Harrop: Until more is known, leave Cuomo’s fate to the voters

We need more than unverified assertions of sexual misconduct before taking down another official.

By Froma Harrop / syndicated columnist

Please explain again why New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo must resign. Or, put another way, what gives his political opponents, many of them fellow Democrats, the right to undo an election on the basis of unverified assertions of sexual misconduct; some ridiculously trivial, none involving violence or threat to careers, several open to innocent interpretations.

The comments on news stories should warn the political swarm of growing public annoyance at this massive pile-on against a governor most New Yorkers still consider effective.

Cuomo made some missteps early in the pandemic, but when the dimensions of the crisis were known, he took a national lead in implementing painful measures to curb the spread. He calmed a scared public at a time when President Trump was clowning around. He won national respect and, for that, became a prime target of the right.

And so, are Democrats now to take him down on claims that he held a female staffer’s hand too long? Or that he kissed a woman on the cheek at a wedding party?

Destined to live in infamy is a demand by New York’s two Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, that Cuomo resign. “Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations,” they state, “it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York.”

First off, an allegation, the Cambridge Dictionary says, is “a statement, made without giving proof, that someone has done something wrong or illegal.” If you find these claims “credible,” why not wait for the independent investigation by the state attorney general?

And what are the allegations? The most serious one — that Cuomo groped a woman at the governor’s mansion — comes from an “unidentified” aide. Since when did an unproven claim by an unknown accuser warrant the removal of a governor?

Some of the other charges would be laughable if anyone around here still had a sense of humor. The best one comes from accuser No. 4, who complains that Cuomo kissed her hand. Hand-kissing, in today’s culture, is a vaguely comical gesture.

Cuomo understandably hit back at Schumer and Gillibrand. “The people of New York,” he said, “should not have confidence in a politician who takes a position without knowing any facts or substance.”

Once again, Democrats are devouring their own. Many see a repeat of the Al Franken debacle in which Gillibrand pushed the popular senator from Minnesota to resign over a stupid, jokey photo.

Recall the hysteria over a woman’s complaint that Joe Biden nuzzled the back of her head? That set the woke herd on a stampede, and soon, media were taking seriously a woman’s whacko charge that Biden had penetrated her with his fingers.

As The New York Times reported last September, “Last year, Ms. Reade and seven other women came forward to accuse Mr. Biden of kissing, hugging or touching them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable.”

Reade, it was later learned, had a troubled personal history. If this had gone further, Democrats, you might have been into Donald Trump’s second term.

Of course, Cuomo’s political foes see opportunity in getting rid of a formidable foe without having to run against him. As of now, Cuomo is vying for a fourth term.

Reports that Cuomo hid the number of nursing home deaths from COVID-19 are more disturbing, but that’s not what set off the cries for his head. It was, as Cuomo himself conceded, the “unwanted flirtation.”

Whether Cuomo has lost the confidence of New Yorkers can be made clear on Election Day 2022. The voters should have a say in this, don’t you think?

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. Email her at fharrop@gmail.com.

Talk to us

More in Opinion

RGB version
Editorial cartoons for Tuesday, June 22

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Senate Health Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chair Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., right, uses her gavel to begin a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021, to examine the COVID-19 response and recovery and how to support students in higher education and safely return to campus. Ranking member Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., is at left. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Editorial: Court secures ACA but work remains for Congress

Congress still must deliver on Obamacare’s promises. A public option could complete the ACA’s goals.

Comment: Covid’s isolation has undermined youths’ mental health

Even as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, many kids still deal with depression and more.

Harrop: Lucky for Republicans, Obamacare has survived

Now, both parties need to stop nibbling at the edges of reform and fully deliver on the ACA’s goals.

Comment: Bad Holocaust analogies proof we haven’t learned

Many know just enough to recite facts, even to express remorse, but we aren’t left asking questions.

Comment: How to get the most from the news you consume

A journalism ethics professor offers tips for selecting and evaluating your sources of news.

Boeing workers walk outside of Boeing's Everett assembly plant on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Editorial: Counting the costs of Boeing-Airbus trade battles

Government subsidies and the tariffs that resulted hurt trade and allowed a competitor to rise.

Scenes from Everett High School graduation at Angel of the Winds Arena on Saturday, June 15, 2018 in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Editorial: Investment in foster youths offers path to diploma

Treehouse’s Graduation Success hopes to help more foster youths to continue to college and careers.

The Temple of Justice is shown Thursday, April 23, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., as Washington state Supreme Court justices hear oral arguments inside — but using remote video technology — in a case that addresses the safety of prison inmates during the coronavirus outbreak. Justices used remote video technology to conduct the court business and distance themselves from each other while broadcasting the arguments to viewers. During the hearing, lawmakers, law enforcement officials, and crime victims held a news conference to protest the release of some offenders. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Editorial: Courts, lawmakers shouldn’t make call on who’s media

Denying public records to a YouTube channel could risk the people’s access to what belongs to them.

Most Read