Senator Larry Craig should resign.
He shouldn’t wait for the Senate Ethics Committee to review the case, let Idaho voters decide his fate or even wait to hear what advice his attorney has to give. He should resign and do so immediately.
The reason is simple: our elected officials need to be held to a higher standard than the average person. Whether or not we agree with their politics, elected officials represent us; and, at the very least, we should expect them to follow the laws of the land and not put themselves in compromising situations.
Craig made a stupid decision in a moment of weakness. And though we all make mistakes, Craig was entrusted by the people of Idaho with a special position of trust and responsibility and should be held to a higher level of conduct.
What if the person in the other stall hadn’t been a cop but someone looking to blackmail Craig? What would the Senator have done? From his actions, it’s obvious Craig wished to keep the matter from reaching the public. It’s worth considering what the Senator might have been willing to give a blackmailer to keep the incident under wraps.
Craig now claims his actions in a Minneapolis airport restroom were misconstrued by the arresting officer. But that doesn’t matter anymore. Craig pled guilty to a lesser charge: disorderly conduct. With the guilty plea hanging over his head, Craig can no longer be an effective U.S. Senator. This issue will continue to follow him throughout the rest of his political career. When he speaks in public or on the floor of the Senate, his message will be diluted and lose its effectiveness.
Over the years Craig has been a champion of many good causes. Until his arrest, Craig had served Idaho and his country well: 10 years in the House of Representatives and 17 as a Senator. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. His moment of weakness in a bathroom was unfortunate; but with his position of power and authority entrusted to him by the voters in Idaho, he should have been aware of the possible consequences of his actions.
Reacting to the news of Craig’s plea, presidential candidate Mitt Romney said: "And the truth of the matter is, the most important thing we expect from … an elected official is a level of dignity and character that we can point to for our kids and our grandkids, and say, ‘Hey, someday I hope you grow up and you’re someone like that person.’ And we’ve seen disappointment in the White House, we’ve seen it in the Senate, we’ve seen it in Congress. And frankly, it’s disgusting.”
Craig would not only do the people of Idaho a favor but all Americans by stepping down and letting someone who’s willing to stand a little taller and willing to live to higher expectations take his place.