Episode

8/3 Andrew Cuomo’s Downfall w/ Ross Barkan

August 3, 2021

Sam and Emma host journalist Ross Barkan, writer of the Political Currents by Ross Barkan newsletter on Substack, to discuss his recent book The Prince: Andrew Cuomo, Coronavirus, and the Fall of New York, which covers the rollercoaster of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s legacy since the start of the pandemic. They start with a mention of the recent report from Attorney General Letitia James’s Office confirming myriad instances of sexual harassment by the governor, before they backtrack to start at the beginning of his legacy in working with his father, former Governor of New York Mario, who helped him to achieve a high ranking position in the Clinton administration. Ross, Emma, and Sam explore how Mario’s administration reflected many qualities of Andrew’s, including a combative relationship with the left, and set the stage for Andrew’s clamor for power in New York State. This was followed by multiple terms in which he sought to bolster moderate and Republican power in the State Senate, through the creation of the Independent Democratic Conference to create a bipartisan majority, shifting progressive Democrats out of power. They explore the development of Andrew’s role on the national stage, from a middling governor with mediocre approval ratings to a pandemic hero, over the course of the first year of the pandemic as he stood in juxtaposition with President Trump – all despite largely taking on similar positions are the offset, including undermining the value of testing and underemphasizing the risk – before they move onto the crumbling of his pedestal following the reports on his coverup of mass deaths in nursing homes, and the recent reports regarding his sexual harassment. They wrap up the interview looking forward at the potential impeachment of Cuomo, or if he might continue to run for a fourth term if he holds onto office, before Sam and Emma conclude the first half with an update on Cori Bush’s protest of the lifting of the eviction moratorium as the pandemic reaches another peak.

And in the Fun Half: Nomiki joins Sam and Emma as they delve a little deeper into the official report regarding Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment, and what it might look like moving forwards, particularly given Cuomo’s track record of successfully avoiding repercussions (see: the Moreland Commission), and discuss the possibilities in who could fill his seat, before they look into the insanely Cuomo-typical PowerPoint defense he levied against today’s reports. They also cover Matt Walsh’s “owning property is slavery” argument and its complementary “everything is the holocaust” discussion Republicans are having around the pandemic, Manchin and Graham’s bipartisan effort in boosting Covid spread in Congress, and developing debates around the infrastructure bill(s), plus, your calls and IMs!

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