Some of us here have known Crapo since his days as an up-and-coming state senator from Idaho Falls in the 1980s. We followed his rise to Senate president pro-tem, and his 20-year congressional career. 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’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.

But there is a difference in how they handled their mistakes.