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#MeWho? The hypocritical silence of Kamala Harris

#MeWho? The hypocritical silence of Kamala Harris
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Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCuomo accuser blasts governor's 'Trumpian gaslighting' over harassment allegations Cuomo defends himself, pushes back amid harassment probe Bipartisan Senate bill introduced to give gyms B in relief MORE (D-N.Y.) has now been accused by seven women of sexual harassment and/or misconduct. Result: His approval numbers have dropped from north of 70 percent last year to 38 percent in a poll released last week. 

Most of the media – which provided the governor an air of invincibility, by fawning over him in 2020 on his way to winning an Emmy – are now engaged in a full-scale pile-on. And, no, it's not because of the alleged coverup regarding 15,000 nursing home deaths. It's because of the harassment claims by staffers and others who are as much as 40 years younger than the 63-year-old governor. 

Many leading New York Democrats finally have joined the chorus calling for Cuomo's resignation, most notably Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Overnight Defense: Capitol security bill includes 1M to reimburse National Guard | Turner to lead House push against military sexual assault | Pentagon drops mask mandate GOP Rep. Turner to lead House push to address military sexual assault MORE (D-N.Y.), who had been conspicuously silent more than two years after declaring that then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should be considered guilty until proven innocent after he was accused of sexual misconduct at high school parties that occurred nearly 40 years earlier.

"This process is sending the worst possible message to girls – and boys – everywhere,” Gillibrand said in her September 2018 Senate floor speech. “It’s telling American women that your voice doesn’t matter. It’s telling survivors everywhere that your experiences don’t count, they’re not important and they are not to be believed. We are saying that women are worth less than a man’s promotion.”

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Gillibrand also led the charge to force the resignation of then-Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenMaher chides Democrats: We 'suck the fun out of everything' Why Caitlyn Jenner should not be dismissed #MeWho? The hypocritical silence of Kamala Harris MORE (D-Minn.) after he was accused of unwanted kisses and touching one year prior. 

Cuomo was first accused of harassment by former aide Lindsey Boylan in December. Gillibrand didn't make any statement about the governor until six more accusers came forward. But at least she said something, which is more than the sitting vice president of the country has done to this point. And, remember, it was then-Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHere's why Joe Biden polls well, but Kamala Harris does not Immigration experts say GOP senators questioned DHS secretary with misleading chart Carper urges Biden to nominate ambassadors amid influx at border MORE (D-Calif.) who in 2017 wrote this about Franken to her nearly 18 million social media followers: "Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere. I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down."

As for the accusations against Justice Kavanaugh, Harris, a former California attorney general, condemned him based on an odd interpretation of what constitutes guilt from innocence. There are "many cases where there was enough evidence to believe something happened but not necessarily prove it beyond a reasonable doubt in a courtroom, but it doesn't mean it didn't happen. I believe her," Harris said in October 2018 of Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford. 

And Vice President Harris added this, after Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court: "Let's speak the truth, that it was a denial of justice for the women of this country, and sexual assault survivors. Men and women. In this country, let's speak that truth."

Before and throughout the Kavanaugh hearings, and then afterward, Harris continually attempted to persuade the court of public opinion through traditional and social media that there was no doubt about Kavanaugh's guilt. She was easily the most outspoken member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to the point that it propelled her into becoming a Democratic presidential contender the following year.

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Fast-forward to 2021, however, and it's complete and total silence from the first female vice president in U.S. history as it pertains to allegations from seven women who worked for Cuomo. The VP hasn't even tweeted about it, nor will she take any questions during the rare occasion she's within shouting distance of a reporter. 

You can agree or disagree with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezWarren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez Sanders: Netanyahu has cultivated 'racist nationalism' MORE (D-N.Y.) and her worldview, but she was the first major Democrat to call for Cuomo's resignation over the nursing home scandal and the harassment claims — and she did so weeks ago, when it was far less politically convenient to do so. 

Cuomo deserves due process, of course. The same due process that he and professional politicians like Kamala Harris didn't afford Kavanaugh during his Senate confirmation hearings. 

 

Overall, Harris has yet to take questions in anything remotely resembling a formal press conference since being chosen as Biden's running mate seven months ago. For a historic figure, she may be the most invisible vice president in modern times when it comes to engaging the press in any non-scripted capacity, which makes her a perfect pairing for the press-averse 46th president, who still hasn't held a formal press conference nearly eight weeks after taking office. 

The vice president could show some consistency here, even if she's one of the last Democrats to the game when it comes to making a statement, any statement, on Gov. Cuomo. Because to do otherwise reveals that #MeToo was just a convenient weapon used to help raise her political brand during the Kavanaugh debacle — and that only hurts a movement which is shamefully exploited whenever its true victims are used for political expediency. 

Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist for The Hill.