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August 30, 2007
Craig Stripped of Leadership Posts
The humiliation of Senator Larry Craig continues as party leaders in the Senate have stripped him of his status as ranking Republican on the Veterans Affairs Committee as well as an Appropriations subcommittee.
In addition, several prominent Senators have called on Craig to resign immediately - a sure sign that the party is nervous about holding on to as many seats as they can after next year's election:
“This is not a decision we take lightly, but we believe this is in the best interest of the Senate until this situation is resolved by the Ethics Committee,” the statement said. It was issued by Senators Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the party leader; Trent Lott of Mississippi, the whip; Jon Kyl of Arizona, the conference chairman, and other prominent Republicans.Senator Coleman said that Craig was guilty of "conduct unbecoming a Senator" and should resign. Other Republican Senators have privately expressed deep concern that in an election cycle where they must defend 21 seats, Craig's Idaho constituency - among the most reliably Republican in the country - might opt for a Democrat if the stain of the scandal can't be wiped away.
Mr. Craig will still retain membership on the committees, but he will have no more power than a freshman senator, even though he is nearing the end of his third term and was himself in the party leadership not so long ago.
Meanwhile, Senators John McCain of Arizona and Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Representative Pete Hoekstra called on their fellow Republican to resign. “My position is that when you plead guilty to a crime, you shouldn’t serve,” Mr. McCain said in an interview on CNN. “That’s not a moral stand. That’s not holier-than-thou. It’s just a factual situation.”
GOP Senators should probably do an intervention on Craig's behalf and lay out the facts for him in umistakable terms. His effort to overturn his guilty plea will not change anyone's mind about him one iota and only keeps the scandal in front of the voters where both the voters and the party will be constantly reminded of it.
Best he resign and just fade away.