Do you want to hear the audio recording of Senator Larry Craig’s arrest in an airport in Minneapolis? Of course you do!

My favorite moment — well, there are two.

First of all, Senator Craig is having a dissociative moment where he does not really understand what’s happening to him. He doesn’t really understand that a police officer is about to end his career, he doesn’t understand he’s been caught, literally with his pants down, soliciting sex in a public men’s room and his career is about to end. He mentions early on in the recording that he has to make his flight, meaning, “I am still a powerful, busy, important man — you are a small, insignificant man, why won’t you go away?” He’s acting like he’s getting a parking citation or talking about his cable options with the guy from Dish Network — “what do I have to say to make you go away?”

(Listening to the recording and hearing the disassociation in his voice, I begin to understand why he pleaded guilty — simply to make this stop, so he could get back to his previously-scheduled life as quickly as possible and pretend none of this ever happened.)

(Literally, pretend it never happened, both to protect his job and to make it that much easier the next time he wants to do it.)

Second, his sad, obvious, transparent denials of how long he was in the men’s room, what he was doing there, even the order of events is topped by his interjection, out of nowhere, “I am not gay.” The officer never uses that word, and it even seems inappropriate to the conversation. The officer never says anything like “Minneapolis has had it up to here with you gay men and your perversions,” he’s very straightforward, calm but firm, charging the senator with a specific crime, not even a very serious crime, that carries a specific penalty. Craig is like the guy who gets pulled over for a busted taillight and blurts out “I don’t know why you pulled me over, there’s nothing weird in my trunk, I’m not an axe murderer.”

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10 Responses to “”
  1. greyaenigma says:

    “We deal with people that lie to us every day.”

    That’s it! We need cops in Congress!

  2. craigjclark says:

    I’ve been reading about this recording off and on all day, but this is the first time I’ve actually followed a link to listen to it. I suppose there’s no use wondering how it leaked out. It’s the ’00s. Everything makes it to the Internet nowadays.

    • Todd says:

      I don’t think it was leaked — the Minneapolis police seem to have officially released it. Which, if the guy pleaded guilty and paid the fine already, there’s no legal reason not to.

      • craigjclark says:

        Ah, that part I hadn’t heard about. That makes sense.

        I must say it’s been quite disconcerting seeing everybody talk about Senator Craig like this. The Daniel Craig/James Bond association was nice, but this is decidedly less so.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Literally, pretend it never happened, both to protect his job and to make it that much easier the next time he wants to do it.

    Actually, I don’t think it’s his job or the next encounter he’s worried about. It’s his pension. After the Duke Cunningham scandal, the Federal Pension Forfeiture Act was enacted in January making elected officials convicted of a felony ineligible to collect federal retirement benefits.

    Maybe he can make ends meet lecturing at Pride Celebrations.

    • Todd says:

      I’ll have to check the record, but I’m pretty sure bathroom solicitation isn’t a felony. He only reached under a bathroom stall, not across state lines.

      • Anonymous says:


        It’s a misdemeanor.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lying to your constituency, oppressing people because of a lifestyle you also (clandestinely) practice in order to accrue wealth and power are not felonies? Pity.

        • Todd says:

          Yeah, Tom DeLay was on Chris Matthew’s show yesterday to talk about ethics — sorry, I just have to pause for a moment to dwell on the absurdity of that statement — and his point was that when a Republican politician breaks the law, his party throws him out, but when a Democrat breaks the law, the party rallies around him and re-elects him. Aside from the total-bullshit nature of his argument, I couldn’t help but think “Ah yes, because gutting the constitution, suspending habeus corpus, lying to Congress, looting the treasury, taking bribes from lobbyists, none of those are crimes.”

  4. greyaenigma says:

    I’ve been forgetting to use this icon on this story. Alas, I have nothing to add.