Representative Eric Massa's (D-NY) bewildering retirement stories continue to fuel debate as he heads for a heart-to-heart with Glenn Beck tonight. Massa has alternately blamed his resignation on health problems, an ethics violation, and Democratic leaders' displeasure with his refusal to toe the line on health care reform. The media, starved of good scandal for weeks, is frantically trying to figure out what's actually going on. But while some scramble to categorize Massa's decision in partisan terms, Hot Air's Ed Morrissey goes back to basics, and lays the matter out about as cleanly as possible.


If sexual harassment reports about Massa were inflated by Democratic leadership , he "has a perfect remedy at hand," says Morrissey: "don't resign." Since he's retiring at the end of his term anyway, there's no need for immediate action.

If instead the representative is leaving to focus on his cancer therapy, fine. But in that case, Morrissey continues, he can't blame the Democratic leadership. (Morrissey, for one, isn't so sure Representatives Hoyer and Pelosi showcased the Massa ethics investigation because of Massa's intractability on health care. They may instead have been highlighting the case in order to "look proactive" in the wake of the recent Charlie Rangel ethics fiasco.)

In the end, Morrissey lays out Massa's choice clearly:
If he wants to be the "deciding vote" on ObamaCare, all he has to do is stick around.  If he doesn't, that's entirely his decision, but it sounds like a smoke screen rather than an exposé.