White House responds to naked House Democrat’s satanic tale
Eric Massa was a little-known freshmen House Democrat only a month ago. Now he’s a political media sensation and a darling of Talk Radio/TV commentators capable of provoking the White House on healthcare reform.
Why the metamorphosis? Massa abruptly resigned from Congress, revealed he had an angry run-in with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel while the two were naked in a congressional gym shower, and now claims he was pushed out of office by the White House to keep him from voting against healthcare reform.
Oh, and he’s come to the conclusion that Emanuel is a “son of the devil’s spawn.”
The bit about healthcare reform has Republicans hopping with joy, because it coincides with President Barack Obama’s final push for Congress to enact his proposed overhaul of the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system.
Massa has had a number of explanations about why he’s leaving Congress. He said last week that he would not seek re-election because of his health. Later, he said he would leave office this week to avoid an ethics probe into a sexual harassment allegation by a male staffer.
But it’s the allegation of naked White House bullying that has helped draw media attention. His tale has been picked up by conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, Fox News Channel personality Glenn Beck, RealClearPolitics, the online Drudge Report and a host of other media outlets including Reuters. Tonight, he’s due on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”
“I was set up for this from the very, very beginning. If you think that, somehow, they didn’t come after me to get rid of me because my vote is the deciding vote on the healthcare bill, then ladies and gentleman, you live today in a world that is so innocent as to not understand what is going on in Washington, D.C.,” he said in a recorded radio broadcast played on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Democratic leaders are in the midst of trying to muster a House majority on healthcare. However, it seems unlikely that Massa’s lone ‘no’ vote would be a deal-breaker.
By this morning, the avalanche of publicity was strong enough to bring White House spokesman Robert Gibbs out onto the sun-dappled lawn of the presidential mansion to refute Massa’s “crazy allegations.”
“Look, I think this whole story is ridiculous. I think the latest excuse is silly and ridiculous,” Gibbs told GMA. “Clearly, his actions appear to be in the appropriate venue in the ethics committee. But we’re focused, not on crazy allegations, but instead on making this system work for the American people rather than work for insurance companies.”
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Photo Credits: Reuters/Jim Young (Gibbs); Reuters/Official Handout (Rush Limbaugh); Reuters/Lucy Nicholson (California health clinic)