There’s a whole lotta stupid happening on political Twitter about Andrew Cuomo’s possible fate. There are those who think the “campaign” against him is a Republican conspiracy to install a Governor who will pardon Trump, which ignores the fact that the Lt. Gov is a Democrat, Kathy Hocul. Besides, there’s no conspiracy against Cuomo: his wounds are self-inflicted.
The other foolishness involves those who think the three-term Governor of New York can be pressured into resigning. I’m not an expert on New York politics but you don’t have to be to know that Cuomo is never resigning. He’s survived previous bouts with unpopularity and one of his goals is to win a fourth term, which his father was unable to do.
There are three paths to his exit: impeachment and removal; not running for re-election or defeat at the ballot box preferably in a primary. He’ll never take the easy way out and resign even if it’s in his state’s best interests. Cuomo is about Cuomo.
The voters don’t seem to be as pissed-off at Cuomo as the political class. His numbers are down but not entirely out. His reputation with voters is as a competent asshole. They didn’t vote him in because they loved him. They know he’s a self-centered creep. In some ways, he’s a stereotypical New Yorker: an asshole and damn proud of it.
There’s been much ridicule of this comment by Cuomo:
“Part of this is that I am not part of the political club. And you know what? I’m proud of it.”
On the surface the comment is preposterous because Andrew Cuomo is a politician to his fingertips. But I’m not one for groupthink. Being a member of a club involves having friends, not just allies. Cuomo is a veteran pol but he’s friendless, which is both a strength and weakness. He’s always governed by fear and assholery, which means that nobody is sticking up for him right now. The upside is that he’s used to having no friends so what others say about him is less important than his enormous ego.
One of the many ironies of 2020 was Andrew Cuomo being held up as the anti-Trump. Like the former president* he was an asshole, but a competent one unlike the Kaiser of Chaos. That aura of competence has been exploded by a nursing home scandal and his mishandling of the sexual harassment mishigas.
Instead Andrew Cuomo and Donald Trump are almost the same guy: angry, sexist, horny, and self-absorbed. Cuomo is, of course, much smarter than the Impeached Insult Comedian, but they’re both brash assholes from Queens who are fond of “locker room talk.”
Andrew Cuomo is the public sector Trump. Their main differences are that Mario Cuomo was much smoother than Fred Trump, and that Andrew has a dog. His name is Captain. In the picture I used as the featured image, he even seems to like the Governor. Woof.
As Tricky Dick would surely say at this point, let me make one thing perfectly clear. I am in no way defending Cuomo’s loutish lechery. There’s a strong case for his ouster but he’s not going to make it easy for his critics by resigning. He’s going to hunker down and try to weather the storm. It’s not in the best interests of the people of the Empire State but it’s what self-absorbed creeps like Andrew Cuomo do.
I have some unsolicited advice for Cuomo’s Democratic enemies. They should coalesce around a primary challenger and start raising money pronto. He’s survived past primary challenges, but his number could be up in 2022.
There have been some great pieces written about Andrew’s tyrannical reign as Governor. I’d like to commend three to your attention:
Rebecca Traister at New York Magazine, Inside Andrew Cuomo’s Toxic Workplace.
Jessica Bakeman at New York Magazine’s The Cut, Cuomo Never Let Me Forget I Was A Woman.
Michael Shnayerson at Vanity Fair’s The Hive, Andrew Cuomo’s Biographer On The Governor’s Brutish History.
In the last piece, Shnayerson describes how Cuomo dangled an interview at him, then reneged on his promise:
By the time I was about to hand in my manuscript, the governor had a book of his own in the works. It was titled All Things Possible. And his intention was to beat me to market. But I was ahead. Back came word that if I would let his book appear first, he would grant me all the interview time I wanted. So I agreed. But the governor pulled a fast one. I never did get that interview; his book came out in October 2014, a full five months ahead of mine. And there was, after all, no longer anything he needed from me. It was a quintessential Cuomo move: underhanded, stealthy, self-serving, and hard-ass.
Remove the word stealthy and who does that sound like? Donald Trump, that’s who. Believe me.
That’s why I call Andrew Cuomo the Public Sector Trump.