Earlier this month, Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) pleaded guilty to “misdemeanor disorderly conduct” for “lewd” sexual conduct in a men’s public restroom. In July, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) also admitted to the “sin” of a sexual crime — frequenting an escort service run by the DC Madam.
To date, five Republican lawmakers have called on Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) to resign:
Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN): “Senator Craig pled guilty to a crime involving conduct unbecoming a senator. He should resign.”
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): “I believe that he — that he pled guilty and he had the opportunity to plead innocent. So I think he should resign.”
Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI): “However, he also represents the Republican Party, and I believe that he should step down as his conduct throughout this matter has been inappropriate for a U.S. senator.”
Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN): “While additional concerns are being raised, Senator Craig already demonstrated that he is unfit to serve in the U.S. Congress when he pled guilty. I believe that he needs to step down.”
Reps. Jeff Miller (R-FL), Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL), Bobby Jindal (R-LA), and Ron Lewis (R-KY): [A handful of Republicans] urged Craig to step down…including Jeff Miller and Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida, Mark Souder of Indiana, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Ron Lewis of Kentucky.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has also stripped Craig of his committee leadership positions and called for a Senate ethics investigation into the affair.
In contrast, none of these nine lawmakers reprimanded Vitter after he admitted to soliciting a prostitute. He even received “‘thunderous applause‘ from Senate GOP colleagues during a policy lunch held a few days after his admission.” Matt Foreman of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force explains the hypocrisy:
Let’s see – one Republican senator is involved in soliciting sex from a man and the Republican leadership calls for a Senate investigation and yanks the rug from underneath him. Another Republican senator admits to soliciting the services of a female prostitute and there’s not only no investigation but the senator is greeted with a standing ovation by his Republican peers. What explains the starkly different responses? I’d say rank and homophobic hypocrisy.