A number of liberals have found themselves tied up in rhetorical knots in recent weeks, ever since serious sexual misconduct allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) began to emerge.
Though she has been somewhat reluctant to express an opinion on whether Cuomo should resign, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), seemed to inch closer to doing just that this week when she declared that a “zero tolerance” policy must apply to the governor if his accusers’ claims are “proven to be true,” as Breitbart reported.
During a Wednesday appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Pelosi did not explicitly demand Cuomo’s resignation, but came as close to the line as possible without saying the actual words, stating:
We have zero tolerance for the behavior that is alleged against the governor.
So, it would follow that if you have zero tolerance, then that would, again, be a decision that we hope the…governor would make.
People have to unlearn some bad behavior in order to learn how we should go forward. And again, if these allegations are proven to be true, then zero tolerance would follow that the governor should not continue.
Pelosi’s Wednesday remarks were somewhat more pointed than those made to host George Stephanopoulous several days earlier during an appearance on ABC’s This Week, when she was asked point-blank whether she thought Cuomo needed to step down.
Throughout that conversation, the speaker attempted to shift the focus onto her own hostility toward sexual misconduct and her belief that the governor needed to engage in some soul searching about his future, saying in relevant part:
I said there’s zero tolerance for sexual harassment, and we have taken measures in the House of Representatives, very strong measures in the House under the leadership of Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California.
What I said at the time that these revelations came forward, I said what these women have said must be treated with respect. They are credible and serious charges, and then I called for an investigation.
I think we should see the results, but he may decide, and hopefully this result will be soon, and what I’m saying is the governor should look inside his heart. He loves New York, to see if he can govern effectively. That could be one of the considerations he has.
The apparent – albeit subtle – hardening of Pelosi’s stance comes as President Joe Biden told ABC’s Stephanopoulous earlier this week that he believes Cuomo needs to leave office if his accusers’ claim are borne out, even taking things a step further to assert that if the allegations already known to the public are true, that he “probably” faces prosecution as well.
Indeed, the Albany Times-Union reported earlier this month that an allegation that Cuomo physically groped a former aide at the governor’s mansion had been referred to local police and that such conduct, if true, leaves him vulnerable to criminal charges.
Biden and Pelosi can now be counted among the legions of Democrats who are putting mounting pressure on Cuomo, a list that includes New York congressional delegation members such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Kathleen Rice, all of whom have directly called for him to resign, as the New York Post has noted.
Meanwhile, the silence on the matter from Vice President Kamala Harris remains deafening, a fact made all the more egregious by her outspoken – and apparently insincere – admonitions during Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings that we must unfailingly and uncritically “believe all women.”