I’ve been thinking through tomorrow’s announced press conference, at which it is widely reported that Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) will announce his resignation from the Senate.
I hope that’s all he does. As I think through the various scenarios, though, I have this paranoid sense that, faced with the loss of everything he’s defined himself by, faced with the prospect of public recognition, of his own personal recognition, that he is not only a liar, but far worse, an abomination of the sort he was taught to despise from an early age, he might decide that his only way out is to kill himself.
Which is an inherently ludicrous idea on the face of it. Like the heckler who called out disdainfully at the end of his September 28 press conference, “what if you are gay? Come out of the closet.” It’s just not that big a deal, once one accepts the simple fact that his being attracted to other men is neither a disease nor a moral failing. It’s just how he is, like being left-handed.
I wouldn’t even be thinking about the possibility of a televised suicide, probably, if it weren’t for the example of Bud Dwyer. But there’s something about the zeal with which Craig has been asserting his non-gay-ness that makes me wonder how he will handle the announcement tomorrow. There’s something tense and fractured and brittle about him; he’s lived his whole life in this cage of his own construction, refusing to face the truth. How will he deal with reality? Will he be able to?
If I had to put money on it, I guess I think he’ll just continue the way he has. He’ll assert that he’s not gay, and did nothing wrong, other than the lapse of judgment that led him to plead guilty to the bathroom-incident misdemeanor. More in sorrow than in anger, for the good of the party and the people of Idaho, Nixon-like, he’ll step down. And then he’ll just continue in the closet.
But there’s that self-loathing, that mental illness, that underlies the choice to stay in the closet, and it just makes me nervous. And then there’s the Idaho factor, and his military service.
Sigh. Maybe this sense of dread I’m feeling is Stanley Kubrick’s (and Matthew Modine’s, and Vincent D’Onofrio’s) fault.
Later update: Whew. Resignation announced, still alive, still in the closet.