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Guest Post: Sadly, Resignation Seems Appropriate for Senator Craig

August 29th, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance

I listened very carefully to every word Sen. Larry Craig spoke yesterday afternoon during his press conference, in his effort to offer an innocent explanation for his actions surrounding his June 11 arrest in a Minneapolis airport men’s room.

Sadly, his comments were unconvincing and unpersuasive. He unfortunately chose not to address his conduct on June 11, and yet his most important responsibility yesterday was to directly address the events of that day and explain his actions.

His failure to provide a convincing alternative leaves observers with little choice but to come to the conclusion that his guilty plea was in fact an acknowledgement on his part that he engaged in inappropriate behavior.

Unfortunately, it appears that the appropriate and right thing for the senator to do at this point is to step down. Character is an essential qualification for public office, and the senator, by his own admission, has acknowledged that his behavior has fallen short of the conduct we should expect from public servants.

The senator also has probably lost the credibility necessary to be a leader on pro-family issues.

Idaho families need a senator who is in a position to serve as the point man on important social issues and provide the visible leadership that Idaho families need at the national level. It will be difficult for Sen. Craig to fill that role from this point forward.

One significant feature of yesterday’s press conference is that there were virtually no Republican Party leaders in attendance, and, further, party leaders seem to have draped a blanket of silence over the entire party apparatus.

Virtually no highly placed Idaho Republican has gone on record in support – wholehearted or otherwise – of the senator. The best that party leaders have been able to say so far is that they take the senator at his word and hope the public will not rush to judgment. This tepid support may be an indication that the senator’s GOP colleagues believe there is substance to the charges, and are finding it difficult to publicly affirm the senator or defend his behavior.

But courtesy for their colleague restrains them from public criticism, and the result is a kind of eerie and unsettling silence that has settled over Republicans statewide.

The lack of public backing from his friends in the party is perhaps the most telling sign that the senator’s effectiveness as a lawmaker has probably been fatally weakened, and that it might be a gracious thing on the senator’s part to hand his mantle to someone who can take his place without being saddled with the weight of his current problems.

Idahoans will always have reason to be grateful to Sen. Craig for the leadership that he has provided on social issues in his long and distinguished career in Congress. He has been a consistent voice and a consistent vote for legislation that protects the sanctity of human life and the sanctity of marriage and the family, and has left a proud legacy of support for family-friendly policies. No one can take that from him..

We recognize that ultimately what the senator chooses to do is between him and his family and his God, and we will respect whatever decision he makes. Should he decide to serve out his term, we will continue to work with him to do good things for the families of Idaho and America.

God’s character is a perfect blend of justice and compassion. These qualities are, in fact, two sides of the same coin, and should always be on display in any action we take. Justice keeps mercy from becoming sentimental and weak. And mercy tempers justice to keep it from being harsh, angry and punitive.

Justice, I believe, indicates that it would be appropriate for the senator to step down, and compassion dictates that there be no rancor or bitterness in the process, and that the senator and his family be held in our thoughts and in our prayers.

Above all it’s a time for the faith community in Idaho to continue to pray for the senator, his wife and his family. This entire experience must be excruciating for them all, and lifting them up in prayer for healing, restoration and guidance is perhaps the best way to blend righteousness and mercy as we navigate our way through a troubled time. Regardless of what happens in the near future, it is incumbent upon us all to pray that God will guide the senator into a brighter and better future.

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