Leadership Lessons From A Scandal-Ridden Governor

Dems show how the GOP should have treated Trump. Plus: Q-A-Mom?

1. Dems realize Cuomo’s gotta go

A popular leader massively botches a crisis and covers up his mistakes. He is credibly accused by multiple women of inappropriate behavior. And yet the voters stick with him

Sound familiar? 

Well here is where the story changes a bit. 

The party leaders rebuff their voters. They declare that no matter the level of popular support, someone who has committed such unacceptable acts has lost the ability to govern and should be removed from office. 

What a concept! 

I can understand if this series of events might be disorienting. After-all this is what a properly functioning democratic republic—one with properly functioning political parties—looks like. The GOP should take note.

On Friday, members of the Democratic New York congressional delegation—including big names like AOC, Jerry Nadler, and Jamaal Bowman—called on Andrew Cuomo to resign

“After two accounts of sexual assault, four accounts of harassment, the Attorney General’s investigation finding the Governor’s admin hid nursing home data from the legislature and public, we agree with the 55+ members of the New York State legislature that the Governor must resign,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

Well sheeeeeiiiit. How about that?

You notice what wasn’t in the statement? 

A complaint about the mean and unfair conservative media that had lambasted the strong, if imperfect, governor. A caveat citing a legal technicality that Jonathan Turley farted out explaining why what Cuomo did was bad but not quite bad enough to do anything about. A plea to listen to 4 million (really 3.6) aggrieved voters who genuinely believed the Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.  

Nope, they are simply giving Cuomo the chop. 

And look: This isn’t just about right and wrong, even if it is primarily that. It’s about removing an irritant from the party, about clearing away dead undergrowth. Cuomo is hobbled but he’s not finished, and if you want to ensure that he doesn’t hang around—dragging down allies; bullying people who didn’t support him fiercely enough—you need to cut him loose. Cuomo’s grotesque press conference yesterday indicated he is trying to play power politics by brazening it out … but he’s not the only one who has a powerful hand to play. 

We’ll see if it actually works this time, but it’s a step in the right direction. 

Here at The Bulwark all we can promise is that you’ll hear exactly what we think, whether about Trump or Cuomo. Partisan allegiances have no sway here. If that sounds good to you, consider getting this email in your inbox every day.

Join now

2. Conservative Media . . . Right! (But still wrong.) 

So before the conservative readers of this newsletter stroke out, yes, it is true that the Cuomo Accountability Culture is coming a little late in the game. (Okay, a lot late.) 

It is true that in much of the right wing mediasphere (and reality-based outlets like this one) Andrew Cuomo has been lambasted as a disaster for quite some time now. In fact, I first noted how bad his management of COVID was compared to his peers in March of last year

So one would think this would be a moment for a Conservative Inc. victory lap amidst a Washington Football Team-esque political run over the past 5 months. 

But that’s what makes the pickle in front of them right now so delicious. 

As my friend Declan Garvey put it so memeably:

Dunking on Cuomo’s demise requires admitting that the other party has standards  and lays bare, once again, the cravenness of the excuse-making for Trump that kept the lights on the past five years. 

So if the Democrats require any additional reasons to put the nail in Cuomo’s coffin, they should consider also how they’ll get to own the cons to go along with the principled and prudential concerns of having an incompetent sexual harrasser in Albany. 

3. Q Amom 

BuzzFeed’s Albert Samaha writes a rending story about his mother’s descent into Q-Anon. A devout Catholic single mother and her only child, formerly each other's most trusted advisors and best friends, now resigned to coexisting in two different realities. 

The only stories my mom found credible in what she called “the mainstream media” were the ones reported by her son — and even then, only when the subject matter didn’t attack her devotion to the Catholic faith and to Donald Trump. Over the years, she urged me not to write about politics and expressed her concerns that I was falling further into the deep state when I reported on kids repeating Trump’s racist rhetoric or the validity of the election results.

“I pray you will not be a journalist for the deep state,” she’d text me. “Its either you are protecting the deep state or Trump. I love you. If you are pressured by BFN to be part of the evil deep state, please resign.”

I wasn’t sure how long I could hold on to whatever thread of trust still bound us together.

Read the whole thing