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Steny Hoyer: hero of the Eric Massa episode

Sadly, Americans now aren’t that surprised when their elected officials behave badly. Such shenanigans as frequenting prostitutes, ignoring tax codes or dissembling to cover visits to mistresses has inured us to the misconduct of people who are supposed to do the public good. So, when a politician actually does the right thing, it’s occasion to take note. If not stand up and cheer.

Case in point is House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and his deft handling of complaints about former Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.). Hoyer is the one a top Massa aide took complaints to about the congressman’s conduct. Massa’s own accounts (apparently depending upon his mood) acknowledge inappropriate language, groping a male staffer and (I still can’t get over this) tickling to the point of breathlessness. Kudos to Ron Hikel, Massa’s former deputy chief of staff, for speaking up, and kudos to Hoyer for making clear that if Massa didn’t bring the matter to the House ethics committee, he would.

Hoyer, as Roll Call notes, has long been an advocate for internal House ethics investigations. And it’s particularly refreshing that Hoyer didn’t let party considerations enter into his calculation of what’s right and what’s wrong. Now that's something to be tickled about

By Jo-Ann Armao  | March 10, 2010; 12:06 PM ET
Categories:  Armao  | Tags:  Jo-Ann Armao  
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It's hard to tell who looks the worst from this scandal: Massa himself; Glen Beck, who thought he would look could trying to champion this creep; or Republicans on the Hill who tried to make this look like Democratic political blackmail instead of Democrats properly censuring their own.

Republicans should have learned from the Mark Foley scandal that proper and prompt handling of alleged abuse prevents greater political disasters down the road. Instead, they tried to politicize the situation and now look like the champions of the perverted.

Posted by: AxelDC | March 10, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Massa, a repug turned dino to win an election. Typical politician.

Posted by: chasjones444 | March 10, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, Mass is very ill. Whatever is his illness, he is in decompensation or, possibly, in crisis. For one, he is obsessed with naked men, showers with them, the nudity of a men's shower room, physical touching of men amongst each other, etc. Something has happened to him to either bring a long standing problem or issue to a head, so to speak, or, there is an organic brain problem that is affecting his thought process.

The media is having a field day with an obvious very sick man. The Dems in Congress---and the Repubs---have all amazingly held their tongues, which is amazing because Repubs usually have ridiculous statements for everything. Maybe they are stunned that this man's rantings have topped anything they can come up with. Shock and awe. Whatever is happening to Massa for whatever reason, it stirs a great deal of pity in me rather than anger.

Posted by: nana4 | March 11, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Hear Hear - in this era of cynicism and gotcha journalism it's refreshing to see a report about a positive and ethical act by a Congressional leader.

Thanks for writing about this.

Posted by: sambam | March 11, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Massa has been kinked since his Navy days at least. The man was sued for libel and used his own son as a pawn in the suit, which he settled out of court. Allegations of sexual misconduct have followed him for years. His pattern is one of a bully using his position to intimidate and sexually harass those who work for or are subordinate to him. I feel no pity for this gargoyle only contempt.

Posted by: Gorbud | March 11, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Say, Jo-Ann, you've written a string of posts I've just found to my delight! Glad to meet you :) Thanks for pointing out Sen. Hoyer's good deed.



Posted by: Felipe_M | March 11, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

I think its great that Hoyer stood up for what's right - but that is what he is suppossed to do as a leader and a member of Congress. JEEZ! In any other field this would be a "no-brainer" and expected. Have our politicians become so bad that we actually write about and applaud one of them doing the right thing? I think Massa's staff should be commended for realizing they had a freakshow on their hands and reporting him.

Posted by: HornetCoach | March 11, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

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