Sexual assault accusations, not to mention sending olds to die in nursing homes, against Andrew Cuomo came fast and furious, but he’s still in office. He had an advantage. He was already governor, even if every other New York Democratic pol called for his resignation. He could just shrug, ignore them and his own stunning hypocrisy, and wait until the public’s eight second attention span lapsed.
Stringer’s run for mayor hit a snag.
Mr. Stringer’s campaign faces a moment of crisis, just as he had appeared to catch momentum — and some on the left fear that the fallout will help more moderate candidates like Andrew Yang or Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, win the primary.
“Every time there are allegations like this, they need to be taken really seriously,” said Cea Weaver, a strategist for the Housing Justice for All Coalition. “It’s not good. I don’t know what’s going to happen, and I’m really concerned that absent Stringer’s campaign, the left doesn’t have a viable candidate.”
At issue is an allegation from Jean Kim, now a political lobbyist, that Mr. Stringer groped her, made other unwanted sexual overtures and told her to keep those actions quiet during his 2001 race. Mr. Stringer has strongly denied those claims, saying that they had a consensual relationship that stretched over a few months.
The allegation goes back to 2001, but surfaced only now, as Stringer’s mayoral campaign is getting some traction as the most progressive candidate with a chance of beating Yang and Adams, both of whom are considered moderates. There are other progressive candidates running, all women, who have neither experience nor anything to commend their views. They all spout pretty much the same progressive dogma. And they see this as their chance to rid themselves of this meddlesome man.
The claim injected a new measure of unpredictability into the race and gave a number of his opponents fresh arguments for their own candidacies.
“We cannot afford a distraction” from the most consequential issues facing New York City, said Ms. Wiley, who picked up endorsements on Thursday from the women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem and Roberta Kaplan, a civil rights lawyer.
Maya Wiley is Stringer’s competition on the hard left and she’s got something to say about these accusations.
“Anyone who wants to sit and serve the people of the city of New York should be able to understand that there is simply no man who can tell a woman whether or not she has consented to a sexual relationship,” Ms. Wiley said. “That’s not how it works.”
Wiley’s view of the dynamic is that if a man is accused, he’s guilty, since “there is simply no man who can tell a woman whether or not she has consented to a sexual relationship.” Does this seem a bit untenable? Much as the argument about what constitutes consent, after the clarity of “no means no” was resoundingly rejected in lieu of “yes means whatever I decide it means, before, during or after.” Activists deny this absurd position is real. Wiley just said it.
But before you feel too badly for poor Stringer, he, like his spirit animals Cuomo and Biden, would have been cheering on the burning of the witch as long as he wasn’t the witch.
Yet the allegation against Mr. Stringer — who, along with some of his top supporters, has preached a zero-tolerance message in other instances of allegations against public officials — threatens to reorder the entire mayoral contest, and especially the battle for the left.
A basic tenet of progressive males is their zero tolerance for others to challenge accusations, as that connotes in their twisted reasoning and hatred of due process that they do not believe women. No progressive man can question a woman. Unless and until, that is, the woman is accusing him, whereupon it’s completely false and never happened. But just this one time and every other accusation is totally real. After all, are they not “credible accusations,” the conclusive standard for guilt on the left?
Did Stringer do it? Beats me. He says they had a consensual relationship. She says no, that Stringer, without her consent, “repeatedly groped me, put his hands on my thighs and between my legs and demanded to know why I would not have sex with him.” But the fact that 20 years have elapsed and this was never raised before makes the allegations suspect.
That, however, might just be the expectation that people who claim to have been sexually harassed would say something before the opportune moment to crash a campaign. Then again, there is the litany of excuses for not doing so that have been pounded mercilessly into progressive heads over the past few years.
For Stringer, the problem is that there is no mechanism by which a candidate for office can challenge accusations. Of course, even if there was a means by which Stringer could obtain due process, be presumed innocent, be ideologically permitted to argue that the woman should not be believed despite her having leveled the dreaded “credible accusation” that’s deemed an actual standard by the woke, he still wouldn’t prevail under his own zero tolerance position.
Whether one sees the demise of Stringer’s mayoral campaign as a problem or him reaping what he’s sowed, the fact is that an allegation, an old one at that, is good enough to bring down a campaign, to cause endorsers to flee the rapist, to compel his rivals to assert that if a woman claims, at the time or 20 years later, that she didn’t consent, and there isn’t a damn thing he can do about it. If this is the world they want, they’re getting it. And if the people of New York City would have preferred Mayor Stringer to Yang or Wiley, tough nuggies.