Dems' new 2022 nightmare: a "nuts" Cuomo on a "vendetta"

AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool, File)

So says Politico, which reports that Democrats in New York have grown very concerned about the Frankenstein monster they created and succored. And perhaps Democrats elsewhere should worry as well, although don’t think for a moment that our national-media “reckoning” will include its lionization of Andrew Cuomo.

Now Cuomo won’t go away, and Democrats in Albany are worried about getting exactly what they deserve for enabling him for as long as they did:

His lawyer is holding press conferences asking for new material to be added to investigations that were already concluded. New pro-Cuomo merchandise and affiliated groups have popped up online. Public opinion polls keep asking about him. And the Democrat’s remaining advisers haven’t dismissed the idea he could try a political comeback — and soon.

Even as Albany’s insiders focus on Cuomo’s successor, Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams, they privately continue chattering, worrying, that Cuomo might run for office next year, or at the very least employ his substantial remaining resources to influence critical races in the months to come. …

The former governor has repeatedly tried to smear the names of women who accused him. In newly released transcripts from state Attorney General Tish James’ investigation of the allegations, former Cuomo aide Charlotte Bennett said she was frightened by the behavior of the then-governor and his staff after she came forward in the spring to accuse him of “grooming” her for sexual harassment.

“It makes my life really hard and it’s simply unenjoyable that he can just choose to ruin my day because he decides to spew bull—- in the middle of a press conference,” she told investigators. “But also that it is simply damaging to the investigation …. As a witness, that scares me, and that’s all I’ll say.”

In a world where media outlets have a “reckoning,” they would apply the Todd Akin rules to other Democratic incumbents and contenders in the midterm. They would ask questions about whether they would support Cuomo and whether they believe the women or believe Cuomo. Media outlets certainly didn’t mind framing Virginia’s recent election as a referendum on Donald Trump and attempting to pin Glenn Youngkin down on his MAGA support. Cuomo’s clearly trying a comeback of his own … so why not apply that standard to Democrats in places like the Senate races in Georgia, North Carolina, and Arizona next year?

Anyway, Cuomo’s not the only one creating headaches for Democrats. Cuomo’s hatchet person Melissa DeRosa accused Cuomo’s accusers of extortion last week:

An unexpected twist in the sexual misconduct allegations against former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo came Friday, as one of his closest aides alleged a state trooper extorted her for money — a claim the trooper’s lawyer blasted as “false.”

Former top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa took to Twitter Friday afternoon to go after a female state trooper who testified under oath she heard from another trooper that the 63-year-old Cuomo and 39-year-old aide were kissing like schoolkids on a public sidewalk. …

“As one of the Governor’s victims, Trooper 1 is prepared to initiate litigation to vindicate her rights, including bringing claims against Ms. DeRosa, who aided and abetted his unlawful conduct in violation of local laws. If your client would like to discuss a potential amicable resolution of this matter, please contact me on or before October 4, 2021,” the portion of the letter read.

“Pretty straight forward — my client only ever said hello and goodbye to you, but you should pay her or be sued,” De Rosa added in a subsequent tweet.

Licul blasted DeRosa’s accusatory tweets, saying in a statement that “the investigative report and our client’s testimony speak for themselves. It is unfortunate that Ms. DeRosa has chosen to retaliate against a victim of sexual harassment by falsely accusing her of extortion.”

The letter appears to be a pro forma notice of civil action from the accuser’s attorney. It is customary to give this kind of notice and at least mention the potential for settlement prior to filing a lawsuit. That is not “extortion” in the least, but the kind of process that most attorneys would easily recognize and likely ignore. DeRosa’s attempting a smoke screen by turning herself into a victim rather than Cuomo’s enabler.

In fact, that appears to be contagious among New York’s Democrats. Most of them circled the wagons around Cuomo and his deadly policy choices during COVID-19, and then again when Cuomo put $5 million in his pocket it a book deal while using his staff to produce it. Politico quotes Carl Heastie as mildly critical of Cuomo’s continued presence and wanting to “move forward, move on,” but Heastie bottled up attempts to investigate and impeach Cuomo until the sexual-harassment scandal blew up in Democrats’ faces.

Now they’re worried about Cuomo running in the gubernatorial primary as a “vendetta”:

But running in a primary against James or Hochul — or even his archnemesis, Bill de Blasio — would be ludicrous, right? Maybe not.

“He’s nuts and he’s got a vendetta right now,” said a legislative source, speaking anonymously to characterize their view on the often-vindictive governor. “I wouldn’t put it past him.”

Developing what others see as a winning strategy may not necessarily be the point, said Democratic strategist Bruce Gyory.

Exactly. Winning would probably not even be the point now for Cuomo, but he’s clearly seeking revenge for his fall from grace. He could end up creating a dog-in-the-manger situation that could enable Republicans to actually compete for the governor’s office, and perhaps other statewide offices, for the first time in years.  And Cuomo might even think he can tire out his betes noires and muscle his way to a comeback. If he’s right, then this becomes a nightmare for Democrats nationwide.

Or should, as I wrote earlier. Our national media hasn’t had a reckoning for their Democratic bias yet, so they have no incentives to remediate it.