Alex Blaze

The Task Force takes on Senatorial sexual policing

Filed By Alex Blaze | November 13, 2007 5:43 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: David Vitter, Larry Craig, Ron Paul, Senate, sexual policing

The Task Force sent a letter to Senators Boxer and Cornyn, chairs of the Senate ethics panel, to ask why they're investigating Larry Craig's indiscretions as an ethics violation and not David Vitter's. Both were Republicans, both admitted to sexual wrong-doing, but only one's being investigated. Could it be because Craig's sin involved another man? Matt Foreman thinks so:

We are writing to state the inherent contradiction between your treatment of allegations of ethical misconduct by Senator Larry Craig and Senator David Vitter and to insist that you open an investigation into Sen. Vitter’s conduct.

There is no explanation for the diametrically opposed responses to these two situations, other than hypocrisy tinged by homophobia. There are only two ways to resolve this: drop the investigation into Sen. Craig or investigate the allegations surrounding Sen. Vitter.

The argument points to a lot more than just homophobia. The Republican Party pushed Craig to resign but gave Vitter a standing ovation when they found out about each of their sexy, sexy sex crimes. Since Craig didn't resign, they're pushing for something, anything to distance themselves from him as far as they can.

So maybe it shouldn't be called the ethics panel, but instead the "sexual policing panel". It'd cut right to the point: they don't care at all about ethics in this case, just about making sure that everyone's having sex in the GOP-approved fashion.

And seeking affection and connection isn't a professional ethics matter anyway. Drop the investigation, Barb.

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There are only two ways to resolve this: drop the investigation into Sen. Craig or investigate the allegations surrounding Sen. Vitter.

I understand that they are trying to make a point here, but why doesn't the Task Force just directly say "drop the investigation into Sen. Craig." The current wording implies that they'd be okay with the Craig investigation as long as Vitter was being investigated as well.

I'm with you; drop the investigation no matter what.

Yeppers. If sexual policing takes on gay and straight sin equally that doesn't mean that it's right or that it still doesn't marginalize queers.

If by having sex the GOP-approved way you mean having sex with interns (male or female), then count me in, Alex!

I don't know, Nick. I don't think either Senator's actions should be deemed worthy of a US Senator. I think that both situations warrant an investigation. I'd say that both of them violated the ethics policy.

We can argue the value of ethics clauses, but that's not really pertinent here. In this case, the standard already exists. If they decide to investigate Craig for a violation, then they should also investigate Vitter.

I don't know of any standard requiring an investigation of a misdemeanor charge. And that was Barney Frank's take on this, and no matter what the boy thinks about ENDA, he knows Congressional rules.

I don't know if there are any hard and fast standards, actually, for the Senate ethics panel.

I don't think either Senator's actions should be deemed worthy of a US Senator.

If the actions you are referring to are their voting records then I agree, otherwise I don’t. The truth is that queers and trans folk are hurt when prostitution is demonized. And that is true regardless of your feelings about sex work and prostitution in general. By implying that an investigation of Vitter would be acceptable (if he and Craig were both investigated) however, the Task Force is doing just that.

The Task Force's "investigate both or none" tact is the right one, I think. They're trying to point out the double standard that's at work, and it's a legitimate point to make.

I have to agree with Bil, though, that this is not behavior, whether gay or straight, that is becoming of a United States Senator.

I think the ethics investigation into Craig's arrest is warranted, but I also think a Vitter investigation should be conducted, too.