Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Craig's Lisp (Updated)

(Image Credit: Tom Toles, Washington Post)

Moose gave me the title for this post, but she wants me to explain that she does not endorse the homophobic, effeminophobic stereotype of gay men as "lisping." She is only using it to add to the public humiliation (among those who do endorse such stereotypes) of Idaho's Republican Senator Larry Craig, who, it was revealed this week, has plead guilty to charges of disorderly conduct stemming from an incident involving an undercover police officer in an airport restroom in Minneapolis in June. Moose, who is incapable of resisting a good joke, thinks "Craig's lisp" is a funny way to mock the latest example of sexual hypocrisy among Republicans, who deserve everything they get for reducing American civic discourse to a pathological "focus on the family," with an accompanying mania for (other people's) sexual purity.

Their sexual transgressions matter because they are the ones who decided that private sexual conduct and the "sanctity" of "traditional" marriage mattered more than, say, the ethics of torture or of launching preemptive wars against sovereign nations in making judgments about political candidates or parties. Moose is tired of the politics of mass distraction. She's sick to death of living in a culture that worries more about the fate of frozen stem cells than about the fate of the unfreezing planet. Moose could care less what Larry Craig did in a bathroom in June (though she is curious to know what his hand-under-the-partition gesture is supposed to mean -- in women's restrooms, it just means, "Hey, any toilet paper over there?"). Moose's major political concerns may be simply stated, and they have nothing to do with the etiquette of one senator's bathroom behavior:
  • Who will save the planet?
  • How do we get the hell out of this war?
  • How do we live with what we've allowed not to be done in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina?
  • How much freedom are we willing to sacrifice to the cause of "security"?
Nonetheless: Craig's Lisp.
  • He was a member of the "Singing Senators," along with John Ashcroft, Trent Lott, and Jim Jeffords. If being in a barbershop quartet is not prima facie evidence of total fag-dom, Moose doesn't know what is. (Editorial aside: Gosh, I hope your irony meters are working today.)
  • His voice is kind of high-pitched. Take a listen to one of his many denials of his gayness, his cruising, his (homo)sexual guilt. Here's a good example, from the Idaho Statesman, the paper that reluctantly broke the story once Craig had plead guilty.
  • His opening line of his statement yesterday denying his gayness, his cruising, and his (homo)sexual guilt was, and we quote, "Thank you all very much for coming out today." Props to Wa Po reporter Dana Millbank for noticing that delicious detail in his "Washington Sketch" on Craig.
  • What's up with the toe-tapping? Is it really, as Craig's arrest report says, a "signal often used by persons communicating a desire to engage in sexual conduct?" Please, if you know anything about this, enlighten us in Comments. Otherwise, Moose is likely to sit through her next meeting on Learning Outcomes Assessments with her toe tapping like crazy, which, where she comes from, means, "I am bored senseless and trying desperately to stay awake."
For complete coverage of Senator Craig's predicament from his home-state paper, go here. For the police report on Craig's arrest, go visit the good guys at The Smoking Gun.

We could go on for days on this crazy subject, kids, but Moose has to teach tomorrow. It is really, truly, finally time for her to finish up that syllabus.

Tap your toe if you love us, children. Tap twice if you want us. And if you just need toilet paper, knock three times on the partition that so tragically separates us from one another. Peace out.

Update: We are apparently not alone in being reminded of Tony Orlando and Dawn's smash hit of 1971 as we reflect upon Senator Craig and Potty-gate. Watch this. You'll love us for bringing it to your attention:


  1. Anonymous10:47 AM EDT

    A fantastic post! from Roxie and Moose! A great read this morning! What I hoped I'd find at Roxie's World today and more! Thank you for your courage, and your humor, your faithfulness, your bright and tender mind!

    The following is today's Letter of the Day, by a common reader in Minnesota:

    Star Tribune, Minnesota-St.Paul

    More Republican hypocrisy. Larry Craig -- the pro-marriage, anti-gay senator from Idaho -- got busted in a men's room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in June for soliciting sex. Craig joins a long list of fellow hypocrites -- most recently the Rev. Ted Haggard and former Florida Rep. Mark Foley.

    There is a lesson here. It's called inclusion. Homosexuality is no more a conscious lifestyle choice than is heterosexuality. And as we've seen, it's an equal-opportunity visitor. We've forced many "in the closet" gays to do what Craig did -- seek sex at sleazy places, like airport men's rooms.

    Now that we know there actually are gay Republicans, let's collectively work on a solution. Let's put our Bibles and hysterical rhetoric aside, embrace all of our fellow citizens, ensuring the same rights that the majority takes for granted. That includes the right to live one's life openly.

    Then, maybe bathroom visits will only be for the purpose of, well, going to the bathroom.


  2. Aw, thanks, RA -- You make us blush!

    Craig is the subject of the lead editorial in Wa Po today. It's great stuff:

  3. Anonymous6:51 PM EDT

    Dear Roxie,
    I am not a beagle. I have never been a beagle. I was not baying, I was yelling because I stubbed my toe.

    I often do that, because I have a very wide stance.


  4. Anonymous6:52 PM EDT

    Still, I'm a bit worried that the Dems, in their delight at the way Craig wrong-footed himself (so to speak) will let Vitter off the hook. No should do.


  5. Anonymous6:52 PM EST

    In other news:


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