The Corner

Craig: Taking a Wider Stan…er, View

So I’ve read the transcript of the Larry Craig interview with the cop, and all joking aside…wait! What am I saying? When it comes to joking, I take a wide stance.

But seriously, folks — a guy taps another guy’s foot and reaches his hand under a stall and is arrested for that? And is evidently going to get railroaded out of the Senate for it? If I remember my Joseph Wambaugh vice-squad novels correctly, it used to be the rule that the object of the act of entrapment actually had to make a specific request with words of the entrapee at least. Now you can lose it all for sending messages in semaphore?

The very existence of this sort of coded behavior is vice’s tribute to virtue — it has meaning only to those who know its meaning. If someone tapped on my foot in a men’s room stall, I would just assume that person…had a wide stance and was a foot jiggler. If, on the other hand, I was in on the code and wanted to respond, I could do so.

What I should not do, in that case, is actually engage in carnal activity in a public place. That is offensive and illegal. The tap-and-hand wouldn’t be offensive to anyone who didn’t know what they meant — and illegal only in the sense that invading someone else’s space should be illegal, which is to say, it shouldn’t be.

In other words, the problem, if there is one, in this act of public solicitation isn’t the solicitation in any case. It’s what might follow it. That’s why what happened to Craig really was an appalling act of entrapment. I know that has nothing to do with whether he’ll keep his Senate seat, because he is a public figure and all. But good Lord, surely that cop had better things to do!

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