Do you remember Tara Reade? Joe Biden probably does, not that it’s the sort of thing he wants to talk about, and with good reason. As he brought the Title IX Avenging Angel, Catherine Lhamon into the White House and plans to undo the minimal due process created by the DeVos regs, Biden dodged that bullet with the complicity of the unduly passionate who put “believe women” far below beat Trump on the “to do” list.
New York Governor Andy Cuomo wasn’t a lot different than Biden when it came to capitalizing on the popularity of “campus rape” as a means to show his feelings toward “survivors.” But now, like Biden when accused by Reade, Cuomo finds himself the target.
A second former aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is accusing him of sexual harassment, saying that he asked her questions about her sex life, whether she was monogamous in her relationships and if she had ever had sex with older men.
The aide, Charlotte Bennett, who was an executive assistant and health policy adviser in the Cuomo administration until she left in November, told The New York Times that the governor had harassed her late last spring, during the height of the state’s fight against the coronavirus.
Bennett’s accusations come atop those of Lindsey Boylan.
The aide, Lindsey Boylan, described several years of uncomfortable interactions with Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, including an invitation to play strip poker on a government airplane and an email from another top aide suggesting that the governor thought she was a “better looking sister” of another woman.
Cuomo denies that any impropriety occurred.
Mr. Cuomo said in a statement to The Times on Saturday that he believed he had been acting as a mentor and had “never made advances toward Ms. Bennett, nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.” He said he had requested an independent review of the matter and asked that New Yorkers await the findings “before making any judgments.”
Notably, Cuomo doesn’t say it didn’t happen, but that he didn’t “intend to act” in an inappropriate manner. For younger readers, “intent” was something that used to matter when determining wrongdoing in the olden days.
And of course, all of this comes on top of Cuomo’s nursing home death wish.
It’s not that there aren’t a multitude of fair-minded questions to be hashed out in determining whether wrongdoing occurred, or whether conduct was of the sort that was intended as joking back before joking had been criminalized. Surely asking questions that make a woman feel uncomfortable isn’t as bad as physically sexually assaulting a woman in the halls of Congress. Maybe this didn’t even happen, although few familiar with Cuomo are entertaining that excuse.
But Cuomo asks New Yorkers to “await the findings ‘before making any judgments.'” Would he give any male college student in New York that same courtesy? Would he let them defend themselves from accusations? Would it matter when his rules make any accusation conclusive if the “victim” feels that she was a victim?
Biden won’t play by his own rules, and that makes complete sense since he wouldn’t stand a chance otherwise. What sort of idiot would want accusations against him prejudged based on his gender and that of his accuser, where the male is presumed guilty and the woman glorified as another victim of the Patriarchy’s “rape culture”? Better to be a flaming hypocrite than a rapist, Joe.
Andy Cuomo now faces the same quandary, with years of pandering to women on the “campus rape epidemic.” As soon as California took a swan dive off the edge of rationality, Cuomo shut his eyes as tightly as possible and took a flying leap of his own. Granted, it was directed at college students, not state governors, but the same ideas apply.
Whether Cuomo did it, or whether the accusations amount to sexual harassment, and certainly not what the punishment should be, aren’t the questions being asked here. The question is whether Cuomo, like Biden before him, gets to defend himself when he would deny that opportunity to any college student in New York.
Cuomo should be able to defend himself, and if he loses at every turn, should bear the consequences. But so should every other accused whom Cuomo, like Biden before him, was all too happy to convict upon accusation. But then, rank hypocrisy didn’t get in Biden’s way, and apparently hasn’t give rise to an awareness that the very same opportunity he enjoyed is what he stridently seeks to deny others, so why should Andy Cuomo be any more concerned about due process, the presumption of innocence and the opportunity to defend for others when it’s only his survival that really matters?
Update: Cuomo has asked NY Attorney General, Letitia James, and the Chief Judge to name an independent outside counsel to investigate. Tish James, who has no authority to act without a directive from the governor, isn’t interested.
UPDATE from New York AG Letitia James: “To clarify, I do not accept the governor’s proposal. The state’s Executive Law clearly gives my office the authority to investigate this matter once the governor provides a referral." https://t.co/jSmQzP95jK
— Axios (@axios) February 28, 2021
James wants Cuomo to give her the power to conduct the investigation herself, and she will nail Cuomo to the wall no matter what. Perhaps this will salvage her reputation after blowing the Daniel Prude indictment or just provide her with the opportunity to prove she will abuse her power against anyone, even the governor, for the cause. But there is no chance she won’t burn Cuomo, and no chance Cuomo would let her conduct the investigation as he knows what she’ll do.
And no, the state’s Executive Law does not “clearly” give her the authority to do this, which is why she can’t do it without Cuomo’s authorization.