Eric Massa’s a bit miffed
Heh … ok, a bit of an understatement. Democratic Rep. Eric Massa thinks he’s been a victim of “the Chicago Way”. And he has absolutely no use for either Steny Hoyer, the House’s number 2 Democrat or Rahm Emanuel, the president’s chief-of-staff.
In a radio interview Massa let loose on Emanuel:
“Rahm Emanuel is son of the devil’s spawn, Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) said. “He is an individual who would sell his mother to get a vote. He would strap his children to the front end of a steam locomotive.”
Rep. Massa describes a confrontation with Emanuel in a shower: “I am showering, naked as a jaybird, and here comes Rahm Emanuel, not even with a towel wrapped around his tush, poking his finger in my chest, yelling at me.”
“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.
As for Hoyer, Massa had this to say:
“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.”
The allegations stem from an incident in which it is asserted that Massa made inappropriate comments to an aide at a Christmas party. Massa doesn’t dispute he made comments but claims that “political correctness” as well as a desire to make an example of a Democrat who isn’t and hasn’t played ball with the leadership is the real reason behind the demand he resign or face an ethics inquiry.
Of course, he has a point considering the outcome of the Rangel ethics probe in which Rep. Charles Rangal got off with nothing more than a virtual slap on the wrist (the ethics panel nor Democratic leadership requested he step down from his chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee, pressure from other Democrats drove it) and he still retains his seat. He’s also a “yes” vote on the health care bill. Massa, of course, is a ‘no’.
I’m not sure which side is right on the allegations or their seriousness (here’s Massa’s side of it), but it is clear there’s a double standard at work given the treatment of Rangal v. Massa. And one can only hope that Massa will change his mind and continue to sound off about his treatment and expose the double standard. As someone said, if it is true, it amounts to extortion by the House leadership (vote our way or we do an ethics probe). But on top of the bribery we see daily, I’m not sure anyone should be surprised.