Matt Gaetz and Andrew Cuomo: A troubling new 'school of politics'
As a number of lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle find themselves at the center of controversy, there is one common occurrence between most of them: despite mounting allegations, none of them have plans to adhere to the calls for their resignations.
At the top of the year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, (D) was hit with a litany of sexual harassment allegations that have deeply blemished his previously vaunted handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several women have leveled accusations against him for allegedly inappropriate behavior over the last decade.
But despite calls for his resignation, Cuomo is not having it. In fact, the New York governor has dismissed the calls for his resignation describing it as "anti-democratic."
Over the last several weeks, as more details were still being reported about the allegations against Cuomo, reporters broke the story about Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and the FBI launching an investigation in connection with sex-trafficking allegations against the staunch Trump-supporting politician. Gaetz has made it clear he has no intent on resigning either. In fact, last week, the Florida lawmaker tweeted his response to the calls for his resignation.
"I may be a canceled man in some corners. . . . But I hear the millions of Americans who feel forgotten, canceled, ignored, marginalized and targeted," he tweeted. "I draw confidence knowing that the silent majority is growing louder every day."
I may be a canceled man in some corners. I may even be a wanted man by the Deep State. But I hear the millions of… https://t.co/OtJhusGo9T— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@Rep. Matt Gaetz) 1618077242
A new report published by The New Yorker highlights the stark difference between traditional politicians and the so-called "new school of politics." The writer, Eric Lach, compared how past lawmakers have handled previous scandals in comparison to new school politicians like Cuomo and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who are embroiled in "overlapping scandals" which consist of strings of allegations that ultimately intertwine with other allegations. '
When Rep. Christopher Lee's (R-N.Y.) Craiglist scandal made headlines, he decided to resign the same day. A special election was held shortly after his resignation and he was replaced by Kathy Hochul, the Democratic county clerk in Erie County, N.Y. Now, she is the lieutenant governor of the state which would place her in the governor's seat if Cuomo opted to resign. However, that likely will not be the case because he has no plan to step down.
Even former President Donald Trump serves as a glarying example of politicians in the "never resign" era of politics. Despite never-ending allegations, scandals, and other discrepancies, resigning was never an option.
Lach explains the evolution of politics over the last decade citing the glaring difference in lawmakers' handling of scandals. "In the decade between Lee's resignation and Cuomo's current situation, what counts as a career-ending scandal in American politics has been redefined."
As of April 17, neither Cuomo nor Gaetz have any plans to resign or apologize. According to Lach, past politicians who accepted accountability "were living in a different political reality. If we were still living in it, we'd already be talking about Governor Kathy Hochul."
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