Whose Side Is Eric Massa On?

Conservative hero or shameless self-preserver?

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Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) has bewildered the political press. A week ago he announced he was resigning due to serious health problems. Days later he accepted responsibility for an ethics violation related to sexually-charged comments and said that was the cause of his departure. Then, over the weekend, he changed his story again saying Democratic leaders forced him out because he was unwilling to support President Obama's health care reform. That gained him support in some right-wing circles and Politico even hailed him a "conservative media hero." So whose side is Massa on?

  • He's No Friend of the GOP, writes conservative Michelle Malkin: "He's been a progressive zealot and political opportunist his entire career. He's claimed conspiracy before, is intimately bonded with the nutroots, and climbed the political ladder with backing from the odious, anti-war-hoaxer-embracing Gen. Wesley Clark."
  • He Clearly Hates the Dems, writes Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly: "After initially taking responsibility for his own 'difficulties,' Massa has now decided that his missteps are his party's fault, and he's lashing out wildly in the hopes of punishing his perceived Democratic enemies."
  • He's On America's Side, tweets Glenn Beck, who will host Massa on his show on Tuesday: "I just spoke with him off air. All Americans need To hear him. Exclusive 2morrow fox."

  • He's Ultimately Helping the Dems, notes Rick Klein speaking with Greta Van Susteren: "His resignation is actually a good thing for Speaker Pelosi and Democrats. In the bizarro math right now in the House, it reduces the number that you actually need to get to. So Speaker Pelosi loses a Democrat, but she gets a vote on health care."
  • It's Purely Self Preservation, writes Chris Bowers at Open Left: "He is going to become a martyr for many opponents of health reform legislation. I guess he has decided that is a better track to take than being disgraced over sexual harassment charges. It would have been a more believable tack if he had taken that approach in the first place, and not claimed full responsibility for the sexual harassment, and if by flat-out changing his story, he is receiving a huge wave of new support."
  • Either Way, His Story Just Doesn't Add Up, writes Ed Morrissey at Hot Air: "Massa is ill with cancer and says he needs to leave Congress to focus on his therapy. That's certainly understandable. But Massa can't claim that Hoyer and Pelosi railroaded him out of office if he resigns on his own for health reasons. If he wants to be the 'deciding vote' on ObamaCare, all he has to do is stick around. If he doesn't, that's entirely his decision, but it sounds like a smoke screen rather than an exposé."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.