Larry Craig’s real crime

I wrote of my fondness for salmon the other day, and now I learn of a strange and rather satisfying coincidence: Larry Craig was an enemy of the salmon.

The surprising fall of Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, removes a longtime obstacle to efforts by Democrats and environmentalists to promote salmon recovery on Northwest rivers.

Craig, who was removed from leadership posts on the Senate Appropriations and Energy committees after a sex scandal, is known as one the most powerful voices in Congress on behalf of the timber and power industries. Environmentalists have fought him for years on issues from endangered salmon to public land grazing.

I don’t think he should have resigned over stupid sexual behavior, but that he was one of those rats who fought to destroy the environment…that ought to be a hanging offense. It’s not an entirely happy story, though. I find myself a bit peeved that in this country you can lose your job for waving your hand under a toilet stall divider, but accepting money from industry to allow them to poison the land and circumvent reasonable ecological restrictions…pish. That’s nothin’.


  1. Sailor says

    “I find myself a bit peeved that in this country you can lose your job for waving your hand under a toilet stall divider, but accepting money from industry to allow them to poison the land”
    A bit like politicians rushing through a condemnation of Moveon.orgs “General Betrayus” ad while ignoring the importance of hundreds of thousands that have and will die in Iraq?
    Yes politics can be weird.

  2. Josh says

    You forget. Those Iraqis are the wrong color and pray to the wrong God. Of course is the more pressing moral injustice.

  3. Cheri says

    I have never liked Larry Craig. I am a native Idahoan and have voiced my concern over his irresponsible environmental polices for as long as he’s been in office. I am loathe to stand in defense of this money hungry sob, but the thing with the bathroom is a joke. It would have been so much better to get him out (will we EVER get him out?) because of his policies. It’s not looking too hopeful. Crap, he’ll probably decide to run for another term because of it.

  4. Kuhlmancanadensis says

    Personally, I am not surprised that the environment is under fire when we have a president who is largely its enemy.

    However, I am alarmed at how few presidential candidates are paying any attention whatsoever to global climate change and the environment. The liberals on my campus are touting Obama… but he has a very weak environmental campaign.

    I feel like I’m in a SouthPark episode. I’ll be voting between a turd and a giant douche… yet again.

  5. Sven DiMilo says

    I find myself a bit peeved that in this country you can lose your job for waving your hand under a toilet stall divider, but accepting money from industry to allow them to poison the land and circumvent reasonable ecological restrictions…pish. That’s nothin’.

    Right on, brother.

  6. says

    He should be happy it was a cop in the next stall. I can’t imagine not kicking in someone’s wrist that tried that– I’d assume they were trying to rob me or something!

  7. Bruce Anderson says

    He might have been waving his hand under the stall to pick up his cash from the timber industries. It was all just a big misunderstanding; it was his normal payoff stall but the bag man was to his left this time.

  8. Jsn says

    /I don’t think he should have resigned over stupid sexual behavior/

    I disagree, not because he was soliciting GAY SEX, but because HE was soliciting gay sex; he is the ultimate hippocrite. His anti-gay record is awful, but yes, his biggest sin by far, is his environmental record.

    Since Al Capone couldn’t get charged with racketeering and was finally brought down on tax evasion; whatever takes Craig out – sleazy sex sting op or jaywalking – will do.

  9. says

    You’ve got it all wrong re Larry Craig’s “real crime”! As some blogger whose handle I don’t recall wrote at the time (I’m working from memory here): “What got Craig into trouble is that he didn’t act like a normal Republican. A normal Republican would have checked into a hotel room, put on a diaper, and f**ked a couple of hookers! Then he would have been cheered by his fellow Republicans in the Senate, instead of being railroaded out by them.”

  10. raven says

    Larry Craig’s real crime is being…..Larry Craig.

    An incredibly dishonest hypocrite, homophobe by day, bathroom cruiser by night.

    Plus being your average fascistic wingnut.

    The people in Idaho will just elect someone similar. They may even be worse. Craig is more a sympton that a cause.

  11. Akitagod says

    Sadly, raven may be right. We have plenty of up and coming Bill Sali types who are increasingly finding support from a constituent base that seems to be doing everything they can to be more ignorant with each passing day. They’ll win future elections because the majority of Idaho residents aren’t stupid so much as they’ve become apathetic and brow-beaten by fundie wingnuts.
    Growing up, I really didn’t think that I’d be living in a state where a large portion of the population would be trying to recreate a “frontier lifestyle” ala 1890, complete with women who seem to be OK with staying at home being baby factories, and men who still think that chopping down very large plants is the best economic model to follow.
    Sorry, but as an Idahoan, I just had to vent. I don’t know if I can handle this mentality towards industries that should have gone away in place of something better a long time ago. Don’t get me started on ranchers that insist on raising unprotected cattle in the mountains where wolves live . . .

  12. Rey Fox says

    It’s the Californians’ fault, of course. For real. Thousands of John Birch (and apathetic-suburban) Californians fled California in the ’90s for the cheap land and housing* of the western Treasure Valley, and that’s why we’re in the political situation we are now (and of course, the Mormon belt in the east doesn’t help). Idaho’s most beloved governor was a Democrat and served as Secretary of the Interior under Carter. That was then.

    I always hated Craig too for being a huge Bush and extractive industry rubberstamper*. But as for the salmon thing, well, no one who wants to hold any office in Idaho will stand up for them in any substantial way (i.e., by supporting dam breaching, the only way to recover salmon to anything approaching historical levels). Really, since the lower Snake River dams are not in Idaho, then it’s not enough of a state issue for anyone to want to stick their neck out for them.

  13. Rey Fox says

    Aw crap on a cracker. Ignore those asterisks in my post, they’re for footnotes that I edited out.

  14. Akitagod says

    Good points, Rey. The suburban influx population and the developers that support it are like freakin’ locusts around here — I’m seriously concerned about the loss of some really great farmland in the river valleys.
    And you’re right. Not enough of the dams are located in Idaho — it really is more of a regional issue. But that hasn’t stopped most of our representatives from bending over backward for the companies that own them. Idaho could easily be one of the nation’s leaders in wind, biofuels, biomass, et al. Take your pick. But the power those dams generate is just too cheap to pass up on. I understand the reluctance from an economic standpoint, I just think we’re smart enough to come up with something better if we put a little effort into it. I think if Oregon’s pelamis/wave generator effort gets any traction, we’ll see more pressure to explore more options closer to home.

  15. says

    I used to hate the damn californians, too, being from a ranching family in Colorado. At least the Texans go home, we say.
    However, I moved to California to get a job, and frankly, if I was a Californian, I’d move to Colorado, too. You can get a decent house in Colorado for the price of a shack by the traintracks in California (and I’ve seen lots of houses by the tracks go for upwards of $600,000. It’s depressing to think that I will never own a house unless I move, because on my salary, my great-great-grandchildren would never be able to pay it off.
    The mountain-western states are plenty fundamentalist-conservative without the repugnant pressure of california liberalism. If you took away the Californians, they’d still vote the same schmucks into office because of the religious pressure. I do agree that a lot of them are trying to live in the late 1800’s, though. There’s really a mentality in native Coloradoans that if things could be like they were in the 1920’s, when men were men, etc. Things would be a lot better.

  16. m says

    Look, the fact is, that Larry Craig put his hands under the divider,and spelled out in Universal Sign Language exactly the types and extant of the salacious acts he solicited, by the sea-shore, or wherever the hell it was. How’d you like it if that happened to you? I mean, there was no mistaking what he wanted.

  17. Apikoros says

    Yes, Larry Craig’s record in the Senate is clearly anti-salmon…

    …but on the weekends he likes to get it on with a chum.

  18. bernarda says

    Strange things seem to happen in Minnesota.

    You even have anti-ecolo terrorists.

    “Among the profanity-laced threats the five men and a 16-year-old boy are alleged to have yelled from motorboats as they chugged beer and shot off guns and fireworks on Basswood Lake were statements such as “get the [expletive] off our [expletive] property.”

    Other taunts included: “[Expletive] tourists,” and “go home [expletive] ‘enox’ tree-huggers.”

    While the origin of the obscure term “enox” is unclear, an official involved in the investigation said it is believed to be local slang for “environmentally obnoxious.”

    Ely’s government leaders and business people are universally condemning what occurred, and they say most of the town’s visitors they’ve talked to seem to understand that the Aug. 7 incident was unprecedented and so far beyond normal local behavior that people need not worry that it will happen again.”

    But these guys don’t sound too different from some Minnesota Republican Senators or Congresswomen, if you catch my drift.

  19. Robert says

    Craig’s hand was under the divider because, as he himself said, he was “picking up a piece of toilet paper that was on the floor”. Now I don’t know about anyone else, but when I find myself in a public restroom, I do not pick up ANYTHING from the floor. Well, maybe a $100 bill might get my attention, but a piece of toilet paper? Er, no.