"He wakes up to Massa undoing his pants trying to snorkel him." Eric Massa's Navy shipmates are speaking out. Add them to the list of people Massa's touched, from Rahm Emanuel to David Paterson. This story has everything.
In the course of his meltdown, this former New York congressman has managed to inject himself into every single major political/media story of the last year. It is uncanny. Just take a look at the list.
Viewed in the right light, politics is just an endless succession of sex scandals of varying magnitude. When the initial reports of "sexual harassment" surfaced, devoid of details, it was easy to place Representative Eric Massa alongside Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards, Mark Sanford, and the rest of the losers who let their unchecked passions ruin their political careers. But it was not some boring consensual heterosexual affair that Massa was guilty of!
The harassment allegations were apparently made by a male staffer. Massa, of course, is married to a woman—and so was Larry Craig. The news that a congressman was making unwelcome sexual advances toward male staffers immediately brought to mind the glory days of the Mark Foley affair. (The Democratic leadership, though, seemed to be handling it a little better.) But is Massa a closet case, or is he just a guy who really, really enjoys roughhousing? He says that back in his day, the Navy was run like an English boarding school. It looks like his shipmates did not find his games to be as harmless, though.
The Operatic, Paranoid Madness of Glenn Beck
We are living in a world where Bill O'Reilly is practically Fox News' voice of reason. And we have Glenn Beck to thank for it. The repulsive morning shock jock and formerly drug-addled Mormon weirdo uses his Fox platform to make conspiracy theories mainstream and to inculcate a sense of apocalyptic dread in his audiences. Chief among his tactics: constantly announcing his fear for his own safety. Glenn Beck wants you to know that shadowy, powerful forces will someday destroy Glenn Beck. And his Massa interview was one of the weirdest hours in the history of television.
Glenn wanted to sit down with a guy who'd affirm, for his audience, the crazy things Glenn says about the fantastic power of the fascistic progressive movement. Instead he got tickle fights and a campaign finance reform lecture. So on his radio show today, Glenn suggests that a person or persons "got to" Massa before Beck did.
What's Wrong with New York Politicians?
Spitzer! Monserrate! Paterson! Rangel! Add Massa to the list. LA is mocking us, guys. (Hey, have you met your mayor? Or your governor?) But there's no denying that New York politicians are publicly melting down at an alarming rate. Some of them are melting down before they even get around to running for office!
The Gradual Self-Destruction of David Paterson
Yes, even our beloved incompetent blind semi-corrupt accidental governor who probably abused his power and intimidated a domestic violence victim is tangentially involved in this Eric Massa mess. Because now New York has a vacant congressional seat. And it is up to David Paterson to figure out how to fill it. As of yesterday, he couldn't decide when or if to hold a special election. But, you know, he probably will. Whatever. Who knows with this guy?
Republican Internecine Warfare
Incompetent Democratic Governance
Massa is also one of those incredibly incoherent Democrats who can't figure out why they're Democrats or what they stand for. The Progressive Caucus co-founder insisted to Glenn Beck that he's a fiscal conservative. He voted against the House health care bill because it wasn't liberal enough, and he complains that unions are trying to intimidate him. He was formerly a Republican until he decided to support Wesley Clark. The party has such a huge tent now that it's just made up of people who don't actively want to destroy the nation as hard as Republicans do. And this is one of the reasons Democrats can't do anything with control of both houses of Congress.
And, yes, this health care bill! It was passed by both houses of Congress. But now they both need to pass it again, sort of. Right now, the most incredibly nerdy sorts of political wonks are obsessively going over the House vote count. The sudden resignation of a former Democratic Nay vote is huge to these sad people.
Rahm Emanuel Has Been In the News Lately
How absolutely, wonderfully perfect that this should all happen during the month of never-ending Rahm Emanuel profiles. Within days of the allegations surfacing, Massa was telling wild stories about a naked Emanuel cornering him in a curtain-less shower. That's the image that caught everyone's attention—Letterman devoted his Top Ten List to it last night even. Even though it's probably a fantasy, it'll end up a part of the Rmythology, along with the fish and the knife and all that shit.
Rush Limbaugh Said Something Racist!
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Oh, didn't you hear? Rush Limbaugh said something racist about this whole thing. Yes, that's right: you thought there was no way in hell this story could somehow also expand to include the Hot New Trend of constant right-wing racism, but you were wrong.