Corruption fairground


In the past few years, we have witnessed some of the most fraught, divisive and downright horrific politics in American history.
The worst end of this was Donald Trump’s twice-impeached presidency — the first in 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of congress, and the second for incitement of insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in early January.
In Trump’s first ride on the disgrace roundabout, Republican senator Mitt Romney was the lone defector in voting for impeachment, while the remaining GOP senators sat in sheepish silence.
Even after a rebellion against our own democracy, only seven Republican senators agreed earlier this year that Trump incited the riot — but it wasn’t enough to impeach the former president.
Just when we thought we’d seen enough of an executive in self-made scandal, along comes Governor Andrew Cuomo.
First was the nursing home death undercounting, a heavy blow to a governor universally praised, a year ago, in helping New York get through the COVID-19 pandemic. Or so we thought. 
A New York Times investigation revealed that aides pointedly rewrote a health department report to hide the real number — shattering the façade of Cuomo: Savior of New York.
Then the next shoe dropped. In the last month, more than a half-dozen women, including current and former members of his administration, came forward to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.
Through it all, Cuomo acknowledged wrongdoing and expressed remorse — but it didn’t deter calls from fellow Democrats calling for the governor’s resignation. 
Party-wise, it’s a major inversion from the Trump scandals, in which Republicans complicitly followed along, or joined in the former president in attacking anyone who dared question his actions.
Cuomo, like Trump, isn’t going quietly into the good night. He’s rebuffing calls for his resignation as premature, and slandered fellow Democrats who did as being “reckless and dangerous.” 
Yes, the investigations into the allegations against Cuomo must continue on unimpeded by anything, and the governor must respect the outcome of them and take accountability. 
The issue is no longer about whether Cuomo is guilty of the things for which he’s been accused. The issue is whether he can continue governing New York when he has repelled so many other powerful Democrats in this state, at this most critical time.
Lest we forget: a deadly virus is still raging, the vaccine rollout is ongoing, a budget is looming and an economy must be rebuilt. 
Can New York endure both a recovery and a governor in scandal simultaneously? Sure it can. 
But it doesn’t have to be that way

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