Bob Franken

Massa Eviction

So let’s get this straight: Following embarrassing disclosures of some Democrats’ ethics problems, the conservatives are dumping all over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who, after all, had promised to “clean the swamp” of Congress.

AND: At the very same time, they are sliming her for cleaning the swamp of some muck, Congressman Eric Massa.

Here’s what’s so strange: Even though he’s a hated “D” just like Pelosi, Massa has still mastered the far right. The extremist commentators like Beck and Limbaugh, along with the other usual opportunists, have embraced him as a cruel sacrifice for the Speaker’s cutthroat politics.

They are there for him, loudly parroting his sudden claim his party’s leaders forced him out of office simply because he was a vote against the President’s health care reform, which is hanging by a thread.

Never mind that before Massa declared himself the victim of vile conduct he acknowledged he was the victimizer…engaging in vile conduct with a staffer.

So if Pelosi decided to “clean the swamp” of that slime, should she be slimed from the Right for it? Given the fact that, on her watch, Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel was forced to step aside after his Hands-In-The-Cookie-Jar allegations, she might deserve some slack, particularly since Rangel was a champion of the health care legislation.

Given how timid the Democrats have been about their agenda, from the Obama White House to Pelosi and Harry Reid’s Capitol, they should be wearing their enemies’ charges of nasty politics as badges of honor.

There are many on the D side who have despaired. They have considered the President a Casper Milquetoast and his congressional leaders as floundering cat herders. Now that he and they are saying “No-More-Mr.Nice-Guys-And-This-Time-We-Mean-It” their allies might be muttering “It’s about damned time”.

Meanwhile Massa, can now join his new crew on the USS Extremist and sail with them way off to the starboard side. He’s right at home with their persecution shanty, now that he’s declared himself a martyr for being cast out of the swamp, which has looked more like quicksand for the Democrats. Up until now.

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