(CNN) — There are very powerful men in politics. And they are often rewarded for not being ashamed.
That the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has not yet resigned from office, puts his ego and his impudence in the league with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, two other American politicians accused of wrongdoing but who did not back down , nor did they quit.
Cuomo is a serial stalker, according to his own state attorney general, who investigated allegations of sexual harassment and bullying that first surfaced last year and conducted a thorough investigation.
While New York Attorney General Letitia James did not recommend criminal legal action against Cuomo, she did identify a “deeply disturbing but clear picture” of sexual harassment, a hostile work environment and intimidation for those who came forward.
That is not unique. It is not just accusatory. This is an alleged harassment of current and former state employees, along with people outside the government. There are 11 credible claims.
“I believe in women. And I believe in these 11 women,” James said.
Cuomo denies the allegations. He responded to two of them in a recorded speech, where he said that one accusation was a case of wrong intent and another was simply false. You probably have an explanation for the other nine. He also tried to appear respectful to his accusers and, at the same time, denied their claims. Responding to an accusation in The New York Times that he kissed a woman who did not want to be kissed at a party, he showed photos of himself kissing and touching all kinds of people and argued that kissing and touching are a sign of warmth from the that he learned from his mother and father.
“There are hundreds, if not thousands, of photos of me using the exact same gesture. I do it with everyone. Black and white, young and old, straight and LGBTQ, powerful people, friends, strangers, people I know on the street,” he said. the governor.
Cuomo may genuinely believe that he is innocent and the target of political attack. Clinton may have believed the same when he was sued for stalking and later, when the Starr Report discovered his infidelity in the White House. Trump has said he is the target of multiple “witch hunts,” that strange phrase he has clung to and uses when various women accuse him of harassment or worse, which he denies.
In the above cases, tribalism won
Clinton refused to resign and came out of the impeachment process stronger than ever. Democrats in the Senate protected him from impeachment. In fact, his approval rating increased.
Trump used the allegations against Clinton to deviate from the allegations against him in 2016. He then refused to withdraw from the 2016 presidential election, shot the moon, and was elected after speaking out about grabbing women by the genitals in an audio leaked shortly before Election Day. He survived everything.
The playbook that Clinton and Trump wrote, and that Cuomo seems to be following, goes something like this: deny, deflect, don’t quit, or back off.
Unlike, say, Senator Al Franken, the former Minnesota senator who was pushed to resign at the height of the #MeToo reckoning in 2017, essentially ending his political career even though he claimed some of the allegations did not. they were true.
The difference for Cuomo may be that his own party is turning against him, as the Democrats did against Franken.
President Joe Biden asked Cuomo to step down following the report’s findings on Tuesday. Before him, strong New York Democratic power actors, including both senators, and numerous members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, did.
The mayor of New York City has also called for an impeachment against him.
Missouri Governor Eric Greitens is among the disgraced politicians facing allegations of sexual misconduct. However, he did not resign in 2018 until he was charged with a felony computer tampering related to his campaign donor list. The charges against him, which the St. Louis circuit attorney said would not have been serious enough to warrant jail time, were dropped. He admitted to having an affair, but denied allegations of blackmail and sexual violence.
But even that was not the end of a disgraced man’s career. Greitens is running for the U.S. Senate in Missouri this year, with the help of Trump allies like Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr.
It seems unlikely that Cuomo, at the top of New York politics for years, will hold another popular-choice seat in his career. A middle ground for him could be to serve the rest of his term and not run for reelection next fall. That’s assuming the state Legislature doesn’t challenge him and remove him first.
Regardless, he asked for an investigation, perhaps hoping he would clear his name. He did the opposite.
Changing the subject, what else is on the agenda?
Moratorium on eviction – The Biden administration announced that a new moratorium on selective eviction will be implemented in places with high spread of covid. They will impose it without the vote in Congress requested by the Supreme Court. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that nearly 58% of the country (and growing) has “high” transmission. This could lead to an interesting court ruling.
Travel – CDC added 16 international locations to its “very high” covid-19 travel risk list.
Hospitalizations – For the first time since February, more than 50,000 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. That’s triple the figure from a month ago.
Wearing Masks – Utah will not require masks in schools. But you are buying KN95 masks to give to children.
Mandates – Florida’s Broward County School District reverses its mask-wearing mandate after threat of funding from the governor.
Tyson Foods Exceeds Vaccine Requirements – Most companies, like Walmart, imposed requirements focused on their corporate staff, not their front-line workers. Meat producer Tyson Foods, however, will require everyone’s vaccine, but has yet to negotiate with unions at some plants.
Union opposition to vaccine requirements is an important emerging story, especially among some teacher unions, who struggled to return to the classroom when there was no vaccine, and are now fighting the vaccine requirement. It is difficult to have both!
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism