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OPINION: I Was Wrong To Think Cuomo Wouldn’t Resign. Now I Wonder What Else Was Going To Come Out.

OPINION: I Was Wrong To Think Cuomo Wouldn’t Resign. Now I Wonder What Else Was Going To Come Out.

 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at an event at New York University (NYU) where he signed where he signed into law a new affirmative sexual consent policy to combat campus sexual violence on July 7, 2015 in New York City.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) resigned in disgrace on Tuesday, a move I predicted would not happen. I was wrong. I’m really surprised I was wrong about this one.

In hindsight, it might have been unfair to compare Cuomo’s situation to that of Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA), who refused to resign after admitting to appearing in his medical school yearbook wearing either a KKK hood or blackface. Part of the reason Northam survived is because his next in line, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, was accused of sexual assault. It was then discovered that the next in line after Fairfax, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, also wore blackface in college. When local and national Democrats learned that the next in line was a Republican, they stopped calling for resignations.Cuomo didn’t have that kind of cushioning.

Looking back over Cuomo’s resignation speech, it is filled with denials of any wrongdoing while claiming he believed his accusers, making it pretty clear he didn’t want to resign over this. The calls for resignation would have eventually ended, as despite what some left-leaning pundits claim, Democrats are no more likely to hold their own accountable as Republicans. Bill Clinton is still invited to parties. Northam is still in office, as is Fairfax and Herring.

Cuomo in his resignation speech called the “headline” that he sexually harassed 11 women “false.”“My lawyers, as you just heard from Rita Glavin, have reviewed the report over the past several days and have already raised serious issues and flaws that should concern all New Yorkers because when there is a bias or a lack of fairness in the justice system, it is a concern for everyone, not just those immediately affected,” Cuomo said.

This is rich, coming from Cuomo, who long bragged about implementing sexual misconduct policies on college campuses that destroyed fairness for the accused.

Also his resignation speech, Cuomo insisted again that he has a weird sense of humor and that the women simply misinterpreted his actions.

“In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn. There are generational and cultural shifts that I just didn’t fully appreciate, and I should have,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo should know the line – because he helped move it with his campus policies that insisted there was no room for interpretation or the presumption of innocence.

Funny it is then that Cuomo did not mention his “Enough is Enough” campaign during his resignation speech when listing what he considered his accomplishments as governor.

With Cuomo’s constant shift between claiming innocence and accepting responsibility, one gets the sense he didn’t want to resign, which makes one wonder if there was not something more going on. Cuomo himself repeatedly said the attacks against him were political in nature, but sexual harassment isn’t something that would, even in the waning days of the co-opted #MeToo movement, ruin a popular Democrats’ career. Sexual assault allegations didn’t get Fairfax to resign. Admitted blackface didn’t get Northam to resign. Heck, even Eliot Spitzer, another New York Democratic governor who resigned over a sex scandal, landed on his feet with a sweet CNN gig for a bit.

Cuomo is still under investigation for numerous other issues, including his COVID-19 nursing home policy that resulted in the deaths of 15,000 elderly New Yorkers. It could very well be that Cuomo resigned in an effort to keep more bad news from coming out about him. But what could that be? What we already know is awful.

We learned from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into alleged sexual misconduct that Cuomo’s aides circulated confidential files to smear one of his accusers. We also know that Cuomo had his aides alter a report to reduce the number of nursing home deaths so that he could sell his book about pandemic “leadership.” We know his nursing home policy, which mandated nursing homes in the state accept COVID-19-positive patients, killed thousands by injecting a dangerous disease into the most vulnerable population.

But that’s not what made him resign, at least not publicly. For the sake of the families who lost loved ones, we can only hope the investigations continue. Otherwise, Cuomo will be able to return to the public eye in some form – running for office, getting a left-wing media job, etc. President Joe Biden and others have already signaled this possibility by insisting Cuomo did a great job as governor except for the kissing and groping.

If the ongoing investigations present enough evidence to finally make Democrats accept that Cuomo bungled the pandemic worse than just about every other governor in the country (except maybe Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ) – and that’s a big “if” – then he would never be able to come back. Resigning now allows him to maintain his reputation in Democrat circles while allowing Democrats to claim they take sexual misconduct claims seriously.

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