How far can he go?
As the investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against Governor Cuomo drew to a close, I wondered how the Governor could explain himself to his famous father if Mario was still alive. Would he have dared to tell him the truth, or would he have insulted his father by cheating on him as he tried to deceive the public since the first accusations emerged last winter?
Playing puns wouldn’t work because Mario wouldn’t tolerate any nonsense, including from his son the Governor. Their relationship was rarely harmonious, and attempts to cheat on the father would surely have caused even more fury over the shameful stain on the last name.
Now we know Andrew was thinking about Mario too, and not in an admirable or honest way. With old photos, he forced his father and mother to participate in his lame video defense that kissing is common in the family, and that he hadn’t done anything in private that he and they hadn’t done in public. For years.
Turns out Andrew Cuomo isn’t even a good liar. Shamelessly, yes, and heartless too, but his defense was worse than none at all.
He would deserve a little respect if he simply apologized, quit and shut up.
Instead, he insulted his victims, investigators and New Yorkers by continuing to defend the indefensible. The evidence in the Attorney General’s report is so convincing that the case against him is effectively sealed off.
The testimonies and the corroborating documents, texts and messages prove beyond any doubt that there is nothing in the conduct of the Governor which is innocent or misunderstood.
It was neither generational, nor cultural, nor political. And it certainly wasn’t innocent or well-meaning.
Cuomo turned his office into a bar where he was the only Alpha male. He was famous and powerful, but the targets weren’t interested.
In fact, they were horrified and terrified. As investigator Joon Kim said on Monday, Cuomo ruled through “fear and flirtation, abuse and affection, intimidation and intimacy.”
But in the end, the targets were brave. One by one, starting with Lindsey Boylan, they came forward, mostly in public, to recount the depravity they suffered for the sin of working in the public service.
Mario would be mortified.
Power corrupts and the third terms absolutely corrupt. Believing himself to be invincible, Andrew Cuomo has created an atmosphere worthy of a cheap hood.
He did so in the highest office of the state and attacked his victims with the public penny. Some said they were hired because of their looks.
Hard landings aren’t steeper. A year ago, Cuomo was the media darling, the ultimate anti-Trump during the darker days of the pandemic. His daily shows were staple on television and effectively relayed basic information.
They were also vehicles for his self-glorification. He wowed the camera by talking about his meatball recipes and used his daughters to add a human touch. He went to his brother’s TV show to piss him off, and the self-proclaimed “Cuomosexuals” declared him an idol.
The flirtation was also political, and there was a time when a poll showed Democrats would rather have him than Joe Biden as their presidential flag bearer.
A big book deal followed even as a darker truth emerged. Thanks to grieving families and the Post, it was revealed that Cuomo and his assistants had hidden the horrific number of deaths in nursing homes. They hid the numbers out of guilt because they knew their order to send COVID patients to institutions was like fire in the dry grass.
Yet the governor, enamored of power and ambition, denied all the mistakes and accused me and my colleagues at the Post of playing politics. His lies were disgusting, but more importantly, they were cruel to grieving families.
They knew what he had done. Many never had the chance to say goodbye to mothers and fathers, siblings and friends. Cuomo’s office, fearing it would tarnish its luster and spoil their train of sauce, insulted and mocked the mourning.
To this day, he has never expressed the slightest regret to a single family.
And now his world is turned upside down. In addition to Monday’s devastating report, federal authorities are investigating the nursing home death deception, the book publisher has removed other prints and there is another investigation into its use of nursing home employees. State to help write it, promote it and edit it.
The Albany District Attorney is reviewing a possible criminal case regarding the sexual harassment findings.
The stacking means that, in what appears to be a nanosecond, Cuomo went from the top of the mountain to the pits.
Finally, justice is being done before our eyes.
The question now, in light of Cuomo’s refusal to step down, is what the Democrats will do with their party’s monster.
If he survives after sexually harassing several women and abusing his office, the MeToo movement is dead.
Democrats cannot have it both ways. Their party, in response to harassment and other allegations against Donald Trump, has unleashed pent-up rage against powerful men who get away with behavior at best rude and at worst criminal.
Sadly, most of the men shot were Democrats in good standing, such as Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, and others in Hollywood, in business, politics, and the media.
And now Cuomo’s head is on the chopping block.
To their credit, many officials have called for his resignation and, if he does not, that the Assembly initiate impeachment proceedings. From Senator Chuck Schumer to the top leaders of Albany, none sided with Cuomo.
The last remaining vote was Biden’s, and he delivered it on Monday afternoon. He and Cuomo are close, politically speaking, but at the start of the affair he said if the accusations were true Cuomo had to leave and may well face charges.
The president kept his word, simply saying “Yes” to a question of whether Cuomo should resign.
That’s it, there are no more moves to do, the game is over. Say goodbye, governor. Now.