So Andrew Cuomo has been forced out of office. One might think this was because his Department of Health issued a directive to nursing homes instructing them to accept coronavirus-positive residents returning from hospitals in late March of 2020, and despite many alarms being raised and people begging for this to be reversed, Cuomo held the line on this requirement for a full month and a half. Resulting in well over 10,000 additional dead. Which he then tried to hide by altering records.
In fact, it’s because he sexually harassed at least 11 women* [EDIT – not true. He was accused of sexually harrasing at least 4 women, without much credibility. Fucking siiiiigh]. He [is accused of] subjecting women to unwanted kisses; groped their breasts or buttocks or otherwise touched them inappropriately; made insinuating remarks about their looks and their sex lives; and created a work environment “rife with fear and intimidation.”
First, I want it to be very clear that sexual harassment is unacceptable, and any politician guilty of such conduct SHOULD be thrown out of office. It’s good that he’s been removed and is disgraced. Fuck these pigs.
But I’m more than a bit distraught that if he hadn’t sexually harassed those women, it looks like he would still be in power, without any serious danger of being removed or held accountable for his gross negligence, incompetence, and evidence tampering. The deaths of over 10,000 people isn’t enough reason for the democratic coallition to risk losing a piece in the political game.
Which is fucking disgusting.
It bothers me immensely that it feels like I should be grateful that he sexually harassed women, so he can be removed from office. It worries me that this is one of a vanishingly small number of offenses that can be used to hold politicians accountable, and Multiple KiloDeaths isn’t on that list. It makes me think that maybe we should make sure all potential politicians have harassed women in the past, or worn black-face, or tweeted something TERF-y, just so there’s SOME WAY to get them out of office if they do end up killing tens of thousands of their own people.
Of course, I then immediately realized that I’d just recreated the villian’s gambit of The Traitor Baru Cormorant (a great novel by Seth Dickinson which you should read if you haven’t yet). And it’s probably a sign that my thinking is being warped if I’m reinventing one of the defining tactics of the freakin’ Cabal of Evil Villians in a novel.
It also creates some truely pervese incentives — anyone wanting to run for office would need to go sexually harass some people. We don’t want to incentivize that. Also, we couldn’t hold women accountable, which would mean either excluding women from politics, or having this same problem again with a new demographic. It all falls apart upon further inspection.
But shit. Maybe we should find a few more things to add to the “this gets you kicked the heck out of office” list that don’t require the electorate getting incredibly “lucky” about their rulers having one particular failure of humanity.