“[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.
But, it gets worse for Obama & Co. According to the New York Times, the White House privately thinks it only has a 51 percent chance to ram this bill down the throats of the American people. Reports the Times, “[T]hat 49 percent chance of failure could devastate Obama’s presidency, weaken Democrats heading into the fall midterm elections and trigger an even fiercer, more debilitating round of finger-pointing inside the administration.”
That is all very true. The political in-fighting at the White House, and within the Democrat party, is already reaching a fevered pitch. For weeks, liberal blogs and news sites have been buzzing about the prospects of replacing or reassigning Obama’s top advisors: Emmanuel, Axelrod, Summers, etc. One report suggests replacing Rahm Emmanuel with former Senate Democrat Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota.
It gets worse. Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of U.S News & World Report and Publisher of the New York Daily news, Mort Zuckerman, writes of Obama, “He’s misjudged the character of the country in his whole approach” and “He’s done everything wrong.” He lays blame for Obama’s sinking poll numbers, economic stagnation and Republicans’ new fortunes in the generic Congressional ballot polls at the feet of none other than Obama himself.
Zuckerman might as well have just said, “He’s a lightweight.”
Even without that, Zuckerman’s is a devastating line of critique from a once-ardent Obama supporter, and is merely indicative of how Obama’s own party feels about him right now. Even NBC’s Saturday Night Live brilliantly portrays just how out of touch Obama really is.
In short, Obama acts like he is in charge, as he did yesterday in a campaign speech in Glenside, Pennsylvania. But he is devoid of reality. “When is the right time? If not now, when?” Obama questioned aloud of when it might be proper for the government to take over the health care industry.
The answer, of course, is never. But yet, he wants to pretend that his plan will lower costs, when it won’t. That adding 30 million or so new individuals to government-run health care will not plunge the nation deeper into debt, when it will. That government does not engage in health-care rationing, when Congress debates every year “doc-fix” bills that cope with the underpayment by Medicare to physicians. It just goes on and on.
Making matters worse for the White House, party leaders in the House and Senate are incompetent at best and corrupt and dangerous at the worst.
Just last month, Nancy Pelosi completely lost control of the House of Representatives, as reported by Politico, when language was inserted into a bill that would have authorized the prosecution of former Bush Administration officials for war crimes. Incompetence at best.
Throw in the removal of Charlie Rangel at Ways & Means Chair as a result of corruption charges, the botched union exemption to the Cadillac Tax, the Louisiana Purchase, the
Cornhusker Kickback and the backroom deals and pure, raw corruption of Washington has been on display for months.
Plus, don’t forget the summer town halls whose attendees were labeled “political terrorists,” “extremists,” and deemed “Un-American” by members of Congress. Zuckerman’s right. They’re doing everything wrong.
Somewhere, I have to imagine that Hillary Clinton is grating her teeth at what might have been. But I digress.
None of this should make Republicans overconfident. Democrats may be politically down at the moment, but they are still very dangerous, as is evidenced by Obama, Pelosi and Reid’s push to abuse the budget reconciliation process to enact ObamaCare.
And, if true, Eric Massa’s allegations indicate the lengths that the majority will go through to get what it wants — even engaging in whole scale purges of its fellow travelers.
Right now, the GOP must be prepared to fight Obama and his radical policies tooth and nail. On every front. On every issue that threatens the nation’s very solvency and threatens to bankrupt future generations.
As incompetent as Democrats have been, they now seek to lock into place these policies, hoping that Republicans cannot undo them in 2011 and beyond, even if the GOP wins in 2010. They may be right, and Republicans must not proceed as if they have already won the mêlée.
For certainly, the true battle has only just begun.
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.