Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Larry Schiavo Case, Continued

Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive! (Sir Walter Scott, Marmion)

As I was saying. . .

Thanks to trainmaster Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) and subtle signals from CNN, the public’s attention is moving away from Craig qua criminal sex perv (and I don't mean the gay part) to Craig qua victim of his own party’s twisted leadership.

Just last week, Craig was the perp: a sleazy, hypocritical, and media-challenged sex perv. Now he is morphing into twice a victim -- of what is being pushed now as a purported “sex sting” (see CNN’s crawl line) and of a meanly, even rabidly homophobic Republican leadership.

If this isn’t a case of the hoisting petard, I don’t know what is.

Specter’s role -- suggesting that Craig is being "railroaded"and urging him to fight back -- in a way reprises his performance in 1991 in the infamous Clarence Thomas nomination hearings. Although Specter hasn’t yet begun to fight, and the direction of his attack is reversed now (Specter has his own party’s leadership in his sights), it’s clear that Specter still knows how to make a train wreck.

What’s baffling is that neither Specter nor Craig seems to care much about the impact of the Craig case on the Republican party. Well, in Craig’s case, not so baffling. But in Specter’s, what’s the deal? Circle the wagons and fire?

This belated attempt at resurrection will do more than keep Craig’s sleazy behavior qua Republican on our minds. It will also help us again to see the Republican leadership for what it truly is: a waspish hive of inquisitors that’s just oh-so willing to pimp anybody and anything for its own political self-interest. It's about everybody's morals but their own.

This, after all, is the same crowd (absent Dr. Frist, The Long-Distance Diagnoser) that gave itself the vapors and Congress a huge black eye over the Terry Schiavo tragedy.

In the end, ironically, Craig will still have done whatever it was that he did in the airport toilet (me, I'm going with the cop on this one). Soon, either he’ll be the born-again sitting senator from Idaho or he'll be the former senator from Idaho, but he’ll always be the hypocritical, cowardly, and homophobic Republican senator from Idaho with at least one big, fat, sleazzzy sex stain on his record.

And in the end, the GOP will be what it has been for twenty years or more: a mean, manipulative, hypocritical, narrow-minded, misguided, greedy, corrupt, posturing, wasteful, expensive, lying, and very dangerous mess. Other than that, hey, what more could you want?

This Specter-initiated Craig flip-flop isn’t going to fool, or change the fundamentals for anybody.