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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Eric Massa

Last night I wrote a post on Eric Massa, complete with the Village People's "In the Navy" video. I posted it, then took it down after a few minutes to give myself time to study him a bit more. After reading Joshua Green's piece over at the Atlantic, I'm convinced the guy is a bully and has some serious psychological problems.

At the same time, it's worth remembering Massa was firmly in support of gay rights. He was one of the most forceful advocates for the repeal of the ban on gays in the military. Now it turns out, he was also Exhibit A for why "Don't Ask Don't Tell" don't work.

He was on the correct, informed side of the battle on any number of issues; even his opposition to the health care bill came (allegedly) from his support for single payer. He was not a corporatist Democrat; in fact, he was one of the most forceful advocates out there for American consumers and against predatory banks.

And, crucially, given present circumstances, he wasn't a homophobe. His pathologies, however, as Howie Klein points out so movingly today, are partly an outcome of homophobia during a very unfriendly time.

If he sexually harassed someone, he should be sued and/or bounced out of Congress for it, by his voters unlike Senators Ensign and Vitter and the long list of fellow Republican sex offenders, whose sexual shenanigans were also criminal. Eric Massa may have been a repressed bully and a bit of a psycho, but he wasn't a bad congressman.

So no "In the Navy" video from me. It isn't even the Village People's greatest song. Eric Massa, a rare fighter among Democrats, at least on a handful of issues, deserves their best song. Especially on a day that the left, whose battles Massa left the GOP in order to fight, is taking a cheap, collective dump on him.

And because we could all use a laugh.

Village People - Macho Man

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