Monday, August 9, 2021

Could This Be The End?


Friends, I've been skeptical that a flurry of allegations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo would succeed in prying him out of the Governor's Mansion in Albany, but I'm starting to believe it's possible, mainly because virtually every Democratic elected official in the state has turned his/her/its back on Emperor Andy.  It's looking pretty bleak!  My latest article is a rumination on Cuomo's predicament, which I suggest has a lot more to do with politics than it does with justice.

The Worst News for Cuomo is...He'll Be Judged By a “Jury of His Peers”

Soon the New York State legislature will have to decide whether to impeach and remove Governor Andrew Cuomo. Virtually every elected official in New York is on record saying that Cuomo ought to resign. That, however, does not make it a foregone conclusion that he will be impeached and removed if he refuses to resign. The impeachment and trial process at the state level is inherently nebulous and political, just as it is at the federal level.

Ideally, when legislators are called upon to consider the guilt of an elected official, like a Governor, they would weigh the evidence impartially and come to an objective, fair-minded conclusion about whether the accused has committed the state-level equivalent of “high crimes and misdemeanors”.

Realistically, however, legislators make decisions based on personal prejudices, narrow political interests, and ideological commitments. It would be a surprise, therefore, if Cuomo were to be judged impartially. Therefore, in prognosticating about Cuomo's fate, we should consider only secondarily his guilt or innocence.

Cuomo is accused of a wide range of crimes and improprieties. The fact is that most of the accusations against Cuomo were already publicly known and discussed many months ago – from allegations that he put seniors at risk in nursing homes, to suggestions that he sexually harassed his female staff, to concerns that he abused his office to write and promote his book – but none of these charges were taken overly seriously, especially in isolation.

Not so long ago, Cuomo was also a political rock star, with sky-high approval ratings, a fawning press corps, and even an Emmy Award for his supposedly impressive COVID-related diatribes. Cuomo had his critics – and presumably he had already committed most of the crimes/offenses of which he now stands accused – but his political armor was, in those halcyon days, more than strong enough to repulse these attacks. In fact, only the truly desperate even bothered to mention them. It was self-evidently a waste of time.

Now, however, by a process of attrition, Cuomo's popularity, his legitimacy, and his credibility have been diminished. He is a wounded, and therefore vulnerable, Governor, instead of a larger-than-life super-Governor.

In addition, the more he is accused of wrongdoing, the easier it becomes to believe that each one of the separate accusations could be true. After all, now Cuomo is assumed to be bad, whereas before he was assumed to be good – and, as we are all wont to believe, bad men do bad things, at least presumptively. (Donald Trump knows all about this species of “logic”: his detractors have presumed him guilty, of anything and everything, several million times a day since 2015).

The problem, however, is that, while we may want to believe that Cuomo is guilty of, well, everything, because it is so easy to think ill of a man so widely disliked, this does not necessarily make him guilty of any crime or “misdemeanor” in point of fact. Cuomo may simply be the victim of the same phenomenon that has befallen countless men in powerful positions: an initially modest series of allegations leads to a flood of new ones (a “pile-on”), a media feeding frenzy, a precipitous fall from grace in terms of public opinion, and then a desire by (often vengeful) politicians to drive the final stake through the man's heart. Nothing could be more natural – and, arguably, nothing could be less just.

Keep in mind that Democrats in New York want Cuomo to be guilty, because if he is then he can be removed – as a political liability to Democrats. Republican politicos likewise want Cuomo to be guilty, because their conservative constituents would never forgive them if they did not vote to impeach and remove such a hated figure on the right.

For different reasons, therefore, politicians of both parties in New York can agree on the desired outcome of the present debate over Cuomo's fate – it is impeachment and removal, period/exclamation point – regardless of where the facts and evidence might lead.

And that, in the final analysis, is the worst news, but probably also the most insightful, that Cuomo's advisors can give him: he has become so toxic that no defense that could be mounted in the State Senate would likely override the political imperative that Democrats and Republicans alike feel impels them to remove him. The outcome of the trial is effectively predetermined, therefore.

Cuomo's position is, in this regard, a little like that of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Hussein stood accused of the possession of weapons of mass destruction, of which he was in fact innocent. No one outside of Iraq had the temerity to defend Hussein, however, or even the imagination to suggest that he could be innocent – and thus his goose was cooked.

We can ask New York legislators to judge Cuomo fairly and impartially, therefore, but we might as well ask the stars to stop shining, or the Earth to stop turning on its axis, for all the good it will do. More than anything, Cuomo's poll numbers will determine his fate, and unless he can dramatically improve those he will be soon be an unemployed former Governor. C'est la vie.

Of course, few of us, especially on the right, will shed many tears over Cuomo's fate. He was and is a terrible man and a wretched Governor. Good riddance to him.

On the other hand, one thing about this process ought to trouble us. It is not so much that politicians make decisions for political reasons – that has always been so – but that the mechanism of impeachment and removal, which used to be reserved for very rare and flagrant violations of the public trust, is now increasingly becoming the default means by which politicians try to effect the removal of their most troublesome colleagues. And that is inherently dangerous.

True, the presumption of innocence – the cornerstone of American justice – was never a prominent feature of our partisan politics, but what's new in the present climate is the ease with which we are all sliding into a presumption of guilt that applies to almost anyone we dislike, regardless of the species of crime or wrongdoing of which they stand accused. It is becoming, in other words, increasingly difficult for Democrats to imagine that any Republican could be innocent of “high crimes and misdemeanors”, and vice versa.

Attitudes like these naturally produce a surfeit of self-righteousness. More damagingly, though, they will also produce more and more invocations of the “nuclear option” in our political life: the use of impeachment and public trial for the purposes of ending the careers of elected officials – or, to be more blunt, for the purposes of destroying one's political enemies.

Cuomo is to be congratulated, therefore, for uniting Republicans and Democrats in a headlong rush to judge and condemn him. That's a rare manifestation of bipartisanship in this day and age.

It does not, however, change the fact that the defining feature of 21st century American political life is its ugliness. And, in all likelihood, the worst is yet to come.

Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred and blogs at: He appears on the Newsmaker Show on WLEA 1480/106.9.




In other news, COVID is causing alarm, once again.  Here's a great article about how the Chinese are obfuscating and trying to blame COVID's genesis on us...and unfortunately much of the world might be fooled by their con job. 

It bears repeating that many of same "woke" politicians who demand masking and vaccination from the hoi polloi are living large themselves.  Newsom is a prime example, and his hypocrisy may well catch up with him in the upcoming recall election.


The Pentagon is cracking the whip on vaccination, ordering every service member to "get the jab" by September 15th.  Is this legal?  It's hard to imagine the courts blocking it... 

As the country deals with yet another spike in COVID cases and deaths, Republicans are vexed by the Biden Administration's insistence on disgorging thousands of COVID-positive illegal aliens in communities from coast to coast.  As this article points out, the policy is a secretive one.  You don't get advance warning if the government intends to dump COVID-positive Central Americans on your doorstep.  You just have to deal with the consequences.


How do elections officials decide what to do with ballots on which voters' markings are ambiguous?  Easy!  They afford all such questionable votes to Democrats! 

Our old friend Andrew Cuomo seems to be willing to cancel his run for reelection in return for being allowed to serve out his term.  The Dems, however, don't seem tempted by this offer.  They want Cuomo GONE!!!


Apparentlty, should the GOP take control of the House in January 2023, Republicans are considering refusing to give some firebrand Dems committee assignments.  Personally, I disagree with this approach.  The party-in-power traditionally shows a modicum of respect to the "loyal opposition", deferring to the leadership of the minority party in assigning its members to committees.  Moreover, when we start picking and choosing which members are worthy of committee assignments, we put ourselves on a slippery slope that could someday lead to the unseating of many opposition Congressmen.  Can you say "rump Parliament"?  In my view, if the voters in a district elect a bonehead, then that bonehead should represent them.  I call it "democracy". 

Finally, here's an outstanding article by a friend of mine who believes that escalating crime, and the Dems' complicity in fostering it, will be pivotal issues in 2022.  I sincerely hope he's right!


  1. Dr Waddy from Jack: One initial thought, given today's news: he will retain executive power for 2 more weeks. It would be just like him to work more outrages i n that time. Pardoning himself from state charges? Pardoning undeserving criminals? What else? I doubt we are quite free of his imperiousness. Nothwithstanding,this is still a good day.

  2. Dr. Waddy from Jack:When Nixon resigned, Presid ent Ford said " our national nightmare is over". Be that as it may,New York's nightmare of shame at the hands of this presumptous man is almost certainly close to being over and we willbe free of the curse of his onerous public presence. He has been unashamedly, outspokenly disainful of conservative NY citizens, saying we don't belong here and that conservative gun rights advocates are "just a vocal minority". Probably in two weeks it won't matter what he thinks; he will be as powerless as we have been under his misrule.

  3. Dr. Waddy from Jack:Just reread your comment that the Dems want Cuomo gone. Good point; I would add they also want him forgotten. There are some nuances there. Apparently many of the radicals who pollute our state and national governments thought him too moderate and presumably welcome his downfall, if not his comeuppance. That is a disturbing indication of how very far left they are: that Cuomo didn't float their boat. I think there was no bipartisanship in coincidental Republican and Democrat calls for his departure.He was so full of himself he managed to offend everyone!It could not have occured to him that any doubt of his greatness might have substance. If she will, Kathy Hochul can do a signal service by returning the Governorship to its proper place; its the Governorship not the Presidency or a hereditary throne. That example, in 2022, together with a,yes, continuing comprehension of Cuomo's dictatorship and the party which both enabled it and cast it off for reasons bearing no good for NY, might enable an elected Governor who does not dismiss a sizeable, yes, MINORITY of the citizenry and the electorate. Why for a Dem that should , anyway,be an unthinkable blasphemy requiring summary auto da fe! The GOP candidate must emphasize this onerous truth: the Dems are the party of: . . . Spitzer, Weiner, AOC, Schumer and Cuomo! Nuff said I say. Even in NYC there are lots of common sense people; I hopet they may be given good reason to think that they have common cause with upstate.

  4. Jack, that's a great idea: Cuomo seems like just the sort of guy to pardon himself... Of course, that could redouble the determination of the feds to "get him" come hell or high water. My guess is, though, that all the allegations had the purpose of destroying him politically. Since it's mission accomplished, legally I expect he's out of the woods. Now, if he wants to go to jail someday, the best way he could achieve that goal for office again!

    Hard to believe that such an ominous and indefatigable presence could suddenly evaporate, isn't it? God works in mysterious ways.

    Jack, given the way the political winds are blowing, I still think the GOP has a decent shot at the governorship in 2022. Good point that Cuomo was disliked by many Dems because of his "moderation". Assuming they lurch even further left, they'll give someone like Zeldin an opening.