Will Cuomo Beat Cancel Culture?

Rejoice! Rejoice, resisters of woke suppression! Rejoice, warriors of free expression! Rejoice, questioners of unquestioned #MeToo inquisition! Rejoice, centurions of sensibility! Rejoice, paladins of, um, propriety… yes, mindful paladins of modest propriety! Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice! Your new champion has arrived.

*Drum roll… rataplan… women screaming, “EEEEEK! CREEEEEP!”*

Remaining ladies and gentlemen, your cancel culture crusher: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo! Wait… why are all the women beating feet to the door? I thought you loved the “Luv Guv”?

After a year of unctuously fawning media coverage that made Bambi look like a greying pensioner, Governor Cuomo finds himself suspended over a pot of boiling, hot, pasta-ready water for the most abject of crimes. No, no, not condemning an untold number of seniors to an early grave by forcing nursing homes to accept COVID-19-positive patients. That’s not the scandal here, no, sir. Rather, it’s sexual harassment in the form of untoward, lubricious comments and unsolicited gropes by his fine Italian hand.

Yes, it turns out Governor Cuomo is a lech. And a pompous jacka**. And an egocentrical powermonger. And a Machiavellian perpetrator of his public-service métier. Every inhabitant of the tri-state area knew that and cheered to the echo of his iron-fisted handling of the corona pandemic. The headlines were besotten, bordering on sex-pest-ish: “Why We Are Crushing on Andrew Cuomo Right Now”; “Dear Andrew Cuomo, I Want To Be Your First Lady”; “Hot for Governor!

But now, in a Coppolian third-act twist, Cuomo is getting shivved from behind by Me Tooers who only months ago comprised his biggest fanbase. And he’s put the once supportive media in the awkward position of propounding the “believe all women” precept while backing an impartial inquiry into the accusations.

Cuomo is the new Weinstein, and his long-known reputation as a blackguard is being redredged up from waters made deliberately muddy by muckrakers once in his corner.

But unlike Weinstein, or the limacine fondler Al Franken, Cuomo isn’t going down without a street fight. In a pugnacious press conference, the embattled governor declared, “I am not going to resign,” citing his election win two years prior as ipso facto justification for remaining in Albany. He made a nod to that bane of the mob-lynch-mentality, the assumption of innocence, urging everyone to “wait for the facts” of the AG-led investigation. And in true mafioso fashion, he offered a half-hearted apology for prurient compliments like “you make that gown look good” and “I want to see you eat the whole sausage”: “I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional, and I truly and deeply apologize for it.” On the pro-forma adverb combo, Cuomo’s voice flirted with the cracking laughter of an unworried man.

As it should. Cuomo isn’t going anywhere. He hasn’t a reason to care either: short of a legislative act of courage in the Democrat super-controlled legislature, New York isn’t about to experience made-for-TV justice of its first female governor bouncing a unrepentant cad from the executive mansion. A majority of the New York franchised don’t want their unapologetic leader to bow out early, according to a new Quinnipiac poll. And I’m willing to bet more than a few greenbacks Cuomo won’t just weather this latest outrage storm, but sail smoothly to re-election next year, should he give it the tetra try.

Does all that mean Cuomo fended off the cancel culture mob, and its shrill cousin, the #MeToo movement? Is he the new symbol of defiance against left-wing identity destruction? Should he have spoken at CPAC’s “America Uncanceled” gathering last weekend? Is he an unlikely katechon repelling the jihad of wokeness?

Perhaps I’m getting carried away with my own Cuomomania. Boosting a pervy Mao aspirant isn’t a good look for anyone. But Cuomo’s flinty refusal to concede to popular demand—to his own party’s gnashing teeth—carries some important lessons.

Consider the case of the Democrats’ other embarrassing governor, Old Dominion’s own Ralph “blackface” Northam. When Gov. Northam admitted to either slathering dark greasepaint on his mug or donning a Klan robe (we never found out which he actually did in the infamous buddy-brace photo) in his med school yearbook, there were multiple calls from fellow Democrats to resign. He did not. The demand eventually petered out, as it always does.

Cuomo’s no stranger to hunkering down and biding his time through a political squall. Compared to sinking his first gubernatorial ambitions by crudely using 9/11 as an attack point and a divorce from an heir of America’s favorite political dynasty, sitting out a few crass come-ons to subordinates will be a mini-vacay. He might even take up that date offer from Chelsea Handler—their back-and-forth capping with dirty innuendos would make a great summation of America’s cultural dissipation.

The main takeaway from Cuomo’s intransigence is the only universal left in our disjoined politics: When you’re a Democrat, they let you do it.

What’s “it”? Well, it’s anything and everything appalling, disreputable, contemptible, galling, iniquitous, and offensive to our poor species. And you get a guileless pass so long as The New York Times lists your name with a parenthetical “D” next to it. The lib-mag Slate is already running cover for the concupiscent Cuomo with a new rationalization: “The Me Too movement should welcome due process.” Did I say “new”? I meant the Fifth Amendment.

No matter. Cuomo’s in the club by virtue of his party affiliation. The club protects its own. That’s your only worthwhile poli-sci doctorate thesis in nuce.

“I don’t think he has any political ideology, other than to crunch his enemies and make the wheels of government turn,” biographer Michael Shayerson once remarked about the governor. There, too, is a lesson: the angry cries of a baying crowd crash against the courage to stand your ground.

Cuomo’s no hero. In a just world, he’d be interned in Rikers for senicide; the women he raffishly set his cap at would get a nice payday for enduring such humiliations. But seeing the left’s excesses checked by one of its own is entertaining, if even a bit inspiring.

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Taylor Lewis

Taylor Lewis writes from Virginia.

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3 comments

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  • Very good article, but while no hero, his stance is exactly what it should be, especially if innocent when it comes to the allegations that are being made against him about harassment. This is the stance everyone should take in Cancel Culture, as the rush to immediate apology becomes an admission of complete guilt of all accusations, no matter how accurate. Definitely no hero in his handling of the state of NY during COVID, but doing something more people need to do in the face of baseless accusations. Innocent until proven guilty is not just a slogan and needs to be practiced in the court of public opinion just as in the judicial system.

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