The Mighty is Falling

Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
During the previous presidential administration, one person stood up to Trump very loudly. He was considered the voice of reason and advocated for the truth.

Now, there are reports his own state administration falsified the nursing home COVID deaths in his state.

I don't know how many women have now come forward saying he sexually harassed them while working for him.

Members of his own party are calling for him to resign.

The opposition party has just introduced a letter of impeachment in the state assembly.

What should Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York do? Fight on, or resign?

Comments

  • Presumably these are allegations, not yet proven in court?

    If so, resignation now would seem to be tantamount to an admission of guilt.

    BTW - pedant alert! The thread title should, I think, be The Mighty Are Falling, as in this context, and if referring to the Bible verse 2 Samuel 1:25, the word seems to be a plural noun...
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    I am talking about just one person who was presumed to be mighty, and I had no thought of 2 Samuel.

    I think I will stay with the original title, thank you.
  • Fair enough! I knew what you meant, but I was immediately reminded of the Bible verse, and so the title just seemed a bit skewed. Pedantry, as I said...
    :wink:



  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Regardless of what he's saying now, Cuomo will eventually resign as a result of these allegations. That's my prediction. The nursing-home stuff seems incontrovertible, and he's already apologized for making women feel "uncomfortable".

  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Yes, I am sorry to see that Cuomo made the very serious error of seeking to cover up the truth concerning nursing home deaths. He should resign over that alone, putting the sexual harassment allegations to one side. It is a very great pity because Cuomo's handling of that particular outbreak was very good. He followed scientific advice, stood firm against political pressure, and applied pressure to the Trump Administration to try and get them to do something. In my opinion his mistake, AIUI to send infectious people back into nursing homes, was one made under extreme pressure, with very little time and after taking appropriate advice. He should not have covered up its consequences, but apologised and explained how the decision was made.

    I believe the sexual harassment allegations do not involve physical intimidation, or touching or worse. AIUI, he made implied invitations to young women to date him. He was testing the waters to see if the young women were open to his advances. The problem is that the young women worked for him, or in his office. That situation makes those advances unlawful.

    I would like us to be in a position where such behavior would warrant an apology, and that would be the end of it, unless the behavior constituted ongoing harassment in a pattern of conduct kind of way. I can imagine myself, if I was single and attracted to someone at work, making a similar sort of remark. But my feeler would withdraw like that of a snail's when touched. Please note that I don't believe I would make such a remark to someone who was obviously much younger than me. If someone much younger than me wants to be in a relationship, they will have to jump my bones.

    But we are not in a position where that sort of behavior can be tolerated. It must have consequences and Gov Cuomo should do what the Democratic senator did when he got into trouble for pretending to squeeze someone's norgs. He should resign. He is a political progressive. He is supposed to stand publicly for the rights of women in the workplace. He has to take one for the team, that team being the cause of women as full and equal participants in all aspects of public life.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    There's no fool like an old fool.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I believe the sexual harassment allegations do not involve physical intimidation, or touching or worse.

    Oh, yes he did.

    I believe this picture was taken after Cuomo touched the young lady's lower (bare) back and she pushed his hand away, IIRC.

    This is so triggering for me. He definitely needs to resign, and charges brought if an investigation finds him guilty.

    Shuddering and thinking 'creepy, dirty old man'. Ick.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    During the previous presidential administration, one person stood up to Trump very loudly. He was considered the voice of reason and advocated for the truth.

    Now, there are reports his own state administration falsified the nursing home COVID deaths in his state.

    I don't know how many women have now come forward saying he sexually harassed them while working for him.

    Members of his own party are calling for him to resign.

    The opposition party has just introduced a letter of impeachment in the state assembly.

    What should Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York do? Fight on, or resign?

    If he is innocent he should fight it.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    jedijudy wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I believe the sexual harassment allegations do not involve physical intimidation, or touching or worse.

    Oh, yes he did.

    I believe this picture was taken after Cuomo touched the young lady's lower (bare) back and she pushed his hand away, IIRC.

    This is so triggering for me. He definitely needs to resign, and charges brought if an investigation finds him guilty.

    Shuddering and thinking 'creepy, dirty old man'. Ick.

    I agree. Its not criminal conduct in Australia, its a civil wrong in the right context. This sort of non-criminal wrong is usually resolved by attempting conciliation and an agreed course of conduct, which could involve the offender leaving the workplace. The conciliation can be informal - facilitated by the employer if appropriate - or under the auspices of a Commission founded in the mid 1980's to deal with these sorts of matters. If conciliation fails, adversarial court proceedings are possible for the injured party to seek redress.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Seems like he always asked permission before he grabbed somone's p@ssy. just saying. NOTE: to me even asking permission can be intimidating with someone in a superior position taking advantage of someone in a lower status.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    He shouldn't have been behaving sexually AT ALL with his employees. Period.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Golden Key wrote: »
    He shouldn't have been behaving sexually AT ALL with his employees. Period.

    This. Where there is a power differential there is no possibility of freely given consent.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    That's a useful false belief I reckon.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    There are three maxims that everyone would be wise to follow:

    Don't sh*t where you eat.
    Don't do, say, or write anything you wouldn't want a jury to know.
    Like Caesar's wife, be above suspicion.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    During the previous presidential administration, one person stood up to Trump very loudly.

    Donald Trump was the least popular president* since the advent of modern polling. A LOT of people stood up to him. Nancy Pelosi comes to mind, but there were a bunch of others at all levels, both inside and outside of government. One of the reasons why holding American leaders accountable is so difficult is this kind of hagiographic aura of irreplaceability. Which brings me to . . .
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Yes, I am sorry to see that Cuomo made the very serious error of seeking to cover up the truth concerning nursing home deaths. He should resign over that alone, putting the sexual harassment allegations to one side. It is a very great pity because Cuomo's handling of that particular outbreak was very good. He followed scientific advice, stood firm against political pressure, and applied pressure to the Trump Administration to try and get them to do something.

    Not really. Cuomo really fucked up his state's initial COVID-19 response, being slow off the mark in shutting down and issuing that disastrous order to mandate nursing homes accept all COVID-infected patients. It's not as if this was an unknown risk. The earliest COVID mass-casualty outbreaks in the U.S. happened in nursing homes in Washington state. The reason Cuomo has this reputation for handling COVID-19 well is because America is a land of cheap grace and after his initial fuck-up he apologized and took the pandemic seriously. Way more seriously than President* Trump or Mayor de Blasio. Seriously enough that his effectiveness at handling COVID became intertwined with his massive ego, which is probably why the temptation to burnish that reputation even further by falsifying the numbers was eventually irresistible.
    jedijudy wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I believe the sexual harassment allegations do not involve physical intimidation, or touching or worse.

    Oh, yes he did.

    I believe this picture was taken after Cuomo touched the young lady's lower (bare) back and she pushed his hand away, IIRC.

    The difference between the woman in that picture and the other women who have made allegations against Cuomo is that she does not work for him or the New York state government. They were simply attending the same wedding reception. So yes, his behavior with her was super-creepy, but it doesn't have the same power differential involved in workplace harassment.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited March 10
    I'm a forgiving sort with our political leaders. Cuomo did not "really fuck{ed} up" with his initial Covid response. He made mistakes under enormous pressure, with limited time to consider and in unprecedented circumstances. Consider the actions of his fellow leaders. That's the real test. Some made the right call, thankfully including the leader of my State and the PM. Others, like almost every leader in the rest of the developed world, made mistakes that caused people to die.

    America's borders are still open, AIUI. Europe's external and internal borders are still open. I believe Connecticut (the tri-state area?) tried to cut itself off ( a friend told me this maybe a year ago), but it was ineffective. How many quarantine systems were established in the US or Europe? How many times did cities in the US and Europe go into a full lockdown fully enforced by the rozzers when they had a handful of cases in a population of millions? How many last year locked down and stayed down until they had ZERO new cases for two weeks (I think that's right), so much so that the Australian strain of the virus is now extinct? Did you have to prove your right to travel through checkpoints manned by soldiers and police in your town?

    And yet EVEN NOW, after achieving something that no other state or city outside China has done, people still shit all over our Premier. They say that a decision to use private contractors instead of the army to enforce Hotel Quarantine led to an escape of the virus from a traveller returning from overseas. It wasn't even the Premier's decision, yet he was excoriated up hill and down dale for months. The outbreak was running at 700 new cases per day in Melbourne, and we wiped the bastard out in 3 months.

    We didn't need a fucking vaccine. The world doesn't need a fucking vaccine. What it needed was responsible and sensible people in charge and a disciplined population prepared to do the necessary. Australia showed that by locking down on every level (and yes we did close off some residential towers for a week before realising that wasn't going to cut it and the whole city had to go down) free societies all over the world could have been living covid normal by October last year.

    So stop with the bullshit criticism, Croesus. Cuomo did not really fuck up the corona response until he decided to fudge the figures.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Sorry, "the world didn't need a fucking vaccine"* Obviously it does now because the world didn't get its shit together.
  • Screwing up is one thing. Screwing up, and then lying about it to try and save face is quite a different thing.

    You lied, you got found out, you quit. It should be that simple.

    As far as the allegations of sexual harrasment go, I'd say pretty much everything he's been accused of would provide grounds for resignation, if it's true and accurate. Certainly most of them would get him fired if he worked at my workplace.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I'm a forgiving sort with our political leaders. Cuomo did not "really fuck{ed} up" with his initial Covid response. He made mistakes under enormous pressure, with limited time to consider and in unprecedented circumstances.

    Cuomo made mistakes he had every reason to know at the time were mistakes and a lot of people died needlessly because of it. From an article in his hometown newspaper titled "How Delays and Unheeded Warnings Hindered New York’s Virus Fight" published in April 2020:
    A 39-year-old woman took Flight 701 from Doha, Qatar, to John F. Kennedy International Airport in late February, the final leg of her trip home to New York City from Iran.

    A week later, on March 1, she tested positive for the coronavirus, the first confirmed case in New York City of an outbreak that had already devastated China and parts of Europe. The next day, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, appearing with Mayor Bill de Blasio at a news conference, promised that health investigators would track down every person on the woman’s flight. But no one did.

    <snip>

    For many days after the first positive test, as the coronavirus silently spread throughout the New York region, Mr. Cuomo, Mr. de Blasio and their top aides projected an unswerving confidence that the outbreak would be readily contained.

    I'm not sure what the distinction is between "got a bunch of people needlessly killed by trying to happy-talk his way out of a pandemic" and "really fucked up his state's initial COVID-19 response", but it's not even in the same neighborhood as "followed scientific advice, stood firm against political pressure, and applied pressure to the Trump Administration to try and get them to do something".
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Consider the actions of his fellow leaders. That's the real test. Some made the right call, thankfully including the leader of my State and the PM. Others, like almost every leader in the rest of the developed world, made mistakes that caused people to die.

    Okay, let's do that. From the same article:
    Dr. Frieden said that if the state and city had adopted widespread social-distancing measures a week or two earlier, including closing schools, stores and restaurants, then the estimated death toll from the outbreak might have been reduced by 50 to 80 percent.

    But New York mandated those measures after localities in states including California and Washington had done so.

    San Francisco, for example, ordered schools closed on March 12 when that city had 18 confirmed cases; Ohio also ordered its schools closed on the same day, with five confirmed cases. Mr. de Blasio ordered schools in New York to close three days later when the city had 329 cases.

    Then seven Bay Area counties imposed stay-at-home rules on March 17. Two days later, the entire state of California ordered the same. New York State’s stay-at-home order came on the 20th, and went into effect on March 22.

    So even by the standards of fellow American state and local leaders Cuomo's initial COVID-19 response wasn't "very good". It was at best middle-of-the-pack amongst people whose performance wasn't that great either. But America (and apparently Australia) is a land of cheap grace and self-promotion. As long as you admit you fucked up , seem sincere about it, promise to do better going forward and do so loudly enough all is forgiven. Even better, all is forgotten and anyone bringing up unpleasant contradictory evidence will be shouted down.
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Screwing up is one thing. Screwing up, and then lying about it to try and save face is quite a different thing.

    You lied, you got found out, you quit. It should be that simple.

    I have never cared for Cuomo, but this notion strikes me as OTT. In our current political climate, one's opponents constantly insist that their opponents lie about virtually everything. These same opponents are unable to see any falsehood in whatever their side says -- including the sewage that poured out of DT's Twitter account on a daily basis. Stepping down from an office to which one was duly elected should require very serious malfeasance. A politician's lie just doesn't seem serious enough to precipitate that response. Perhaps, if people did not rush to declare this political thug the messiah, they would not feel the need to crucify him as soon as he shows himself to be a garden-variety pol.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    America's borders are still open, AIUI. Europe's external and internal borders are still open. I believe Connecticut (the tri-state area?) tried to cut itself off ( a friend told me this maybe a year ago), but it was ineffective. How many quarantine systems were established in the US or Europe? How many times did cities in the US and Europe go into a full lockdown fully enforced by the rozzers when they had a handful of cases in a population of millions? How many last year locked down and stayed down until they had ZERO new cases for two weeks (I think that's right), so much so that the Australian strain of the virus is now extinct? Did you have to prove your right to travel through checkpoints manned by soldiers and police in your town?

    Umm, nope. The border to Canada is closed.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited March 12
    Croesus wrote (inter alia):
    So even by the standards of fellow American state and local leaders Cuomo's initial COVID-19 response wasn't "very good". It was at best middle-of-the-pack amongst people whose performance wasn't that great either. But America (and apparently Australia) is a land of cheap grace and self-promotion. As long as you admit you fucked up , seem sincere about it, promise to do better going forward and do so loudly enough all is forgiven. Even better, all is forgotten and anyone bringing up unpleasant contradictory evidence will be shouted down.

    I'll start with this point and then address the specifics in your post. My observation is that every time a politician makes a mistake, they are excoriated by the Press. Politicians moves are dogged every step of the way, and when a story gets legs, the media squeeze every last drop out of it. I have a childhood memory of the 1980's Superman movie, when the editor of the Daily Planet screams at his journalists, "Get me angles. We need angles." That's fiction, but it is also how the media works, even more so nowadays when the impact of a story online can be precisely measured in eyeballs. So don't give me cheap grace Croesus. That is bullshit.

    The problem is rather the overly critical and unforgiving nature of the public environment here, in the USA, and elsewhere. That actually gives politicians and public officials incentive to cover up mistakes. They know that their mistakes are inevitably going to be amplified in the public square. Because of this, cover-ups, like corruption, are prima facie sackable offences in public officials. Its a temptation, a big temptation for them and the stick needs to be applied with vigor.

    So if a public official or politician is found to have made a mistake, the consequences need to be measured and fair, but the cover-up if there is one needs to have severe consequences. If the politician fesses up to the mistake before media or other exposure, all the better, Praise is in order. Its a carrot and stick approach to mistakes by our leaders, designed to help future leaders do the right thing. Obviously for elected officials they will face the ballot box, and why they win or lose is for the pundits to talk about. There is no certainty.

    Regarding the NYT article, this is a classic example of journalism picking up on public sentiment and running with it. In April 2020, nobody really knew what was going on. Not J. David Goodman, not Mario Cuomo, and not Bill de Blasio. Nobody knew for sure back then. The mistake you extract from the article, that a flight from Doha with an infected person was not followed up despite Cuomo's promise that it would be had its counterpart in Sydney, where a cruise ship disembarked without the proper health checks despite the fact that people on board had flu-like symptoms. It triggered outbreaks across Sydney and around the world as people returned to their homes. Quite a number died. In Sydney the outbreak was bought under control by imposing hard lockdowns Australia-wide, by people reporting symptoms and getting tested, and by abiding by Quarantine orders. State borders were closed to restrict travel. There was unanimity of purpose across our political spectrum.

    The mistake you wish to hang on Cuomo strikes me as an unfortunate and common mistake made by public officials around the world. The Premier Ms. Berejiklian instituted an inquiry into the mistake made by her public service, a report of which constitutes the article I linked. Did Cuomo do the same? He would be wise to do that if he has not. Lessons are there to be learned.

    San Francisco and the other places mentioned are fortunate that they had leaders who were prepared to do what proved to be necessary. But because these people made the right move does not mean that the vast preponderance of leaders who did not immediately lock down their states, cities or countries ought to have their careers unduly damaged because of what they did in the early months of the pandemic. Again, nobody knew what was going on. Trump was lying his head off while doing nothing. Johnson the same. Business lobby groups were screaming blue murder, and newspapers were running articles about anticipated suicides from excessively harsh lockdowns. I simply do not accept that there was in March 2020 a known and tested method for dealing with this. There might be better ways, but with politicians getting lobbied hard from everywhere, the decisions taken in good faith in March and April and the outcomes are experiences which leaders should have learned from by now.

    What every leader in America needed in March was a President who could bring everyone together, talk through the options and develop a consensus approach so that the political benefit/damage was shared collectively. That would have eased the pressure on all of those elected officials and given the public a clear lead on how to behave. That's what happened here, and it worked. That it did not happen in America is on Trump and his enablers.

    Going on our experience in Victoria, after the initial lockdown reduced daily locally acquired infections to zero, we had an outbreak from workers at one of our Quarantine Hotels. The press and the opposition tried to hang that on out Premier, and he wears some of the blame. An inquiry was held and reported recently. The bad decision was that private contractors provided security staff, who were of course casuals and had other jobs, like driving Ubers. Now the coppers do the security with help from the Army. The Chief Commissioner initially didn't want the job. So when there was an outbreak, it was big. Then, the Premier decided on advice to lock down only part of the city, but it was too late. The virus was out there and so we had to lockdown for three months. Every one of those decisions has been used by the Press and the Opposition to tear down the Premier, yet he has overseen one of the only exterminations of the virus without a vaccine after a major outbreak.

    There is a point when there was enough evidence to work out what works and what doesn't in controlling this virus, but it wasn't in March 2020, and it wasn't when J David Goodman wrote that NYT article. It was maybe 4-6months after that article was written.

    J David Goodman got an expert who said that Cuomo did the wrong thing. I don't attack the credibility of that expert. But that expert is forming an opinion after due reflection and where the opinion has no consequences save perhaps for the person whose judgement is under question. The expert does not have people with other interests and other expertise calling his opinion into question in real time. So they are entitled to have an opinion formed with regard to their experience and training, and they are entitled to express it. But in considering their opinion we must remember that they are not the elected official making the decision in real time.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    America's borders are still open, AIUI. Europe's external and internal borders are still open. I believe Connecticut (the tri-state area?) tried to cut itself off ( a friend told me this maybe a year ago), but it was ineffective. How many quarantine systems were established in the US or Europe? How many times did cities in the US and Europe go into a full lockdown fully enforced by the rozzers when they had a handful of cases in a population of millions? How many last year locked down and stayed down until they had ZERO new cases for two weeks (I think that's right), so much so that the Australian strain of the virus is now extinct? Did you have to prove your right to travel through checkpoints manned by soldiers and police in your town?

    Umm, nope. The border to Canada is closed.

    I meant internal borders, mostly.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Croesus wrote (inter alia):
    So even by the standards of fellow American state and local leaders Cuomo's initial COVID-19 response wasn't "very good". It was at best middle-of-the-pack amongst people whose performance wasn't that great either. But America (and apparently Australia) is a land of cheap grace and self-promotion. As long as you admit you fucked up , seem sincere about it, promise to do better going forward and do so loudly enough all is forgiven. Even better, all is forgotten and anyone bringing up unpleasant contradictory evidence will be shouted down.
    I'll start with this point and then address the specifics in your post. My observation is that every time a politician makes a mistake, they are excoriated by the Press. Politicians moves are dogged every step of the way, and when a story gets legs, the media squeeze every last drop out of it. I have a childhood memory of the 1980's Superman movie, when the editor of the Daily Planet screams at his journalists, "Get me angles. We need angles." That's fiction, but it is also how the media works, even more so nowadays when the impact of a story online can be precisely measured in eyeballs. So don't give me cheap grace Croesus. That is bullshit.

    Yes, that's fiction. In reality politicians can fuck up repeatedly and still get good press years later.
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    The problem is rather the overly critical and unforgiving nature of the public environment here, in the USA, and elsewhere. That actually gives politicians and public officials incentive to cover up mistakes. They know that their mistakes are inevitably going to be amplified in the public square. Because of this, cover-ups, like corruption, are prima facie sackable offences in public officials. Its a temptation, a big temptation for them and the stick needs to be applied with vigor.

    Basic accountability for public officials is the foundation of democracy, not a flaw. I will note that the kind of unearned hagiography Cuomo had until recently seems to typically be accorded to white males, who are automatically assumed to be competent at whatever job they have. If you're non-white, non-male, or both you usually get hung out to dry the first time you screw up.
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Regarding the NYT article, this is a classic example of journalism picking up on public sentiment and running with it. In April 2020, nobody really knew what was going on. Not J. David Goodman, not Mario Cuomo, and not Bill de Blasio. Nobody knew for sure back then.

    I don't buy your assertion that no one knew there was such a thing as infectious disease at the beginning of 2020. The seriousness of the disease was known early, as was the transmission vector. Extrapolation from past airborne respiratory infections was not only possible, it happened.
    Facing the nation’s first widespread coronavirus outbreak, some of Washington State’s top leaders quietly gathered on a Sunday morning last March for an urgent strategy session.

    The virus had been rampaging through a nursing home in the Seattle suburbs. By the time the meeting began, the region had recorded most of the nation’s first 19 deaths. New cases were surfacing by the hour.

    As the meeting’s presentation got to the fifth slide, the room grew somber. The numbers showed a variety of potential outcomes, but almost every scenario was a blue line pointing exponentially upward.

    “My God, what on earth is going to happen here?” the King County executive, Dow Constantine, said he was thinking as those in the room, increasingly uneasy about meeting in person, left the pastries untouched.

    That gathering, three days before the World Health Organization declared a pandemic last March 11, set off a rush to contain the virus that included some of the country’s earliest orders to cancel large events, shutter restaurants and close schools, all in the hope that the dire possibilities in front of them would not come to pass.

    So on March 8, 2020 the government of Washington state had enough information to make the right call on steps that have been effective. Andrew Cuomo had that same information plus the example of what was happening in Washington state and dithered around with his initial actions.
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    The mistake you wish to hang on Cuomo strikes me as an unfortunate and common mistake made by public officials around the world.

    I've never bought in to the idea that if a fuck up is common enough no one can be held accountable for it. 'If everyone's to blame then no one's to blame' seems to have featured in a number of scandals recently.
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    San Francisco and the other places mentioned are fortunate that they had leaders who were prepared to do what proved to be necessary. But because these people made the right move does not mean that the vast preponderance of leaders who did not immediately lock down their states, cities or countries ought to have their careers unduly damaged because of what they did in the early months of the pandemic.

    What constitutes having your career "unduly damaged" because your decisions made a lot of people unnecessarily dead? What's the proper amount of damage for a mistake like that? This kind of argument is mostly an argument against any kind of accountability for those in power.
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Again, nobody knew what was going on. Trump was lying his head off while doing nothing. Johnson the same. Business lobby groups were screaming blue murder, and newspapers were running articles about anticipated suicides from excessively harsh lockdowns. I simply do not accept that there was in March 2020 a known and tested method for dealing with this. There might be better ways, but with politicians getting lobbied hard from everywhere, the decisions taken in good faith in March and April and the outcomes are experiences which leaders should have learned from by now.

    Again, I'm not sure how this counts as having "followed scientific advice, stood firm against political pressure", as you claim Cuomo did. Cuomo can't get credit for listening to scientific advice and resisting political pressure if you're going to claim he didn't know any better because he was listening to lobbyists instead of scientists.
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    There is a point when there was enough evidence to work out what works and what doesn't in controlling this virus, but it wasn't in March 2020, and it wasn't when J David Goodman wrote that NYT article. It was maybe 4-6months after that article was written.

    J David Goodman got an expert who said that Cuomo did the wrong thing. I don't attack the credibility of that expert. But that expert is forming an opinion after due reflection and where the opinion has no consequences save perhaps for the person whose judgement is under question.

    Sorry, I'm not getting your point here. You say that no one knew what to do in April 2020 when Goodman wrote his article, yet he quotes an expert outlining a system that lines up pretty well with the steps governments (including Cuomo's) eventually took and turned out to be effective.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Re allegations of sexual harassment against Andrew Cuomo:

    I haven't really followed, but new accusations keep surfacing. I don't know what he did or didn't do. I'm inclined to think the accusations are true--if for no other reason than his highly-emotional, uncontrolled public responses.

    Doesn't this guy have wranglers? PR people? Lawyers?

    I take sexual allegations very seriously. But AC sure isn't doing himself any favors.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited March 13
    Croesus, do you think that mistakes made by leaders in the early part of the pandemic (say March and April 2020) warrant their resignations if those mistakes led to a bad outcome? What do you think amounts to a bad outcome? My answer is that it depends on the circumstances.

    I ask these questions because I want to make sure I am clear what your position is generally, rather than in the specific case of Cuomo, where there are other matters that may warrant his resignation or removal.

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Doesn't this guy have wranglers? PR people? Lawyers?

    Andrew Cuomo definitely has lawyers, but his general assholery over the years has insured that no one would have his back when something like this happened. As just one example, for a while New York had something called the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of Democrats in the state legislature who caucused with the Republicans in order to give them a majority in the New York state assembly. Cuomo was not only fine with this, he actively supported it in order to pursue his pro-business, anti-worker agenda. Kneecapping your own party to hamper their agenda is the kind of thing that insures you won't have any political friends when you need them.
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Croesus, do you think that mistakes made by leaders in the early part of the pandemic (say March and April 2020) warrant their resignations if those mistakes led to a bad outcome? What do you think amounts to a bad outcome? My answer is that it depends on the circumstances.

    I ask these questions because I want to make sure I am clear what your position is generally, rather than in the specific case of Cuomo, where there are other matters that may warrant his resignation or removal.

    My big problem is the way someone can screw up in a way that gets a lot of people killed and if they're aggressive enough at self promotion have those actions described as "very good". Even worse, the very idea of any accountability for officials who screw up very badly is scoffed at. So yeah, any American public official who wasn't taking COVID-19 seriously in April 2020* (the peak of America's first wave) probably shouldn't be trusted with the sharp objects, let alone the public trust.


    * Cuomo was at least serious at this point, though his earlier delays did get people needlessly killed.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    I agree with you concerning decisions made once it was clear that locking down and masking up was the best way to control infections. I don't believe that was April 2020, and I don't think an expert forming an opinion counts as consensus. I assume Cuomo was taking his advice from New York's equivalent of Fauci. That public health person was likely to be getting pressure from lots of people to craft their advice in different ways. That's why I say that the expert is entitled to give their opinion, but they were not in the room. Forming an opinion in the comfort of your office with only one set of priorities to consider is totally different to making a decision where there are competing priorities, many people saying different things and an urgency to make your recommendation to the decision maker right now.

    Those early days of the pandemic were a real pressure cooker. Our inquiry into the Hotel Quarantine system revealed power struggles between different parts of the Health Dept, with our Dr Fauci moving from being a small advisory part of the Dept to the most important person in it overnight. Emails were flying between offices at the rate of knots. There was an air of panic. It became clear that some decisions were not so much made as kind of just happened. The decision to use effectively a labour hire firm to staff security at quarantine hotels seems to have been a suggestion by the Police to try and avoid doing it themselves. The suggestion was acted upon like a decision, and in the wake of our inquiry, two senior public servants and the Health Minister resigned. They carried the can unfairly in my view, but a scalp was needed from a political viewpoint.

    So the pressures on decision makers and their advisors in March 2020 was immense. Most people cocked it up, one way or another.

    Regarding Cuomo, I have done some reading and as you say, he does not seem to be a bloke that progressives should give a pass. He seems like a bloke you would want to get rid of at the first available chance. That's a political factor, independent of the gravity of his mistake.

    Cuomo's aggressive marketing has no bearing on my view of his actions. I know his name and his job, and he seemed to be going hard at Trump last year, when Trump needed to be moved. My judgement of his response as very good is based on what I understand to be the case in New York State before the Winter surge in cases. I understood that New York had got the virus down to manageable levels, by which I mean levels at which testing and tracing can be efficacious. That's why I wouldn't string him up for his delay in March.
    I've never bought in to the idea that if a fuck up is common enough no one can be held accountable for it. 'If everyone's to blame then no one's to blame' seems to have featured in a number of scandals recently.

    The notion is that if one person screws up, its likely a problem with that individual. If many people screw up in the same way, that's likely to be a systemic problem. This way of thinking about errors is fundamental to discrimination law. It founds the distinction between indirect and direct discrimination. Indirect discrimination is sometimes called "systemic". It is also used as a tool in management, if the manager is any good.

    The system here is the decision making process in liberal democracies in a sudden crisis. I'd go as far as saying that its an inherent problem in how groups of people make collective decisions. Even though in our systems it is usually one person who has the final call, that person has complex ways of getting the necessary information.
    I don't buy your assertion that no one knew there was such a thing as infectious disease at the beginning of 2020. The seriousness of the disease was known early, as was the transmission vector. Extrapolation from past airborne respiratory infections was not only possible, it happened.

    I did not assert that. While the seriousness of the disease was known early, until late February people could reasonably have thought that like the SARS epidemic, it would largely be confined to particular regions. I remain convinced that Cuomo's error in not shutting down one or two weeks earlier is not a hanging offence. But it was an error, and if there has not been an investigation or review of the decision making process, that needs to happen.

    By the way, George Bush was excoriated by everyone, and rightly so, for his decisions following the 9/11 attack and his response to Hurricane Katrina. He is portrayed in film as being an idiot who was led around by Dick Cheney. He must be one of the most hated leaders in this century.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Cuomo's handling of that particular outbreak was very good. He followed scientific advice, stood firm against political pressure, and applied pressure to the Trump Administration to try and get them to do something.
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I assume Cuomo was taking his advice from New York's equivalent of Fauci.

    That's quite the backpedal. It apparently takes one week to go from making confident assertions about what Cuomo did and did not do all the way to "I assume . . . "
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Cuomo's aggressive marketing has no bearing on my view of his actions. I know his name and his job, and he seemed to be going hard at Trump last year, when Trump needed to be moved. My judgement of his response as very good is based on what I understand to be the case in New York State before the Winter surge in cases. I understood that New York had got the virus down to manageable levels, by which I mean levels at which testing and tracing can be efficacious. That's why I wouldn't string him up for his delay in March.

    So Cuomo's agressive self-promotion didn't affect your views, just accounts in the media that incorporated Cuomo's aggressive self-promotion.
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Crœsos wrote: »
    I've never bought in to the idea that if a fuck up is common enough no one can be held accountable for it. 'If everyone's to blame then no one's to blame' seems to have featured in a number of scandals recently.
    The notion is that if one person screws up, its likely a problem with that individual. If many people screw up in the same way, that's likely to be a systemic problem. This way of thinking about errors is fundamental to discrimination law. It founds the distinction between indirect and direct discrimination. Indirect discrimination is sometimes called "systemic". It is also used as a tool in management, if the manager is any good.

    The system here is the decision making process in liberal democracies in a sudden crisis. I'd go as far as saying that its an inherent problem in how groups of people make collective decisions.

    I've always thought that one of the best ways to alter destructive or ineffective systems is to change their incentive structure. One of the ways of doing that (though not the only one) is by applying penalties to people who facilitate those destructive or ineffective outcomes. If, as you [ assert / assume / guess / whatever ], Cuomo prioritized the profits of businesses over the lives of his constituents then holding him accountable for doing that is a good way to re-align the incentives for future governors of New York.
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Crœsos wrote: »
    I don't buy your assertion that no one knew there was such a thing as infectious disease at the beginning of 2020. The seriousness of the disease was known early, as was the transmission vector. Extrapolation from past airborne respiratory infections was not only possible, it happened.
    I did not assert that. While the seriousness of the disease was known early, until late February people could reasonably have thought that like the SARS epidemic, it would largely be confined to particular regions.

    Nothing about the 2003 SARS outbreak necessitated that it definitely would be regionally contained. That was the work of a lot of very diligent people and institutions taking the outbreak very seriously. Just assuming that "it’s like a miracle — it will disappear", to use the words of Donald Trump, is the kind of magical thinking that made COVID-19 the worldwide pandemic it became. If "people" thought along those lines, as you claim, those "people" should not be trusted with public health.
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    By the way, George Bush was excoriated by everyone, and rightly so, for his decisions following the 9/11 attack and his response to Hurricane Katrina.

    Bush was lionized in the wake of the 9/11 attack. His job approval rating as measured by Gallup was 90% on September 21-22, 2001. That remains the highest presidential approval ever recorded by Gallup, who have been running presidential approval surveys since FDR, and represents a 39 point jump from where Gallup had him on September 7-10, 2001. There was an action figure of him in a flight suit and fawning media coverage of his Mission Accomplished speech in 2003. Bush was eventually "excoriated by everyone" after his image was tarnished by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but five years is a long time to skate by on obvious fuck ups.

    Seriously, this is all recent history. Most of us lived through this. How is it you don't remember?
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    He is portrayed in film as being an idiot who was led around by Dick Cheney. He must be one of the most hated leaders in this century.

    I assume you're referring to the 2008 film. The one released very near the end of Bush's term. Waiting until someone is halfway out the door and then subjecting them to an unflattering media depiction seems like a sub-optimal form of accountability.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Just jumped on to note that Cuomo has called upon "cancel culture" and claimed he is not part of the political class. I hear a bell tolling.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    The point of difference between us is on media culture, ISTM. The rest of your post is just an attack on my weasel words. I understand. Some people don't like words that give you wiggle room, or that acknowledge the possibility of error as a mark of respect to one's interlocutor and/or fundamental laziness. I'm sorry if my language distracted you from the thrust of my argument.

    I do recall that Bush's approval was high in the immediate wake of September 11, and that there was a strong desire to aid the United States on the part of its allies. The decision to attack Afghanistan was supported by friends of the USA around the world, and international forces were committed to the fight.

    Bush's popularity turned internationally when it became clear that the USA wanted to attack Iraq. Very few people in the English language media supported that. The Australian and British Govts did, but not our respective media, apart perhaps from the dirt sheets of the yellow press. The notion that there were nuclear weapons and other WMDs in Iraq was roundly criticised, as was Colin Powell's address to the UN. All these matters were used to attack Bush and his Government.

    "Mission Accomplished", as your link makes clear, was lampooned and parodied all over the world, including in the United States. Bush's pronunciation problems around WMD's were also mocked. When no WMD's were discovered, Bush wore that as well.

    How do you not know this @Crœsos? I'm certain you do, and I don't understand why you are using Bush as an example. He is one of the most derided Presidents this century, and were it not for Trump he would probably have held the title for the rest of my life. So some idiot made a laudatory action figure of Bush. I have a commemorative coin celebrating Donald Trump's victory over the coronavirus.

  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    My insoucence is definitely a product of my privilege. If I were not rich, white and male I might be more keen to make sure I was right.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    The point of difference between us is on media culture, ISTM. The rest of your post is just an attack on my weasel words. I understand. Some people don't like words that give you wiggle room, or that acknowledge the possibility of error as a mark of respect to one's interlocutor and/or fundamental laziness. I'm sorry if my language distracted you from the thrust of my argument.

    What weasel words?
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    It is a very great pity because Cuomo's handling of that particular outbreak was very good. He followed scientific advice, stood firm against political pressure, and applied pressure to the Trump Administration to try and get them to do something.

    That's a lot of straightforward declarative statements without any "wiggle room". My objection is your attempt to go back and add the weasel words later and pretend like they'd always been there.
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    The notion that there were nuclear weapons and other WMDs in Iraq was roundly criticised, as was Colin Powell's address to the UN. All these matters were used to attack Bush and his Government.

    This seems like one of those "alternative facts" that crop up every so often, taking later developments and projecting them onto the past. How was Powell's presentation treated in the media at the time?
    The day after Secretary of State Colin Powell's speech before the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, TV commentators and newspaper editorials, and even many liberal pundits, declared their support for the Bush administration's hard-line stance on Iraq. CNN’s Bill Schneider said that “no one” disputed Powell’s findings. Bob Woodward, asked by Larry King on CNN what happens if we go to war and don’t find any WMD, answered: “I think the chance of that happening is about zero. There’s just too much there.”

    As recently as a week ago -- following weapons inspector Hans Blix's report to the United Nations and the president's State of the Union address -- more than two-thirds of the nation's editorial pages called for the release of more detailed evidence and increased diplomatic maneuvering. The 80-minute presentation by Powell seems to have silenced most of the critics.

    Consider the following day-after editorial endorsements, all from sources not always on the side of the White House. As media writer Mark Jurkowitz put it in the Boston Globe, Powell's speech may not have convinced France of the need to topple Saddam but "it seemed to work wonders on opinion makers and editorial shakers in the media universe."

    The San Francisco Chronicle called the speech "impressive in its breadth and eloquence." The Denver Post likened Powell to "Marshal Dillon facing down a gunslinger in Dodge City," adding that he had presented "not just one 'smoking gun' but a battery of them." The Tampa Tribune called Powell's case "overwhelming," while The Oregonian in Portland found it "devastating." To The Hartford Courant it was "masterful."

    The San Jose Mercury News asserted that Powell made his case "without resorting to exaggeration, a rhetorical tool he didn't need." The San Antonio Express-News called the speech "irrefutable," adding, "only those ready to believe Iraq and assume that the United States would manufacture false evidence against Saddam would not be persuaded by Powell's case."

    There's more at the link if you're interested. I've always wondered if the concentration of Muroch-owned media in the U.S., U.K., and Australia had something to do with those countries being the most in favor of the Iraq war. I've also long suspected that the decision to "embed" journalists with troops was fairly successful in getting those journalists to paint a rosy picture of the war. They all wanted to see themselves as Edward R. Murrow broadcasting from London during the Blitz.
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    "Mission Accomplished", as your link makes clear, was lampooned and parodied all over the world, including in the United States. Bush's pronunciation problems around WMD's were also mocked. When no WMD's were discovered, Bush wore that as well.

    How do you not know this @Crœsos?

    I know it well. I clearly remember the immediate pivot from "search for WMDs" to "liberating the Iraqi people" as a justification for the war when no WMDs were found. I also remember the pro-war media immediately adopting the new line without a hint of cognitive dissonance or self-reflection. We have always been at war with Eastasia.
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I'm certain you do, and I don't understand why you are using Bush as an example. He is one of the most derided Presidents this century, and were it not for Trump he would probably have held the title for the rest of my life.

    I'm not the one who decided to use George W. Bush as an example. That was you, claiming he "was excoriated by everyone". I simply pointed out that wasn't the case until sometime around September 2005, despite the obviousness of the fuck ups throughout his first term for anyone willing to look at them clearly.
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    My insoucence is definitely a product of my privilege. If I were not rich, white and male I might be more keen to make sure I was right.

    You have that in common with most former members of the Bush administration and the pro-Iraq-War media. Virtually none of them suffered any consequence for being so catastrophically wrong, and in the case of the few that did it wasn't because they were being held accountable by their peers or the voters for their actions.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    I certainly did not lionize Bush for 9-11. He completely ignored strong intelligence reports that an attack was about to happen. Over three thousand people paid for that mistake.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited March 17
    On Bush, I was responding to the links in your March 13 post. Here is the line you used:
    Yes, that's fiction. In reality politicians can fuck up repeatedly and still get good press years later.

    In your post, "fuck up" is linked to the wikipedia article on the September 11 attacks, "repeatedly" is linked to the wikipedia article on the Iraq War, and "good press years later" is linked to an article in the Chicago Tribune dated 15 October 2015 entitled "Yes, George Bush kept us safe."

    So why did you pick Bush? He seems like a really bad example.

    Most people when confronted with press they disagree with will react negatively towards it. Those disagreeable articles and opinions loom larger in a person's recollection than articles and opinions they agree with. Those articles are unremarkable, because they are what the media should do - report the truth as the reader sees it. That's why I think Bush is a bad example for many people to use in arguments like this. People see the outcome of his presidency for him personally as an injustice, and the result of the 2000 election as a fraud. That may well be so, but as an example of a person being treated too leniently in the public square, Bush is not good.

    I don't think you picking Bush to argue this point is in any way fatal to your argument. There might be a better example that you wish to use. I thought of Ronnie, but I wonder whether the public square is too different now for him to be valid. Note that Ronnie came into my mind, I haven't actually done any work on it. What about that bloke who Trump pardoned - Blegeovich? I'm spitballing here, obviously. America's mayor?
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    edited March 17
    Re Coverage of post 9/11 Iraq (etc.) wars:

    ISTM that the obvious problem, whatever other shenanigans may have been involved, was that the media folks were just as affected by 9/11 as everyone else. They looked like they just *caved* to Dubya, out of sheer fear--including the White House Press Corps.. IMVHO, the WHPC didn't get their act together until Helen Thomas spoke up. From the "relevant part of her Wikipedia bio:
    On March 21, 2006, Thomas was called upon directly by President Bush for the first time in three years. Thomas asked Bush about the War in Iraq:

    I'd like to ask you, Mr. President, [about] your decision to invade Iraq . . . Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is: Why did you really want to go to war? . . . You have said it wasn't oil . . . quest for oil, it hasn't been Israel, or anything else. What was it?

    Bush responded by discussing the War on Terror, stating as a reason for the invasion that Saddam Hussein chose to deny inspectors and not to disclose required information.[35] Thomas was criticized by some commentators for her exchange with Bush.[36][37][38]

    Personally, I was thrilled when she did that, 'cause we'd gotten the White House Press Corps back.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Yeah, there is always that 'get behind the team' mentality in wartime. It takes a while to wear off, huh.
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