The Washington Post reports that “conservative activists [have] rallied to the side of” Rep. Eric Massa “after he charged that his party’s leaders had conspired to oust him over his opposition to President Obama’s health-care legislation.” I’m quite willing to believe the worst about Rahm Emmanuel and the Democratic leadership in the House. However, I’m not prepared on the current record to “rally to the side” of Rep. Massa.
My reluctance stems from the fact that Massa’s story doesn’t seem to add up. His claim, as I understand it, is that the charges of sexual harassment against him represent a conspiracy to force him to leave the House before it votes on health care legislation. Massa is a committed “no” vote.
Massa says he’s innocent of anything more than a few borderline comments at a party. But he has resigned in order, he says, to avoid an investigation that would injure his family and divide his staff.
But if Massa’s version of the facts is correct, then he has little to fear from an investigation. Moreover, any investigation would likely occur only after Massa cast his “no” vote. If he truly believed he was the victim of the vicious plot he alleges, Massa would likely stick around to cast his vote and then leave town. What better way to get back at Emmanuel and company?
We’ll be hearing more from Massa in the next few days. So let’s keep an open mind; perhaps, his story will gain credibility in the process. But right now, Massa just sounds like another guy who messed up and wants to blame someone else.
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