So, right now, it really looks like soon, Governor Mario Cuomo of New York State is going to fall from power and also from grace.
It also looks like what’s going to bring him down will be the complaints of eleven women who worked for him at various times or under his general authority. One alleges her that he grabbed her breast, which is clearly assault, in my book. One woman’s complaint is that he made her feel “uncomfortable.”** The stories reported on NPR, Fox News, and the Wall Street Journal about the governor’s words and actions amount to his being what used to be considered a bad boy.
I know, I know, Cuomo’s female targets – those mentioned in the media accounts and, I guess in the New York Attorney General’s report – were all in some way his subordinates. This makes a difference in the limited sense that this fact alone may have restricted the solution women have been using forever to avoid unwanted advances: moving away. Incidentally, “unwanted advances” is kind of a strange phrase. A man does not know if his advances are wanted or unwanted until he tries. That’s why they are called “advances.” Or, have I fallen so far behind the times that I don’t know that a man is now supposed to ask for permission to make “advances” ? (So confusing!)
So, no, I am not arguing that Mr Cuomo’s behavior toward female subordinates was just fine. I am just astonished at the order of offenses considered to dethrone him. Loutish, rude behavior, invasive behavior toward the other sex would rarely be the top item on my list if I argued for the removal of a duly elected official, for the cancellation of an honest election. (Incidentally, I am a Republican; I have no sympathy for the current Democratic Party, or for Mr Cuomo, that blowhard.)
I am impressed, though with the fact that a couple of short years ago, numerous influential female media commentators – all of whom are liberals, I think- were commenting favorably on Governor’s Cuomo new single status and thus, implicitly celebrating his sex appeal. (I am simply assuming here that when a powerless man in his early sixties separates from his girlfriend, few women media commentators salivate over the event. Tell me I am wrong!)
On 8/7-8 Peggy Noonan, as she often does – brought a little sanity to the endeavor of condemning Cuomo – in her Wall Street Journal Friday opeds. She placed Mr Cuomo’s trespasses in context in such a way that he appears to be not only a man who ignores ordinary boundaries of decency but, frankly, a nut. She even employed the word. By the way, I don’t always agree with Noonan’s opinions but I know her to be intellectually honest and her facts are always well researched.
Removing the governor of one of the largest and economically important states because he has lost touch with reality, that sounds to me like a reasonable thing to do. And this is not limited to governors of states, it goes for every elected official, at every level. But this is not the song the New York Democrat choir is singing. Instead, all the lyrics are about disrespect of women.
Completely aside from disrespect, possible abuse of power, and likely mental health consideration, there is also the small fact that Mr Cuomo is probably responsible for the death of hundreds if not thousands of old people as a result of his callous COVID policies. (For my overseas readers, he ordered to put back into retirement homes old people who were infected with the virus. It’s obvious that there, they had to infect other vulnerable old people, many of whom died.) Then, his administration tried to cover up the number of deaths resulting.
So, this is our contemporary moral order: Governor is responsible for the deaths of many: no big deal; he touched a woman subordinate’s breast, the back of a couple of others, and talked suggestively to even more women: End of the world!
The American women’s movement is demonstrating again that it’s frivolous, mean, and petty. A powerful man’ s groping hands and his loose mouth trigger mountains of vengeful indignation. When millions of Afghan girls are about to be taken out of school because the Taliban can’t stand to live around women who can read; American feminists have hardly a single a word to say in protest or commiseration.
The story of Democratic Governor Cuomo’s swift fall from power is so extraordinarily strange by the standards that prevailed only, say, ten years ago, and for one hundred years before that, that I simply can’t bring myself to believe the liberal media and the Democrats delivering it. I would really like to know what’s really going on. Please, refer back to the title of this short essay.
*If this title does not ring a bell, look it up in Wiki. You will be amazed!
** Once, I was blackballed for a job I wanted by a woman who said she would feel “uncomfortable” working in the same department as I. I had never flirted with her, never told off-color jokes in her presence, never touched her, not even her hand. I was professionally helpful to her a couple of times. She was an exceptionally plain woman. I have a story about this somewhere on my blog. I will link he it here if I remember its title.