Why Hasn’t Andrew Cuomo Heard Of Gaslighting?
What is it about New York City and its politicians? Once lauded as heroes, the hall of fame burns and crashes, but then, like some shameless Weeble—Rudy Giuliani, Anthony Weiner*, and now, Andrew Cuomo—those pols can’t seem to stay down.
When Letitia James’ office released its investigation into the sexual harassment claims against Cuomo, nobody thought the news was going to be great. Still, I was astonished when I heard Joe Biden calling for the governor to resign. “What?” I asked aloud as I drove to the grocery store. That seemed a bit much coming from Creepy Uncle Joe, whose own reputation for a hands-on approach wasn’t something I thought he should be drawing attention to.
Then I saw Cuomo’s response. This Tweet of his may go down in history next to Richard Nixon’s “Checkers” speech as an example of contrast. Nixon, invoking his family’s pet dog, Checkers, disingenuously offers an example of the kind of graft he was being accused of, thereby not-so-subtly tugging on America’s heartstrings. Cuomo, however, mysteriously invokes negative perceptions of female managers in the workplace to demonstrate he’s with us, thereby not-so-subtly puckering vaginas everywhere (worth watching around the 11 minute mark, so bizarre). Whereas Nixon keeps up a tone of indignation throughout his offering, Cuomo veers from whiny to petulant with an alarming lack of self-awareness.
I had to see these allegations.
The 165-page attorney general’s report includes interviews with 179 individuals and summarizes some 74,000 documents. James herself describes the results as a “deeply disturbing, yet clear, picture” of a workplace that allowed “harassment to occur and created a hostile work environment.” It is a horrific mountain of evidence, page after page of touching and kissing and unwanted advances. Cuomo told his women to wear their hair down, put on dresses and regularly groped them. Like the time “the Governor, during a hug, reached under Executive Assistant #1’s blouse and grabbed her breast.” And his promises like, “If you were single, the things I would do to you.”
For anyone reading this and thinking that doesn’t sound so bad, I’d invite you to ask an actual human woman (maybe the talented Adeline Dimond will take…