If you haven't heard, Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig was arrested for and plead guilty to lewd conduct in an airport restroom.
There's a lot of justified disappointment to put it lightly, directed at congressional Republicans for not cleaning up their acts as we near the 2008 elections. Primarily coming from people like me with conservative blogs.
He should resign, and I expect he will. But I think the fear he did to the Republicans' chances for maintaining congressional seats next year is overblown.
This is one guy from Idaho, yes the solidly red state of Idaho. He was thinking about retiring on the completion of his current term which ends in time for the '08 election. It would be hard to believe Idaho Republicans were not prepared for his departure, but of course not in such a manner as this (or so I hope).
I'm not saying there won't be difficulty for the next Republican candidate to take his place, but they do have the advantage of playing ball in a crowd with no shortage of consistent Republican voters.
As far as Craig's impact on the rest of the GOP for 2008: I would say minimal. That is of course unless Craig exhibited similar behavior which was deliberately covered up by fellow Republican office holders (as appeared to be the case with former Congressman Mark Foley).
And who's to replace him?
The NYT article I linked earlier named former governor Jim Risch as the most likely replacement. Others include 2nd District Republican Rep. Mike Simpson, and Canyon County Commissioner Robert Vasquez who happens to be a staunch anti-illegal immigration advocate.
Patrick Ruffini names more potential candidates.