Our Brush With Larry Craig



The Cowboy Poet and Larry Craig

Charmaine had just finished her book, Mother in the Middle: Searching for Peace in the Mommy Wars, so we put The (little) Dreamer in the car and went book-flogging across America.

Our travels took us to Boise, Idaho, in the flyover country of conservative book buyers. The local Family Policy Council invited us to their fund-raiser and Charmaine spoke behind headliner and popular Senator from Idaho, Larry Craig.

She wrote about the experience for Policy Review, formerly owned by The Heritage Foundation, and now under The Hoover Institute masthead. She begins,

Rudy Gonzalez, a “cowboy poet” with a handlebar mustache and a home-on-the-range accent, strummed his guitar, then launched into a joke. The crowd relaxed into laughter as he regaled them with tall tales and folk wisdom.

Reading Charmaine’s old article now seems like anything but a trailer for Brokeback Mountain.

This is the Idaho Family Forum’s annual summer fundraiser, the Spud Bake, where this group of moms and dads marks the end of summer by eating baked potatoes. Lots of them. Followed by spud-shaped ice cream.

But cowboy poetry soon gave way to public policy. U.S. Senator Larry Craig rose to address the group, and the question-and-answer session that followed was brisk and well informed. The Idaho Family Forum (IFF) and its supporters are dedicated to changing cultural trends that are undermining the stability of families — from no-fault divorce to teen pregnancy to chronic welfare dependency.

Larry Craig’s talk was red meat to this Red State.

His remarks were sincere, but looking back was he being, as we now say, authentic?

Or does Craig’s resignation announcement today indicate something more. That his “wide stance” — a sort of big tent across men’s room stalls for anonymous homosexual sex — now means that one cannot be homosexual and conservative?

(Many of our Log Cabin Republican homosexual friends vote pro-life. Believing that if science ever finds that “gay gene” that mothers will root out gays in the womb and abort to eliminate this “orientation” from that family blood-line.)

Nope. Larry Craig was cheating on his wife.

Once in the Army, Your Business Blogger had a battalion commander, a Lieutenant Colonel Paul Funk, who gave poor marks to a Major who had a weakness for women; his wife not included. We young lieutenants were a bit perplexed: this Major, a Vietnam Vet was being penalized for personal behavior that had nothing to do with his job. How judgmental! How intolerant!

The word got around, as information does in any organization, that LTC Funk did not consider any lines between the personal and the public and the private.

He said, “If a man cannot be loyal to his wife, how do I know he’ll be loyal to me?”

The same if true of politicians. Maybe even more so. If a Congressman or Senator cheats on his wife, it is a matter of when, not if, he will cheat his constituents.

Larry Craig took the correct action by leaving the Senate.


Thank you (foot)notes:

LTC Funk continued with his medieval sense of duty and chivalry and honor. He was rewarded, and advanced to become a Lieutenant General and hero of the First Gulf war. I understand he retired quietly back to his hometown of Roundup, Montana. I’ve been blessed with a number of talented bosses and he was one of the best.

Read Charmaine’s original article Family Policy Councils: The Real Grass Roots Needed for the Next Conservative President


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