Torricelli on Larry Craig

Few people who knew Larry Craig were probably surprised by the news of his arrest. Washington isn't known as a city to keep secrets andhis sexual orientation was generally understood. What was surprising was the speed and intensity with which his Republican colleagues separated themselves from him.

Within hours ofCraig's acknowledgement of his arrest for lewd conduct in a Minneapolis airport restroom, he was stripped of his Committee assignments. Senators McCain and Coleman urged him to resign.

Craig has to be wondering about the intensity of the reaction. Perhaps he might reach some understanding in the hypocrisy of his situation.His colleagues must recall his vitriolic speeches demanding Bill Clinton's resignation. He was a self appointed spokesman for the American family and he fought every attempt at advocating the rights of gay Americans.

It's more than a strange irony. The very efforts of people like Craig to stigmatize homosexuality is what creates the conditions in which Craig found himself. Anonymous sex in airport restrooms in not unrelated to society's inability to accept homosexuality in American life. Craig is a victimof circumstances that he helped to create.

The reaction of the Senate and the public might reflecta new maturity in America. Homosexuality is now more accepted than hypocrisy.

"Historically, the media has had two caricatures of Republicans. We are either stupid or evil."
—U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)