New York Times’ political reporter Lisa Lerer shared the lead story slot in Saturday’s edition with her take on the Democratic Party’s Andrew Cuomo problem, as allegations made against New York’s Democratic governor deepen in seriousness: “Party Struggles With #MeToo Moment.”
Lerer brings up in passing some glaring Democratic inconsistencies, but her overall tone proposes that the party’s moral standards are just too high to compete with those sleazy Republicans, a fairy story about Democrats they love to tell themselves (with lots of help from the Times).
And a few prominent names were conveniently missing from the narrative: former Democratic President Bill Clinton, who was defended by Democrats and the media over several credible allegations of sexual harassment and assault, and Brett Kavanaugh, now Justice Kavanaugh, who was attacked by liberals and the Times in a series of smear stories.
Democrats are now confronting a highly fluid, still-developing situation in New York, with many voters appearing to share Ms. Miner’s caution about swiftly expelling the governor. The gravity of the allegations increased this week when The Times Union of Albany reported a new accusation against Mr. Cuomo: that when he was alone with a female aide in the Executive Mansion last year, he closed a door, reached under her blouse and began groping her. He has denied that he touched anyone inappropriately.
Public opinion could now shift rapidly against Mr. Cuomo, but it is also clear that after a decade with him as governor, many Democrats have found that sitting in judgment of him -- and demanding a penalty like resignation -- isn’t so simple.
For some, the question of Mr. Cuomo’s future has intensified a conversation that has been happening within the party since Senator Al Franken resigned in 2018: What should happen to powerful liberal male politicians who are publicly accused of sexual misconduct?
….a number [of Democrats] expressed their view that Democratic officials accused of sexual misconduct have lost their jobs in recent years while Republicans haven’t -- a misperception mostly driven by impressions of Mr. Franken’s resignation. It is a sentiment intertwined with lingering feelings about former President Donald J. Trump, who many Democrats believe never paid a political price after being accused of far worse treatment of women.
Meredith Pilat, a Democratic voter in Manhattan, said that her view of Mr. Cuomo had shifted after the accusation of groping and that she could no longer defend his actions. But she still wants an investigation and does not believe he should be impeached without “hard-core evidence.”
She added, “When I watch the Republican Party play dirty every day, I get a bit annoyed at the double standard imposed on Democrats.”
After Democrats cast their support for equality in moral terms during the Trump administration, conservative news outlets have eagerly tagged the party with charges of hypocrisy for failing to uniformly demand an immediate resignation. That has revived worries from some Democrats that their party is imposing a politically damaging purity test.
Lerer failed to hit the Democrats on their gross hypocrisy in defending Gov. Cuomo (and Sen. Franken, belatedly) from multiple sexual harassment allegations far better documented than the vague ancient stories told by Kavanaugh’s main accuser, not to mention the crazed tales spread by his other accusers. Lerer was also skeptical of Biden’s sexual assault accuser Tara Reade during the presidential campaign, and Reade’s story receives only a single dismissive mention here.