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I am not a fan of Congressman Eric Massa, and he may very well be the creep that his “scandal seems to make him look like.” But as for his charges that that Democratic leaders are using the House ethics committee to get him out of office before the vote on health care because he voted against the House health care bill last fall, those charges are very believable, especially since (unless you believe in coincidences) a similar thing may very well have been what happened to Governor Paterson of NY (and Joe the Plumber for that matter).
Massa said the incident that got him in trouble occurred at a staff member’s wedding reception on New Year’s Eve.
“I was with my wife. And in fact we had a great time. She got the stomach flu,” he said.
Massa said he had just gotten up to sing Auld Lang Syne and had finished dancing with the bride and bridesmaid — in full view of cameras — when he sat back down at a table with male staff members.
“One of them looked at me and, as they would do after, I don’t know, 15 gin and tonics, and goodness only knows how many bottles of champagne, a staff member made an intonation to me that maybe I should be chasing after the bridesmaid, and his points were clear and his words were far more colorful than that.
“And I grabbed the staff member sitting next to me and said, ‘Well, what I really ought to be doing is fracking you,'” he said.
“And then [I] tousled the guy’s hair and left, went to my room, because I knew the party was getting to a point where it wasn’t right for me to be there. Now was that inappropriate of me? Absolutely. Am I guilty? Yes.”
But Massa said the staff member “never said to me that he felt uncomfortable” and “never went to anybody.”
Rather, he said “somebody went to another staff member who was uncomfortable for him. It was a third-party political correctness statement.”
Massa then made the charge that “forces that be” orchestrated a character assassination against him to push him out for the sake of the health care bill.
“Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill and this administration and this House leadership have said, quote-unquote, they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill, and now they’ve gotten rid of me and it will pass. You connect the dots,” Massa said.
“The future of the Democratic Party rests on passing this health care bill. They can get anyone to say anything about me concerning anything at all and in fact they did.”
Massa said he didn’t know about the substance of the harassment complaint until after he announced he would not seek re-election — he said he caught wind of an ethics inquiry after the wedding, but assumed it was about a separate matter.
“When I voted against the cap and trade bill, the phone rang and it was the chief of staff to the president of the United States of America, Rahm Emanuel, and he started swearing at me in terms and words that I hadn’t heard since that crossing the line ceremony on the USS New Jersey in 1983,” Massa said. “And I gave it right back to him, in terms and words that I know are physically impossible.”
“If Rahm Emanuel wants to come after me, maybe he ought to hold himself to the same standards I’m holding myself to and he should resign,” Massa said.
And he said the accounting provided by Hoyer and his staff is a fabrication.
“Steny Hoyer has never said a single word to me at all, never, not once,” Massa said. “Never before in the history of the House of Representatives has a sitting leader of the Democratic Party discussed allegations of House investigations publicly, before findings of fact. Ever.”
“I was set up for this from the very, very beginning,” he added. “The leadership of the Democratic Party have become exactly what they said they were running against.”
Massa bemoaned the state of the nation’s politics, which he said is perpetuated by the constant need for money to run for re-election. And, he said, he has been made an example by Dem leadership.
“There is not a single member of the Democratic freshman class whi is going to vote against this health care bill now that they’ve got me,” he said. “Eric Massa’s probably not going to go back to Congress, because the only way I would go back there would be as an independent. A pox on both parties.”
Is Massa’s story a fantasy? Maybe. But consider this. Ever since he took over for Elliot Spitzer, Governor Paterson was considered hapless, but not a criminal. Its funny how the moment he told the White House that he would not withdraw his candidacy for reelection as Governor all these rumors started leaking out about scandal. And where was the scandal that convinced him not to run published? The NY Times.
Just like Massa, the Governor may very well be guilty, but also like Massa the timing of the revelation is suspect. All of that may be a coincidence. On the other hand….it might not be. Remember what they tried to do to Joe the Plumber? This government take-over of 16.7% of the US economy is crucial for the Progressive movement and character assassination is the Obama way.