Former Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) is currently the star of an ongoing ethics scandal that presents quite the dilemma for political analysts. The question is: What are Democrats up to while Massa tries to convince us to believe his story? The congressman resigned Monday in the wake of an investigation by the House Ethics Committee for inappropriate comments he made to a male staffer on New Year's Eve, along with allegations of similar misconduct over the last year. Given that he's been in Congress for only a year, that's not a great report card. For his part, Massa claims he's merely the victim of political warfare by Democrat leaders who wanted him ousted before he could register the "deciding vote" on health care reform.
If Massa's claim is even partially true, it signals a redoubling of "Chicago-style" political assassination efforts by the Obama administration to ensure passage of their holy grail, health care legislation. Massa claimed that Rahm Emanuel, the Anointed One's Chief of Staff and left-hand arm-twister, accosted him in the showers of the congressional gym last November. "I'm sitting there showering, naked as a jaybird," he recounted, "and here comes Rahm Emanuel, not even with a towel wrapped around his tush, poking his finger in my chest, yelling at me because I wasn't gonna vote for the president's budget." While we wouldn't put such an act past Emanuel, we also note that, mercifully, there were no witnesses to the alleged encounter. Predictably, the White House denied the allegation.
Massa asked, "Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man?" No, we honestly don't know. Then again, we also don't know about tickle fights1 among (supposedly) grown men.
Our take is that Massa is both a liar and a creep, notwithstanding the administration's goals, which are even creepier. Certainly, one less "no" vote on ObamaCare doesn't hurt, as far as the executive branch is concerned. No doubt House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Frutopia) is also pleased. However, such potential skullduggery does lead us to wonder what other sorts of dirt Obamanites have on other "undecided" Democrats should they fail to cooperate.
The downside of this strategy, however, is that the Dem-wits really can't afford many more high-vis scandals. Over the course of just the last two weeks, for example, three prominent Democrats have managed to rain considerable shame upon their party. In addition to Massa's disgrace, New York Gov. David Paterson, under scrutiny for interfering in a domestic violence investigation, announced that he would end his re-election campaign, and veteran Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) was forced to resign as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee because of numerous ethics violations. Add these to the stack of sleaze amassed by the Demos just since the Chosen One assumed office, and it amounts to a dismal track record for a party that claimed it would "clean up corruption" and stop "business as usual" in Washington.
Democrats won the House from Republicans in 2006 in large part by highlighting GOP scandals. Evidently, what went around appears to be coming back around ... and how!
From the 'Non Compos Mentis' File "[W]e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy." --House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), confirming that too much Botox can kill brain cells