Cuomo offers his ritual #MeToo grovel, but it won't save him
New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo took time out from a press conference to insist that when it came to harassing women, he didn't do anything wrong, honest! He even squeezed out some tears. He clearly hopes that, like Joe Biden, he can make everything go away by saying he didn't mean to upset anybody. My bet is that he's wrong and that he'll be out of office soon.
On Wednesday, during a press conference, Cuomo spent almost four minutes giving a ritual apology for his alleged misconduct. First, he denied it completely. Then he said that, if he did it, he didn't mean to do it. And then he lied outright, saying he never touched anyone inappropriately "and never knew at the time I was making anyone feel uncomfortable." Why is that claim a lie? Because of this picture:
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 2, 2021
That touch was inappropriate, and she was uncomfortable. Cuomo closed by saying the whole experience has made him a better person.
Gov. Cuomo basically just admitted to all of the accusations of sexual harassment made against him, pretended to cry, then insisted he never touched anyone inappropriately despite the NYT having a photo of him doing the opposite. pic.twitter.com/NLu7EqJZ0o— Caleb Hull (I'm With the CCP Don't Ban Me) (@CalebJHull) March 3, 2021
What struck me so forcefully about Cuomo's abasement was that it echoed the "apology" Joe Biden made in April 2019, when the noise about his grabby hands became too loud to ignore. (Note that no one mentioned his grabby hands around children.)
Like Cuomo, Biden also said he never sexually harassed women but, if he did, he certainly didn't intend to, and he'll learn from the experience and be a better person:
Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it. pic.twitter.com/Ya2mf5ODts— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 3, 2019
Joe got a pass. Cuomo probably thinks he will, too. If so, he misunderstands the situation. Joe got a pass because no one took him seriously back then. In Cuomo's case, though, he's being taken very seriously.
Beginning in 2020, conservative sites began calling out Cuomo's nursing home policy because it was proving to be deadly for elderly people in his state. He might originally have instituted the policy of warehousing COVID-infected elderly patients in nursing homes because it was a way of limiting deaths in New York. However, when it became apparent that the policy was terribly wrong, he didn't stop it, and for that, he is morally culpable and should be criminally liable, too.
Democrats ignored these concerns. They became an issue only when New York's attorney general, Letitia James, who is politically on Cuomo's left, attacked him by pointing out that he'd lied about the number of elderly people who'd died under his aegis. In fact, 50% more nursing home residents died than Cuomo's office had originally identified. This news, one would think, would have resulted in an instant uproar that would have driven Cuomo from office in the dead of night.
Instead, Cuomo's alleged sexual peccadilloes suddenly hit the news. One of these stories had been floating around — and been mostly ignored — since December. The media and the Democrat party's abrupt turn to sexual harassment is peculiar at first glance. Are they really saying making sleazy remarks to women is worse than causing the deaths of several thousand people? Well, probably not. Even Democrats aren't that bad.
John Nolte suspects — and Thomas Lifson agrees — that Cuomo is the patsy: by keeping the focus on him and his sexual misconduct, the Democrats hope to avoid opening the Pandora's box attendant on governors seeding nursing homes with COVID. After all, governors in Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey, and California (all Democrats) did the same thing. If they can make Cuomo the sacrificial lamb whose sexual misconduct sucks all the energy out of the manslaughter allegations, that preserves the other governors.
As the apology shows, Cuomo has no intention of being the fall guy. He thinks he'll get the same pass Biden did. If I were a betting woman, though, I'd put my money on Cuomo being out of office soon. The Democrats need to punish one of the deadly governors, and Cuomo's been tagged as "it."
Image: Andrew Cuomo. Twitter screen grab.