I Got Cuomo Wrong—or Did I?

🎶 Scrambled eggs all over my face. What is a boy to do? Goodnight, everybody! 🎶

The hardest thing for a writer to do: admit a… admit a… come clean and admit a… *sigh*… a MISTAKE!

A blunder. A bogey. An off-the-beam conjecture. A botched call that, as long as it remains in print and memory serves my detractors well, will haunt me ‘til my grave, even when my grave is tilled to make way for a luxury condominium complete with rooftop infinity pool and doggy salon.

I’m guilty of error. Happy now? My mea culpa is out there. My integrity is up in the air—where, how, and in what condition will it land? Will I ever be trusted again? Are my days of blustery prognostication over? Will my previously peerless thoughts ever grace the internet again? Will that seedy Vegas bookie who accepted my mortgage refinance as collateral on a misplaced bet be able to track down my family after we go into hiding?

Were I a mensch, I’d ride off into the graphomanial sunset in self-imposed exile. No joke.

Bah! Who am I kidding? Writers more informed, better paid, with more sources and way more cachet have been guilty of worse improvidence. Just look at the bodies splattering on the tarmac of Karzai International Airport. And I’m hardly the first conservative scribbler to shoot a predictive brick.

My failed prediction: Governor Andrew Cuomo would never resign, let alone be impeached, over the scandal where he indirectly killed over 15,000 seniors laid his fine Italian hand on a dozen or so female subordinates. “Cuomo will beat cancel culture—again” was my verdict on the Empire grossvernor’s future. Weeks on from my foggy fortune-telling, Cuomo gave in, announcing he would resign so that “distractions” would no longer impede the business of governing.

Swing and a miss, for me.

But—Lo! Hope afield!—maybe there was a nubbin of right in all my wrong. Shortly after Cuomo announced his resignation, the New York General Assembly briefly ceased its impeachment investigation into the frottagey chief exec before resuming it. Why the tottering indecision? Cuomo’s fast-friend-turned-faux-amis Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie denied he was pressured into calling off the off-call. “[W]e’re going to allow the public to know what it is the Judiciary Committee found,” he assures us, despite the default position being the public should be privy to what its servants discover on their behalf.

That Speaker Heastie even thought to keep more of the governor’s lubricious indiscretions under wraps, if only for a few days, doesn’t inspire confidence. Attorney General Letitia James, another erstwhile Cuomo chum, already confirmed her disgraced boss broke the law. But no charges are pending. The expectation that Cuomo actually faces legal repercussions is flatter than the collective EKG of whatever cadavers are floating in the East River this morning.

Resigning under threat of impeachment is the worst thing that will happen to Cuomo. But it may only be a setback.

Cuomo can still run for re-election in 2022. He’s given no indication that he won’t, or that his political career is over. He’s been unerringly consistent that his behavior was never pervy—just a little too touchy for his overly sensitive female underlings. His valedictory address was larded with excuses, gainsaying, and the so-delusional-it-may-be-believable contention that Cuomo, the poor, selfless victim of opportunistic sniping, will be exonerated.

Remorseless and scot-free, Cuomo will try to rehab his image over the next few months in preparation for another governor run. The ghost of Mario still haunts his successor son. Besting his father’s term record is Cuomo’s twisted idea of filiation. The popular Democratic firm NGP VAN continues allowing the ex-gov to use its fundraising tech to solicit donations.

Cuomo appears to think a short sabbatical from the governor’s mansion will count as compunction enough. He’ll bide his time until short memories are distracted by enough subsequent news cycles. Then he’ll reenter the ring, touting a change of heart despite his original avowal that he did nothing wrong, and promise to bring back the same hard-nosed know-how he used to carry New York through the pandemic. That he hid 12,000 additional COVID-19 deaths from the official record will be ignored. That New York, specifically the Big coughing Apple, was the coronavirus epicenter of the country will be elided.

And the nursing home scandal where Cuomo clapped thousands of immunocompromised elders into COVID lazar-houses? Penguin Random House cut him a $5 million check despite his decree that turned Shady Acres into the Killing Fields. If the country’s largest tract publisher can paper over a mass grave with enough dough to buy an Upper East Side duplex, voters will forgive Cuomo’s murderous mistake. After all, a #MeToo head honcho gave pointers to Cuomo’s staff on how best to head off compounding harassment allegations. The “Cuomosexual” may not have a dodo future after all.

But will you, most cherished reader, forgive your humble correspondent for my political miscall? I realize the irony of penning a slew of speculation after admitting my pathetic lack of precognition. However, I’m even more confident that Andrew Cuomo isn’t slinking away gentle into that good night. Care to place a flutter on it? Yes? Great! Let’s see… how much is left in my kids’ college fund… OH! My wife’s approaching! I have to close the laptop lid for now. But if you’d still like to put some chips down on Cuomo’s comeuppance, you can send your wager to the following address: ……..

*Shrieks of horror and angry upbraiding ensue.*

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Taylor Lewis

Taylor Lewis writes from Virginia.

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