heads on that side of the aisle have not learned to stop digging their holes once they make a big mistake:

Senate GOP leaders renewed their effort to force an absent Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) to resign on Wednesday, but that political pressure appeared to leave Craig unfazed and some Republicans fearing that the embattled conservative could hang on until 2008.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman John Ensign (R-Nev.) both urged Craig to continue with his announced plans to step down on Sept. 30, calling resignation the right thing to do.

Why should Craig step down? Because he is a thorn in the side of some Senators on policies is my guess. Look at the Democrats as they stood by a President who abused his office and lied about it under oath, and compare that blindly robotic support against the machinations of politicians who throw their allies under the bus when the going gets tough.

Neither behavior is professional or respectable. Being a puppet or being the kind of ally who runs away everytime someone says ‘Boo’ are not signs of leadership or strength. This is, perhaps, McConnell’s first mistake as minority leader. He has been great up to this point, but I still detect yet unseen forces at work here. In fact, I think I see where the far right is again attempting to destroy a fellow Republican because of policy differences:

Craig supported Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-Miss.) during his 2002 struggle after controversial comments on segregation and backed Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) in his battle with conservative activists over the Judiciary Committee chairmanship. In 2004, Craig relinquished his seat on the committee so GOP leaders could add conservative Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

Emphasis mine. It is no secret the far right hated the Gang of 14, even though they produced the desired result of large numbers of conservative judges on the federal bench. But that was not good enough for too many, they wanted a constitutional bloodbath and gridlock. Many blame Specter for this and many other issues, so to get at Specter it would not surprise me if some thought Craig would be a good sacrificial lamb. How else to explain the GOP double standard?

Craig allies also are stung by what they see as the hypocrisy of the GOP leadership. For example, a former Craig staffer noted that Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) was met with applause when he attended the weekly GOP Senate lunch after he admitted to seeing a prostitute.

Yeah, there is more going on here than meets the eye (or the media can grasp). In fact, a little digging has me convinced Craig is a target of the far right purity putsche. I was not aware, but I am not surprised, that Craig backed the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers:

Idaho Senator Larry Craig commented today on the nomination of Harriet Miers to replace the outgoing Sandra Day O’Connor as a Supreme Court justice. Miers currently serves as Counsel to the President, a post she has held since February, 2005.

“Harriet Miers is an impressive legal talent with a reputation for hard work,” Craig said. “I look forward to learning more about her and her judicial philosophy, and I commend the President for bringing this nomination forward quickly.”

Want to guess where Craig stood on the Dubai Ports deal that inflamed the far right so much Anne Coulter could not help herself and use the “raghead” tag in her speach to go GOPAC?. He seems to have not been too thrilled with the nativist hysteria that swept the far right (and rightfully so in my opinion):

Another message sent by the collapse of the Dubai Ports deal is that the United States may not always be consistent in preaching the virtues of capitalism and a free market economy. While we encourage other nations to open their economies to more outside investment, we restrict foreign investment here. Practicing protectionism at home opens us up to accusations of hypocrisy abroad, and rightly so.

Finally, rejection of the ports deal sends a terrible message to our partners in the war on terror. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been a strong partner in this war. This country has provided forward basing for our military and intelligence services, valuable intelligence, and ironically, harbors for our naval vessels. The UAE has been a willing ally, but we have repaid them like an enemy.

So I guess we can all now easily predict what I found when I checked on Craig’s position on illegal immigration and the comprehensive Bill put forth by the Bush administration:

The AgJOBS bill would provide a two-step solution: For the short term, on a one-time-only basis, experienced, trusted workers with a significant work history in American agriculture would be allowed to stay here legally and earn adjustment to legal status. For the long term, the currently broken and cumbersome H-2A legal guest worker program would be overhauled and made more streamlined, practical, and secure.

More indications here:

“A year does make a difference,” insisted Sen. Larry Craig, an Idaho Republican.

Or so he hopes.

Joined by lawmakers from Florida and California and backed by hundreds of farm, labor and church groups, Craig is reintroducing a guest-worker plan that has been debated for years. As many as 1.5 million farm workers and their relatives now in this country illegally could gain legal status under the bill.

It is obvious why Craig is being dumped so fast – he is a Republican In Name Only. He is a RINO. He is a traitor like El Presidente Jorge Bush. He even supported the No Child Left Behind Act and the Medicare Drug Benefit. The far right is more than happy to push this man under the bus because, to them, he is little better than a democrat. At least that is the kind of dribble I would suspect is being whispered in the ever shrinking GOP caucuses.

I did not know Craig’s positions on these matters until I researched them this morning. But I could tell something was wrong from the way the GOP was desperate for the man to resign instead of clearing his name. It was too much like the Democrats’ current desires for us to resign Iraq instead of clear our good name their and succeed. But now it seems clear Craig’s problems are very much due to the far right and their purity war inside the GOP.

8 responses so far

8 Responses to “Innocent Until Proven Guilty II, Craig A Target Of The Far Right”

  1. Jacqui says:

    AJ – I agree there are those trying to push Craig out but I disagree with your reasoning. I don’t think the “purists” are the main force. The people doing most of the pushing are political animals who don’t give a hoot about anything but getting their majority back and they see Craig as their 2008 version of the Foley scandal which really tipped 2006 in favor of the Dems.

  2. dave m says:

    It seems that now that Fred has joined the race you cannot
    even suggest that Rudy has a better chance of defeating Hillary.
    I have to wonder, if the far Right or the far Left ever got total
    control of the country who would last longer?

    Against an EXTERNAL enemy, I think the Right would last longer,
    after all the Left would simply surrender and be killed. But with
    no external enemy?

    Both sides seem to love their ideology more than life itself.
    How else could you excuse Communism’s killing of 100 million
    people or the hard Right saying they’d rather lose to Hillary than
    elect a moderate.

    Both positions are stupid.

    If we are going to elect Hillary then I hope President Bush deals
    with Iran before she gets in, we may have no more chances.

  3. SallyVee says:

    Geeze, I thought I was paranoid ; )

    Seriously A.J., I said to my husband a week ago — only half kidding — “Craig’s immigration stance will have more to do with his survival than his bathroom stance.”

    Dave M: my Mom used to say there’s a place on the political spectrum where Left meets Right and everything blurs into one big nutburger (my words, updated). I never realized how true that is until these last couple years, experiencing it up close with my own eyes and ears. From where I sit, the Far Left and Far Right are the very same people, equally dangerous and equally wrong.

  4. Once again, in an effort to FORCE-PROVE that he was correct on his scenarios of Doom & Gloom on the Immigration issue for Republicans/Conservatives, AJ will grasp at any straw, no matter how small, will make any analysis, no matter how tenuous, and tie it all into to his pet theme of “The sky is falling, because people demand that we treat ILLEGALS the way they ought to be treated!”

    Talk about falling love with your own analysis!

    It’s a hollow drum AJ, give it up!

  5. Bikerken says:

    I have noticed that there has not been a lot of talk about the immigration subject lately,, anyone catch Calderons chastising of the US because of violating Mexicans rights in the US!!!??? Anywhere there is a Mexican is Mexico. I would have to agree with him because of what LA has turned into. It is as bad as Mexico! The man just flat out said we have a right to your country!

    I don’t buy this far right thing with Craig, supposedly I am one of the members of the extreme far right and I didn’t think he should resign. Sure, I thought he was guilty and a scumbag, but I just didn’t think that a misdemeanor for disturbing the peace was a reason for a senator to get fired. And again, I think there should be a moratorium on republican congress critters resigning until democrats start doint it too.

  6. Aitch748 says:

    At this point I’m just waiting for some homosexual-rights lobby in D.C. to start screaming that the GOP is waging a pogrom against a homosexual for being a homosexual (yes I know, I know, Craig says he’s not a homosexual, but facts have a way of being ignored when political fevers like these start going around).

  7. lurker9876 says:

    I think AJStrata will end up being vindicated for his position on illegal immigration but time will tell.

  8. Terrye says:


    I agree. Sometime ago someone told me that the right would ruin things for the GOP because every time the Republicans win the right starts to think they actually run the country and blow things for their party, they are right. And extremes do meet, the tactics of extreme left and right are the same.

    Dale, the only thing the right has done to the illegals so far is yammer at them and the rest of us. They have not done anything that actually deals with the problem. They have not come up with viable workable alternatives, they just yell and posture.

    Craig is from a state where migrant workers have been showing up to work for years and years and I would imagine that the reason for his stance on that issue had something to do with the economy there. It was not part of some nefarious plot, for heavens sake. If it is such a blight against humanity for hispanics to work the fields why wasn’t the right hyperventilating about it a decade ago? This is so lame and tiresome.