Politics & Policy

Capitol Cruisin’

Top five spots I'll best be avoiding.

The arrest of Idaho Senator Larry Craig is largely baffling — but not because it’s hard to believe that a member of “The Singing Senators” barbershop quartet might be gay despite a lifetime 96-percent American Conservative Union rating. Craig was clearly trying to “cruise” for sex in a Minneapolis airport bathroom. Wikipedia defines “gay cruising” as “the act of searching about a public place in pursuit of a partner.” How much of a public nuisance is this? Well, I can tell you that a local park in Washington, D.C. — within sight of the Capitol building — is a popular cruising spot; one of the neighborhood mothers recently shared a story about having to pull a “personal lubricant” wrapper out of her child’s mouth while at the playground there. It’s an activity that law-enforcement officials obviously wish to curb.

Still, what remains baffling is why Craig got arrested. Short of being caught, ahem, more ferarum, it’s hard to imagine that tapping your right foot in a bathroom stall loudly enough amounts to doing the homosexual hokey-pokey. (“You put your right foot in, I put my … WHAT? WHERE?!”) The fact that Craig was trying to pokey and instead ended up in the pokey only reaffirms that when it comes to sex and politics, context is everything.

The fact that politicians don’t readily understand this begins to explain their vast stores of hubris. According to Roll Call, “Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, ‘What do you think about that?’ the report states.” Now after being propositioned by a 62-year-old man in an adjoining bathroom stall I hope he wasn’t expecting an honest answer, because well, blecchhh.

Having said that, the number of congressional sex scandals seems to be increasing exponentially, and Craig is hardly alone public quest to quench his forbidden lusts. So, without further ado, I present the top five political cruising spots. Senators, congressmen: You, too, could soon be a Roll Call sex scandal:

5. At the Waffle House on Highway 161 in Little Rock, go through the drive through in an Arkansas State Police cruiser (no pun intended) and order the All-American Breakfast. If your order is returned to you with the butter on the side of the chocolate-chip waffle, but directly on the sweet-cream waffle, then that means that the waitress on duty is willing to meet Bill Clinton in room 42 of the El Rancho motel after her shift.

4. Stop at any Jersey Turnpike rest stop after midnight and read Jim McGreevey’s The Confession in a well-lit area. Do your best to overlook the passages that describe the illegality of putting his lover on the state payroll and the ethical troubles of cheating on your wife and breaking up your family. Instead, cradle the book like a child and weep for how hard it is to be a “gay American” in the closet. You’re sure not to go home alone that night. Just make sure you avoid a rough trick from Trenton named Toby.

3. Why cruise for thrills when you can create a cyberspace community to attract suitable partners in the comfort of your own home? Visit Mark Foley’s myspace for a fun place free from “rules” where kids can hang out, talk, and do whatever. They can even join the Instant Message revolution and get advice from Uncle Foley!

YoungAtHeart54: OMG have you seen zacefronpleasestoptanning.blogspot.com???

FallOutBoyRulz: i know!!! high school musical 2 was teh suxxors

YoungAtHeart54: so, uh they show gladiator movies on disney channel?

FallOutBoyRulz: ??? your wierd

2. The chamber of the United States Senate. It may seem like an unlikely place to get your freak on, but D.C. Madam Deborah Jean Palfrey’s phone records indicate that two of Louisiana Senator David Vitter’s five calls to her prostitution service were made during roll-call votes. And Pulitzer Prize-Winning Washington Post Reporter™ Robin Givhan, justly awarded for having noted that Condoleezza Rice dresses like a dominatrix, has already commented on Hillary Clinton’s daring flashes of cleavage in the sacred chamber.

I am woman hear me … Rowr!

When it comes to sex scandals, we’ve already gone from a slippery slope to a toboggan ride to hell, and it’s only a matter of time before the base urges of that many assembled politicians makes C-SPAN 2 indistinguishable from the Spice Network.

1. Barney Frank’s place. No, really. Frank’s ex-boyfriend — er, friend that he paid for sex, put him in his congressional office, and wrote letters to his Virginia probation officer vouching for him on congressional stationary — repaid the congressman’s kindness by running a brothel out of his house. That’s it. No joke — other than he’s still in Congress.

– Mark Hemingway is a National Review Online staff reporter.

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