Two What Ifs

Today’s article will look at two possible political scenarios. One that I don’t think will play out as outlined and another that thankfully is simply a fantasy. One is on the state level (with national implications). The other is national.

I primarily write about national political issues with more than an occasional journey into international politics. Today I’d like to deal with the situation New York Governor Andrew Cuomo finds himself in. It is a state issue but could have a profound impact on national government – and unfortunately not for the better.

America’s “Randy Andy” – I don’t want the British tabloids getting the better of me – has gotten himself in a mess that he obstinately has handled poorly. What is acceptable (or at least somewhat acceptable) male behavior has changed during my lifetime but I can never remember when reaching inside a woman’s blouse without express consent was acceptable. Depending on the laws of the jurisdiction where it occurs it is sexual assault or rape. Yes, I know that is only an allegation at this point but it is one of about six (albeit the worst) so Cuomo’s denials aren’t that convincing anymore.

A while back I suggested that Cuomo might get away with simply announcing that he would not run for reelection in 2022 and be allowed to serve out his term then quietly retire from public office. I think that ship has sailed. The only honorable and politically appropriate thing for Cuomo to do is resign effective immediately or in a matter of hours.

Here is the political risk of not doing so – the election of a Republican Governor. Representative Lee Zeldin has already voiced his interest and who knows what other Republican will surface smelling “political blood” in the water.

You might be asking what does that matter on the federal level; the answer is plenty! All people are mortal. The Senate is currently 50-50 and no matter how you view it promises to be tight after the 2020 election. New York’s two Senators are both Democrats and Chuck Schumer is the current Senate Majority Leader. Governors name replacement senators to serve until the next statewide election in the event of an untimely demise or resignation.

Governors name replacement senators of their party. Getting even common sense elements that should have bipartisan support, let alone more progressive, of President Biden’s agenda passed are difficult in a Democratically controlled Senate; they would be impossibilities in one controlled by the Republicans.

Even though his family is about as close as you can come to Democratic royalty Cuomo appears to be a “Democratic Trump” who places his interests far in front of those of the Party or the people. I think the only way he resigns is under threat of imminent impeachment or as part of a stay out of jail deal.

Now I’ll turn to the fantasy scenario. Can you imagine the outcry from the right if President Biden has used political affiliation (which in our polarized electoral environment is a pretty good predictor of voting) as the criteria for vaccination instead of age? What if the priority order had been registered Democrats, followed by the unaffiliated, then third party registrants, those not registered to vote and finally registered Republicans? That system would have been totally unfair and not in the public interest. I have to admit that I would have joined the chorus of detractors. Fortunately Biden would never have considered that proposal. (I think the verbiage would have been considerably stronger than “C’mon man.”)

Watching Cuomo and New York will provide for more political parlor games. Admittedly my Senate scenario is unlikely but both Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are mortal. The other scenario is one we will never have to face. The character of candidates matters.

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