Ben Stein Says Craig Was Lynched Twice

Comedian Ben Stein speaks at the Republican National Convention in the First Union Center in Philadelphia Monday, July 31, 2000.

Sunday Morning commentator Ben Stein has a few words for the Minneapolis police's behavior in the arrest of Sen. Larry Craig, and for the Republican leadership's response - and they're not very flattering.

The whole story of Senator Larry Craig, the Republican of Idaho who announced his resignation yesterday, is a nightmare of out-of-control police and weak politicians.

Senator Craig has been the innocent victim of a set-up by the evil-minded police of Minneapolis-St. Paul that Stalin would have admired.

Here's the deal: Senator Craig went into a men's room at the Twin Cities airport. He entered a lavatory stall. He tapped his foot. He may or may not have reached his hand down under the lavatory partition to pick up a piece of paper or to make a signal.

That's it. That's the whole thing. There was no sex act of any kind.

So the policeman who happened to be in the next stall walks Senator Craig off, starts bullying him, accusing him of lying and, implicitly, threatens to ruin Senator Craig's career.


This is insane.

If a police officer can wreck a man's career over this trifle, then we might as well not have a Constitution or a Bill of Rights.

Look, I spend a lot of time in Idaho. These are good people. I can readily see why a Senator from there would quietly plead guilty to a small charge rather than risk a public fight - even though the police seem to have wrecked Craig's career anyway.

What I don't understand is why the GOP is tossing Senator Craig overboard as if he were a terrorist.

Even if it turns Senator Craig is gay, so what? Barney Frank is gay and he's one of the best members of the Congress. There are lots of fine gay public servants.

Senator Craig has been the victim of a police lynching. A party that believes in individual rights should be rallying to his defense, not making him walk the plank.

Shame on the GOP leadership, and utter disgrace to the airport police and their thug behavior.

These are security people in airports. Hello! An airport? Don't they have anything better to do?