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Do You Know Who I Am?!
That statement, or one along those lines, never ends well for the one doing the asking. In this case, the answer was something along the lines of "Yeah -- you're a guy who's getting his (apparently) overly friendly ass hauled off to the police station."

Via Obscure Store, from a USA Today blog item referencing a Roll Call story by Lucas Everidge, Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig was arrested earlier this summer for "a lewd conduct incident" in an airport men's room:

After he was arrested, Craig, who is married, was taken to the Airport Police Operations Center to be interviewed about the lewd conduct incident, according to the police report. At one point during the interview, Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, “What do you think about that?” the report states.

...“At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot.

I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area,” the report states.

Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times, and Karsnia noted in his report that “I could ... see Craig had a gold ring on his ring finger as his hand was on my side of the stall divider.”

Karsnia then held his police identification down by the floor so that Craig could see it.

“With my left hand near the floor, I pointed towards the exit. Craig responded, ‘No!’ I again pointed towards the exit. Craig exited the stall with his roller bags without flushing the toilet. ... Craig said he would not go. I told Craig that he was under arrest, he had to go, and that I didn’t want to make a scene. Craig then left the restroom.”

In a recorded interview after his arrest, Craig “either disagreed with me or ‘didn’t recall’ the events as they happened,” the report states.

Craig stated “that he has a wide stance when going to the bathroom and that his foot may have touched mine,” the report states. Craig also told the arresting officer that he reached down with his right hand to pick up a piece of paper that was on the floor.

“It should be noted that there was not a piece of paper on the bathroom floor, nor did Craig pick up a piece of paper,” the arresting officer said in the report.

Not even one of the numerous pieces of paper he's signed denying gays rights. Let's see...if you can't beat 'em...get one of 'em to beat you off...uh...or something like that. ("Do you blow who I am?")

More on Craig and closets here.

Posted by aalkon at August 28, 2007 11:25 AM

Comments

See at Balloon Juice:

'Craig stated “that he has a wide stance when going to the bathroom and that his foot may have touched mine,”'

Yet another Republican stall tactic.

Posted by: jerry at August 28, 2007 1:42 AM

...Republican...arrested...for...lewd conduct...in...men's room...

Are they intentionally doing this shit over and over so that it's no longer newsworthy?

Posted by: Doobie at August 28, 2007 2:30 AM

Um...just exactly what did he do that is illegal? Tapped his foot? Touched another person's foot - intentionally or not?

And what exactly is a policeman doing, sitting in a stall waiting for foot-tappers?

The government is now watching your bathroom habits. Great, I feel safer already.

Posted by: bradley13 at August 28, 2007 4:55 AM

And what exactly is a policeman doing, sitting in a stall waiting for foot-tappers?

Maybe he was taking a dump.

Posted by: Doobie at August 28, 2007 5:13 AM

We are a society that is puritanical and sexually repressed, and at the same time, sexually bursting at the seams. My guess: If you want to know who in Congress is actually gay, look at who's most anti-gay rights.

P.S. If we weren't so fucked up sexually, guys like Craig wouldn't have to sneak sex with strangers under the stall doors at airports. They'd have boyfriends (or, if they didn't stop gay rights as they do, husbands) instead of wives.

Hope the poor thing isn't trotted out like McGreevy's or Vitter's wife.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 28, 2007 5:24 AM

Amy, I read your blog item on the Taliban gays first, before I read this, and my reaction was the same: eeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwww! o_O

Posted by: Flynne at August 28, 2007 5:52 AM

We're supposed to be a post-Enlightenment society. They're a bunch of primitives.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 28, 2007 5:59 AM

> We are a society that is puritanical
> and sexually repressed... If we
> weren't so fucked up sexually...

You're clucking again. Who is this "we" you keep talking about?

Attention, readers: If you're "fucked up sexually," please signify by saying "Aye."

...(crickets)... ...(distant car horn)...

Well then.

Posted by: Crid at August 28, 2007 6:02 AM

We're supposed to be a post-Enlightenment society. They're a bunch of primitives.

Yeah I got that. The fact that these supposedly anti-gay politicians are getting busted for "lewd conduct" is what makes me get that squicky feeling. And I've nothing against gay people, but I have a problem with hypocrisy and stupidity when it appears in abundance amongst our so-called "political leaders".

PS - Crid, my earworm today is from Neil Young. I won't bore you with the lyrics, unless you really want to know!

Posted by: Flynne at August 28, 2007 6:17 AM

I guess the next time I have to use the public toilet I'll be sure to sit PERFECTLY STILL. Hell, who knew that there was an elaborate foot-dance used in restroom courtship rituals. Who knew such rituals even EXISTED?!

Posted by: brian at August 28, 2007 6:19 AM

"Attention, readers: If you're "fucked up sexually," please signify by saying "Aye.""


ahhh hahahahaha.

And that would be a big "n-o" from over here. But I guess it's all subject to individual opinion.

Posted by: Gretchen at August 28, 2007 6:24 AM

And on another note - If I went up to a guy and said "Hey, wanna go home w/ me and mess around?" am I really going to get arrested?

Since when was propositioning someone noteworthy? Granted, it's an anti-gay senator propositioning a cop in a bathroom...but still, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, man. I don't see a difference b/w asking for it or doing a little gimmie-some-booty tap dance.

I'm youngish and go out w/ friends and, uh, chicks get propositioned all the time. If girls cried for help every time "lewd" comments were directed at her 50% of men would be in prison.

Posted by: Gretchen at August 28, 2007 6:35 AM

I'm against anti-sex laws, but as long as we have them, lawmakers shouldn't be breaking them.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 28, 2007 6:49 AM

> I won't bore you with
> the lyrics

I could be happy
the rest of my life
with...

(Remember the guitar solo? It was the first one-note solo, and it was good! The Ramones got too much credit for "Sedated," which was just dumb.)

Posted by: Crid at August 28, 2007 6:57 AM

This story isn't nearly as good as the rep in Florida who offered to pay a cop $20 to give the cop head. And then blamed it on the fact that the park he was in was full of black people.

Posted by: justin case at August 28, 2007 7:12 AM

The Ramones got too much credit for "Sedated," which was just dumb.

Yeah. The Ramones were fun, but their music was uniformly dumb (how many chords did they know - I say three). I think it was the point.

Posted by: justin case at August 28, 2007 7:14 AM

Right, which is why nobody really bought Ramones records except wordy New York Hipsters.

Posted by: Crid at August 28, 2007 7:37 AM

Who knew?

http://www.google.com/search?q=tea+room+trade -- 1975, Laud Humphreys. You can actually read it online.

(In the early 80s, at college, in a science ethics class I took Humphrey's study was mentioned in our text, because it turned out that Humphrey was not just an observer....)

Posted by: jerry at August 28, 2007 7:42 AM

Right, which is why nobody really bought Ramones records except wordy New York Hipsters.

Right, but I still bought 'Meet the Ramones' because I could. Their 3 chord progressions were pretty much the bulk of all their songs. (And even though I was sad when Joey passed away, for about 3 minutes, I am so NOT a "wordy New York Hipster." Old suburban hippie, yeah, I'll admit to that. Hence my fondness for Neil, and Old Black, his beat-to-death Gibson Les Paul.)

Posted by: Flynne at August 28, 2007 8:09 AM

If you want to know who in Congress is actually gay, look at who's most anti-gay rights.

I guess this means Colorado Republican Wayne Allard will be caught by local law enforcement soliciting in the shubbery behind a highway rest stop this October.

Posted by: Rebecca at August 28, 2007 11:41 AM

Posted by: Crid at August 28, 2007 12:18 PM

Those guys are funny. Wish we had newscasters like that in Lost Angeles.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 28, 2007 4:41 PM

I've read about 2 dozen news reports so far, and I am still scratching my head on this one... my guess so far is that if there is a grain of truth to it, he was "hit" by one of Mitt Romney's rivals. I just can't believe Larry Craig was trolling for ANY sex in an airport bathroom. If this were a truck stop or some such place, it might make sense... but has any guy here ever thought he might get approached in an airport bathroom?

Posted by: eric (proud Idahoan) at August 28, 2007 4:41 PM

PS- I would love to see Bill Clinton just belt Mitt Romney in the jaw. Romney is a total asshole.

Posted by: eric at August 28, 2007 4:43 PM

I just can't believe Larry Craig was trolling for ANY sex in an airport bathroom.

Larry's that sexless and/or uptight, eh?

Posted by: Rebecca at August 28, 2007 4:45 PM

Posted by: Crid at August 28, 2007 4:48 PM

Posted by: Crid at August 28, 2007 4:51 PM

"...Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, “What do you think about that?”"

I think that as a US Senator, you have been financially sodomizing taxpayers for many years, and now you are moving on to the physical.

Posted by: doombuggy at August 28, 2007 5:33 PM

> I just can't believe Larry
> Craig was trolling for ANY
> sex in an airport bathroom.

So what you're saying is, this was so risky and so inane that it was really just a desperate cry for help.

I hate those. Intrinsic to these pleas is a presumption that on the inside, we're all just the same ... That every one of us has times when we just need the competitive, adversarial machinery of our civilization to come to stop... Hours when we just need some "me" time, so we can catch our breath to continue the fulfillment of our responsibilities... Times when we just want to get blown by some HVAC control salesman waiting for the 4:19pm turboprop to Omaha.

I never read the deets of any news story... That's part of a specialized religious practice (and I'll thank you not to make fun of it!). But so far as I can tell, this guy was a victim of entrapment, ie, the cop made the first move.

Balko has a great thread at Reason, including:

- ...the only thing I can see that he's guilty of is looking for a willing sex partner. And I can't see how that is or should be a crime.

- He's a stupid closeted scumbag hypocrite, but it doesn't seem he's actually done a anything lewd.

There are many other excellent posts taking each side. For now, I think we can all agree that the most important thing is to make as much fun of this fucker as possible.

Posted by: Crid at August 29, 2007 2:14 AM

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 29, 2007 2:24 AM

- ...the only thing I can see that he's guilty of is looking for a willing sex partner. And I can't see how that is or should be a crime.

Well Crid as Amy said, such laws shouldnt exist, but if they are on the books then the asshole who pass them should know better than to break them.

Personally, I find it all the sweeter when hypocrites get caught in their own traps.

Posted by: lujlp at August 29, 2007 4:54 AM

Prelude To A Spanking:

From Jan. 24, 1999, "Meet the Press" with NBC's Tim Russert.

MR. RUSSERT: Larry Craig, would you want the last word from the Senate be an acquittal of the president and no censure?

SEN. CRAIG: Well, I don’t know where the Senate’s going to be on that issue of an up or down vote on impeachment, but I will tell you that the Senate certainly can bring about a censure reslution and it’s a slap on the wrist. It’s a, “Bad boy, Bill Clinton. You’re a naughty boy.”

The American people already know that Bill Clinton is a bad boy, a naughtyboy.

I’m going to speak out for the citizens of my state, who in the majority think that Bill Clinton is probably even a nasty, bad, naughty boy.

Link: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003631757&imw=Y

Posted by: Doobie at August 29, 2007 5:22 AM

For the people who doubt Craig was cruising: he plead GUILTY. I mean, if you were him, a "straight" man who nudged an over-reactive cop and then got arrested, and you have the resources to fight the charges (he's a freakin' Senator, he's got resources!), you do it, right?


Posted by: justin case at August 29, 2007 6:58 AM

I'm not surprised in the least that Craig was allegedly trolling in a bathroom for sex. Rumors about him have been swirling around DC almost as long as the rumors about Foley. Back in 2006 a blog revealed that three men claimed in separate interviews to have had sexual relations with Craig. None of the men were acquainted with each other and each described, in identical detail, Larry Craig's, umm, physical attributes. BTW, one of them alleged that his sexual encounter with Craig took place in the men's room of DC's Union Station. So Craig apparently has an affinity for transportation hubs.

And yet, I am bothered by the circumstances of his arrest. Craig's bathroom mating dance was so...interpretational that Martha Graham would have had a tough time figuring it out. Yes, I'm all for hypocritcal, blowhard politicians getting hoisted by their own petards, but this whole situation just seems kinda wrong.

Justin, my guess is that Craig plead guilty to spare himself the publicity that fighting the charge would have brought (including the digging up of those old blogs and such). I'm sure he thought that it wouldn't get leaked to the public, just as he thought that his Senate credentials would keep him from being arrested.

Posted by: Ms. Gandhi at August 29, 2007 8:14 AM

>> Larry's that sexless and/or uptight, eh?

>> So what you're saying is, this was so risky and so inane that it was really just a desperate cry for help.

I hate those. Intrinsic to these pleas is a presumption that on the inside, we're all just the same ... That every one of us has times when we just need the competitive, adversarial machinery of our civilization blah blah blah blah blah.....

No, what I am saying is an airport bathroom logistically doesn't sound like a place where people hook up. They are busy, well lit, secured up the ass... has anyone here, gay guys especially, seen or heard of anyone hooking up in an international airport bathroom? I'm specifically saying I don't know, I'm not making any judgements on Craig's behavior, but what he did, while bizarre, doesn't qualify as criminal in my mind.

Posted by: eric at August 29, 2007 8:50 AM

I agree with this bit that Crid quoted:

"He's a stupid closeted scumbag hypocrite, but it doesn't seem he's actually done a anything lewd."

I'm one of many gay men who's never liked the public bathroom scene at all, but I don't see why anyone needs to get all wrapped up in a sex panic about it. My only concern is that there could be children around the cruising and hooking up, and it might be "too much information" for them. Adult men who are not interested can just pee and move along or say "get the fuck away from me." It works. They go away.

Posted by: Lena at August 29, 2007 9:03 AM

I don't think anyone here would argue Craig did anything "criminal". I certainly don't think it's wrong to solicit sex in a public place. If that's his kink, that's his kink. If he gets caught by the wrong people--like the cops-- that's his problem.

What is criminal, however, is that Craig uses his political power to demonize others' sexuality for political gain, even at the expense of having to hide his own alleged sexuality. If nothing else he deserves, as Crid said, to be made a figure of fun.

Posted by: Rebecca at August 29, 2007 9:08 AM

Wait, this goes back even further:

http://urltea.com/1co5

First, we're reminded how shitty television news is. Second, it's funny to note that Craig looked the same during the Hall & Oates years as he does today. (Ah-can't-go-f'that! Woe-oo-woe! Ahhhh! No can do!)

> an airport bathroom logistically
> doesn't sound like a place where
> people hook up

Um, not speaking from the most personal experience here, but gays do that in public restrooms a lot. It used to happen to me in the student union at the Big Ten campus where I grew up. (This was when I was still young and beautiful and girly... All shining hair and dancing eyes... Having let myself go with cheese and wine and lethargy, the allure is lost.) Never having actually answered a flirtation, I don't know how it was supposed to go, but presumably the encounters were actually consummated somewhere nearby. The toilet just struck these fellows as a great place to say hello.

Paglia once said this (Note: The pointed tone is for her correspondent, not for Eric): "While only a minority of gays are full-time inhabitants of that netherworld (whose strata range from the penthouse to the gutter), activists must stop their systematic lying about the actual facts of run-of-the-mill gay male recreation, which is constantly going on in public toilets, parks, alleyways and all-night clubs throughout the Western world. The dimensions and intensity of that orgiasticism would stagger the minds of many well-meaning liberals, I believe, were they to see it with their own eyes."

When you catch a Senator, we call that the penthouse. I can't find the other passage of hers that comes to mind, but it goes like this: There's no finer example of the difference between men and women than the fact that men, untethered from feminine standards, will pursue eroticism in the most public of public toilets. Can you imagine a worse place to take a woman to get her in the mood?

> Craig uses his political power
> to demonize others' sexuality
> for political gain

Word. Also I agree with Ms. Gandhi.

Posted by: Crid at August 29, 2007 11:23 AM

'm one of many gay men who's never liked the public bathroom scene at all, but I don't see why anyone needs to get all wrapped up in a sex panic about it. My only concern is that there could be children around the cruising and hooking up, and it might be "too much information" for them. Adult men who are not interested can just pee and move along or say "get the fuck away from me." It works. They go away.

I'm with Lena. I do likewise when I'm hit on by some gross drooling man at 7-11: "Thanks, that's very flattering, but I'm married!" (Married to the idea of not getting anywhere near the guy.)

For the record (not to tell too many tales out of school), I once had sex with a guy in the boys bathroom at NYU.

Posted by: Amy Alkon Author Profile Page at August 29, 2007 11:35 AM

Butch.

Posted by: Crid at August 29, 2007 12:03 PM

People should please follow this link, you'll like it I promise: http://urltea.com/1cpt

Posted by: Crid at August 29, 2007 12:10 PM

Crid, that link is an interesting one. I think there's a kernel of truth to it - in that the vast majority gay men who are now in their 60s grew up in a world where there were no acceptable places for them to meet sexual partners, and that many of them don't know how to do it differently. Or in the case of Craig, aren't willing face the consequences to their lives of doing it differently.

Ah-can't-go-f'that! Woe-oo-woe! Ahhhh! No can do!

Nice phonetic transcription. And curse you for putting that godawful song into my head.

Posted by: justin case at August 29, 2007 1:28 PM

There will always be married straight men who want to get boned on the sly. Gay marriage or not.

Posted by: Lena at August 31, 2007 11:01 AM

TO: Amy Alkon, et al.
RE: Do You KNOW Who I Am???!?!?

"Do You Know Who I Am?!' -- Amy Alkon

I'm suddenly reminded of a 'discussion' my anti-tank platoon leader reported to me.

It was some time after REFORGER 81. I was, then, the battalion logistics officer. We were standing-down from the REFORGER exercise. We were living in what looked like a circus 'big top'; as we prepared for re-deployment back to state-side.

At any rate....

[1] The 'beer tent' was 'open'.
[2] It was 'late'.
[3] The battalion First Sergeants were doing their 'duty'.
[4] Some troops were 'drunk'.
[5] One particular 'first shirt' encountered one such soldier (see item #4, above).
[6] THe young lieutenant, trying to get some sleep just inside the outer wall of the 'big top' tent heard some 'older' NCO saying, in a loud voice, "Do you KNOW who I am???!??! Do you KNOW WHO I AM??!???!"
[7] At which point the lieutenant calls out, "Show him your American Express card."

Too much 'fun'.

Regards,

Chuck(le)

Posted by: Chuck Pelto at September 1, 2007 6:30 PM

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