Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, March 8, 2010

Change We Can Believe In?

The NY congressman who is resigning over sexual harassment allegations leveled against him by a male staff member has an interesting story to tell about the Obama administration and the health care reform bill:

Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) had some choice words for White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel during a recent radio interview in which he called the top Obama adviser "the son of the devil's spawn."

"He is an individual who would sell his mother to get a vote. He would strap his children to the front end of a steam locomotive," Massa said of Emanuel's desire to lock up vital votes on health care reform. "You think that somehow they didn't come after me to get rid of me because my vote is the deciding vote in the health care bill? Then, ladies and gentlemen, you live today in a world that is so innocent as to not understand what's going on in Washington, D.C."

According to an account given by Massa, he and Emanuel have had tense confrontations in the past, including one particularly memorable incident in the shower of the Congressional gym.

"Let me tell you a story about Rahm Emanuel," Massa started. "I was a congressman in my first eight weeks, and I was in the congressional gym, and I went down and I worked out and I went into the showers...I'm sitting there 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 because I wasn't going to vote for the president's budget. Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man?

"By the way, what the heck is he doing in the Congressional gym," Massa continued. "He goes there to intimidate members of Congress...He's hated me since day one, and now he wins."

Massa, who is scheduled to resign from the House on Monday, following sexual harassment allegations, contends that he "was set up for this from the very, very beginning," and that Emanuel was a key orchestrator in the plot to get rid of him.

Massa is a scumbag, so good riddance to him. But the story, if true (and I believe it is) exposes just how empty the president's rhetoric about a new kind of politics is.

Hell, switch the name LBJ or Tom Delay for Rahm Emanuel and the story is just as believable.

Of course, Delay and LBJ would have actually been successful at passing the legislation they were twisting arms and/or bribing people to vote for.

Emanuel and Obama haven't been successful at much of anything.

In fact, the administration is only putting the bill passage at 51%, though they may just be trying to tamp down expectations.

Even so, if it doesn't pass, will President Accountability hold anybody in his administration accountable for failing on the biggest initiative of his presidency?


Unless getting some more teachers fired somewhere counts, that is.


  1. LBJ, for all his many, awful faults, still got the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act passed.

    Obama's legacy, if he's successful on his own terms, will be a health care bill that forces people to sign up with kleptomaniacal insurers, privatization of the schools and attacks on Social Security.

    Obama has all the political substance of a brand of toothpaste.

  2. Let's call Emanuel and Obama scumbags too, because they are. I hope fervently that this health care reform bill does not pass, since it's just a feeding trough for the controlling-this-bill insurance companies. I cannot lump LBJ with the others....he was a true statesman with a history-honored legacy. He did not run for another term in office because he was so torn about the Vietnam War. These sleaze buckets would run for ribbon holders if they could cut a quick deal with the ribbon company.

  3. Ms. Tsouris, I am with you on that.

    And you're both right about LBJ. I put him there more to talk about the "old style" politics of arm-twisting, bribing, etc., which he certainly did as majority leader. But in terms of domestic policies, yes, you're right about those.

    Of course, some of Nixon's domestic policies were pretty good too (EPA in particular.)

    it is amazing how far right the country has gone since the 70's that a corporate whore like Obama is considered a socialist by hack Repubs.

    What would they think of Nixon's price controls?