There was a moment, fleeting though it was, when the wider United States electorate thought Andrew Cuomo was A Thing.
Coronavirus was spreading fast. President Mango Unchained shrugged his shoulders and said “Not my responsibility” as he ordered every department to run around like headless chickens. Meanwhile, Cuomo grabbed every rein of power he could find and pulled on them — as publicly as possible. His daily briefings became must-see TV in a nation where we didn’t understand what we were up against just yet but we knew it was gonna be bad.
That moment has, very thankfully, passed, and since then, Cuomo has slunk back out of the spotlight’s sheen into a more fitting suit: A vicious bully and past-his-prime thug who’s been beset by entirely preventable scandals of his own shitty behavior becoming public.
Today’s report by New York AG Tish James should put the nail in Cuomo’s coffin, though I’m not taking bets just yet; he’s a political cockroach even in the #MeToo era.
This is a huge day for the millions of Republicans in New York who have loathed Cuomo for years. Of course, they hate him because he’s a filthy Democrat who, uh, lowered corporate taxes and, er, used a breakaway group of “independents” to keep the state Senate in Republican hands for years and ummm, resisted every single progressive idea unless he could match it with something grotesquely regressive as a “compromise.”
In some ways, that made him the perfect Democrat. He was willing to go to bat for gay marriage but had to pair it with tax cuts for the wealthy because … well, something. His biggest flash point with the far redder upstate brigade was his response to Sandy Hook; he did extremely minor gun control and that was absolutely the end of the universe. (Get north of Orange County and you’ll find cars and pickup trucks with logos made up of guns that spell out “Fuck Cuomo.” You really can’t miss ’em.)
Though this essay called it long ago, I note the Republican response because — of course — they never dared say “boo” when their guy was doing it. Give the Democrats credit; thus far, they’ve been lining up to, well, this picture will tell the tale …
But I’ll also note that Democrats’ response to Cuomo’s bullshittery — for fuck’s sake, today he blamed his sexual harassment on being Italian — comes only after he’d lied about just how many people died from Covid FOR MONTHS. After spending years being surly about how bad of a job Trump was doing, Cuomo employed the exact same method of cover-up: Deny, lie, downplay, ignore, gaslight and finally, just brazen through it.
Politics has always been team sport, but now it’s the only thing that matters: My team good, no matter what they do. I’m glad Joe Biden won in 2020; I’m considerably less glad that he’s still trying to grind out bipartisan compromises over “should votes count” or “are immigrants people” or “should people still hurt by the pandemic have places to live.”
And although the GOP is going full fash as fast as it can, I’ll even toss in a lament for them too: Mitch McConnell would like nothing more than to make average people suffer in the name of corporate profits in peace and quiet. But he doesn’t have that choice; he has to act like Ted Cruz isn’t obviously repellant to all five senses. Moreover, his Asian wife, though insulated by being connected, rich and powerful, surely knows what happens to even the “good” minorities when backs start getting shoved up against the wall.
But Democrat or Republican, those are our only options now. There is no other choice, and that’s the way both parties want it. Why else would Shontel Brown be running against Nina Turner in Ohio this evening? Why would Jim Clyburn and Hillary Clinton come flying in off the top rope to support Brown? Simple, really: They want a reliable “yes” when it comes time to not make a big stink over letting Ohio discount any ballot from a town larger than 10,000 people.
And hey, if a couple of staffers get felt up, alas, that’s just part of the deal — gotta vote red/blue no matter who.
It’s only a problem if the other team is doing it, too.