Party Planning Public Ethics Hearings?

GOP Cruising For Craig Bruising

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Republican leaders aren’t amused by lewd Larry Craig’s antics.

The Idahoan Senator announced yesterday that he’ll stay in office despite a judge’s decision to stick him with disorderly conduct charges. Those charges, of course, stem from Craig’s toilet trolling last July, during which the three-term senator attempted to get off with an undercover cop. Rather than charging him with lewd conduct, coppers took pity on crude Craig and offered him disorderly conduct, to which Craig pleaded guilty. After the scandal broke, Craig vowed to resign if a judge dismissed his reversal plea. He did not.

Now, some GOP honchos are looking for a way to give him the book, including a potentially embarrassing public ethics investigation. Republican Senator John Ensign of Nevada hopes it won’t come to that:

I think it would be a mistake to put the Senate through an ethics investigation process that could potentially lead to public hearings. I think that he should do the right thing and keep his word.

Ensign also said Craig’s resignation would be “the right thing to do for his party.” Unfortunately for the Republicans, however, Craig doesn’t seem to have much interest in his party’s survival.

Long-time supporter Senator Arlen Specter, meanwhile, seems to be one of the few Republicans who suport Craig’s decision:

Senator Craig is entitled to make his decision and I respect it. Disorderly conduct is not moral turpitude, and it is no basis for leaving the Senate.

That may be true, but there’s no doubt in our mind Craig brought shame upon the party: not for his bathroom cruising, but for his outrageous, arrogant tenacity.

Conservative lobbyist Bryan Fischer remarks:

He’s rapidly becoming a liability for his party and the state of Idaho, and for his party at the national level. The longer he remains in office, the more fodder he gives to the Democrats to make his scandal a 2008 election issue.

With all the GOP chatter, the Democrats may not even need to say a word.