Dan Liljenquist: One mistake doesn't negate lifetime of service

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  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 27, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    I am in agreement with those who express concern or even disgust with Sen. Crapo's problem. But what is the problem? Drunk Driving? If so then throw the book at him. I have no sympathy with those who drink and drive. Is it hypocrisy? Failing to live as he portrays himself to be. That's a matter for clergy and his constituents to decide. Is it alcoholism, a chronic dependency on alcohol? He should get some professional help.

    I do not buy the years of service bit. The ego required to run for and fight tooth and nail to keep a place in the ruling elite's councils and forum is immense. I am tired of the charade of "service" and "sacrifice" diatribe that the incumbent and their associates regale us with about congress or almost any publicly financed elected office. My feeling on the matter? Get out of the lime-light and solve your problem in private, as a private citizen. There is one less great man than you think there is in the world.

  • Miss Piggie Ogden, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 6:48 p.m.

    "... never mind that Condi Rice did the same exact thing with regards to WMDs in Iraq."

    Condi Rice was exactly right about WMD in Iraq... some of which were used to kill Kurds in north Iraq.

    "But drunk driving... nah that's totally fine."

    Drinking and driving is not totally fine. And especially if your moral teachings tell you to not only not drink and drive... but to not drink at all.

    "Maybe it's only okay if Republicans do it."

    Democrats are totally devoid of morals so it doesn't really matter to them.. Which is not a bad position to be in so that you can never be called on it.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Jan. 7, 2013 6:17 p.m.

    I agree that a single incident should not undermine a lifetime of work. But his character holds no credibility to me. Beyond the seriousness of the DUI -- and let's not downplay how serious that is -- I know that Senator Crapo is a practicing Latter-day Saint, one who has held positions of influence within the church; that tells me that he has made covenants that include absentention from alcohol. As a fellow Mormon, I believe in the power of repentance. That will be a personal affair of his. But his breaking of personal religious covenants, in a way that posed a danger to others, undermines any confidence or trust that I might have in his ability to be a responsible leader or representative for the people of Idaho.

  • freedom in 2017 paradise, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 6:09 p.m.

    it is bigotry to insert one's religion when it has nothing to do with it. Only when a mormon does something wrong is religion brought into the blather.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 5:47 p.m.

    Re: ". . . a UN Ambassador gave out what turned out to be incorrect statements . . . (nevermind that Condi Rice did the same exact thing with regards to WMDs in Iraq)."

    And, I guess disingenuous Obama-regime apologists are hoping that if they bleat this discredited old saw long enough and often enough, we're dumb enough to conflate knowing, politically expedient prevarication with honest, universally-held mistaken belief.

    We're not, though.

  • Alfred Ogden, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 5:03 p.m.

    "I respect the gentleman for manning up to the problem..."

    I don't think he manned-up to his problem... He was caught by the police... then he had to man-up. Big difference.

    The puzzling question would seem to be... where did the alcohol come from and how long has it been in his possession? As the story goes, he missed his flight home to Idaho which caused the trauma leading to taking a drink. Several drinks. How could missing a flight cause enough trauma to start drinking? Doesn't make sense. He tells us he has been drinking for awhile. Is this a long standing problem that he has covered up for years... maybe since youth?

    Very curious... First we have Idaho Senator Larry Craig arrested for lewd conduct in a men's restroom at the Minneapolis Airport (according to a DNews report). Then Idaho Senator Mike Crapo gets a DUI (as reported by the DNews). Idaho must be scratching their collective heads over these events.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 3:00 p.m.

    I could've sworn we had this massive firestorm a few weeks ago because a UN Ambassador gave out what turned out to be incorrect statements on a Sunday morning talk show about Benghazi and how that somehow disqualifies her from a job (nevermind that Condi Rice did the same exact thing with regards to WMDs in Iraq). But drunk driving... nah that's totally fine. Maybe it's only okay if Republicans do it.

  • kishkumen American Fork, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    It wasn't "one mistake". It was one time he got caught, but he has lied numerous times about his alcohol consumption. And I certainly don't believe that the one time he got caught was the only time he ever drank and drive. Dan Liljenquist's remarks are so ridiculous I now wonder what he is hiding.

    Jan. 7, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    Being alcoholic is not a mistake; it is an illness - a treatable one.

    Driving while drunk is not a mistake; it is a crime and the criminal needs to pay the price of the crime - generally probation, counseling, community service, suspended jail time, loss of driver's license and a very hefty crime.

    SEnator Crapo deserves to be treated like everyone else who breaks the law.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    I certainly would agree that not having a temple recommend should not prevent one from being elected a senator from Idaho. That said, this episode shows how our political and economic system obscures the reality of things. I have nothing against Crapo but his right wing politics.

  • On the other hand Riverdale, MD
    Jan. 6, 2013 9:39 p.m.

    Dan Liljenquist and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, but on this one we do. I recognize that it was illegal for Sen. Crapo to drive while intoxicated, and shame on him for doing so. I recognize that, more importantly, it was wrong for him to take up alcohol in the first place, in violation of his professed beliefs. But I also recognize that I don't know the full story (and I'm not entitled to know), that he is doing everything in his power to make things right, and that he has served his state well in the Senate, in spite of his use of alcohol. At the end of the day, I think we should elect politicians based on their ability to do a political job, not a religious one, and by all accounts, Sen. Crapo does this job exceptionally well. In general, I don't agree with Crapo's politics, but I think it would be short-sighted of his constituents to let this one factor overrule all others when deciding whether to re-elect him.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Jan. 6, 2013 8:59 p.m.

    No, freedom; it's not bigotry. It's saying the Mr Crapo knew better. He needs to work through this, but he bears the responsibility for his actions. Those actions contradict what and who he said he was. When a person in his position falls, they fall hard. Recognizing that is not bigotry.

  • freedom in 2017 paradise, UT
    Jan. 6, 2013 8:30 p.m.

    wow, lots of bigoted opinions here. glad so many commentators lead perfect lives. Dan is right. i also know Dan and I would not expect anything less from his comments. He is a class act.

  • IA Cougar West Des Moines, IA
    Jan. 6, 2013 7:38 p.m.

    I wish him well. I hope he gets help. I hope that he has a friend, like the one Ted Kennedy found in Orrin Hatch to help him curb the problem and find respectability. Drinking is a problem. It ruins men and women everywhere. Most of the time, it is met with denial and more drinking. So far, this case has seen confession and acceptance of full responsibility. I salute him for that. So many in Congress find a straight path to blaming others. It's a huge mistake that he will pay for over and over. Sure, it may cost him his job in D.C. But more importantly, I hope his family and friends will rally around him and help rather than do what so many posting on this article want to do to him. At least, that is what I would hope for myself or members of my family if I or one of them found themselves in the same place. "...of you, it is required to forgive..."

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 6, 2013 7:35 p.m.

    Re: "One mistake doesn't negate lifetime of service"

    True enough.

    But this is just the latest in a long series of incidents that has a lot of us asking ourselves, why do so many deeply flawed people gravitate to politics?

    The vast, vast majority of Church members with Sen. Crapo's age, experience, and history of Church service are not sorely tempted by this particular vice. Why are so many politicians?

    And most of us would see a giant red flag if we caught ourselves "drinking gin and tonics at home," as Sen Crapo admitted. Why does it always seem to take an arrest to induce repentance and rectitude for politicians?

    Do they actually hold any real beliefs, or is showmanship and politics their religion?

    Could it be, since they assert their jobs require them to make so many moral and political compromises, it elevates compromise to a moral imperative, and they begin to feel that imperative applies in their personal lives, as well?


    We all wish Sen. Crapo the best, but we're wondering.

  • Tracy Kid Tracy, CA, CA
    Jan. 6, 2013 6:47 p.m.

    For how many years did he wear his religion on his sleeve? Does anyone think this was just a first time?

    I am the son, brother and father of an alcoholic. It does not just happen one day.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Jan. 6, 2013 6:39 p.m.

    I'm not down on people drinking alcohol, but I'm sick of people drinking alcohol and getting in cars and trying to drive, like the woman who ran into a house last night. A car can be potentially a dangerous killing machine. That's my problem here.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Jan. 6, 2013 5:48 p.m.

    I too was disappointed that Sen Crapo was arrested for DUI. He was supposed to be staying away from alcohol as a religious matter, but here he is, drinking. I am trying to understand the rationale behind his admission that he started drinking for the stress. As a former Bishop, doesn't he know better? Booze as the answer? Not. If he is so stressed, then seek help, and not from a liquor store. Were I still in his district, I would think long and hard about his name on the ballot. Not because he was convicted of DUI, but because of his decision making under stress. What would his decision be if pressed hard enough, or placed in a stressful situation? I'm puzzled as to what led to this situation, where he was seeking relief in a bottle.....

    I hope he works this out.

  • Utah Dem Ogden, UT
    Jan. 6, 2013 4:47 p.m.

    I may be wrong but as I have followed, half-heartedly, this story didn't Crapo say he started drinking alcohol about one year ago? Sorry, Dan that negates your "one mistake" comment.

  • Straitpath PROVO, UT
    Jan. 6, 2013 4:14 p.m.

    If the voters had known the truth about FDR's and JFK's personal lives would they have been elected? I think not. As a voter, I want to know the truth about candidates so I can make an informed decision on their character. Of course, every one has problems, but let me know about them before I vote. I don't know how I feel about Senator Crapo, but now his constituents can make an informed choice.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Jan. 6, 2013 3:37 p.m.

    I mostly agree with Mr. Liljenquist. I am sympathetic to Senator Crapo and wish him well in dealing with this issue.

    But I wonder about this idea of "public service." Members of Congress and the Senate are highly paid for their work. Only rarely do they leave office voluntarily until they are in advanced old age. They generally fight tooth and nail to maintain their office or move up. I question how much of their motivation is service and how much is self-aggrandizement. I don't think that Senator Crapo or any of our other elected officials are more noble than anyone else or more deserving of our sympathy and support.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 6, 2013 2:38 p.m.

    I want to whole heartedly agree with Mr. Liljenquist. It would seem that there is a tendency to by many commentators here to condemn Congressman Crapo for having made a very seriouls mistake, and to only focus on that mistake. We all make mistakes in life and let us hope and pray that those mistakes do not totally difine us. We all do good things in life too and let us hope and pray we are mostly defined by those good deeds and that there is hope for forgiveness for our short comings. Even though Congressman Crapo is a former LDS Bishop and a graduate of BYU, like all of us, he is subject to imperfections. I for one value his positive contributions and I forgive him and I hope he can move past his mistakes. I hope I can move past mine too!

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 6, 2013 2:14 p.m.

    Sen. Crapo claimed and won support for believing certain standards that he ignored. That is hypocrisy, which is not currently considered a virtue. While he needs help with his alcohol abuse and disregard for DUI laws, that sympathy doesn't protect him from the criminal or political consequences of his choices.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 6, 2013 1:46 p.m.

    This is the sad consequence when we betray our own stndards.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 6, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    estreet, I think most of us posting here understand addiction more than you give us credit for. But the fact remains that there is an obvious double standard when it comes to "forgiving" people in power.

    Shouldn't people who have power over the rest of us be held to higher standards?

    Someone earlier posted the question of what would happen to a teacher or other public employee who was charged with DUI. It's a valid question.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Jan. 6, 2013 12:23 p.m.

    I've known many people who have had trouble with alcohol. I've never looked down on someone who admits it, takes responsibility, and seeks help. As a lifelong Democrat I would join Dan in saying this issue does not cancel out everything else in a person's life. Problem drinking is not a partisan problem. It has nothing to do with political philosophy or even religious conviction. It is a problem that can be dealt with successfully. Everyone should rally around those who are trying to change their life. Such a course will save countless others.

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    Jan. 6, 2013 12:05 p.m.

    I live in Crapo's district, and will certainly vote against him next chance I get. We have to stop rationalizing bad behavior and character flaws. Period. They matter.

  • estreetshuffle Window Rock, AZ
    Jan. 6, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    It sounds obvious that none here understands what really goes on in the mind of an individual tht may have an addictive problem. I am sure anyone of you wil be asking for mercy as well.
    Jesus saved the prositute from being stoned. "He who cast the first stone....." right? God loves the sinner and all no matter what. I respect the gentleman for maning up to the problem; now he is on his rocky way to recovery. I pray for him and his family. I am not an alcoholic however have witnessed alcohoism even to the death of loved ones.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 6, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    Kings Court, that is an absolutely excellent response.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Jan. 6, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    Sadly, Mr. Crapo stands for everything that is wrong with D.C. and why it it so easy not to trust our federally elected servants. They create laws, for our good of course, and because they are above the very laws they create, live lives as if they are accountable to nobody. Please Dan, save us all the "lifetime of service" baloney. We are so very tired of hypocracy. He, like so many others should remove themselves from public service because of dishonesty so decent men and women can represent us properly.

  • juni4ling Somewhere in Colorado, CO
    Jan. 6, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    I hope Crapo can get help.

    I have seen too many otherwise "good" LDS men and women lead two-lives lately.

    It makes me sick when I think about it.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Jan. 6, 2013 10:11 a.m.

    Why do politicians continually defend each others' bad behavior? If a school teacher had a DUI, they wouldn't be saying "one mistake doesn't negate lifetime of service." I guess we are supposed to forgive the mistakes politicians make and then throw everyone else under the bus for their mistakes. I guess this explains why the Utah legislature can give a standing ovation to a special someone who resigned after giving a "lifetime of service." Mr. Liljenquist, politicians should be held to a higher standards just as you expect your state employees to do.