New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo won’t resign (yet).
The new line from New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand is that Gov. Cuomo should resign because (how disingenuous, but convenient!) he has “lost the confidence to govern.” Translation: (a) He no longer has the clout to hurt us; (b) he could lose to a (gasp) Republican next year. They join a growing resignation chorus of Democrats, likely some guilty of the same, not entirely subtle, sexual advances attributed to Cuomo. If so, we’ll soon hear from women about them.
Cuomo predictably has mounted the customary defense: I’m a gregarious pol … if women misunderstand my innocuous banter, I apologize. Look, he knew exactly what he was doing. And, of course, Cuomo creates a straw man — that he didn’t force himself on a woman. He wants to buy time, saying wait for the “independent” New York AG investigation that, he hopes, will judge him to be merely insensitive and awkward, but not predatory.
What’s likely in this slow water torture is more women will come forward, some properly empowered, others who will engage Gloria Allred to seek their 15 minutes of fame and money. Surely there are some who, whether intimidated by his powerful position or hoping to gain favor or a promotion, accepted his scarcely disguised sexual proposition. Will we hear from a tearful young woman, always healthy and motivated, she will say, until Cuomo sexually exploited her, but now she is an anorexic on therapy, who regrets having sex with him but felt at the time she had no choice, and she confided contemporaneously in her boyfriend, who then broke up with her?
The treatment and harassment of women in the workplace deserves discussion and attention. But government overreach with detailed yet still ambiguous definitions and remedies likely will leave Cuomo in a bind. He may have violated New York government policies as well as the evolving, and at times confusing, laws. How weird that Cuomo says he will not “bow to cancel culture” because he is “not part of the club.” But Cuomo is a politically correct Democrat, a veteran politician who, like brother Chris, has condoned “cancel culture.”
Gillibrand led the mob against Sen. Al Franken, who resigned from the U.S. Senate for the high crime of tasteless and boorish behavior. Even several Republicans who don’t like Franken or his views thought resignation a draconian punishment for being an ass. Perhaps she and Schumer realized, with other Dem politicians throwing Cuomo under the bus, they would offer the alternative of tossing him off the ship.
Consider the background.
Cuomo brothers Andrew (political hack) and Christopher (CNN huckster) are bullies, capable of verbal (and more) abuse and threatening their dissenters. The Cuomos pretend humility and offer staged apologies, but never change their ways. Andy just proclaimed in a news conference that he should not resign — because he is the servant of the people, not the “politicians who did not elect me”; while this abruptly and implausibly born-again non-politician simultaneously insists “New Yorkers know me since the age of 23” for his involvement in, well, “politics” and the elective offices he held. And I wouldn’t talk about age 23, because his new enemies in the Democratic Party may find the “pattern” of aberrant behavior going back decades.
And there is brother Chris, who is always “telling it like it is,” meaning, of course, he is not. His trademark is pretending he is some high-minded “journalist” rather than a boring leftist polemicist who plays straight man (“you know I’m black inside”) to the equally mediocre Don Lemon. But let CNN and Chris be judged by his pandering interviews with Andy, not only on Andy’s presumed heroic leadership on COVID, but Chris speculating on the air about Andy’s dating status after Andy’s live-in at the governor’s mansion departed. It was stupid in real time, now it’s damning to both Cuomo brothers, and another egregious example of how far CNN has fallen from when it was a news network.
Does anyone believe Chris was unaware that known control freak Andy, a notoriously obsessive micro-manager given to humiliating his staff, leveraged his power also to objectify women, attempting to groom them to satiate his appetite? Is any of this out of character for Andy? Only in the sense that he, like other big-name Democrats, championed that women accusers should come forward, be listened to, be believed, that accusations against conservatives or Republicans alone were dispositive. Yet Andy wants us to wait for that independent investigation that will clear him of using his elective office to seek sexual partners from those under him, pun intended.
In contrast to the Cuomo brothers’ public civic-minded “mensch” persona, each man is, in private, a jerk. It’s like when the Harvey Weinstein story broke, surprise, surprise: everyone in Hollywood knew “good old Harve” sexually assaulted women, but while his companies made money for the industry, they looked the other way, until he became persona non grata for the bottom line. It wasn’t morality, it was money that caused Hollywood to cut links to Weinstein.
So it is with Andy, whom Joe Biden and Democrats, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post et al. celebrated until New York State Attorney General Letitia James (Democrat) issued her report of a Cuomo administration cover-up of COVID nursing home deaths. The fact that James is a woman and black perhaps inhibited speculation that she might want Cuomo out of the way if she ran for governor next year.
Along with the New York AG report, Cuomo had to contend with state legislator Ron Kim, whose uncle died alone in the nursing home. Socialist Kim sees no irony in that government is the culprit, and it is Governor Cuomo who insulated nursing homes from liability. Kim says he cried at reading how Cuomo falsified the numbers, and he noted that Cuomo’s key aide actually confessed they were giving false information to avoid an investigation. Are there possible state and federal crimes here? Obstruction of justice?
Note that mainstream media last year accepted Cuomo’s lying defense of rushing seniors to their death because he followed (nonexistent) federal policy from the “Trump Republican administration.” Will Hollywood now revoke its Emmy for liar Cuomo’s self-indulgent COVID briefings? That’s like asking: Will the Nobel Committee revoke its unearned Nobel Prize to Obama, awarded to Obama simply for becoming president?
It’s no secret that Andy and Chris are self-absorbed, but Andy for years was the poster boy for so-called “progressive” governance, and Chris was the compliant flack for his mediocre colleague Don Lemon, both enabled by the farcical CNN.
They are pretentious hypocrites, in general, and in particular on COVID. Gov. Andy, enabled by a Trump-hating, leftist-biased press, won that Emmy for long-winded, repetitive, and patronizing televised COVID briefings, while in real time dispatching COVID seniors into nursing homes, effectively mass death sentences for others. Chris leveraged his own COVID infection “quarantine” with televised daily CNN progress reports, while in fact he left his house and threatened the locals where he lived, much like brother Andy threatened Kim.
Stupid New York Republican politicians are getting involved, calling for impeachment. Let the Democrat circular firing squad proceed. Politically, Republicans should stay out of the sex stuff and let Democrats outbid each other as protectors of women. Focus only on Cuomo’s incompetent, if not criminal COVID policies and his lying cover-up. Let’s find out what Cuomo knew, and when he knew it, about falsifying the numbers. Given his reputation as a micro-manager, my guess is his aides will plea-bargain rather than protect their obnoxious and abusive boss.
Based on what we have heard about Cuomo’s misconduct with women, and what we know about Cuomo and the nursing homes, what is worse? Is there any doubt that his resignation or impeachment for “making women feel uncomfortable in the workplace” would be a sham, compared with the fatal consequences and possibly criminal coverup of his COVID policies?
Cuomo says his priorities are the state budget, rebuilding New York from the bottom up, and 15 million vaccinations. But Cuomo, like most Democrat governors, has sold out to government unions and activated tax policies that spur exodus. Like Gavin Newsom on the other coast, Cuomo is the perennial Wizard of Oz, the emperor without clothes. Both men will get billions for their state from bumbling Biden, who borrows money from China to enable and preserve the mismanagement of essentially one-party New York and California, as well as Illinois and other Democrat-run states.
Cuomo’s mention of COVID and vaccinations is a rhetorical error, because it calls attention to his bold vulnerability and where he may be checkmated. COVID is not the sexy stuff for the tabloids, though his misconduct with women could cause legal problems, certainly for aides who did not act on any complaints about him.
It is ironic that Cuomo attacks the women’s accusations as a “distraction” from his stewardship, when he should be grateful that this soap opera distracts from his destructive, if not criminally negligent and likely corrupt policies. Remember, he sent COVID seniors to infect others in nursing homes, denied there was a problem, covered it up, and apparently falsified numbers, and the context was that he absolved from legal liability nursing home owners who were major donors to his campaigns.
If somehow he can prevent impeachment by offering to resign by a certain date, he will do that.
Cuomo is not dumb, and he’s a lawyer. He will not resign yet because power not only corrupts, and corrupts absolutely, but becomes the only way to stay in power. Once out of office, what does he have? Even the leftist media establishment is no longer in his pocket.
More to the point, if he faces state or federal charges, he can trade his resignation as part of a plea bargain.