If Cuomo Survives, Is #MeToo Over?
3 Aug 2021
BUCK: I just wanted to establish what the current president was saying back on ABC News in March to George Stephanopoulos about his feelings on Governor Cuomo.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me ask you about Governor Cuomo of New York. I know you’ve said you want the investigation to continue. If the investigation confirms claims of the women, should he resign?
BIDEN: Yes. I think he’d probably end up being prosecuted, too.
BUCK: Ah, Clay, not only should he resign, which as I’ve said he likely will not do and I even have a couple bets with New York City politicians on the Republican side about this one saying that he’s never going. He’s not gonna resign. It’s just not gonna happen. On another level, President Biden said he should be prosecuted, which doesn’t even seem like it’s in the cards a little bit.
CLAY: Well, it could be in the cards if the AG of New York wants to get the governor job, which actually I think would move in favor of Andrew Cuomo here, Buck, because then he can truly argue even more, this is a politically motivated prosecution, which is difficult to do when it’s only Democrats involved.
Let’s talk big picture here for a minute too. You heard what Joe Biden said. Remember the governor of Virginia — in the wake of the “everything is racist” Democratic movement — basically said, “I’m not going to resign,” and media moved on, stopped covering him, and he’s gonna finish out his term.
BUCK: Ralph Northam, governor of Virginia.
CLAY: If Andrew Cuomo survives this, if he is able to finish his term and or run for reelection again in 2022, what this could represent on a big, broad scale is #MeToo is over. Think about this. Because if Democrats are unable to remove the 11-time accused, current sitting governor of New York, despite an independent investigation by the state attorney general, which confirms the allegations of the women, then how in the world can anyone politically ever be removed?
And remember, this is significant. These are not random women that doesn’t have a connection to his job. These are mostly women who worked in his office, which is the definition of sexual harassment. If this doesn’t get Andrew Cuomo out of office, the standard for anybody accused of a #MeToo violation in government — Democrat, Republican, independent, doesn’t matter — is going to be, “Look at what happened to Andrew Cuomo.” This could mean the end of #MeToo because remember hashtag #BelieveAllWomen? That’s going up in smoke right now. That was the argument that existed in the Brett Kavanaugh situation.
BUCK: Well, I think you can argue that that already, because of the obvious politicization of it against Kavanaugh, was no longer considered a fair and credible standard by anybody who believes in fairness or credibility.
BUCK: On the Cuomo side of things, here you have somebody who is a very connected, powerful Democrat — who, remember, is also tied into the whole covid narrative, he’s tied into the Democrat response in 2020, the Biden campaign saying, “Look at who did a great job. Cuomo did a great job,” they said. And not only was he, you know, pushing seniors with covid back into nursing homes, and then lying about that data, he was also lying all along, unless you think that these reports…
You only have two options. These women are lying or Cuomo is lying. There’s no third option in terms of whether he touched them or not, and so the Democrats feel like this guy going down overall is too much of a brand hit for them. So they’re gonna make a lot of statements. We’re gonna have all these statements, Clay. “Oh, this is an outrageous. Oh, this….”
And then two days from now or five days from now or whatever, there will be some insurrection narrative they’re talking about on CNN, and Bro Cuomo will be there talking about how the white nationalists are gonna take over at any moment and we need to have Big Tech monitoring all those Trump voters because of the coup that’s gonna happen at any moment and everything we’ve heard from Cuomo sounds like background noise everything we’ve heard all the allegations. And this guy, not only does he stay in office, he runs for reelection — and, Clay, not only does he run for reelection…
CLAY: He wins.
BUCK: He wins.
CLAY: He’s the needle that I would say Andrew Cuomo is trying to finesse. You said either he is lying, or the women are lying, and I think that’s the way most people would acknowledge it. But remember his opening line almost was, “I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. That isn’t who I am or have ever been.” That’s Andrew Cuomo. Let’s look at some of the work that these sentences are doing.
Remember, this was a masterfully crafted defense when he knew already what the outcome of this investigation was gonna be. Remember Bill Clinton came on in the Monica Lewinsky response, and later would get prosecuted for lying under oath, and remember what his defense was? “That depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”
Because if you remember Bill Clinton’s initial response, he said, “There is no sexual relationship.” And his defense was, “That means right now.” He didn’t say, “There was no sexual relationship.” He said, “There is no sexual relationship,” meaning he called it off. Why do I bring that up? If you look at what Andrew Cuomo was saying, he says, “I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.” The word there that is doing a lot of work is “inappropriate.” “Inappropriate” is a term of art. What is or is not “inappropriate” in terms of touching, in terms of commentary is really up to the mind of the person.
BUCK: You can’t say I never touched anybody ’cause they had a collage of dozens of photos of him doing the Fredo brother smooch on the cheek thing.
CLAY: He admitted, in fact, to touching people all the time. He admitted to the commentary that might be involved in his office. So his legal defense, as well as potentially his political defense, comes down in the same way Bill Clinton said, “That depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” It comes down to, what is inappropriate? What is inappropriate, and how do you define it in the context of the office at play here?
And the real question is, did his address provide enough political cover? You believe the answer is yes, ’cause Democrats don’t want to do anything. You think his response gave enough political cover for him to avoid being forced to resign or be impeached or whatever might happen in Albany. You think the answer is yes. The question is, I think, how will the media cover this? And think about how the media would cover this if it were a Democrat versus Republican.
BUCK: It is a Democrat. If it were a Republican, sure. It would be very different. We all know that. It would have not even gotten to this point because you would have, like, a news ticker at the bottom of the screen, “How many days since Republican sexual abuser hasn’t resigned?” They would do what CNN did with covid deaths under Trump and then somehow mysteriously dropped right after Biden came into office, which is the constant flood-the-zone approach.
But Cuomo’s defiance here to anybody who understands New York state politics, how things work up in Albany, who owes whom favors and how the system actually functions… We’re in a one-party, Democrat-controlled state. They have an iron grip over what goes on in the legislature, and Cuomo has a lot of on a lot of people Clay. His family is very entrenched with a lot of the most powerful Democrats in Albany.
And there’s just not gonna be enough. Right now, I understand it feels like, “Oh, my gosh. Look what just happened!” But this guy didn’t resign when it came out that he was lying about the seniors dying in the nursing homes! It’s not just that he had bad policies. He covered up the numbers by 50% of people dying in a pandemic. If Democrats aren’t going to try to push him out of office for that —
CLAY: Or even investigate or charge him.
BUCK: If they’re not gonna do that, they’re not gonna do it over inappropriate comments and inappropriate touching. I just don’t… I don’t see it.
BUCK: It's all so arbitrary, and they pretend it's not judgment calls when it clearly is.
BUCK: I've seen some people trying to politicize, in some way, the fact that he was double vaccinated.
CLAY: I was on talking about the importance of the First Amendment and why freedom of speech mattered in media circles.
CLAY: Man, we are making a big difference in the way that we are talking, and even other media are starting to follow our lead.
CLAY: I wonder what it’s like — and I hope I never know, and some people might say it’s already happened — to be past your mental faculties and end up with a big job.