Unsurprisingly, another woman is accusing Cuomo of harassment
Is anyone surprised to learn that another woman has accused Governor Andrew Cuomo of inappropriate behavior? I'm not surprised. He's a powerful man in a party that historically gives a pass to men who mouth feminist platitudes. What's more interesting is the bizarre Democrat values at play in the Andrew Cuomo saga.
Here's the skinny on the latest accusation:
Anna Ruch had never met Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo before encountering him at a crowded New York City wedding reception in September 2019. Her first impression was positive enough.
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.
There's even a photo of the young woman's discomfort (and she was right to be uncomfortable):
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 2, 2021
Looking at Cuomo's face and the bar in the background, I would not be surprised to learn that alcohol was involved, although that's not an excuse for boorish behavior.
What's more interesting than the predictable sexual peccadilloes of a powerful Democrat is the Democrats' hierarchy of values.
All last year, conservatives were sounding a loud klaxon about the fact that Cuomo's policies were unnecessarily killing nursing home patients. Democrats not only ignored these concerns, but they also turned Cuomo into a secular saint. He was the politician they held up as the virtuous, stark contrast to the allegedly murderous Donald Trump. Mass murder didn't twang their values.
Things got dicey for Cuomo when a black woman to his political left — Letitia James — revealed that he'd caused more deaths than he'd originally admitted. That weakened him. The media tried to cover for him by focusing on Ted Cruz's Cancun trip (which didn't kill anybody), but that tactic failed. As I noted here, fellow Democrats began to smell blood in the water. Still, Cuomo probably could have survived.
What's really bringing Cuomo down are the same things that brought Harvey Weinstein down: accusations of sexual harassment against women. Suddenly, "believe all women" is in vogue again. (Although Cuomo has, of course, changed his tune on that.)
If challenged about ignoring Cuomo's deadly nursing home decisions, Democrats would presumably argue that COVID was a unique emergency, with politicians making huge decisions in the dark and on the fly. The fact that they resisted this defense when they were blaming Trump is beside the point. It's always one rule for Republicans and another for Democrats.
But spot the hypocrisy regarding the sexual harassment issue. It's not just that Cuomo is defending himself by saying don't believe all women. It's that the Democrats are taking this hysterical pro-woman stance at the same time that they're advancing the Equality Act, which relegates women to non-person status.
The Equality Act does this by explicitly including "gender identity" as a prohibited act in "areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system." Further, it expands the definition of public accommodations to include places or establishments that provide (1) exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings, or displays; (2) goods, services, or programs; and (3) transportation services." In sum, "[t]he bill prohibits an individual from being denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual's gender identity."
As many have noted, this means that women will have to exist side by side with mentally ill (or merely opportunistic) men in restrooms, locker rooms, spas, Brazilian wax salons, hospitals, jails, and athletics (including those with scholarships at stake). Women's right to privacy (the right that underlies abortion laws) and their right to achieve accolades and money in areas in which they cannot physically compete with men are going up in smoke.
So, here's what Cuomo's saga shows: it's okay to murder old people, although it gets less okay if a black woman starts making noises about it. But what's really going to destroy you are women's complaints that you sexually harassed them. Their primacy in that area, though, does not protect them from a law that's going to put them at the mercy of mentally ill and opportunistic men in their bathrooms, locker rooms, hospital rooms, and jails, and on their sports teams.
Image: Andrew Cuomo. YouTube screen grab.