There are times in life, and especially in politics, when it helps to step back and take a bemused look at the long view. Just such a moment has arrived for the residents (and I am one) of New York’s 29th congressional district — represented, at least until today, by former Rep. Eric Massa.
Effective as of today, March 9, as the monstrous health care plan crawls toward consummation, our district has no representative in Congress. Google Massa’s congressional web site, and you get a page headed “Current Vacancies.” If you want to see Eric Massa, you can tune in to replays of today’s Glenn Beck Show, where Massa just regaled the TV audience with locker room tales of a nude confrontation with presidential chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and a romper-room birthday tickling fight with a male staffer — text messages, perhaps, to follow? (Credit Glenn Beck, at least he apologized to his audience for Massa’s performance).
Massa, child of a political era in which the only word more important than “is” is “I,” made the obligatory show of taking responsibility, saying “I own this behavior.”
Sorry, Mr. Massa, but you were elected not to serve yourself — but to serve your constituents. Your assessment of Rahm Emanuel – as someone who would tie your kids to the railroad tracks — may be right on target. Your stand against the “healthcare” horror was commendable. But did you have to “own” behavior that made it so easy to eject you from a seat that belongs not to you, but to your district? Not everyone in the 29th District voted for you, but this is a democracy, and once you won that seat, they were all depending on you. There are a lot of decent folks in your former district, working hard to make a living, working harder all the time to pay the sky-high taxes, watching one big-government grab after another, and very worried about where this is all going. There’s quite a mutter going on in the town meetings. Now what?