“[N]ow they’ve gotten rid of me and it will pass. You connect the dots.” That was former New York Democrat Congressman Massa’s take on his resignation in light on allegations of sexual harassment against him.
Yesterday, Washington was rocked by allegations by Massa that he may have been forced from power to help lower the threshold for passing ObamaCare in the House to 216 votes.
Acknowledging that his sexually explicit comments to a Congressional staffer were inappropriate, Massa nonetheless suggested that there was more at play: “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.”
Massa claimed that the complaint had not been filed by the harassed staffer, but by somebody else.
At a bare minimum, Massa’s accusations against the House majority indicate that he could have been set up simply because he voted against the House health care takeover in November -- that, desperate to enact the bill, House leaders were willing to stick their thumbs in the eyes of the American people, and use even the slightest pretense to purge unwilling accomplices from Congress.
Overall, however, the Massa episode is just one piece of a larger narrative: Barack Obama has simply lost control of the political dynamic in Washington and in the nation at large.
For example, despite the alleged effort to purge Massa, the whip count against ObamaCare just keeps getting worse. As reported by ABCNews.com, Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-IL) who voted “Yes” the first time around, will be voting no, joining Congressman Jim Oberstar (D-MI) in objecting to the abortion-funding provisions of the Senate bill.
Factor in the loss of other “Yes” votes Cao, Murtha, Abercrombie and Wexler, and at best, according to the extreme left-wing site Daily Kos, there are only 205 “yes” votes. That’s eleven votes short of 216 needed to simply pass the Senate bill, let alone engage in the unprecedented use of budget reconciliation to take over one-sixth of the American economy.
William Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government. He has spent his career working in political strategy and public affairs for various causes and organizations.