Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sex, lies and audio tape

Michael Vick who? Last week's headliner for unseemly behaviour is this weeks afterthought, thanks to the toe tappin' proclivities of the Senator from Idaho.

Coverage of U. S. Senator Larry Craig's troubles in the Minneapolis airport bathroom, carried on for a second day today, this time as an audio tape of his session with the Minneapolis airport police was made public.

A session that if anything, shows that the Senator really, really should have thought about getting a lawyer. In what reads like a script from Law and Order SVU, the Senator and the arresting Sergeant discuss their dueling viewpoints on the bathroom incident that has now made the Senator the number one resource for late night television for two nights in a row.

The All news channels rushed to air the rather tawdry talk of possible signals and unusual behavior in public washrooms, opening up a whole new world for those that have led a rather sheltered life until now.
Websites, bloggers and the mainstream media all are clearing the decks to provide coverage and commentary on a topic that has all the ingredients of political implosion. From complete copies of the audio tape, to transcripts of the interrogation process, the whole nasty mess has been made public for contemplation and conjecture.

The Senator who didn't exactly admit to any wrong doing, none the less didn't do himself any favors as he accused the police of entrapment and lying. A strategy that perhaps may have been better handled by legal representation.

In fact, many observers suggest that had the Senator simply made a phone call and brought in a legal advocate, his current station in life might be a little more manageable. Having signed off on a plea as guilty, the chances of reversal are said to be slim and none.

While he might think that he's going to be able to weather the storm, it seems only the timing of his exit strategy from political life is left to be debated. Those Republicans who aren't busy trying to somehow to deflect the issue by channelling the ghosts of the sins Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy in the past, are rushing as far away from the Senator as possible, with many high profile members of the GOP suggesting that he should quietly just pack his bags and return to Idaho and wherever his life takes him.

In an interesting twist of political fate, Republicans will gather in St. Paul/Minneapolis next year for the Republican National Convention. It doesn't take too much thought to believe that the Republicans will no doubt the wish to have the current issue resolved before that event will speed on the Senator's retirement plans.

American politics has provided some high points of drama via audio tape, the conversations of John F. Kennedy as the Bay of Pigs was unfolding or as the civil rights drama played out in America of the sixties still sends chills down a listener's spine. Richard Nixon's famous recordings (and the parts that went missing) played their part in history serving to bring down a president in disgrace. Even a joking Ronald Reagan was caught on tape, throwing out a side slapper about preparing to bomb Russia, a little nugget of information that forever seemed to typecast him as a Cowboy that could possibly do anything.

Thing's have sure gone downhill in the audio tape archiving world, from high drama and political intrigue of the past, we're now in the era of trying to interpret unbecoming signals in a men's room.

Perhaps those that suggest that our society is on its downward slope may be on to something.

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