A good question, especially given their rush to judgment in other cases — even amongst their own colleagues. Ever since Lyndsey Boylan tweeted about her allegations of sexual harassment from Andrew Cuomo, the silence among the same crowd that crusaded against Brett Kavanaugh and hounded Al Franken out of the Senate has been deafening.
The New York Post does an outrage inventory and finds the larders depleted when it comes to Cuomo … for now:
Vice President Kamala Harris was among the elected officials who didn’t respond to requests for comment on the claims made by former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan.
Harris had notably called on Democrat Al Franken of Minnesota to resign in 2017 when she was a senate colleague from California.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the usually voluble Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-The Bronx, Queens) were also mum following inquiries from The Post.
One leading Democrat has responded, albeit much more cautiously in the past. Kirsten Gillibrand hounded her colleague Franken out of the Senate without so much as a hearing over allegations of sexual harassment. She also fought hard against Kavanaugh and aligned herself with his accusers, even though the allegations in those cases were vague, decades old, and allegedly took place in Kavanaugh’s teens. When it comes to a three-term Democratic governor, however, Gillibrand wants due process and an evidentiary approach before she’ll offer any judgment:
“But as I said, everyone has a right to be able to come forward, speak their truth, and be heard,” Gillibrand said. “And that’s true for her and that’s also true for Gov. Cuomo.”
The former presidential candidate — who adopted a “zero-tolerance” policy that helped lead to Franken’s ouster — also said it would be “up to” the state legislature to investigate the claims.
“I don’t know the investigative processes for the state government,” she said. “I have focused very intensely on the investigative standards here in the Senate, as well as well as for the House.”
Ask Al Franken how impressed he is with Gillibrand’s commitment to “investigative standards.” Brett Kavanaugh already made his feelings about that well known during his public beating in the Senate’s ad hoc hearing prior to his confirmation in 2018. While Gillibrand’s belated commitment to the rule of law is a good step in the right direction, it’s also obviously hypocritical and self-serving.
Even with Democrats circling the wagons — or at least dousing the torches and storing the pitchforks — the situation looks grim for Cuomo, Politico reported last night. The combination of corruption, bullying, and now sexual harassment has at least made Cuomo more vulnerable to being taken down in a primary, assuming his job survives that long:
Cuomo’s growing body of detractors now encompasses Republicans, progressives, good government types and women’s rights advocates, among others. To his critics, the two controversies are not unrelated.
“Sexual harassment is a form of power abuse, and when you piece it it altogether— the hidden but now public harassment and what we’ve already seen in broad daylight by Cuomo— you can put together a profile of the kind of power abuser he really is,” said Erica Vladimer, a former legislative staffer who accused her then-boss of sexual harassment and co-founded an advocacy group to address a culture of such behavior in Albany.
Unlike questions over his policy decisions, friends and foes alike have called the new attacks on Cuomo’s character self-inflicted. His decision to call and berate Kim — and Kim’s decision to air it publicly — opened a floodgate for others with similar experiences, said New York’s GOP chair Nick Langworthy, during a Thursday discussion the party hosted virtually with his counterpart in California.
“Cuomo made a very big mistake in doing this because Assemblyman Kim took the age old advice on how to handle a bully, which was that he fought back, punched back, and in doing so, inspired many others to recount their own stories of inappropriate and abusive behavior by this governor,” Langworthy said.
We’ll see. The double standards that the media created for Cuomo still appear to be in play with the Democratic Party establishment. When those fully collapse, only then will Cuomo have nowhere to hide.
Exit question: Does anyone else find it odd that Boylan hasn’t talked with the press to argue her case? So far, Boylan hasn’t done any interviews at all on the subject — even though she’s in the middle of an election campaign. Why raise this in public and then not follow through?
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