Riffing on Adam’s last post, it has been amusing to watch the whole problem with Senator Craig. However, as I’ve chomped my popcorn, there’s been one thing I keep thinking: what if the guy’s telling the truth?
What if he was stupidly caught for not doing much of anything, and the stupidly plead guilty in the naïve hope it would go away?
Yes, I know that some gay activists have said that it’s been an “open secret” that he’s gay. Many people believe that if someone is rabidly anti-gay, then it’s likely that there’s something fueling that rabidity. They think that the rabid person’s Kinsey Scale Rating might be a positive number. I am one of those many people. But rumors that amount to, “oh, I bet he’s closeted” about someone who is anti-gay contain no information. That sort latent hypocrisy is now cliché.
I also realize that when they arrested Ted Kaczynski I thought, “Hey, what if they found the other lone wacko in Montana who hates the modern world and likes blowing things up?” My track record on my own doubt-spirals is bad enough that I have to make baseball metaphors to defend it. Batting .250 is good! Really!
Nonetheless, what if the Senator is telling the truth?
I am suspicious of a policeman who is sent in to investigate lewd behavior and finds it in a non-obvious form. Not because I think he’s got ill intent of his own, but because of selection bias. I believe he’s a guy just doing an icky job — cleaning out the restrooms. He’s there to find lewd behavior and from that lens, he found it, and it even plead. And yet I hear Tom Lehrer singing in my head:
…filth (I’m glad to say) is in
The mind of the beholder
When correctly viewed
Everything is lewd.
I could tell you things about Peter Pan
And the Wizard of Oz, there’s a dirty old man
Or Batman and Robin, for Pete’s sake.
I will also admit that being the contrarian that I am, watching the Republican leadership scattering from gay-cooties like roaches from the kitchen light also makes me ask if the guy was caught for foot-tapping in a public place. If he were a bearded, swarthy young man who was nabbed for terrorist-lite behavior and stupidly plead guilty to a lesser crime and yet denied doing anything, we’d have eyebrows up, so why not this?
In The Daily Kos, kharma brings up the same issue by telling an old joke. It is is important enough that you read it that I will reprint here and not merely link to it:
Two weeks ago, the kids and I went on a trip to visit friends in San Antonio, Texas. On the way we stopped at a rest area just off the interstate. What happened next made me very uneasy…
I was drinking coffee heavily so that I would stay awake and needed to relieve myself pretty badly. I pulled into a rest area, locked the car doors, left the kids sleeping in the car, and went into the restroom. When I entered I noticed it was unoccupied except for a pair of sneakers visible under the second stall.
As I unzipped at one of the urinals and began to relieve my burning bladder I heard a voice say “Hey, what’s up?”. I looked around and there was no one else in the restroom. After a moments hesitation, I answered “Not much”.
A little time went by and he says, “What ya doing?”.
I didn’t feel very comfortable talking to someone in a stall but I didn’t want to be rude and answered, “Uh…we are heading to San Antonio to visit friends.”
“Want to come over?”, he says.
At this point I am really uncomfortable and I finish up and scoot over to the sink to wash up. “No I don’t think so.”, I replied. Wow, was this something else. I had never even had someone next to me with a wide stance before and now I’ve got someone in the stall asking me over!
As I reached for the paper towels to dry my hands I hear, “Hey man, can I call you back? There’s some asshole in the bathroom answering every thing I say.”
So I ask again: what if the guy’s telling the truth?