I’m back from my much deserved vacation rested and ready to resume my normal life and this particularly busy fall season. We’ve all been brought up to speed on the situation regarding U.S. Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) and the incident that occurred with an undercover officer in Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. I’m not going to rehash the details. Since most of you are Republicans who read this blog, and I’m probably one of the few intelligent openly gay and partisan Republicans that you know, I wanted to wait a few days before starting my commentary so I could fully digest everything that happened and extrapolate some ideas on what it means to Sen. Craig, the Republican Party, the 2008 election, new-media, and the greater GLBT community. I’m really going to resist the urge to get “snarky” and catty here, because this whole situation is a tragedy.
Those of us who are “family” have known about Sen. Craig for quite some time…about his double-life and constant sightings in places he should be, conducting himself in ways that are unbecoming of a citizen or a confidant man. I’m not going to excuse his activities. I am a gay man myself…but I don’t “cruise” bathrooms. And when I had a boyfriend, I had sex with him regularly…just like the rest of y’all do in your straight couples & relationships. I am authentic in who I am and what I do. And that will be the theme for this post…Sen. Larry Craig and his inauthenticity is symptomatic of the inauthenticity that exists across the board in the Republican Party.
Sen. Craig was inauthentic when he stood on the floor of the Senate railing against the ills of homosexuality, and straight after would go to Union Station to solicit for the very thing he was just admonishing. Sen. David Vitter was inauthentic in his facade of being the “poster boy” for “family values”, and was then using an escort services, denigrating his marriage more than any “gay marriage” would have done. The Republican Party was inauthentic in the message it sold voters when it ran campaigns on supporting a strong economy with fiscal responsibility, while its elected representatives in the House & Senate have continued to increase the quantity and cost of ear-marks for their districts and spending money “business-as-usual”, not to mention the countless Republican operatives and electeds that now are either in jail or are under investigation for misconduct. The Bush Administration is inauthentic when it commits to the citizens of America to promote security, both real and perceived, home and abroad, but is grossly negligent when our trade deficit with China continues to endanger our ability to be self-reliant, when Asian countries hold the bulk of the debt of the American government, when we have to put our shampoo in little bottles to fly on a commercial airplane flight because of “security concerns”, and continue accept trade policies that give an unfair advantage to foreign manufacturers and endanger American lives and at the same time make it more difficult for American entrepreneurs to compete nationally and globally.
The Larry Craig nightmare is just another crack in the already shattered facade that the Republican Party spent the majority of the 1990’s and early 2000’s painting. It is truly a painting. Something planned, designed, and executed my master political strategists (Karl Rove, etc). And at the end of the day, Republicans are no more virtuous or noble than Democrats. It’s about the quality of the person and their authenticity. If the Republican Party doesn’t go through a serious re-alignment and re-examination of its fundamental values and how it compares to the rest of America, then we, as a Party, will continue to suffer losses across the board. Are there any Republicans out there who are authentic in who they are and what they stand for who are willing to a.) run and b.) hold the Party banner? Please stand up!