By flat-out changing his story, Massa receives huge wave of new support

by: Chris Bowers

Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 14:35

Eric Massa will appear on Glenn Beck for an our-long interview tomorrow.  This story is going to be a big deal for a while.

It is worth noting, however, that Eric Massa completely changed his story in just 48 hours.  On Friday,  he posted a letter on his website taking full responsibility for his resignation, and that his desire to avoid national media attention was a motivating factor in his resignation.

Here are the passages taking responsibility:

I own this reality... In fact, there is no doubt that this Ethics issue is my fault and mine alone....  I want to make something perfectly clear.  My difficulties are of my own making. Period.


I fell short and I believe now, as I have always believed, that it is not enough to simply talk the talk, but rather I must take action to hold myself accountable.

And here are the passages on wanting to avoid attention:

But in the incredibly toxic atmosphere that is Washington D.C., with the destruction of our elected leaders having become a blood sport, especially in talk radio and on the internet, there is also no doubt that an Ethics investigation would tear my family and my staff apart(...)

I am also aware that blogs and radio will have a field day with this in today's destructive and unforgiving political environment.(...)

I ask that members of the press respect the privacy of my family, my staff, and me at this time.

On both counts, this is a complete reversal.  Now Massa is alleging a conspiracy to kick him out of office by the Democratic leadership due to his opposition to the health reform legislation, and he is willing to get as much exposure for his story as possible.

This does not necessarily mean that what Massa is claiming now is wrong.  It does mean that he was not always telling the truth--it can't be entirely his fault and a conspiracy to get rid of him.

It should also be noted that Massa has a strong motive to change his story.  With his entirely new story, he is going to become a martyr for many opponents of health reform legislation.  I guess he has decided that is a better track to take than being disgraced over sexual harassment charges.  It would have been a more believable tack if he had taken that approach in the first place, and not claimed full responsibility for the sexual harassment, and if by flat-out changing his story, he is receiving a huge wave of new support.

Act Blue pages which I co-managed supported Eric Massa in 2006 and 2008 to the tune of nearly $100,000.  Further, before these charges, I was going to help him win re-election no matter his vote on health care.  However, there are good reasons to be suspicious of his actions since Friday.  And frankly, while I was very proud of it until Friday of last week, I don't feel very good about my past activism for Eric Massa now.  No matter the veracity of his contradictory charges, he is not coming across very well right now.

Chris Bowers :: By flat-out changing his story, Massa receives huge wave of new support

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wow, that's pretty mild criticism (4.00 / 2)
He's obviously acting like a douchebag and hypocrite of the first order, and trying to take health reform down with himself, all while feeding the right wing noise machine. Given all that, saying that "there are good reasons to be suspicious of his actions since Friday" is a pretty equivocal statement.

I think that Chris' remarks are quite telling (4.00 / 1)
Given the fact that up until Friday he was a supporter of Massa.  The issue of the sexual harassment was dealt with last week.  Now Chris and other former supporters are trying to deal with issues associated with a defection or betrayal by someone they had supported.  I'm sure that many of Massa's supporters have not made the 180 degree turn that Chris has.  I think that sometimes Chris is loyal beyond reason, but in this case he has shown real courage to realize that the Glenn Beck issue is unforgivable.  

"Oh. My. God. .... We're doomed." -- Paul Krugman

[ Parent ]
Chris wanted to primary Massa a year ago (0.00 / 0)
when Massa voted against cramdown.  

[ Parent ]
There's no inconsistency here. (4.00 / 3)
Massa is simply saying that the democratic leadership used a scandal, which he still takes responsibility for, to force him out.

There is no change of story.  Indeed, his taking responsibility for the underlying scandal reinforces his allegations and has raised his credibility far higher than any of the Democratic leadership.

The bigger contradiction is (4.00 / 1)
that in his letter he said the transgression occurred in his home and in his inner office:

There is no doubt in my mind that I did in fact, use language in the privacy of my own home and in my inner office that, after 24 years in the Navy, might make a Chief Petty Officer feel uncomfortable.

But today he said the incident happened at a wedding.

And that's my last word on this story.

Amazing how many of these guys (4.00 / 3)
are taking our money and pissing on us afterwards. You don't suppose that there's a flaw somewhere in our political process as presently constituted, do you?

It looks to me more like betting on a rigged prize fight than it does trying to get people in office who'll make a principled stand on policy issues that matter to us.

Okay, say the wonks. We're getting played, but we're making some progress nevertheless. Has anyone ever done a real cost-benefit analysis on all this Sturm und Drang? Somewhere, somehow, there has to be something for the people churned out of that giant cesspit we've been pleased to call the Democratic Party. Otherwise, I think that a lot of people will eventually need to find a new line of work, including the principled, but sadly ineffective ones.

It's a pity, really.  

His story makes little sense, anyways... (4.00 / 1)
His announcement to retire came at a time when the Dems only needed 216 votes to pass the legislation anyways... Deal had announced his resignation already and had not rescinded it, yet.  So, forcing him out wouldn't have changed the math in anyway, shape or form.

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

This is why Democratic leadership doesn't bring the hammer down (4.00 / 6)
As often as we would like on recalcitrant Dems.  There is a huge threat of freak-outs like this occurring.

The thing is, it's the more centrist Democrats who threaten to behave this way, which is why trying to force them to move left is probably less effective than trying to sweet-talk them.  On the other hand, the more progressive members of Congress seem to be easily bullied precisely because they are unwilling to go on a rampage like Massa and threaten to wreck everything for Democrats.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

so is he actually out? (0.00 / 0)
Or did he rescind his resignation at the last moment?

New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

Massa (0.00 / 0)
Tell you what Chris, I've been giving this guy money since the first YEARLY KOS convention, and I appreciate your honesty.  

We need more transparency before jumping on conclusions! (0.00 / 0)
Imho this is just another case showing how the damn backroom deals hurt the Dems time and again. That' the breeding ground for conspiracy theories! And without any knowledge about the exact nature of the complaints, and about who spoke with Massa when and about what, we can't decide who' the offender here. I mean, yes, sure, the contradictions in the details of Massa's statement don't make him look good, but on the other hand, the general narrative is totally in line with what we know about Emanuel's actions behind the scenes. And most damning of all, it can't be denied that forcing a Rpresenttive out in this was IS unusual. The House goes to great lengths to keep a crook like Rangel in its ranks, but applies full force on Massa? This only makes sense if someone powerful has an interest in pushing him out! And what can the motive behind this be? Massa's explanation smells right.

So, really, imho more knowledge about the details is necessary before condemning Massa. Especially because progressives shouldn't help Rahmbo to succeed with his dirty tricks.

So we get rid of the salty fighters and (0.00 / 0)
get who?  For me, give me the Massas, the Spitzers, the Edwards...If they are flawed, at least they are on the side of some sort of justice. I should go back at look at the movie "Reds" though.  The good always turns into bad.


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