The timeline is tricky, but see if you can follow: this past Friday New York Congressman Eric Massa resigned when news broke he was under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegedly attempting to sexually harass a male staffer after too many Harvey Wallbanger's at a wedding.
After the aforementioned staffer suggested his tipsy boss should make a play for a bridesmaid, the married Massa spouted, “what I really ought to be doing is fracking you." Massa said he “tousled” the guy’s hair and ran away.
What exactly is “fracking”? Was Massa attempting to say something else but in between the slurring and background noise of the "Electric Slide," was misheard? What does “tousling” actually entail, and what self-respecting man uses that term? So many questions.
Sunday, the married Massa shifted gears, running to the media to announce that he was strong armed out of Congress by the White House and the Democratic leadership in the House because he was a "no vote" on the terminally plagued health care bill (because nobody really resigns over salty language at a boozy wedding).
In a now famous radio interview, Massa went rogue on Rahm Emanuel, recalling in creepy detail two occasions where Obama's Chief of Staff cursed him out -- including once when the two men were standing naked in the congressional showers.
Despite a portion of this account going down in the shower, this just sounds dirty. (You know what they say, where there’s suds…)
Massa then called Rahm the "son of the devil's spawn" and a bunch of other really mean stuff.
Where to begin?
This latest drama comes on the heels of a two-week long side show of dysfunction in New York state with scandal embroiled and ethically-challenged Governor David Patterson and New York Congressman Charlie Rangel stepping down from his Ways and Means chairmanship amid scandal.
Despite the dizzying tale of two crazies, Massa and Emanuel, Nancy Pelosi has claimed she didn’t know that any of this – from the sexual allegations to the ethics investigation – was happening.
According to Politico, Pelosi said Thursday that her staff kept her out of the loop about a “rumor” that Massa made unwanted advances on a male staffer, even though Majority Leader Steny Hoyer had known about the allegations for weeks.
Why was Pelosi not informed of this investigation? What did the Speaker know and when did she know it? Is she lying or operating on another planet?
Someone needs to file a complaint with the House Ethics committee – so who was it? And should more have been done for something so serious? Pelosi certainly seemed to think so in 2006 when then Congressman Mark Foley was facing his own ethics troubles.
Massa claims the ethics investigation was a witch hunt to try to force him out by his colleagues and the White House for his opposition to health reform efforts (Massa voted no on the House version of the bill).
But that still fails to explain why Massa already – and very publicly – accepted responsibility for his wedding behavior saying his actions were “inappropriate.”
Massa is a man on a mission, now preparing to embark on a media tour to tell his side of the story. The White House denies that it orchestrated Massa’s ouster, calling the claims "ridiculous" but when will Speaker Pelosi start talking?
This is another terrible storyline that includes incompetence, impropriety and chaos that is rooted in the troubled health care narrative -- one that Republicans should stay far away from, particularly when it comes to defending Massa. The American people are already disgusted with the policies and the processs, now they've been handed another unsettling storyline to prompt even more unease.
Even if Democrats manage to jimmy some version of a health care bill through Congress, how can they ever regain the public's confidence?
While this story seems far from over with many details still unclear, one thing is clear: the real fracking is the one Massa is giving his own party.
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