Have you been following the strange saga of Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY)? First he announced he wouldn't seek re-election; then he said would resign at 5 p.m. today. Rep. Massa is fighting cancer, so it's not surprising that he would take his doctor's advice and focus on recovery.
Then came the surprises…
[A] harassment complaint filed by a male staffer with the House Ethics Committee that Massa said he learned of this week also greatly contributed his decision to leave office.
Massa read an apologetic statement to his staff in Washington D.C. and admitted to using vulgar language that may be the basis for the harassment allegation.
"I own this reality," he said. "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."
Uh, what the hell did Eric Massa say to his staffer?
It all began at a party where Mrs. Massa got the stomach flu, which is Eric Massa's idea of "a great time"…
"On New Year's Eve, I went to a staff party. It was actually a wedding for a staff member of mine; there were over 250 people there. I was with my wife. And in fact we had a great time. She got the stomach flu," he said.
Massa explained that he then danced first with the bride, who was not identified, and then with a bridesmaid. He said multiple cameras recorded the incident. "I said goodnight to the bridesmaid," Massa continued. "I sat down at the table where my whole staff was, all of them by the way bachelors."
"One of them looked at me and as they would do after, I don't know, 15 gin and tonics, and goodness only knows how many bottles of champagne, a staff member made an intonation to me that maybe I should be chasing after the bridesmaid and his points were clear and his words were far more colorful than that," Massa said. "And I grabbed the staff member sitting next to me and said, 'Well, what I really ought to be doing is fracking you.' And then [I] tossled the guy's hair and left, went to my room, because I knew the party was getting to a point where it wasn't right for me to be there. Now was that inappropriate of me? Absolutely. Am I guilty? Yes."
Let me see if I have this right: Eric Massa joked (?) about wanting to "frack" one of his staffers, but only after 15 gin and tonics, and only because said staffer is a bachelor with "tossleable" hair — and only when Mrs. Massa had the stomach flu and was, presumably, too ill to frack.
That's not grounds for resignation. That's logic 101, in Congress.
Tags: Democrats, Eric Massa, House of Representatives, New York, Scandalgate