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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tickle me Eric

Mike Barnicle once used a throwaway line (I assume he didn't "borrow" it from someone else) that if you take the Massachusetts Legislature out onto a barge and sank it, all you would lose is the barge. In the case of the United States Congress, you'd probably need to lose two or three.

Witness the case of Eric "Tickle Me" Massa, former Democratic congressman from upstate New York, who wove a tale so tall to explain his bad behavior that even Glenn Beck didn't believe him.

It certainly captivated the Twitterverse yesterday, with live tweets flying fast and furious. Massa, apparently caught with his pants down, was regaling Beck and his faithful with a story claiming he was outed from Congress by the Obama administration because he was a Democrat who planned on voting against health care reform.

As if the administration has shown that much power over the gang on Capitol Hill.

It was only the latest pathetic story for a decision that lurched from health problems to "salty language." What the good congressman failed to mention was he under investigation for sexual misconduct -- a 50-year-old having tickle fights with male staff members.

Apparently he didn't want California Republican Roy Ashburn to have all the fun.

Massa would only acknowledge "poor judgment" to Beck (seems appropriate).
“No, no, no!” he said. “I did nothing sexual ... [T]hey are saying I groped a male staffer. Yeah, I did. Not only did I grope him. I tickled him until he couldn’t breathe, and then four guys jumped on top of me. It was my 50th birthday. It was kill the old guy. You can take anything out of context.”
I hate to think what the right context is.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs didn't see the joke either.

“Last week, he on Wednesday was having a recurrence of cancer,” Mr. Gibbs said during an appearance on “Good Morning America” on ABC.

“On Thursday,” Mr. Gibbs continued, “he was guilty of using salty language. On Friday, we learned he’s before the ethics committee to be investigated on charges of sexual harassment.”

Congress is drowning in special interest cash, a situation that will only get worse with the Supreme Court decision that says corporations have the same free speech rights as people.

The folks who funnel billions down the rat hole to buy and sell congressional influence have helped foster a culture so out of step that it has now fostered two beverage-fueled movements -- the Tea Party and the Coffee Party.

The major difference -- one group wants to tear everything down, the other wants to try and fix a broken system that used to work well. The problem is that one of the parties that has helped to create the mess -- the one with the elephants -- views this as an opportunity to return to the bad old ways that helped get us deep into this mess.

You can't be the solution when you are the problem.

Oh, an adios Eric.

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