Some news stories cry out for comment, but at the same time it’s hard to think of anything intelligent to say about them. That’s the case with the story of Democratic Congressman Eric Massa of New York, who resigned his seat today after being accused of sexually harassing a male staffer. Massa went out in style, giving an interview to a radio station in which he attacked the Obama administration and claimed that he is being forced out of office so that the administration can ram its health care takeover through Congress:
Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) prepared to resign his House seat Monday afternoon but not before lobbing a series of unsubstantiated accusations, including that the White House and House leaders conspired to force his resignation in order to boost the chances of passing a health-care bill.
Saying that he refused to go “quietly into the evening,” Massa told radio listeners in southern New York on Sunday that he was the victim of a “set-up.” The freshman Democrat has long opposed the health-care bill that his party’s leaders want to see passed — on the basis of it being not liberal enough — and he said Sunday that his ouster would lower the number of “yes” votes that Democrats need. …
[T]he theme Massa stuck to, repeatedly, was how he was in a Kafkaesque struggle against greater forces, and how he had been used as a pawn to maneuver the health-care bill toward final passage.
This audio clip contains a portion of Massa’s radio interview, in which he calls Rahm Emanuel, the President’s chief of staff, “the son of the Devil’s spawn,” and a person who would tie his own children to the front of a locomotive to achieve a political goal. He also describes a rather scary nude encounter with Emanuel in the locker room at the Congressional gym:
What to say about all of this? A plague on all their houses, I suppose. Here is what seems remarkable: driving home from work tonight, I heard the news a couple of times on different networks. There was no reference to the Massa story. Is that astonishing, or what? Here is a thought experiment: imagine that it is 2006; for Eric Massa, substitute the name of any Republican Congressman; for Rahm Emanuel, substitute Karl Rove; and imagine that a Republican Congressman called Rove “the son of the Devil’s spawn,” while accusing Rove and the Bush White House of conspiring to force him out of Congress–sometimes, while naked–because he opposed the war in Iraq. Do you think that might have made the evening news? I think so, too.