Eric Massa (D-NY) is set to resign today. If he has not yet tendered his resignation, he should not do so.
At least not if he is being forced out because of his health care vote, which is what he alleged over the weekend in a radio interview, as reported by Hotline On Call (emphasis mine):
Embattled Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) lashed out in an emotional radio appearance Sunday, accusing Dem leaders of what he suggested was an orchestrated campaign to force his resignation.
“There’s a reason that this has all happened, frankly one that I had not realized,” Massa said on WKPQ radio on Sunday. “Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill, and this administration and this House leadership have said, quote unquote, they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill.
And now they’ve gotten rid of me and it’ll pass.”
Massa addressed rumors circulating on blogs about his personal behavior, including incidents during an informal Navy ceremony in ’83 on the USS New Jersey and one that occurred in a state room later during his Navy career. He insisted he had done nothing uncommon, insisting his sin was foul language.
A complaint before the House ethics committee, he said, stemmed from a wedding Massa attended over New Years, when he made an inappropriate comment to an aide, according to Roll Call, which first reported the radio program.
Massa maintained his comments were inappropriate, but he blamed “political correctness” and accused Dems of a setup. Massa voted against health care legislation in Nov., and he has not been a reliable vote for Dem leadership. That, he said, has put a target on his back.
“When I voted against the cap and trade bill, the phone rang and it was the chief of staff to the president of the United States of America, Rahm Emanuel, and he started swearing at me in terms and words that I hadn’t heard since that crossing the line ceremony on the USS New Jersey in 1983,” Massa said. “And I gave it right back to him, in terms and words that I know are physically impossible.”
“If Rahm Emanuel wants to come after me, maybe he ought to hold himself to the same standards I’m holding myself to and he should resign,” Massa said….
“I was set up for this from the very, very beginning,” he added.
“The leadership of the Democratic Party have become exactly what they said they were running against.” ….
“There is not a single member of the Democratic freshman class whi is going to vote against this health care bill now that they’ve got me,” he said. “Eric Massa’s probably not going to go back to Congress, because the only way I would go back there would be as an independent. A pox on both parties.”
Here is Massa’s office contact information. Call or send an e-mail asking him not to resign:
Washington DC Office: 1208 Longworth House OfficeBuildingWashington, DC
20515, Phone: (202) 225-3161, Fax: (202) 226-6599, email here
I spoke with Massa’s office. His resignation is scheduled to go into effect at 5 p.m. The person I spoke with did not know if it could be reversed. More calls could not hurt.
As reported by Roll Call, Massa over the weekend said he would consider rescinding his resignation: “Several times during the broadcast Massa raised the prospect of rescinding his resignation if national news media picked up on his story of being railroaded out of office by Democratic leaders.”
Pick up the phone and call.
Rep. Massa describes a confrontation with Emanuel in a shower: “I am showering, naked as a jaybird, and here comes Rahm Emanuel, not even with a towel wrapped around his tush, poking his finger in my chest, yelling at me.”
Update 3-10-2010: So, it turns out Massa is sticking to his Rahm-in-the-shower story, but the rest is murky. Had Massa been a team player, there would have been no investigations and whispering campaign against him. But was he “forced out” due to his opposition to Obamacare? Depends on what the meaning of “forced out” is. And I still wish he had not resigned because he would have been a vote against Obamacare.