Yet another Republican politician has resigned in the wake of a sex scandal. Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, was arrested in June for apparently soliciting lewd conduct in an airport men’s bathroom. He pled guilty to the charge of disorderly conduct. The details of the case were only revealed this Monday.
There’s been a rash of Republican sex scandals in recent years, indeed a staggering number of them. Most publicly we have the Mark Foley scandal, in which the Republican congressman was caught trading sexually explicit electronic messages with underage former congressional pages, which led to a resignation. More recently, we have Florida Republican Robert Allen arrested soliciting sex in a public park. There are numerous others.
A lot of attention has been paid to the apparent hypocrisy of these politicians, who were often passing legislation to prevent the very activity they were engaged in. Mark Foley, for instance, had introduced the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act into the House, an act designed to prevent the very sort of actions Foley engaged in. Larry Craig himself is evidently well-known for pushing anti-gay legislation.
I wonder if this is more than just hypocrisy, though, and is in fact an inevitable consequence of the Republicans making ‘anti-sexuality’ a main component of their political platform. After all, one interpretation of the rampant pedophilia amongst the Catholic church clergy is that, by being vehemently anti-sex and denying its clergy sexual experience, it became a magnet for people with sexual problems and confusion who sought refuge in complete denial. Denial never really works well, though. Sexual urges cannot be completely denied and end up expressing themselves in very unhealthy ways when one tries.
I suspect that the Republican party has transformed itself into another such ‘magnet’. By demonizing gays and becoming the party of puritanical sexual norms, they’ve simultaneously pushed a large portion of the population into denial and confusion about their sexual proclivities and drawn them into the party, where they inevitably self-destruct. I would say that this is an example of ‘reaping what one sows’, but that now seems to have too much of a sexual connotation as well…