Gov. Romney sounded the right tone today with his remarks about Sen. Craig:
“And the truth of the matter is, the most important thing we expect from… an elected official is a level of dignity and character that we can point to for our kids and our grandkids, and say, `Hey, someday I hope you grow up and you’re someone like that person.’ And we’ve seen disappointment in the White House, we’ve seen it in the Senate, we’ve seen it in Congress. And frankly, it’s disgusting.”
Sports fans out there will remember Charles Barkley’s famous statement that he was “not a role model” back when he was playing in the NBA. He took a lot of heat for that, and rightly so. Most folks believe that public figures should hold themselves to higher standards, knowing that whether they like it or not, people, especially children, are watching everything they do. All the more so for our elected officials.
The Craig saga will inevitably take on epic proportions over the next few days. Most of the conversation will no doubt focus on his hypocrisy for opposing gay marriage while he was, apparently, gay himself. But that’s not the real point. The point is, as Gov. Romney said, about character. And the question that our culture presents us with every day is whether or not it still matters. For your answer, consider whether people are more repulsed by the fact that a U.S. Senator would solicit gay sex in an airport bathroom–or that he does so while opposing gay marriage? I’d bet dollars to donuts that it’s the latter; and I think that’s a sad commentary on our culture. It must be said though that Republicans have almost no authority left with which to criticize the culture in Washington, or America more generally. They’re all drinking from the same fetid waters now, and have been for some time. And so I ask you, conservative evangelical, who do you want to send to Washington to clean up the mess? The man at the top of this page has been a devoted husband and father for some three decades. He has walked the walk in a time when our culture can barely even muster the courage to talk the talk–nevermind actually walk–on family values. Might you give him a shot?