Weirder Still

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We’re getting a bit more details on just what the complaints against soon-to-be-ex-Rep. Eric Massa were about. On Massa’s weekly radio show he explained his side of the alleged incident of sexual harassment and went on to suggest that the timing of recent events was part of a plan by Democratic leaders to force him out of the House to pave the way for passing health care reform.

And from there … well, I guess the highlights would include the cursing match with Rahm and Massa’s story of walking in on his Navy bunkmate masturbating back in the early 1980s and how that led to a misunderstanding and the bunkmate requesting different quarters. And then somewhat above and beyond the call of duty descriptions of best practices for sharing a bed with a staffer when you’re on the road and the hotel room only has one bed. (One sleeps under the covers, one over.)

The whole show sounds at once genuine, completely disjointed and confused, somewhat endearing and also totally bizarre. For a good bit of the conversation (the first 25 minutes or so is an impassioned monologue) the topic was whether or not Massa should stay in Congress, cut back his hours and declare himself an independent.

Roll Call reports the story here. And you can listen to the interview itself here (jump to about 5 minutes in).Here’s Roll Call’s run-down of Massa’s recounting of events.

“On new Year’s Eve, I went to a staff party. It was actually a wedding for a staff member of mine; there were over 250 people there. I was with my wife. And in fact we had a great time. She got the stomach flu,” he said.

Massa explained that he then danced first with the bride, who was not identified, and then with a bridesmaid. He said multiple cameras recorded the incident.

“I said goodnight to the bridesmaid,” Massa continued. “I sat down at the table where my whole staff was, all of them by the way bachelors.”

“One of them looked at me and as they would do after, I don’t know, 15 gin and tonics, and goodness only knows how many bottles of champagne, a staff member made an intonation to me that maybe I should be chasing after the bridesmaid and his points were clear and his words were far more colorful than that,” Massa said. “And I grabbed the staff member sitting next to me and said, ‘Well, what I really ought to be doing is fracking you.’ And then [I] tossled the guy’s hair and left, went to my room, because I knew the party was getting to a point where it wasn’t right for me to be there. Now was that inappropriate of me? Absolutely. Am I guilty? Yes.”

Now, in the radio interview, Massa says he only realized that this was an effort to push him out of the House when he woke up in the early hours of Sunday morning and started reading recent press and blog coverage of the events of his resignation and particularly the fact that his departure reduces the number of votes required to pass health care reform. “Now they’ve gotten rid of me and it’ll pass,” he says.

Massa also very directly accuses Steny Hoyer of lying when he said that he discussed with the matter directly with Massa.

By the end of the show, Massa is saying that passing Health Care Reform via reconciliation will tear the country apart and that the only way to stop it from passing is to get his story (presumably the alleged plan to force him out of Congress) on to Fox News to let the public know what the Democrats will do to get the bill passed.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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