Andrew Cuomo: Sorry but He Will Not Resign

Andrew Cuomo today said he's sorry he made anyone feel uncomfortable but he won't resign.

Good for him. He should not resign. This piling on of accusations from years past with automatic acceptance of the accusers' allegations is simply wrong. This country was founded on the principle of innocent until proven guilty.

Andrew Cuomo is not alleged to have physically assaulted anyone. It's not alleged that he threatened to use or used physical "force" against anyone with the intent of causing them physical injury. He's alleged to have used a "pattern of words and actions that have...made three women who are decades his junior feel deeply uncomfortable, in their collective telling."

By today's moral standards, if true, his words and actions constitutes sexual harassment. By legal standards, it might or might not constitute an actionable civil claim for damages or is unlikely to be a basis for criminal prosecution. (Personally, I think it should be neither, but I don't make the laws, I just defend people charged with breaking them.) [More...]

Cuomo has apologized for making anyone uncomfortable and said he didn't know at the time he was making anyone feel uncomfortable. He says he was just being himself. Now he's been educated -- as well as trolled through the streets with a Scarlet A on his chest. Enough. Let the man get back to governing New York State which voters elected him to do. Three woman who felt uncomfortable by sexist remarks and suggestions and perhaps an unasked for kiss on the cheek should not be able to topple the will of the voters in an election.

Comments someone made to you years ago that you did not report then should not be judged by today's draconian "me too" standards. If you experienced a verbal or even a improper touching "me too" moment years ago, my reaction is keep it to yourself, share it with your friends or therapist or ask the alleged perpetrator for a private apology. The world doesn't need to know now things about you and your employers and dates it didn't know then.

On the other hand, if you were physically assaulted, tell the police, not the media. If there's a case to be made for prosecution, wait until your case gets to court and tell your story in the courtroom. And if you are told by the police there is insufficient evidence for a criminal charge, consult a lawyer to see if you have grounds for a civil suit or to attempt a negotiated settlement for reasonable damages.

Public shaming is not an appropriate response for an enlightened society. Stripping someone of their job before they have been found guilty of an crime based on disputed factual allegations is simply unacceptable. This is not Alice in Wonderland ("No, no said the Queen. First the punishment, then the verdict").

There are thousands if not millions of Andrew Cuomo's out there -- men over 50 who are or were in positions of power in business or government who are as sexist as the day is long. Educate them, privately. Write them a letter and tell them how they made you feel. Ask them to acknowledge and validate your feelings according to today's norms, even if these norms did not exist when the event happened. If your goal is to end sexual harassment in the workplace, rather than to get 15 minutes of fame, reap a financial benefit or get personal revenge, this should suffice.

Is there anyone who believes Andrew Cuomo will continue acting and speaking to women in a way they find objectionable after what he's been put through the past few weeks? I doubt it. He is now on notice he'll be removed from his perch immediately if it happens again in the future. I suspect he won't even let himself be alone in the same room with a female after this imbroglio. Men learn. Educate them, don't shame them and take away their livelihood over a few inappropriate comments or a non-sexual touch you believed had a sexual overtone.

If you are not familiar with this site, and are surprised by this opinion, check out our about page. TalkLeft's mission for the past 19 years has been to advocate for and protect the constitutional rights of those accused of crime. The Bill of Rights was designed to protect the rights of the citizen accused against the awesome powers of the Government, not the rights of crime victims.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I agree he should not resign as Governor (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 04, 2021 at 12:43:06 AM EST
    but I do not agree that he has any credible basis for claiming to be surprised in discovering that a male boss (especially one who is 20 or more years older) cannot engage in sexual banter with -- much less indirectly proposition -- his female employees or underlings. Seriously? I'm 72, and I have clearly understood this for at least 35 years now.

    My mistake (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 04, 2021 at 03:29:42 PM EST
    I will not be 72 until July. I just feel like I'm 72 today.

    That's one of the "signs" (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by desertswine on Thu Mar 04, 2021 at 10:44:42 PM EST
    you know, when you can't remember how old you are.  Me, I'm always losing my glasses.

    My husband (none / 0) (#2)
    by Zorba on Thu Mar 04, 2021 at 08:10:45 AM EST
    Is 73, and has understood this even longer.
    The thing I'm most upset about regarding Cuomo, though, has nothing to do with sexual harassment, and is much more recent.  It was his requiring nursing homes to accept patients with COVID-19, and then hiding the number of COVID deaths in the nursing homes.  Inexcusable.

    I am (none / 0) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 04, 2021 at 05:13:38 PM EST
    not sure about this but my understanding was that Medicare was requiring the patients to be moved to nursing homes. I do know that Medicare normally has this requirement for a lot of things. My mother in law had a stroke and she couldn't go directly home so the hospital had to put her in a nursing home, not where she wanted to be but where Medicare said she had to be if she couldn't go home.

    Some guys (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 04, 2021 at 05:18:55 PM EST
    like you get it and other guys just do not. You can explain to this other group but it doesn't sink in. Personally I have tried with a few old men who don't understand why they can't behave like they did in 1950 towards women and you get into this circular logic where you end up with zero progress.

    I do not have strong feelings about this (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 04, 2021 at 08:51:26 AM EST
    either way.  I am a little annoyed that some screaming loudest for Al Frankenstein head are fine with this.

    I will say I was surprised that his statement started out with "I'm sorry if anyone was offended by what I did..."

    Repeat after me "I'm sorry for what I did."

    I also tired of the stories that (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Mar 04, 2021 at 08:53:15 AM EST
    "....some years ago Cuomo insulted me and took my lunch money"

    great line, I may steal that one (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 04, 2021 at 02:23:26 PM EST
    Well, Franken (none / 0) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 04, 2021 at 05:16:29 PM EST
    was a notch about this. I understand your point. However those that did speak up about Franken got routinely attacked for doing so. So maybe the lesson they learned is just don't say anything.

    Frankly I'm not invested in whether Cuomo stays or goes but I do have to say if Franken had acted like Cuomo is now he might still be in the senate.


    Cuomo's misdeeds (none / 0) (#5)
    by BlueStater on Thu Mar 04, 2021 at 10:14:26 AM EST
    At last. A comment by a woman on this issue that takes account of people's rights (I'm an old white guy). I am strongly opposed to this kind of behavior, and years ago fired one guy for it. But too often (I'm thinking of Al Franken here) there is an instance of what can best be described as excruciatingly bad manners, and the evidentiary standard for convicting (or even charging) the misdemeanant in the public view is substantially below what a court would require, and the punishment very substantially above what any court would impose upon conviction. Sensible women should resist this, it seems to me.

    Please advise. May I keep my poster, (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 04, 2021 at 09:05:35 PM EST
    purportedly designed by the Gov.  a time capsiule.