Stuart Carlson (Click image to enlarge)

Larry Craig, inductee to Idaho Hall of Fame

Make that "Stall of Shame"

Just when you thought the story couldn't get any weirder! Let me recap for those who have been in a coma for the past few weeks:

• In June, Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), was arrested in a men's bathroom at the Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport, alleged to have cruised an undercover cop for sex.

• In August, Craig plead guilty to a lesser charge, hoping he could make the case "go away." It didn't.

• Craig held a press conference to insist he had done "nothing wrong" in that bathroom and — in case anyone was wondering — "I am not gay and never have been gay."

• Realizing his fellow Republicans were running away as far and as fast as they could, Craig held another press conference to announce his "intent to resign" at the end of September if he were not successful in withdrawing his guilty plea.

• The judge ruled the guilty plea was "accurate, voluntary, and intelligent"; the "conviction is supported by the evidence"; and therefore, "the Defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty plea is DENIED." (PDF, Minn v Larry Craig)

Never mind! Craig decided he would serve out his term anyway, but not seek re-election.

As an OpEd by Froma Harrop in the Seattle Times noted wrly, "Avocados stay firm longer than a Larry Craig deadline." It seems hard to imagine any Republican running as a champion of morality and sexual propriety with Craig hanging around the cloakroom, although as Harrop notes, "Republicans seem to make a broad exception for fornicators of a heterosexual bent." (Example? David Vitter has not been ostracized.)

Inductee

Now we learn that Craig was selected for induction into the Idaho Hall of Fame, the ceremony to be held later this week (Saturday). According to the bio on the Hall of Fame website, Craig's service "speaks for itself":

Senator Larry Craig Born in Council Idaho. He attended Idaho schools, graduating from the University of Idaho with a degree in political Science. Served in the House of Representatives and the U. S. Senate. Thirty years of exemplary political service to the State of Idaho and the Country speaks for itself.

Maybe he does belong:

"The [Idaho Hall of Fame's] main goal over the last 20 years has been to search out those men and women of Idaho that have made an impact on their communities, their state, the nation and in many cases, the World."
There's no doubt Craig has become famous — infamous at the very least — and certainly throughout the nation — if not the world!
"One of our newest endeavors ... is to establish a program that will enable our Inductees to share with students around the State, their life experiences ...."
Just think of the experiences Craig can share! He can tell them about things their mammas and pappas never dreamed of when they elected him.

Some have recoiled from the prospect of Craig's induction to the Hall of Fame, but not everyone. "There's core support here that thinks Craig has been railroaded," Jasper LiCalzi, a political scientist at Albertson College, near Boise, told The Idaho Statesman. Reportedly, Craig intends to attend the ceremony. Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall at that event?

More irony

Here's the kicker: Craig was on the Senate Ethics Committee in 1995 when it unanimously voted to expel Senator Bob Packwood (R-OR) on sexual-harassment charges.