Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Larry Grant apparently sees margin in piling on after GOP U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo's shocking DUI arrest early Sunday in Virginia.
I'm off this week, but am unable to let Christmas Eve pass without noting Grant's tin-eared, mean-spirited attempt to seek partisan gain. Crapo, whom I've covered since 1987, has been a class act on Idaho's behalf since his election to the U.S. House in 1992 and his subsequent rise to the Senate in 1998.
A contrite Crapo swiftly admitted his error in a statement Sunday night.
“I am deeply sorry for the actions that resulted in this circumstance,” Crapo said. “I made a mistake for which I apologize to my family, my Idaho constituents and any others who have put their trust in me.
“I accept total responsibility and will deal with whatever penalty comes my way in this matter,” the statement continued. “I will undertake measures to ensure that this circumstance is never repeated.”
No parsing of what "is" is, no nonsense about a concussion suffered while stumbling home from the country club.
Crapo owned up. Grant got nasty.
Here's Grant's statement, issued this afternoon, with a Boise dateline. (It might well have included "straight from the gutter.")
"Boise, Idaho -- The Idaho Democratic Party greeted news of the drinking and driving arrest of U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo with surprise and dismay. Sen. Crapo showed bad judgment and failed to uphold the basic standards of conduct that Idahoans expect of our elected public servants. Unfortunately, Sen. Crapo joins a growing list of elite, GOP, elected officials who have embarrassed Idaho on the national stage in recent years. We deserve better."
Crapo has served with distinction, stolid, patient, grounded. He supported the many years of collaboration that protected the Owyhee Canyonlands; continues to fight on behalf of Idaho downwinders; and has the guts to risk the ire of the GOP's tea party wing as a deficit realist and member of the "Gang of Six."
Yes, Crapo made a mistake. A man unaccustomed to alcohol ran a red light and got caught. Idaho politicians of lower rank and from both parties have done the same. That Crapo -- a careful, studious, even boring man -- would so err may simply mean he buckled under the stress. Perhaps he has a private demon. Don't we all?
Grant's Christmas Eve cheap shot reveals far more about Grant than it does Crapo.