David Kurtz

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

Articles by David

The Idaho Values Alliance--whose fortuitous juxtaposition on its website of articles praising Sen. Larry Craig's pro-life voting record and warning of the dangers of homosexuality and airport restrooms I highlighted the other day--is now calling for Craig to resign his Senate seat (via Kornacki):

The Judeo-Christian tradition says that the standard for identifying the truth is that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact is confirmed.” The senator’s guilty plea, when added to the officer’s testimony, satisfies the biblical standard for confirming the essential truth of what happened, and unless the senator can provide a compelling and convincing explanation for his plea, we will need to regretfully accept that the fact of his behavior has been established. It seems unlikely that he can “unring the bell” his guilty plea has sounded.

I'm sure the "ring the bell" double entendre was completely unintended (as was, by the way, the opening line of Craig's press appearance yesterday: "Thank you all very much for coming out today . . .").

In any event, the IVA isn't stopping with Larry Craig. It won't be satisfied until all homosexuals are run out of the GOP:

One larger issue must be addressed. The Republican Party platform clearly rejects the agenda of homosexual activists. The Party, in the wake of the Mark Foley incident in particular, can no longer straddle the fence on the issue of homosexual behavior. Even setting Senator Craig’s situation aside, the Party should regard participation in the self-destructive homosexual lifestyle as incompatible with public service on behalf of the GOP.

No member of the Republican Party in the 1860s could represent his party and be a slaveholder at the same time. Nor can the Republican Party of today speak with authority and clarity to the moral issues that confront our society and at the same time send ambivalent messages about sexual behavior. It is time for the Republican Party to be the party that defends the American family in word, deed, and by personal example.

Let the purges begin. Presumably, in addition to homosexuals, the GOP must be cleansed of the divorced, adulterers, abortion recipients, gamblers . . . the list goes on. Once you remove all the "sinners" from the Republican Party, the Democrats should hold a decided electoral advantage.

GOP political consultant Scott Reed, reacting to the Larry Craig debacle:

“The real question for Republicans in Washington is how low can you go, because we are approaching a level of ridiculousness,” said Mr. Reed, sounding exasperated in an interview on Tuesday morning. “You can’t make this stuff up. And the impact this is having on the grass-roots around the country is devastating. Republicans think the governing class in Washington are a bunch of buffoons who have total disregard for the principles of the party, the law of the land and the future of the country.”

Welcome to the reality-based community, Scott.

Sen. Larry Craig comes out swinging. In a public appearance in Boise, Craig says he is not and never has been gay, and blames the Idaho Statesman for what he called vicious attacks against him, referring to the long investigation by the paper of rumors that Craig was gay, for his decision to plead guilty. Of course the paper didn't publish the results of that investigation until today--after news of Craig's June arrest and August guilty plea broke.

After spending the afternoon on a slew of emails about the Larry Craig bathroom incident--was it a crime? should it have been a crime? do I want people reaching under my bathroom stall?*--let's wrap this up on a lighter note. Elaine can only be glad that she was not in the Minneapolis airport in this scene (although that only postponed jail for her). Thanks to TPM Reader DM for the link.


Jack Goldsmith, the former head of Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, will testify before Congress after the summer recess about the NSA's warrantless surveillance program. This could get interesting.

Video of former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami apparently shaking a woman's hand--horrors--is roiling politics there. Khatami claims the video is a fake.