In our digital world — where your 280 characters of invective on any issue can be beamed out to the world so long as you’re, at the very least, in range of a cellphone towner — there’s something refreshing about the fact that one of the most analog methods of getting a message across can still get some traction.
Yes, as conservatives have been angrily calling for New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign for months now — and those calls have been amplified by some Democrats now that Cuomo’s nursing home death toll problem has been joined by numerous credible allegations of sexual misconduct — a plane with a banner trailing behind it drove the point home.
The message: “New Yorkers Say Cuomo’s Got to Go!”
Here was the plane, which flew by the state Capitol in Albany on Wednesday:
Here’s a better look at the “Cuomo’s got to go” plane circling Albany.
— Jon Campbell (@JonCampbellGAN) March 17, 2021
So I know what you’re thinking, if you’re a liberal: Conservative crank rented a plane, put the banner on the back and away we went.
Actually, quite the opposite. It was feminists who bankrolled the flight, according to the New York Post.
The paper reported three groups were behind the banner: Women’s March, UltraViolet and Girls for Gender Equity.
Cuomo has refused to resign, saying he’s afforded due process and he’ll wait out investigations into the accusations.
The good news for him is that the number of accusers has held steady at seven for the better part of a week. The bad news is state Assembly members have launched their own investigation with an eye toward impeachment, according to The Associated Press.
Neither solution is good enough for any of the groups that funded the flight on Wednesday.
“Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proven himself to be a serial predator who abuses his power, his office and the women who work for him,” said Rachel O’Leary Carmona, executive director for Women’s March, according to the Post.
“And still, he refuses to resign — putting his own ego above the safety of his staff and the stability of the state at a time when too many New Yorkers are suffering. It’s long past time for Cuomo to stand down. If he won’t, it’s time for Democrats in New York and around the country to stand up for women and demand his impeachment.”
“We plan to continue to pressure Cuomo and the White House to do the right thing for women here as we look to right the wrongs women have certainly been dealing with for more than the last four years but especially in the last four years,” she added, according to Politico.
And while President Joe Biden hadn’t called for Cuomo’s resignation, she thought he could be moved in that direction.
Biden’s remarks that accusers should be believed is “a promising first step,” Carmona said. There was also the fact he made a suggestion Cuomo could potentially be prosecuted for his behavior.
“The fact that Biden is steering the investigation in that direction is important,” she said. “It’s a strong signal that there needs to be real accountability.”
“The thing that has set Biden apart … is that he listens and shifts. He can be moved.”
Meanwhile, Shauna Thomas, executive director of UltraViolet, said, “Following the first allegation of sexual misconduct against Andrew Cuomo, we called on him to immediately resign from the governorship.
“Since then, six more women have come forward to share harrowing experiences of what working for Cuomo was like.
“Sexual harassment should not be tolerated in any workplace, let alone by the Administration of the Governor of New York. These women are putting everything on the line in the hopes that their abuser will be held accountable. We believe them. Cuomo must resign today.”
In any other workplace, an employer facing such serious allegations would be put on administrative leave until an investigation is completed. Gov. Cuomo is no exception. This is not business as usual. #CuomoResign Add your voice: https://t.co/b6X43ryxvt pic.twitter.com/5YP8tTnhID
— UltraViolet (Text JOIN to 98688) (@UltraViolet) March 18, 2021
Girls for Gender Equity CEO Joanne Smith echoed those sentiments, saying, “The time for men in power abusing, harassing and grooming women — and all people subordinate to them — is over. New Yorkers will not tolerate gender and sexual violence; it’s time for Andrew Cuomo to resign!”
“To the people who have survived sexual and emotional abuse from New York’s governor, know that we see you and we believe you,” Smith said.
It’s rare that we find ourselves in agreement with the people at the Women’s March (I was unaware they were still around, to be frank), but that just proves how universal the opinion on Cuomo is becoming.
Both New York senators — Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer — have called for his resignation, as have a panoply of other Democratic politicians. Republicans thought he ought to have resigned long ago, but likely for different reasons.
Whatever the case, Cuomo seems to believe he can ride it out. They’re just tweets, after all. Ignore the tweets, things get better. Who’s going to pay attention, right?
That’s why occasionally, some old-timey social media — the ol’ plane with a banner trick — can make all the difference in the world.
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