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'Andrew Cuomo is not an essential worker': Rolling Stone writer on why New York doesn't need him — and neither does the rest of the country

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Time to dump the 'toxic' governor

Photo by SETH WENIG/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

A writer for left-wing Rolling Stone has had it with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his record of "building the impression that he is indispensable in New York and national politics."

The governor's legend status is a "myth," according to Jack Crosbie, "and it's time to call him on it."

What did he write?

In a commentary piece for the famously liberal magazine, regular contributor Crosbie took a look at the recent scandals surrounding Cuomo regarding both his personal and professional conduct.

The governor is taking fire on two fronts.

First, there's Cuomo's long-running nursing home COVID deaths scandal, in which the governor's order that long-term care facilities take coronavirus-positive patients resulted in the deaths of thousands of nursing home residents. To make matters worse, the New York attorney general revealed that the governor's office significantly undercounted the numbers of deaths, having reported approximately 5,000 nursing home deaths when the actual figure was closer to 15,000. The governor responded by blaming nursing home workers for the staggering number of fatalities and not his failed policies.

The governor's own aide later admitted to Democratic lawmakers that Cuomo's office purposely hid the numbers in order to avoid political attacks. After state Democratic leaders called out the governor's tactics, Cuomo reportedly threatened to politically destroy at least one of them. This accusation led to multiple revelations from journalists and elected officials that bullying is "classic Andrew Cuomo."

Second, the governor now faces accusations of sexual harassment from at least three women — including forced kissing, inappropriate touching, and unwanted sexual questions — which have forced the media to actually put a spotlight on what is going on in Albany. The governor apologized for his actions during a Wednesday news conference, though he denied any inappropriate touching.

For Crosbie, enough is enough.

"What should come next for Andrew Cuomo is a swift resignation, followed by a statewide investigation," the Rolling Stone writer said.

The governor made it clear during Wednesday's presser that he would not be resigning.

"Some politicians will always play politics, right? That's the nature of the beast. I don't think today is the day for politics," Cuomo said. "I'm not going to resign."

Though Cuomo needs to go, there's a problem, Crosbie noted: He has built his career protecting himself from attacks by convincing his defenders in the media that he is indispensable to the Empire State and the U.S. Those defenders in turn minimized the accusations against Cuomo and praised the governor's work:

The Cuomo defenders have logged on, and boy do they have thoughts.

The core of the argument in Cuomo's favor ... is this: Democratic loyalists are still smarting after being forced to exile Al Franken from the Senate, and they're resentful that they may have to sacrifice another promising political leader when the GOP is more than happy to protect and enable its own sex pests, conspiracy theorists, and outright Nazis. (On Twitter, of course, that argument was reduced to incoherent babbling about how Cuomo's behavior was nothing compared to Trump, yadda yadda.)

Both versions of this point fall into the same trap, which Cuomo has spent years constructing: that he is indispensable in New York and national politics. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, he has been on camera almost constantly, winning an Emmy for his original programming and booking frequent guest spots on his brother Chris Cuomo's primetime CNN show. In the waning hours of the Trump presidency, Cuomo emerged as one of the president's fiercest critics, egging on the federal and state prosecutors investigating the presidents' crooked finances, and presenting an easy foil to the chaotic mismanagement and conspiracy-mongering coming from the Oval Office.

The tactics worked: at various points in the past year, Cuomo's star rose high enough that rumors swirled about his imminent foray into national politics. Political betting markets at one point fueled rumors that the Democratic party would swap him out for Joe Biden as their 2020 presidential nominee, and were followed by reports that he was angling to be Biden's attorney general.

The truth is, according to Crosbie, that the governor's supposed leadership and strength were nothing but a "veneer" — something people who have actually followed New York politics have known for a long time.

Cuomo's power, Crosbie wrote, "rests entirely on the public delusion that having him in charge is better than the alternative."

"This is false. We do not need him," he continued. "We do not need any politician, particularly ones who have stopped serving the public interest of the people they represent."

"Andrew Cuomo is not an essential worker," Crosbie said. And like any politician who obtains power through abuse and "toxic leadership," it's "time for him to go."

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