Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Take on the Massa Interview

While Eric Massa has lost his congressional seat, like any of us in a delicate position, he doesn't want to lose his reputation in the process as well. Thus, his indignation and claims of innocence and victimization must be convincing if he is to avoid serious long-term personal damages. With that in mind, I viewed Glenn Beck's hastily arranged interview of Massa this afternoon.

First, Massa's claiming to be a victim of heavy-handed political retribution was entirely unconvincing.

While much of what he said rang credible and true, particularly his pleas for campaign finance reform (whatever that might entail), his stingingly negative characterizations of Rahm Emanuel, the relentless lobbying pressures brought to bear on congresspersons, and the soulessness of party leadership, I felt that his limited congressional experience provided little in the way of insightful or instructive disclosure.

Prodded by Beck to expose specific incidences of corruption and to suggest corrective courses of action, being a congressional neophyte (14 months on the job) and, thus, a political light weight, it was not surprising that Massa fell flat. Beck even apologized to his viewing audience for the interview's lack of significance.

Though Michelle Malkin's site described Massa as a "crapweasal" and "bottom-feeding opportunist", Mr. Massa struck me as a sadly and personally undisciplined guy who was way, way over his head. Completely out of his depth, he struck me as a guy who was trying to pick up the pieces as best he could, protect his backside and move on with his life, knowing full well that much more embarrassment to him and his family was surely in the offing.

The one substantive thing that jumped out at me was his assertion that even though he was a Progressive, he was also a serious "fiscal conservative". What?!? I M P O S S I B L E. His claim to be a legislative centrist was, at best, naive, and, at worst, either disingenuous or clueless. Obviously, Progressivism, fiscal conservativism and centrism are mutually exclusive, suggesting to me that Mr. Massa had been fundamentally bereft of a clear-headed and well-grounded political philosophy from the beginning.

So, I really learned nothing new about the horrors of D.C. or what the American people should specifically do about those horrors. What I did learn is that despite the litany of contradictory statements as to the reasons for his resignation, the interview was an embarrassing waste of time--both for him and for the viewers alike.

In truth, I honestly felt sorry for him. A tragic figure, he was clearly way out his league and, frankly, someone to be pitied more than condemned. In any event, I wish the man well and hope he and his family enjoy a peaceful and productive life.