Bill O'Reilly dismissed the Eric Massa scandal last night because he considered it simply Republican tit-for-tat for the 2006 Mark Foley scandal.
But the questions are more than what did Speaker Pelosi know and when did she know it, although that's serious enough. The accusation is Massa behaved inappropriately with young subordinate homosexual staffers. From the Washington Post, March 11:
Joe Racalto, Massa's chief of staff, was uneasy that Massa, 50, was living with several young, unmarried male staffers and using sexually explicit language with them, one source said. But what finally prompted him to call Pelosi's director of member services [in October 2009], the source said, was a lunch date that Massa made with a congressional aide in his 20s who worked in the office of [homosexual] Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)....
According to a person briefed on the call, Racalto was concerned that the lunch followed a pattern by Massa - who is married and has 2 children - of trying to spend time alone with young gay men with no ostensible work purpose.
Yes, that's scandal enough. O'Reilly, protector of the young and vulnerable, should see that.
But there's more. I want to know if it's true Pelosi held on to the information until Massa became a "no" vote on healthcare, which is his claim. Was there attempted blackmail?
Pelosi gave a very strange interview on The Charlie Rose Show on March 10. It gives no further insight into that claim. It just took a very strange turn from "Poor baby" on....
Yesterday the House voted almost unanimously to keep the ethics investigation open. This was a surprise and looked promising at 1st. But digging deeper, this was a CYA vote for Democrats with the outcome being attempted control of the scandal. According to CBS News, March 11:
House Republican Leader John Boehner Thursday offered a privileged resolution ordering the House ethics committee to investigate what members of the House leadership (as well as their staff) knew about allegations against... Massa before the formal ethics inquiry into Massa's behavior began.
The resolution cited a statement by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's [pictured left with Pelosi] office indicating Hoyer was made aware of allegations of misconduct in February and questions when and what House speaker Nancy Pelosi knew about them. It ordered the ethics committee to investigate and return a report by June 30th.
But Boehner's attempt was rebuffed Thursday afternoon when the House voted overwhelmingly to instead allow the ethics committee to determine its next move. The 402-1 vote means there may or may not be further inquiry into the Massa affair. The initial House ethics inquiry into Massa was formally ended Wednesday....
[Photo of Pelosi/Hoyer via Associated Press]
My read on this is that Massa miscalculated -- badly. The Democrat leadership clearly pressured him on the health-care vote and probably threatened him with exposure of his sexual indiscretions. Massa likely took it as a bluff, believing that with the tenuous majority held by the Dems that they wouldn't dare torpedo him. From other reports that have since come out, it doesn't sound like Massa was a very bright bulb to begin with, and apparently has a history of sexual misdeeds even while in the Navy. The Dems are likely using this situation to make an example of him to others they may have threatened and to get rid of a PR disaster at the same time.Posted by: Tom Ambrose at March 12, 2010 9:36 AM
Let's get to the point.
Pelosi is guilty of blackmail and she should resign and then be sent to prison for a very long time.Posted by: Phil Schembri is HisMan at March 12, 2010 10:24 AM
Tom, Phil: Yes, that's my thought exactly. Blackmail.Posted by: Jill Stanek at March 12, 2010 10:53 AM
I can think of a whole lot more people at the top of the Dem party being guilty of blackmail other than Pelosi...Posted by: RSD at March 12, 2010 11:57 AM
This guy is so scummy. The pathetic part from a political standpoint is that he probably figured he could keep getting away with it because he'd gotten away with it for so long.
Pelosi needed to be out of office, like, forever ago...Posted by: Marauder at March 12, 2010 12:03 PM
Our politicians continue to disappoint. If you are so inclined, please pray for our political leaders in this difficult time. (Prayer from catholic.org)
Lord, Father of the universe, you have created humans to work with you. Enlighten those who lead and govern us. You know how hard it is to be always fair, considerate and compassionate. Our politicians and leaders need your help and guidance, Lord. Grant them your love and benevolence and make them attentive to your perfect will. Heavenly Father, make them instruments of justice and freedom, genuine defenders of good. In your infinite mercy, Father, give them the desire to serve, and teach them to stand for the right causes through a conduct always faithful to you. Bless our political leaders and protect them, defend them against the evil one, now and forever. Amen.Posted by: Janet at March 12, 2010 12:10 PM
Wait, wait, wait. There's reason to suspect that Pelosi not only covered up sexual misconduct with subordinates, but also outed this guy in front of the media when he didn't do what she wanted?
...If true, that's so incredibly wrong I don't even know where to start.Posted by: Keli Hu at March 12, 2010 9:11 PM
This is why it's important to elect good men and women to office, and why their personal life does matter.
First, divorce and affairs are a big deal--if they can't keep the most important promise in their personal life, what would lead their constituencies to believe they will keep political promises?
Second, if there are things they'd do anything rather than have them made public, anyone who knows about those things can influence their votes.
Third, if they don't know right from wrong, or don't act on it, in their personal lives, how can we expect them to legislate justly on our behalves?
No one's perfect, and there must be room for repentance, and a person's teenaged misdeeds shouldn't be dragged out when he runs for president when there's no reason to believe they are part of a pattern that is still ongoing. (If someone's been drinking and driving since they were sixteen, and is still doing it at 47, it's legitimate to bring up events that far back to establish it's a long-standing problem. If someone got arrested for drinking and driving once at sixteen, and there is no evidence he has done anything reckless since, it's counterproductive to bring it up (though a smart politician will "come clean" on that on his own and issue some sort of statement on how he's sorry about that and would certainly not do so again).)
Also, anyone who thinks heinous crimes against human beings (rape, killing of political prisoners, tearing the arms and legs off unborn babies) should never be able to hold a public office, even if they are "personally opposed."Posted by: ycw at March 13, 2010 9:18 AM
Why isn't the gay community, a Democrat constituency, up in arms about this?
Is one blackmailed for being heterosexual?Posted by: Mary at March 13, 2010 10:44 AM
Mary, I thought I read he had a wife and kids, so my impression was that he's being blackmailed for adultery. And heterosexuals can be blackmailed for that as well--though there is certainly more public distaste for homosexual affairs than heterosexual ones.
Your point stands, though, as I am pretty sure that many in the homosexual community do not see faithfulness in marriage as desirable and/or possible.Posted by: ycw at March 13, 2010 6:57 PM
He could well be bisexual or have a wife and children as a front for or self denial of homosexuality. His behavior with unmarried male staffers, sexual comments,etc. would raise some red flags.
Sure Barney Frank is gay, but he has not tried to hide this and he tows the Democrat party line.
If indeed the questionable sexual preferences of Massa are being used as a weapon then I would think that the gay community would be outraged, especially that it is used by Democrats who have been well served by the gay community.
I think the first post by Tom Ambrose sums it up pretty well.Posted by: Mary at March 14, 2010 10:50 AM