Andrew Cuomo engaged in a single (hopefully) final little act of petty corruption on Tuesday, seating his exterior counsel in entrance of the trimmings of New York authorities, state seal included, to lash out cruelly with lies and mealy excuses on the girls he abused and the lawyer normal who made the all-too-rare determination to take them severely, earlier than making the primary actually outstanding and brave transfer of his political life and saying his resignation.
In doing so, he lastly lived as much as the title of his absolute failure of a memoir: All issues actually are attainable.
It was, and actually stays, unimaginable. Cuomo has at all times been a shark, and he has performed politics with the survival mindset of 1: By no means cease swimming.
Till now. He’ll depart the waters bloody, our bodies in his wake—almost 50,000 coronavirus deaths, together with 3,800 nursing dwelling deaths that his insurance policies contributed to and that he tried mightily to cowl up—however he’ll depart, he says.
In fourteen days. On his personal phrases, nonetheless. For 2 extra weeks, Cuomo will abuse the sources of the workplace of the governor. If he can persuade the Meeting to name off their investigation into him, as an alternative of dashing it up as they need to, shifting ahead with impeachment regardless, he will likely be permitted to run for workplace once more. He’ll collect a pension. He’ll keep it up along with his craven private agenda, as a result of that’s his means. To imagine that Cuomo goes to fade quietly into the night time, humbled and atoning, is folly.
This can be a victory, to make sure, one that only a few Cuomo watchers may have ever envisioned. And it’s owed totally to the bravery of ladies who Cuomo, and his lawyer Rita Glavin, tried to smear to the very finish: Charlotte Bennett. Lindsay Boylan. Ana Liss. Anna Ruch. Alyssa McGrath. Virginia Limmiatis. Brittany Commisso. Jessica Bakeman. “Kaitlin.” “Trooper 1.”
None of those girls ought to have needed to endure what they did working for, and even simply coming into contact with, the governor of New York. None of them ought to have needed to come ahead and open themselves as much as public spectacle to cease him from persevering with to hurt them and others. None of them ought to have needed to put up with being maligned, dismissed or gossipped about.
However they did. They made large sacrifices, on a stage that Andrew Cuomo and his enablers—together with his brother, whose continued presence on cable information is a deeply unfunny joke—won’t ever have the ability to comprehend, as a result of they’re weak and they’re cowards, and they’ll by no means have the faintest clue what it means to do the best factor at nice private value as a result of it has develop into painfully, manifestly apparent that in the event you don’t, nobody will. And even in the event you do, the percentages are bleak.
These girls got here ahead regardless of having seen the powers that be in Albany doing all the pieces they will, over years and a long time, to cease girls who demand to be heard. Whereas Cuomo means that his 11 accusers have one way or the other been enjoying politics, they don’t have anything to achieve right here besides maybe going to sleep at night time understanding that they’d achieved what they may to simply possibly maintain somebody new from the governor’s hurt.
I’ve been a harsh and fierce critic of Tish James since she allied herself with the governor when she ran for Lawyer Basic. It appeared a craven and gutless energy transfer, and it disillusioned me significantly. I wished boldness in that workplace. I wished accountability. I wished to imagine that for as soon as in a really, very lengthy whereas, New York may be granted a high regulation enforcement official who would examine energy, reasonably than cozy as much as it.
With their report on Cuomo, James and her employees did precisely that. They had been daring whereas additionally being cautious and performing with the precision required to actually cease somebody like Andrew Cuomo. They’ve a lot to be happy with, regardless of Cuomo and Glavin’s feeble makes an attempt to undermine them. Everybody in that workplace has proven themselves to be an individual of integrity, and in addition a uncommon determine in American regulation enforcement: somebody who will take the reviews of ladies severely, and examine them with vitality and focus. District attorneys, take be aware. It’s attainable, and it’s significant, and it’s what you owe your constituents.
In his self-pitying little final speech, Cuomo mentioned one of many stupidest and in addition most telling issues he’s uttered but: “In my thoughts, I’ve by no means crossed the road with anybody. However I didn’t notice the extent to which the road has been redrawn.”
In 2017, a bunch of men and women who had been abused working for state authorities in Albany got here collectively because the Sexual Harassment Working Group and, totally unpaid, efficiently lobbied the state to carry public hearings and drafted new laws that was finally handed, strengthening the legal guidelines defending New York’s employees to be a number of the hardest within the nation. Andrew Cuomo signed these legal guidelines, took credit for their strength and rigor, and refused to ever meet, work together with and even acknowledge the individuals who truly did the work to make that occur. These legal guidelines redrew the road.
These legal guidelines additionally made it in order that it legally doesn’t matter what occurred within the thoughts of an abuser. If Cuomo didn’t know that, 4 years after signing their regulation and claiming it as his personal, that’s totally on him. And it solely proves what many of us have long known: not a single certainly one of Cuomo’s “accomplishments” was ever earned by him, or ever mattered to him, past the eye he acquired for claiming them.
For 11 years, New Yorkers have positioned their belief in a person whose biggest ability and achievement has solely ever been public relations—shoving apart activists and victims and consultants to seize headlines and gather reward, whereas doing nothing of substance to make this state the nice place it may, and must be.
I hope that is actually the beginning of a brand new period in New York. I hope the Meeting exhibits us that, by not letting up. I hope we get to see what true accountability seems like. We owe that to the ladies we’ve got let Albany chew up and spit out for a lot too lengthy.