Cuomo: We hardly knew ye, except we did and that was more than enough

The Emmy Winning Governor resigns over accusations of sexual harassment, but despite ranking second in the country in deaths and a scandal over nursing homes, is still lauded by President Biden and others, even as liberals start to rewrite history and claim they knew he was a creep all along.

How the mighty have fallen:  After receiving an Emmy, a prime-time speaking slot at the Democrat National Convention, acquiring what could only be described as groupies claiming they were “Cuomosexuals,” and generally receiving the sort of fawning media coverage reserved for dictators when journalists are under threat of execution, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo finally resigned earlier this week in the wake of a sexual assault scandal involving at least eleven women.  This in addition to making decisions during the pandemic that needlessly resulted in thousands of deaths in nursing homes and then lying about it, repeatedly.  Remember, this was a man no less than President Biden said last August was “the gold standard,” who’s “done a hell of a job.”  Check that:  Biden actually said pretty much the same thing this week!

Of course, Cuomo being Cuomo, even his resignation speech had to be a little bizarre, including somewhat blaming the victims.  “In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn.  There are generational and cultural shifts that I just didn’t fully appreciate.”  From that, one might think he was innocent, until he added “and I should have.  No excuses,” wait, isn’t the entire statement an excuse, as in he didn’t do anything wrong, he just didn’t realize groping women was bad?

Otherwise, this was classic victim-blaming, even The Guardian said it followed the “playbook of powerful men.”  From there, he chose to describe the raging scandal as a distraction.  “Government needs to perform.  It is a matter of life and death, government operations, and wasting energy on distractions is the last thing state government should be doing and I cannot be the cause of that.”  This was followed by a bizarre statement that “New York tough means New York loving” and “everything” he has ever done has been motivated by that love and he cannot be unhelpful in any way.”  Yes, “love” made him harass and fondle women, everything he did, he did it for them.

Governor Cuomo’s collapse is especially illuminating because he was considered a champion of the #MeToo movement once upon a time, a movement that by definition was devoted to the concept that the line had been completely redrawn. In August of 2019, he signed legislation to create new protections for women in the workplace, declaring a zero tolerance policy, I guess for everyone except himself, kind of like coronavirus masking policies never apply to the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Barack Obama, Gavin Newsome, and many others.  He even held a ceremony at the executive mansion in Albany for the media, bragging about the new legislation.  “Let’s honor all the women who have endured this humiliation,” he gushed. “Let’s honor the women who have had the courage to come forward to tell their stories – and let’s actually change things.”  The very next day, however, he was propositioning a state trooper.  “Why don’t you wear a dress?” He asked.  “Why do you wear such dark colors?”  Afterwards, she was told to keep quiet by a superior, that’s zero-tolerance for you.

Throughout it all, Governor Cuomo was surrounded by what The New York Times describes as “powerful feminists,” including Mira Sorvino and Julianne Moore.  He became allies with the #MeToo focused group, Time’s Up.  He fundraised off the movement, sending out an email campaign with the subject “NY Stands with #MeToo.” The message itself touted “a new campaign to capture the momentum of the #MeToo movement and turn it into action,” concluding “If you continue to turn a blind eye to sexual harassment, this November your #TimesUp!”  A hypocrite among a profession of hypocrites, he pushed for others to be punished for what he himself was doing, saying “No one is above the law,” even urging Eric T. Schneiderman to resign when he was accused of sexual assault.  In fact, his influence in these groups was so persuasive that Cuomo himself wasn’t the only casualty:  The leader of Time’s Up, Roberta Kaplan, resigned recently because of her ties to the disgraced governor.

Incredibly, there was very little mention of his response to coronavirus and the nursing home scandal that resulted in thousands of deaths, as if the pandemic never even happened and he had no role in it, or when it was mentioned, it was laudatory.  Did the Governor really do a “hell of a job” as Biden claimed?  New York suffered the second most deaths in the country, at 53,531, surpassed only by California.  It also ranks second in deaths per capita, with 276 per 100,000 people, surpassed only by New Jersey with 300.  Even worse, many of these deaths appear to have been preventable, prompted by Governor Cuomo’s decision to force nursing homes to take in coronavirus positive patients, something only 4 other states attempted.  It’s estimated that over 15,000 people died as a result of this policy, though the numbers are hard to find because Cuomo covered them up and lied about them repeatedly.

Earlier this  year, New York Attorney General Tish James released a devastating report that in normal times, without the partisan cheerleading and media fawning, would have prompted his resignation right then and there.  A summary of the report noted, “Preliminary data obtained by O.A.G. suggests that many nursing home residents died from Covid-19 in hospitals after being transferred from their nursing homes, which is not reflected in D.O.H.’s published total nursing home death data.”  At the time, the Attorney General’s Office claimed the undercount of deaths was as high as 50%, adding that “investigations also revealed that nursing homes’ lack of compliance with infection control protocols put residents at increased risk of harm, and facilities that had lower pre-pandemic staging ratings had higher COVID-19 fatality rates.”

Shortly thereafter, one of Cuomo’s top aides, Melissa DeRosa, admitted this data was intentionally withheld on a conference call.  She said “we froze,” and then promptly blamed former President Trump.  “He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes,” she said. “He starts going after [New Jersey Gov. Phil] Murphy, starts going after [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom, starts going after [Michigan Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer.”  Then he “directs the Department of Justice to do an investigation into us.  And basically, we froze.”  This is an admission of obstruction of justice if ever there was one, and that’s just the start.  New York Assemblyman Ron Kim claimed Governor Cuomo threatened him and his family.  “I was about to bathe my three kids when I received a call from the governor. He spent ten minutes threatening my career and ordering me to issue a statement that would be used to cover for the state secretary,” he said.  “I realized that [Cuomo]’s continuing to ask me to cover up for [DeRosa],” he continued. “At that point I needed to get an attorney, which I did over the weekend.”  “Cuomo is an abuser,” Assemblyman Kim alleged. “He has abused his powers. Abusers are cowards.”

This, of course, went right down the memory hole as the media moved on to other, more important topics like President Biden’s favorite ice cream flavor.  Pay no attention to how Governor Cuomo lied, dodged, accused, and smeared his opponents, denying the entire thing ever happened.  “We never needed nursing home beds because we always had hospital beds. So it just never happened in New York where we needed to say to a nursing home, ‘We need you to take this person even though they’re Covid-positive.’ It never happened.”  Instead, “I was not aggressive enough in knocking down the falsities,” he fumed. “It started with Donald Trump, this whole nursing home thing,” he lied.  He even theorized that there was a “void” in the reporting, which was exploited by “crazy political theories.”  This sad, unconvincing display was accompanied by some extremely odd behavior.  Who could forget the coronavirus poster, touting his success dealing with the virus?  Or his appearance on CNN with his complicit brother, Chris Cuomo, complete with a giant Q-tip?  Or negotiating a lucrative book deal in the middle of a pandemic to profit off it?

Despite it all, peak Cuomo mania continued into the fall and winter of 2020 and 2021, including winning an Emmy Foundation Award for crossing “cultural boundaries to touch our common humanity” (I guess it should be updated to touch something else?) and “in recognition of his leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic.” The International Emmy Awards noted “his masterful use of television to inform and calm people around the world.”  “The Governor’s 111 daily briefings worked so well because he effectively created television shows, with characters, plot lines, and stories of success and failure,”  International Academy President and CEO, Bruce L. Paisner said in a statement. “People around the world tuned in to find out what was going on, and New York tough became a symbol of the determination to fight back.”

The Emmy was presented along with no shortage of rave reviews from celebrities.  Billy Crystal raved that Cuomo’s coronavirus press conference performances “gave us hope, gave us clarity, gave us the truth, and gave us something we were not getting from Washington: leadership.  You are the epitome of New York tough.”  Crystal was joined by the likes of Ben Stiller, Spike Lee, Robert Deniro, and Rosie Perez.  “You are the man,” claimed Ms. Perez. “We were all in a crisis, in a panic, and every single day you came on the airwaves, and you offered your strength, your leadership, your direction, and your caring, and your heart.”

Apparently, he offered women in particular a lot more than that.  The media and fellow Democrat politicians, including supposed feminists, on the other hand, completely failed to offer their constituents anything resembling an objective analysis of the performance of Governor Cuomo, either personally or professionally.  To anyone actually paying attention instead of cheerleading, the man’s flaws, erratic behavior, bullying, and lies have been apparent since the very beginning of the pandemic, if not earlier.  He has been dogged by corruption allegations for years.  He behaves like he just walked off the set of a cheap Soprano’s knock off.  These allegations and the nursing home fiasco shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone, and yet here we are:  Politics ahead of principle, and the champions of women and science are now smeared with the world’s largest rotten egg on their face.

Of course, they’ll never admit it.  The rewriting of history is happening fast and furious now.  Suddenly, Zephyr Teachout, writing for The Nation, discovered “For the 11 years Andrew Cuomo was governor of New York, he acted like a caricature of someone drunk with power, a boy-king gifted the position by his father’s name, greedy for acclaim and control. He grabbed everything for himself, literally and figuratively. He harassed and assaulted state employees and other women because he thought he could—and that no one would dare speak up. He retaliated against the smallest slight. He used state workers to grab himself a multimillion-dollar book deal. He lied about people’s deaths, trampling on the sacred with an entitled shrug. And he lied for the simplest and grossest of reasons: because telling the truth about nursing home deaths would take the shine off his glory, and cost him his book deal and his victory lap.”  USA Today likewise determined that “Cuomo Abused His Power at Expense of the Vulnerable.”  LZ Granderson, for the LA Times, believes the “media’s integrity” is damaged.

But, sure, he did a helluva job and his enablers in the establishment as well.  I see President Biden, as ever, has his finger on the pulse of the nation.  Final question:  Are any of these fawning bootlickers going to retract a single thing they said or apologize for promoting Cumo?  Something tells me, no.

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