Tuesday, March 02, 2021


My feelings about Andrew Cuomo are the same as my feelings about the Lincoln Project: I have no guilt about praising what Cuomo did for a certain stretch of the pandemic because he never became my hero. He'd been a left-centrist governor who fought to keep progressives out of power. It was clear that there were far too many deaths in state nursing homes early in the pandemic for Cuomo to be regarded as an unblemished public health hero. And yet he did rally the state for a while. By fall it seemed that we really had crushed the curve. In a country run by Donald Trump, he seemed to be a model of grown-up leadership.

I'll take that. I'll take it in isolation, the same way I was happy to accept the Trump-bashing of Lincoln Project figures who'd gotten us into this mess in the first place by helping to poison the minds of white American voters against the Democratic Party, and by portraying Republicans as embodiments of patriotism, morality, and fiscal prudence. Do I forgive them for all that? No. Do I feel like defending them now when their organization is plagued with scandal? No. But for a moment they were doing something good. So was Cuomo. We were on the same team temporarily. It wasn't a lifetime commitment.

I don't really have heroes. There are people I admire, but I'm never surprised when they disappoint me, or when I learn that they've done something awful in the past. But I'm also willing to accept that deeply flawed people join the side of good for limited periods of time.

Cuomo is a sex predator -- and he's not even doing a good job on the virus anymore. (New York's case numbers have been the highest in the nation in recent days, and its vaccination rate is the eighth-worst in the union.) He should resign. The Lincoln Project should fold. But I liked what they were doing for a while.

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