It is interesting—if utterly predictable—that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo now looks around for help in his present predicament and finds that he is alone on an ice floe, headed for Greenland. It is an iron law of politics that, if you act like an unreconstructed and colossal dickhead to enough people enough of the time, your roster of allies is likely to thin out whether you’ve been paying attention or not. From the New York Times:
The governor was working the room after toasting the newlyweds, and when he came upon Ms. Ruch, now 33, she thanked him for his kind words about her friends. But what happened next instantly unsettled her: Mr. Cuomo put his hand on Ms. Ruch’s bare lower back, she said in an interview on Monday.
When she removed his hand with her own, Ms. Ruch recalled, the governor remarked that she seemed “aggressive” and placed his hands on her cheeks. He asked if he could kiss her, loudly enough for a friend standing nearby to hear. Ms. Ruch was bewildered by the entreaty, she said, and pulled away as the governor drew closer.
New York Attorney General Letitia James will conduct an investigation into this situation. And Cuomo is also under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office on charges that his administration put lives at risk by moving COVID-positive residents back into nursing homes and then lied about the consequences of that decision. The man could use a friend right now. If he bought a dog, it would bite him. From the Albany Times-Union:
The politicians breaking ranks with Cuomo include a batch of progressive Democrats in the Legislature — as well as a Democratic member of Congress from Long Island…"The time has come. The governor must resign," wrote U.S.. Rep. Kathleen Rice, a Long Island Democrat, on Twitter. Rice is the first Democratic member of Congress to call for Cuomo's ouster, and Rice was among the first to call for the departure of former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken after he, too, was accused of harassment…
Those speaking out Monday and Tuesday are joining their colleague, Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, who was the first [state] senator to say that the governor should immediately resign. "While a truly independent investigation may uncover more evidence or instances of abuse, the existing details are sufficient for me to form my conclusion," Biaggi wrote Sunday. "As a New Yorker, a legislator, chair of the Senate Ethics and Internal Governance Committee, and a survivor of sexual abuse, I am calling for Gov. Cuomo to resign.”
(These events have placed U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in something of a bind. She was at the head of the movement to force Al Franken’s resignation from the Senate, but she’s playing Cuomo’s troubles very coyly, defaulting to the investigations, a consideration she did not give to Franken.)
A lot of bills are coming due. Cuomo governed like a satrap for years. He blunted progressive legislation by enlisting a rump faction of Democrats willing to deal with the Republicans to create his personal working majority in the state legislature. That was a sure way to guarantee that almost nobody was loyal to him in any but the most cynical and pragmatic ways. Expedience is an all-purpose political parachute, and folks are hitting the silk on Andrew Cuomo. It’s time for him to go.