March 6, 2010

This is kind of strange, isn't it? I mean, he says he's resigning over his language? I know lots of people who work on the Hill and believe me, there are a lot of congress members who are verbally abusive to their staff. We have lots of Republicans guilty of far worse (*cough Mitch McConnell cough*), yet all they have to do is clutch Jesus to their bosoms, smile into the TV cameras and deny, deny, deny. It's a puzzle.

I'll give Massa credit for this: at least he admitted he was guilty. (Unlike almost every Republican Congress member accused of, well, anything.) On the other hand, this means the progressive Eric Massa's "no" vote on the healthcare bill (he was holding out for the public option) not only goes away, it means Nancy Pelosi needs one less vote to pass the admittedly half-assed Senate bill:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- New York Democratic Rep. Eric Massa, facing a harassment complaint by a male staffer, said Friday that he is stepping down from his seat with "a profound sense of failure."

"I am guilty," Massa said in an interview with a Corning, N.Y., newspaper columnist.

Later in the day, Massa released a statement saying that after discovering he had a recurrence of cancer, he learned he was the subject of an ethics complaint by a male staffer who felt "uncomfortable" during an exchange with Massa. The exchange reportedly had sexual overtones.

"I will resign my position," Massa said in the statement.

"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," Massa added. "In fact, there is no doubt that this ethics issue is my fault and mine alone."

Earlier Friday, a visibly upset Massa said he didn't want to put his family through an ethics committee investigation.

"It would tear us apart," Massa said, according to Joe Dunning, a columnist for The Leader newspaper. "It's not that I can fight or beat these allegations, I'm guilty."

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