Larry Craig: Fear of Flying? (Or Subpoena?)
That’s right — Larry “Wide Stance” Craig, enemy of salmon and uncloseted gay people.
Remember how, just a few weeks ago, Craig’s June arrest finally hit the news? And how his buddies in the GOP fell all over themselves to knife him in order to placate their religious-right base (and because, unlike fellow horndoggy Senator Diaper Dave Vitter, the governor who’d be picking his replacement is a Republican)? They’d got him to commit to leaving the Senate by now, no matter what.
Now that he hasn’t, there is (aside from hints of a planned open Senate ethics hearing that is very likely to backfire on the GOP, assuming it happens at all) this eerie silence from their ranks. Why is that?
Why, after the hue and cry they made trumpeting their eagerness to send one of their own to political oblivion (never mentioning of course that by dumping Craig now and getting another Republican appointed to serve out his term, the GOP stands a much better chance of keeping his seat next year), are they suddenly silent?
Do they want Larry Craig to serve out his term — and make it that much easier for a Democrat to take his seat next year? What could frighten them so much that they’d be willing to risk burning a Senate seat?
Simply put: A subpoena.
As Emptywheel points out over at The Next Hurrah, Craig is on the list of people that Brent Wilkes of MZM infamy wants to serve with a subpoena. (In fact, the subpoena for Craig has already been issued, though it may not have been served just yet.) While Craig stays in the Senate, it’s a lot easier for him to fight the subpoena — and if the Republicans are really lucky, the MZM case comes and goes without Craig going onto the witness stand, as the fallout from MZM — itself part and parcel of the Duke Cunningham scandal — could be enough in itself to take out a good chunk of the current Republican House and Senate caucuses.
And Craig has already hinted his willingness in the airport-restroom incident to squeal on his colleagues if they don’t lay off of him (the upshot: Don’t expect the GOP’s planned ‘ethics’ hoo-ha for later this month to get very far, not when Craig can take down five or six of his colleagues with him); he’s not going to take the Fifth and a bullet for the folks who’ve been trying to end his career.
Keep your eyes on this one, folks. It could be very interesting.