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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Cowardly Governor Cuomo

Photo by Creative Commons

Opinion columnist Sam Somogye dives into the sexual harassment allegations put on Gov. Andrew Cuomo that eventually led to his resignation from office. 

It’s no secret there are some bad actors in the turbulent world of politics. When most people think of the worst of the worst, they think of notorious figures like Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton or Roger Stone. Now, there’s another name to add on to this long list — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

Cuomo announced his resignation yesterday after a plethora of women accused the governor of sexual assault. Like most politicians, he used the “deny, deny, deny” strategy. Independent investigators, like most of the country, were not so sure. After several months, investigators concluded that Cuomo “did sexually harass multiple women — including former and current state employees — by engaging in unwanted groping, kissing, and hugging, and making inappropriate comments.” 

Even after these findings, Cuomo remained resilient in denying these accusations, releasing a video shortly after the report was released. To be frank, his response was pathetic and disturbing. Cuomo used his upbringing and heritage as an excuse for him being a creep. He even showed what seemed like a never ending slideshow with pictures of him hugging and kissing people on the cheek, many of whom are very powerful individuals. It’s as if he was telling the world, “These are the people in my circle. You think I’m scared of 11 women accusing me? I’m untouchable.” 

As it turns out, he’s not untouchable.

In his resignation announcement, he doubled down and said, “In my mind, I never crossed the line with anyone. But I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn.”
Are you kidding me? This is coming from the guy who boasted about passing a law lowering the bar for complaints relating to sexual harrasment. Let’s be 100 percent clear, the governor knew what he was doing was inappropriate. He just thought he could get away with it, and in a way, he is.

Unfortunately, this coward of a man will face no real consequences. It is highly unlikely he will be impeached and it is even more unlikely any criminal charges will be pressed against him. It shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise if he reemerges in a couple of years and runs for another elected office. What’s even more sad is it’s not entirely implausible to believe that when he does return to the political world, he will win whichever office he chooses. In America, many people have a severe case of political short term memory loss. This has been proven time and time again. 

The Clintons never faced any real consequences for any of their countless scandals and the same thing can be said of the Trump Administration. Case and point can be seen with the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Clinton was impeached, sure, but, to no one’s surprise, he was never convicted. In fact, when he left office, he had a 66 percent approval rating, one of the highest in history. So what if he cheated on his wife with a White House intern? He’s such a likeable guy! 

The Trump Administration also had countless scandals. After two impeachments, he still remains one of the most influential figures in the Republican party. Candidates still seek his endorsement, and officeholders still elbow their way to the front of the line to get a picture with him. 

Let us also keep in mind, Cuomo is the same governor who just months ago was doing a book tour and winning Emmys because he was hailed as the hero of handling the COVID-19 outbreak. His daily COVID-19 press briefings rivaled those of President Trump’s, only for reports that his office may be responsible for thousands of people dying in nursing homes. Nonetheless, he survived a scandal that should have ended his career because of much of the media’s selective perception. After all, how could they jump the gun on calling for the resignation of an award winning, best selling author? All he did was maybe be responsible for thousands of deaths because of his administration’s poor handling of COVID. 

Nevertheless, the same people who hailed him as a king were forced to call for his political beheading. The sexual assault claims are just the straw that broke the camel’s back. 

To think this is the last we have seen of Cuomo would be a foolish sentiment. It shouldn’t be, but it is — that’s just the world we live in. 

It’s rare for me to say such a thing, but I hope that I’m wrong. 

People will say, “He’s out of office now, let’s move on. His resignation is sufficient enough.” 

Where do we draw the line? How much longer will we let people in power get off scot free? Collectively, we as Americans must demand more accountability. 

Sam Somogye is a political science senior and columnist for The Battalion.

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