Andrew Cuomo Is Still a Snake

Jun 24, 2017 | Uncategorized

Here is how New York Governor Andrew Cuomo works: He is a coward, asserting responsibility only to defer it, every action a bureaucratic mirage of committees and task forces; manufacturing crises only to emerge as the hero once again; finding ways to make fait accompli look like the product of his own political genius or simply taking credit for other people’s achievements. And when he fails, it is not through any fault of his own but a lack of that variable and mysterious thing called “political will.”

Earlier this week, as the 2017 New York state legislative calendar came to a close, Governor Cuomo celebrated two accomplishments he hopes voters will think are significant. The first is claiming control over the disastrous MTA (which, as a state agency, he already controls) after alternately denying that he controls it, and publicly wondering who’s actually in charge.

The second is banning child marriage in the state by raising the age of consent from 14 to 18. He did not, however, pass the Child Victims Act, or CVA—a piece of legislation that would transform the methods of recourse available to survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and whose most strident opponents are the Catholic Conference and the Boy Scouts of America. And as it turns out, the CVA is a convenient proxy for the recent history of New York state politics.

 The bill passed the Assembly late this spring with overwhelming bipartisan support, and thus far Senate Republicans beholden to the Catholic Church have taken most of the blame for declining to bring it to a vote. The fact remains, however, that if this legislation were as important to the governor as he repeatedly indicated to advocates and survivors both publicly and privately—and if we take it as a given that the estimated 40,000 children who suffer sexual abuse in New York every year are as deserving of protection as the estimated 385 children in the state who were married per year—he could have gotten it done. It simply wasn’t important enough.

 

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