On Tuesday, we covered the news of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s edict stating that no more than ten people could gather in private residences for Thanksgiving and the response he received from numerous law enforcement agencies around the state. To put it kindly, none of the police departments or sheriffs were enthusiastic about taking on the job. To put it more bluntly, a lot of them flatly refused, pointing out the impossible scope of even attempting such a task. The Governor was asked about that response in a press conference yesterday and it’s obvious that his famously short temper had gotten the better of him again. (NY Post)
“I don’t believe as a law enforcement officer you have a right to pick and choose what laws you will enforce,” Cuomo told reporters Wednesday during an Albany-based press conference…
The third-term Democrat mimicked the defying cops: “‘Well I don’t believe in that law and therefore I won’t enforce it.’”
“That is frankly frightening to me as an individual, frightening to democracy, it’s arrogant and a violation of constitutional duty. “I didn’t say: I swear to uphold the laws that I agree with. I didn’t say that,” he continued.
Saying that all of the laws need to be enforced regardless of your personal feelings on the subject is an excellent point to make. In fact, I’ve called out government officials for the exact same reason on more occasions than I could count. But the problem here is that if you want to make such an assertion, you need to make sure you’ve been practicing what you’re preaching. In the case of Andrew Cuomo and the other senior elected officials in New York State, that’s simply not the case.
The fact is that New York has been scandalous in terms of picking and choosing which laws it decides to enforce and against whom. All during the riots in New York City, the cops were ordered to stand down when they saw people looting. Monuments have been defaced and toppled while the police looked on, having been warned by the executive branch not to “inflame” the situation further by enforcing the law. Elected officials have joined in with protesters to deface the public streets with political murals. That last one is admittedly only a misdemeanor, but the same principle applies.
Which crimes do you imagine are more important and deserving of the attention of law enforcement? Would you rate ensuring there aren’t eleven people passing the cranberry sauce around the Thanksgiving feast table as being a greater problem than somebody smashing all the windows at the Cartier store in SoHo and hauling away all of the Rolex watches? Should the Sheriff’s deputies spend more of their time investigating incidents of arson during recent riots or getting a warrant to find out if you ordered a fifteen-pound turkey instead of a six-pounder?
Another sad fact is that there are millions of illegal aliens in this country that are known to immigration enforcement who never get a visit by ICE. That’s because a lot of them are primarily laying low and our agents barely have enough resources to keep up with the ones who are actively murdering, raping or robbing people. The reality is that decisions are made in terms of prioritizing law enforcement policy all of the time.
And in those examples I listed, we’re talking about important laws that actually make sense. There are two elements of that sentence that don’t apply to Cuomo’s temper tantrum. First of all, Cuomo’s Thanksgiving crackdown isn’t “a law.” It’s an executive order that has never even been considered by the legislature. And secondly, it’s nonsensical in the extreme. It would be unacceptable even if we had the law enforcement resources available to force people into compliance, which we don’t. Even the Mayor of New York City admitted there was no way to put this mandate into effect.
There may be a showdown coming next week out on Staten Island. Republican City Councilman Joe Borelli has already announced that he’s hosting a Thanksgiving dinner at this home with more than ten people coming sans masks. He has effectively dared the Governor to send out the State Police to shut him down. Would Cuomo be arrogant enough to try it? And would the state troopers agree to obey the order? We may have some interesting times coming in the very near future.