Then Again, Maybe He Won't

Sen. Larry Craig is having another bout of indecision about whether or not he's really going to resign from the Senate over his tea room bust in Minneapolis.
Sen. Larry Craig will file court documents Monday asking to withdraw his guilty plea in a sex sting that seems likely to end his career, his attorney said.

Craig, an Idaho Republican, pleaded guilty in August to disorderly conduct following a sting operation in a men's bathroom at the Minneapolis airport.

He has said he regrets that decision, which he said he made hastily and without talking to an attorney. He said he was under stress and pleaded guilty only to put the matter behind him.

Attorney William Martin said Sunday night that a request to withdraw that plea would be filed Monday. Such requests are rarely granted. Martin would not discuss the argument he planned to make in court.

Martin said he was not involved in discussions about Craig's future in the Senate. Craig originally announced he would resign at the end of the month, then said he was reconsidering that decision. His chief spokesman later said Craig had dropped virtually all notions of trying to finish his third term.

"My job is to get him back to where he was before his rights were taken away," Martin said.

Craig's congressional spokesman has said the only way that Craig is likely to remain in the Senate is if a court moves quickly to overturn the conviction, something that is unlikely to happen before the end of the month.
Not being a lawyer I can't say for certain whether or not Mr. Craig has a case, but common sense -- not something often associated with some in the legal profession -- dictates that if you plead guilty to a charge and didn't do it under duress, the only person who took away your rights was you, and that makes it pretty hard for you or anyone else to say that you didn't get your day in court. You had your chance. You made your choice. Game over.

In theory, people who are innocent don't plead guilty just because the press has been asking questions. (Once again, blame the media. This from a stalwart of the Party of Personal Responsibility.) If it is truly a bogus charge and you are convinced of your innocence, you will fight like hell to preserve your good name and record. You don't plead it out and then ask for a Mulligan when the news gets out. That tells the world that you do have something to hide, and all it does is call into question both your judgment and your innocence.

Of course, the more Sen. Craig dithers about like this, the longer the story stays in the news, the more he provides fodder for jokes and drollery (vide today's Doonesbury) and the more the Republicans have to deal with him and the more uncomfortable they are with him...he's like a wet dog at a wedding.

For the most part the Democrats have -- for once wisely -- chosen to keep their mouths shut and just watch, letting Arlen Specter and Tom DeLay be the ones to make fools of themselves...not much of a stretch for Mr. DeLay.

If there's an upside to any of this for anybody, it's that at least men now know how to behave in a public restroom. Tap once if you agree, twice if you don't understand, and three times if you'll meet me at the Starbucks on the D Concourse.

Cross-posted from Bark Bark Woof Woof.

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