It’s not enough to throw Andrew Cuomo out of the governor’s mansion. To ensure women are protected from his type of predator in the future, we must learn to recognize entitled bullies.
We must be as brave as the staffers who risked their careers to stand up to King Cuomo and heed the warning of First Lady Abigail Adams: “All men would be tyrants if they could.”
New York’s mad king brings to mind England’s Edward VII, who had such depraved appetites, he designed a custom “sex chair” for use with two women — usually prostitutes who had no other options. The phrase “lay back and think of England” is a monument to the pressure women felt to submit to the power of the throne.
During the Revolutionary War, the British aristocracy had the same attitude as Andrew of Albany. It bewildered them that American women refused to submit. One Welsh royal, Capt. Francis Rawdon-Hastings, wrote about a gang rape in Staten Island as if it was an episode of “Seinfeld.” The victim had been of a lower class, you see, and he thought it hilarious that her no’s meant no.
History books say little about how colonial women helped turn the tide against the aristocracy, but it’s why Abigail urged her husband, John Adams, to design a government based on deeds rather than daddies. She might have been speaking of that nameless Staten Islander when she wrote to the future U.S. president, “[R]emember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.”
When Andrew Cuomo and his loyalists sought to discredit aide Lindsey Boylan for daring to tell her story, history repeated: Mr. Cuomo wanted to tie Ms. Boylan to Donald Trump, as if that would brand her as red state and low class, not entitled to rebuff his royal advances.
Andrew’s father, Mario, King Cuomo the First, debuted the angry-and-entitled roadshow at the 1984 Democratic Convention. Delegates were electrified by his gloomy attack on Ronald Reagan’s Shining City on a Hill and chanted, “Mario!” But rather than throw his crown in the ring like a commoner, this Hamlet of the Hamptons awaited a coronation.
When he didn’t get what he wanted, King Cuomo the First lashed out (sounds familiar), griping that his fellow Americans were bigots who think all Italians are in the Mafia and hate people whose names ended in vowels — forgetting those delegates singing just such a name: His.
Vowel and all, that name has opened doors for Mario’s kids in ways Andrea and Immacolata Cuomo couldn’t have imagined when they first arrived from Italy. Prince Andrew married into American royalty, the Kennedys, and was the youngest Cabinet secretary in history, whose only “job” had been managing his father’s campaigns — a tenure memorable solely for coining an anti-gay slogan about Ed Koch.
Andrew stood up in 2002, declaring his willingness to serve the peasantry as King Cuomo II, again expecting a coronation. But Carl McCall, who’d have been New York’s first Black governor, entered the primary. For this insolence, Andrew threatened fundraisers: Give him a dime and suffer my wrath.
This bullying so disgusted my late boss, Rush Limbaugh, that he urged listeners to send Mr. McCall a buck apiece, for which the eventual Democratic nominee thanked him publicly. The prince of Cuomo-lot settled for attorney general and in 2010, applied the lesson of 2002: Smearing incumbent David Paterson (blind as well as Black) for sexual relationships, all consensual.
At every step, this country gave Andrew whatever his heart desired. Yet he had the gall to say, “America was never that great.” Yes, pity the poor prince. Nobody has it harder — and if they do, he appropriates their struggle. Even though his parents were wealthy and born in the USA, he claims, “I was raised by poor immigrants.”
He has also declared himself Muslim, Jewish, Black, gay and undocumented. He wants us to picture him smokin’ in the boys’ room with Vinny Barbarino and the Sweathogs, when he attended the top prep school in the state. The closest Andy came to food insecurity was Sbarro’s.
Born on third base doesn’t begin to cover it. Andrew was born with a World Series ring on each finger, and he demands any new bling that strikes his fancy. So the next time someone puts forth their famous name and nothing else, let’s remember how women exposed this would-be emperor of the Empire State, who thought a famous name meant never having to hear the word “no.”
Let’s make Abigail Adams proud, and demonstrate that this is still a republic, where nobody cares who’s your daddy.
• Dean Karayanis is content producer for “The Rush Limbaugh Show” and host of “History Author Show” on iHeartRadio.