Stefanik responded to the most recent claims on Twitter Saturday, commending the women for their “bravery and courage” in coming forward with “their horrific experiences facing sexual harassment, sexual grooming, and sexual abuse from Governor Cuomo.”
Stefanik, a vocal Trump ally who gained notoriety during his first impeachment hearings, added in her statement that Cuomo is a “criminal sexual predator,” and must “immediately resign.”
The congresswoman went on to say, that the Times article “recounting Governor Cuomo’s sickening workplace sexual harassment and grooming of Ms. Bennett is so horrific it makes your skin crawl.
GOP hypocrisy on this subject is the ultimate dog bites man story, but that’s all the more reason not to ignore the truly Kafkaesque double standard at work here.
And while I personally wouldn’t lift a finger so save Andrew Cuomo’s political career, the coverage of this scandal is a kind of case study of how the major media strive for “balance” in the Age of Trump.
What Charlotte Bennett accuses Cuomo of having done — and let’s stipulate that Cuomo’s response to those accusations pretty much admits that they’re true — doesn’t come within a mile of meeting the legal standard for sexual harassment.
Lindsey Boylan’s case is a bit more complicated because in addition to similar inappropriate remarks she accuses Cuomo of having subjected her to an involuntary kiss, but it’s safe to say that Cuomo’s behavior in both these cases wouldn’t come close to making the top 100 sexual assaults Donald “If You’re a Star They Let You Do It” Trump — an accused serial rapist whose accusers include one of his own wives — has committed over the course of his unspeakably sordid career.
Obviously Republican hypocrisy is no defense of Cuomo, and there are plenty of good reasons for wanting to get rid of this overrated gasbag anyway, but the treatment of these accusations as if they represented some sort of series of horrific quasi-crimes on his part has more than whiff of opportunistic moral panic about it.
All this reminds me of how a few years ago at the height of the #MeToo discourse it was decided among bien pensant liberals that Bill Clinton’s completely consensual affair with an adult woman in regard to whose career he never had any actual supervisory role was a textbook case of sexual harassment, when it was actually a textbook case of the opposite thing, i.e., a wholly consensual affair between two adults who didn’t even actually work with each other, and that nobody else knew anything about until the upholders of our public moral order like Ken Starr and Brett Kavanaugh decided to make a literal federal case out of it.
I think Cuomo should resign because he botched New York’s response to the pandemic and unnecessarily killed a lot of people in the process, but this latest outburst of remarkably selective outrage is a bit much.