Big Daddy

Ask Big Daddy

Dear Big Daddy,
Why nothing about Senator Larry Craig? I know it’s national politics, but how can you resist weighing in on his “wide stance”?

–Idaho? No, Udaho

Dear Got that off a T-shirt,

Of all the things I’m proud of–creating our full-time Legislature, having a room in the Capitol named after me, affiliating with scores of lovelies despite having a face that scared children–probably my proudest achievement is the Unruh Civil Rights Act. Because of this legislation, people will have their liberties defended and, maybe if I’m lucky, they’ll pause and wonder, “What the hell is an Unruh?”

And no, I did not perform a quintuple corkscrew in my grave a couple years ago when my Act was extended to cover gay people. I liked to root for the underdog. And it doesn’t get much more under than getting protections 30 years after women and black people.

The whole gay thing didn’t exactly top the agenda when I ran the Assembly for most of the rolling ’60s. Those years were more about the rights of African-Americans to not be treated like a three-alarm fire, the rights of white kids to stay higher than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide, and a little war halfway around the world that I approved of at the time (can I take a mulligan on that one?). If someone can find some consensual happiness (and a little nookie) in this cruel, cruel world, more power to them.

If that someone is a Gay Old Party senator so deep in the closet he smells of mothballs, things get complicated–
foot-tapping, fingers-under-the-stall complicated. Though Craig’s problem was that the Morse Code of Manlove needs a bigger vocabulary. If there were a specific way to tap out “Are you a cop?” it really would have been entrapment and we’d have only Foley, Haggard, Cohn, et al, to joke about.

By now we have ample proof you can free your, ahem, repeatedly, and your mind won’t necessarily follow. It’s power to the people, senator, not power to the peephole.

In other words, how do you liberate someone against their will? Pelican Bay is probably a less effective prison than Craig’s mind. How else can you explain how he opened his resignation press conference with the words “I want to thank you all for coming out” without giggling like a tree full of


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