Time’s up for Andrew Cuomo.
Prominent New York politicians at every level joined together on Friday in a chorus demanding the resignation of the embattled Governor in the wake of an ever-expanding sexual harassment scandal in which six different women accused Cuomo of inappropriate conduct, of which allegation is now being investigated by the Albany police.
It is long past time that the Democratic Party rid itself of one of its most monstrous figures. Once hailed as a hero by a terrified nation for the displays of basic competence and leadership that he provided during the outset of the coronavirus crisis, it is now clear he is as much a petty tyrant and uncaring a narcissist as Donald Trump ever was.
Far worse than the sexual harassment allegations are the accusations that the Governor’s office prevented COVID-19 infected patients from being turned away at nursing homes and then actively covered up the death toll after the virus predictably reaped a horrifying toll on the state’s most vulnerable people — at the same time as he began writing his book about “solving” the COVID-19 crisis. 15,000 New Yorkers would die in nursing homes thanks to Cuomo’s “leadership,” and their families had no avenue for restitution thanks to Cuomo’s issuing of a liability shield to nursing home executives — who just so happen to have given him a million dollars during the 2018 primary.
For him to write a book entitled “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic” while lying to the public about the thousands dying in nursing homes on behalf of his financial backers is about as Trumpian a display of hubris as you could possibly get.
Now we know he shares much more with his fellow New Yorker than we once thought.
Interviews with dozens of former Cuomo aides and New York politicos by the New Yorker have exposed a governor’s office run like “a cultish fraternity” or a “high-school clique” and a cultivated “culture of bullying and harassment” that was used to cover up decades of mismanagement and incompetence. “It’s this total toxic masculine bullshit that disguises a very poorly run place,” said former Cuomo official Joel Wertheimer.
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) March 12, 2021
Cuomo surrounded himself with beautiful women and set high expectations for their dress and behavior, an absolute psycho who reveled in exercising the power that he had over their careers and their sense of self-worth. A statehouse reporter for POLITICO New York, Jessica Bakeman, writes that his behavior “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.”
Remind you of anyone we know?
It has been deeply depressing to see the flood of support that Cuomo has received from brain-broken liberals who have convinced themselves that this is some kind of elaborate plot to replace Andrew Cuomo with a Republican who will then pardon Trump and prevent the New York attorney general’s office from prosecuting him. That’s ridiculous and we cannot allow fanatical Red Team vs. Blue Team thinking to keep us from holding our own accountable, which we are supposed to want to do!
You may not like to hear it, but Cuomo is our Trump. He is the son of a powerful New Yorker who constantly lived in his father’s shadow. He floated on a golden parachute through life, treating women like objects and bullying everyone who dared stand in his way before ascending to power. Once in power, he thugged and intimidated his way into maintaining a veneer of competence to cover up his abuses and corruption. He ran the New York Democratic party like the mafia and even gerrymandered his own Senate to protect the interests of the wealthiest New Yorkers. He started an anti-corruption commission and then hamstrung it two months later once it started looking too closely at his own business!
For all the incessant posturing and self-congratulation about how much better we are than Republicans, we sure are reluctant to hold ourselves to the same standards.
If we are truly determined to empower women, to listen to them and believe them when they come forward with their stories, to fight for a society in which women are treated as people and not as sexual objects, then we must be ready to practice what we preach, especially in our own ranks. That’s why it’s time for Andrew Cuomo to resign and let an actual Democrat clean up the mess.
We don’t want to be the party that venerates this kind of person.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.