Metaphor-mad NYT Defends Craig: Stupidity No Cause to Cast Him Out of Congress

When the Larry Craig case broke, I noted the New York Times's unusual diffidence in reporting it. Senator, Arrested at Airport, Pleads Guilty was all the Times's cryptic headline told us, failing to indicate Craig's name, party affiliation, or the crime for which he had been not merely "arrested" but to which he had pleaded guilty.

At the time I surmised that the Times's bashfulness could have been "the triumph of political correctness on matters gay over the paper's partisan impulse." That theory is borne out by the paper's editorial of today, Disowning Senator Craig.

The Times's bottom line on the matter:
Being stupid as a member of Congress is hardly a reason to be ridden on a rail from Washington . . . The rush to cast him out betrays the party’s intolerance, which is on display for the public in all of its ugliness.
Curious aside: whoever wrote the editorial had gone metaphor mad. Check these out:
  • The Republican Party is in quite a rush to keelhaul Senator Larry Craig [Keelhaul? Shiver me timbers!]
  • No similar leadership chorus for judgment has been heard about any number of other scandalous revelations on the party’s plate. [Note: it may be desirable to avoid "chorus" allusions under the circumstances.]
  • hardly a reason to be ridden on a rail from Washington. [Echo of the Old West for the Senator from Idaho?]
  • Underlying the hurry to disown the senator [disownment: occupational hazard for wayward sons]
  • the party’s record in demonizing homosexuality [get behind me, Satan!]
  • The rush to cast him out [another Satan reference in the same paragraph. Is the Times going biblical on us?]
Congress New York Times Larry Craig

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