One of my favorite movies is the Clint Eastwood classic "Unforgiven". There's a memorable scene where the local sheriff, a hard-nosed bully named Little Bill Daggett (played by Gene Hackman), beats the living shi*t out of a gunman ("English Bob") who rode into town expecting to execute a quick hit and leave with the payoff.
With the whole of the town watching the assault with horror, Hackman, while beating his adversary bloody, makes the following remarks:
I guess you think I'm kicking you, Bob. But it ain't so. What I'm doing is talking, you hear? I'm talking to all those villains down there in Kansas. I'm talking to all those villains in Missouri. And all those villains down there in Cheyenne. And what I'm saying is there ain't no whore's gold. And if there was, how they wouldn't want to come looking for it anyhow.
...cause if you did come looking for it, you'd get what English Bob was getting. Message sent.
Now listen to Eric Massa, soon to be disappeared from the House, allegedly for improper behavior. But was the improper behavior simply his voting choices, especially his continued insistence on a "no" vote on ObamaCare?
"I am showering, naked as a jaybird, and here comes Rahm Emanuel, not even with a towel wrapped around his tush, poking his finger in my chest, yelling at me."
"Steny Hoyer has never said a single word to me at all, never, not once," Massa said. "Never before in the history of the House of Representatives has a sitting leader of the Democratic Party discussed allegations of House investigations publicly, before findings of fact. Ever."
"I was set up for this from the very, very beginning," he added. "The leadership of the Democratic Party have become exactly what they said they were running against."
“That’s very kind of you, but understand what that means for me," Massa said in a response to a caller who suggested he not resign. “It means that a group of lawyers are going to try to rip me and my family limb from limb. And you’ve already seen it in the newspapers. … It’s a piranha feeding frenzy.”
In other words: "We're not giving Eric Massa the business here, and ruining his life and his family's. It ain't so. What we're doing is talking here, you know? We're talking to all those Blue Dog Democrats. We're talking to all those far-left ideologues. And we're talking to all of those red-state fence sitters. And we're saying that you got no choice but to vote for the Obama health care plan. Because you don't have any options. And if you think you do, well, you don't want to exercise them anyhow."
Message sent? We'll see if the numbers spin tomorrow....