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Mugshot of Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) following his drunk driving arrest in Alexandria, VA on December 23, 2012
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-drunk)
Remember how Christmas came a little early for all the girls and boys who had schadenfreude on their wish list? On Sunday, Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo—the supposedly devout Mormon who supposedly abstains from alcohol because he's so damned devout, which gives him the right to legislate morals for the rest of us—was arrested after blowing through a red light and then failing a sobriety test with a blood alcohol level of .11 percent. Nice going, senator!

You might think now is a great time to point out that holier-than-thou Crapo is just a typical, hypocritical, law-breaking Republican. And in most circles you'd be right. But according to an editorial in the Idaho Statesman, that wouldn't be fair:

What happened to Mike Crapo in the early morning of Dec. 23 can happen to a lot of people, especially during the holiday season. He attended a social gathering in Alexandria, Va., had a few drinks and drove home. Maybe he didn’t realize he had too much to drink when he left the social event.
Sure. It can happen to anyone. Who among us hasn't boasted about abstaining from alcohol, only to get hammered and then race around the streets of Alexandria, Virginia, at all hours, endangering the lives of our fellow citizens? And besides, other than that, he's totally a good guy:
He has maintained a reputation of integrity and decency, which doesn’t always happen after so many years in high political office.

One mistake does not erase an otherwise honorable career. It’s a good guess that the embarrassment anybody might feel for him is nothing compared with the embarrassment he feels for himself. It’s bad enough that Crapo has to explain himself to his wife and family. It’s worse when he has to explain himself to 1.6 million constituents, many of whom have viewed Crapo as an example of what American politics should be about.

Crapo just made one teeny tiny itty bitty little mistake, and everyone gets to make one teeny tiny itty bitty little mistake—even if it's the kind of mistake that kills more than two dozen people every single day—as long as it's super-embarrassing to explain it your wife.

Of course the Statesman acknowledges that Crapo's drunk-driving could have been dangerous. Even more dangerous than soliciting gay sex in an airport bathroom!

Crapo’s “mistake” was not on the same level as former Sen. Larry Craig’s “mistake” at a Minneapolis airport bathroom in 2007. It was worse. Crapo could have killed himself, or somebody else — which is a lot more serious than toe-tapping in a restroom stall.
However, as the Statesman points out, Crapo "took responsibility for his actions," unlike Sen. Widestance Toe-tapper, so Crapo isn't quite the scum of the earth that Larry Craig is and deserves our praise and admiration for, you know, not trying to deny that he was arrested for drunk driving. And since Crapo is such an upstanding guy, except for that one mistake we should all forgive and forget:
It would be unfair to judge Crapo, or anybody else, on one mistake. But it is totally fair to evaluate him according to where he goes from here and what he does to turn this matter from a negative to a positive.

He could hire a lawyer who would ask for leniency based on his record as a senator and a “good Mormon.” We’d be more impressed if he did not, and instead used his standing as an example of the personal costs associated with such a mistake and to speak up about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Ah. Right. Let us not judge the drunk-driving, life-endangering senator for his one mistake. And the Statesman knows that Crapo has never made any other mistakes in his life because, well, just because so shut up and start forgiving already. Let us instead hope he demonstrates the kind of humility and integrity to hire a lawyer who will try to get him off the hook because he's a "good Mormon." The kind of "good Mormon" who claims to abstain from drinking, pursuant to the rules of his faith, and then gets himself arrested for drunk driving. May we all be so noble.

One final point, dear readers. It would be irresponsible not to speculate as to why Crapo was in Virginia on the Sunday before Christmas instead of Idaho. You know, with his wife and five children. Days before Christmas. After all his fellow members of Congress had gone home for the holiday. So please, speculate away.

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 08:49 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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