Why not both?


What a strange headline: “Cuomo accusations split Democrats between wanting an investigation or a resignation”. How about an investigation, which prompts a resignation? Why not have him resign, and follow through with an investigation? Or do both simultaneously? I don’t care. Andrew Cuomo is a rolling disaster. Stop him now.

It’s not just that he hid nursing home deaths and mismanaged the pandemic for the most vulnerable populations. It’s that he runs the state as a smug patriarch and fosters a patronizing culture of sexism. Totally familiar. This crap is everywhere, and no one ever seems to take any steps to bring the abusers back in line. Listen to this woman who worked with him.

I never thought the governor wanted to have sex with me. It wasn’t about sex. It was about power. He wanted me to know that I was powerless, that I was small and weak, that I did not deserve what relative power I had: a platform to hold him accountable for his words and actions. He wanted me to know that he could take my dignity away at any moment with an inappropriate comment or a hand on my waist. (The Cuomo administration has declined to comment.)

It’s not that Cuomo spares men in his orbit from his trademark bullying and demeaning behavior. But the way he bullies and demeans women is different. He uses touching and sexual innuendo to stoke fear in us. That is the textbook definition of sexual harassment.

The message is that as long as you don’t rape or molest a woman, you can get away with all kinds of demeaning behavior. Go ahead, let all the apparatchiks in your orbit sneer at women. No crime, no foul.

Unfortunately, though, it wasn’t just the culture of the Cuomo administration I had to survive in New York’s capital. If it wasn’t Cuomo putting his arm around me, it was a drunken state lawmaker propositioning me at a bar or a guard repeatedly denying me access to the Senate chambers or a male colleague in the press corps refusing to accept his own complicity in what was happening. Whether the governor resigns or finishes out his term or is reelected or runs for another office, his eventual departure alone will not end the legacy of sexual harassment in Albany. As a former colleague recently tweeted, it’s “as pervasive as air.”

I know, who cares? Isn’t that women’s role, to look pretty and be nice toys to touch?

I supported the eviction of Al Franken from congress for the same reason: nothing he did was criminal, but it was disrespectful and sent a message that women are appropriate targets for demeaning jokes. Sorry, Al, you did good work but are a necessary casualty of an important shift in our social environment. Meanwhile, Cuomo is a colossal arrogant asshole who bungled his way through the pandemic and has no redeeming characteristics to cause us any doubts. So why are we debating whether he ought to resign?

Comments

  1. brucegee1962 says

    It’s good to see Democrats not being hypocrites, and holding our own to the same standards we hold those of the other party. I hope swing voters notice which party has a single standard and which has a double standard.

  2. says

    This is what we get when we revert to one of the main things that our revolution fought against: Keeping power “in the family.” <sarcasm> And here I thought the prohibition on titles of nobility, and the requirement of individual election for each office, was supposed to symbolize that “political office” is not something passed down in the family, generation after generation. </sarcasm>

    I’ve lived in Chicago. Enough said on that subject.

    Worse yet, I had… (limited but spread over several years) professional dealings with Mario Cuomo. My only suprise at what has been made public regarding his son is that it’s so… tawdry; the bullying was learned at daddy’s knee. Which, now that I think of it, is one of the best reasons to keep kids away from this particular family business.

  3. says

    Why was liberal lion Franken swiftly ousted for a photo while Cuomo lingers on? Partly it was because of the photo. The moralist mind, like the pornographic mind, is highly excited by visual input. But mostly it’s because PC is a cobweb that catches mayflies but lets hornets pass through.

  4. says

    Bare minimum, Cuomo should announce he’s not running for re-election. His term ends next year and if he runs again then the Democrats are just handing New York to the GOP on a silver platter.

  5. Numenaster, whose eyes are up here says

    @nathaniel #3:

    “Why was liberal lion Franken swiftly ousted for a photo while Cuomo lingers on? ”

    Franken was ousted swiftly because it wasn’t just “a photo”. It’s never just one, as OGH has pointed out before. I’ll just quote Kirsten Gillibrand’s summary: “”Senator Franken was accused credibly by eight women of groping and forceable kissing,” she said. “All were corroborated in real time. Two of them were since he was a senator. And the last one that came to light was a congressional staffer.”

  6. dean56 says

    “But mostly it’s because PC is a cobweb that catches mayflies but lets hornets pass through.”

    It’s a very good thing then that none of this is about political correctness.

  7. Pierce R. Butler says

    Cuomo gets part of his political longevity endurance from his work last year, providing the frank (we thought) regular COVID-19 talks that Trump™ never delivered but which the nation urgently needed.

    I remember telling friends that the Democrats should dump boring Biden and can’t-get-the-turnout Sanders and nominate Cuomo for the presidency instead – I still get the shivers thinking how US politics might have turned out if an effective movement that agreed with me had emerged.

  8. mandrake says

    Am I being optimistic to think this behavior will fade away as as the generation currently in power fades away?

  9. PaulBC says

    mandrake@8 You’re probably being way too optimistic. Some of the behavior might be hidden better or altered in some way. If you look at allegations against much young people (e.g. in the tech industry) it does not seem to be something limited to dinosaurs.

  10. Numenaster, whose eyes are up here says

    mandrake #8, as long as there are power gradients there will be people who abuse them. So no, it’s not generational, because we still have power gradients (many of them are not much changed).

  11. kathleenzielinski says

    Nathaniel, No. 3, I think because Franken had enough of a sense of shame to resign whereas Cuomo is digging in his heels. The practical reality is that had Franken not chosen to resign, there wouldn’t have been a lot the Democrats could have done about it until the next election. They might have stripped him of his committee assignments or something but he’d still have had a vote in the Senate and continued to collect a paycheck.

  12. says

    @12 Yes, but the specifics depend on the particular state. So I don’t know how it would work in New York, and I am far too lazy to look it up.
    I’m mainly commenting on this blog post to see if I can retcon out of my life any positive feelings I may have had for Cuomo during the summer, say because of that weird banter with his little brother, or the contrast the media made between him and Trump. So, uh, I guess, mea culpa, y’all?
    Also, that pic of Cuomo for some reason makes me think of a weird crossover between The Godfather and Magilla Gorilla. Yes, I am petty, hear me roar.

  13. kathleenzielinski says

    Yes. The specifics of how you do it varies from one state to another, but all states have provisions for removing a governor.

    By the way, if Cuomo does resign or get impeached, his successor would be the first woman governor in New York history.

  14. Ishikiri says

    @gijoel, 12:

    Yes, and in addition to impeachment, most if not all states have a mechanism for recall, wherein the governor can be removed by referendum if enough citizens petition for it. Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, who by most accounts is less of a bully and has far better optics than Cuomo but is still pretty shitty in his own way, is facing the strong possibility of a recall vote this year.

    I don’t like Newsom, but I’m inclined to vote against recall if it comes to that because I fear who might be elected in his place. The recall effort is being led by a bunch of bad-faith rightist shitheads, and while they might be able to gather enough signatures for a successful recall petition, I rather doubt that Newsom would be voted out.

  15. DrVanNostrand says

    I did a quick Google search and it appears NY doesn’t have a recall process, but has a pretty standard impeachment process.

  16. says

    @#7, Pierce R. Butler:

    If they had gone with Cuomo, then Cuomo’s accusers would have been silenced like Biden’s were. Or have you forgotten the way #MeToo just… vanished when Biden got close to having enough delegates to lock the nomination?

    How excellent it is that the Democratic establishment — Obama and Pelosi and the Clintons and so on — all got together to endorse Cuomo in the last NY primaries over his (female) progressive challenger! Think how terrible it would be if we didn’t have the guidance of our experienced leaders to help us choose candidates! After all, the people who supported the Iraq invasion, the creation of ICE, and the PATRIOT Act must be Very Deep Thinkers who have nothing but our best interests at heart!

    As for Franken, it wasn’t just the existing accusations that doomed him, it was that he knew there were more waiting in the wings. He was asked by somebody or other in a public setting — the details are fading from my memory, but it was on the record — whether he could guarantee that there were no more women who could be coming forward to accuse him, and he had to admit that there might be more, which means there were more incidents he knew about but which had not become public and now never will.

  17. logicalcat says

    Uhh. Not this bullshit again. he didn’t mismanage the pandemic for the most vulnerable population. what he did was the right move. it was even adopted in other metropolitan cities. As an EMT it was my job to transport these patients to those nursing homes. It helped alleviate the overwhelmed medical system which is why the death rate was incredibly high in new York. Whether he hid the data or not I don’t know. But every dishonest leftist echoes the other point without knowing what the fuck they are talking about.

  18. logicalcat says

    @Vicar

    When leftists claim that Clinton murdered a man and helped a rapist escape justice you fucked your credibility. Funny how you ignore that part of the context.

  19. logicalcat says

    And to be clear before others put words in my mouth, I don’t care if you kick out Cuomo. Don’t give a shit. I cared more about Franken and even then I was generally okay with it. Just tired of leftist lies and half truths.

  20. chigau (違う) says

    logicalcat
    No politician in the USA is actually “left”. and very few citizens.

  21. chrislawson says

    logicalcat, supporting the right of conservatives to lie about official stats to make themselves look better. Don’t think of the Vicar as representive of leftism. Pretty much everyone here thinks the Vicar is full of crap.

  22. snarkrates says

    Vicar, Don’t like the party establishment throwing their support behind a candidate you don’t like? Do something about it. Get rank-preference voting instituted in your state. It is the best way to diminish the influence of parties and their grandees.

    Or just keep talking shit. Your choice.

  23. Pierce R. Butler says

    The Vicar … @ # 17: … Cuomo’s accusers would have been silenced like Biden’s were.

    It seems not even the wingnuts found enough substance to keep gnawing on those bones – and they can subsist on pure vapor.

  24. birgerjohansson says

    The Asshole of Florida has taken advantage of the Asshole of New York scandal, mostly avoiding media coverage even though his shenagians also leave people dying without getting vaccines in time.

    People need to write to the media and demand they assign more attention to Florida.
    And a lesson to party apparatchiks: Letting an enemy get away because you let an ally cause a scandal that hogs the limelight is bad politics. Dump Cuomo.Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    Addendum: Florida Republicans have removed the possibility to recall a bad governor. Because ….Benghazi?

  25. evolutionaryautistic says

    Fuck Cuomo. He’s a sexually harrassing asshole who needs his ass booted out as soon as possible. Biden needs to boot him to send a message that the democrats are better than this, and that he’s dedicated to women’s rights.

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