New York State’s Machiavellian Governor
George J. Marlin on Gov. Andrew Cuomo, his father’s son in some ways, but unlike Mario, who admired Thomas More, Andrew’s model is Machiavelli.
Throughout his political career, N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo has been portrayed by fellow pols as a “Prince of Darkness” who relishes being a hatchet man.
He first earned the title working for his father, Governor Mario Cuomo. Later as N.Y. attorney general and governor, his reputation as a mean-spirited cynic without core principles continued to grow.
These traits have been most obvious in his relations with the Catholic Church and its members.
Shortly after taking office in 2011, Cuomo, a baptized Catholic, publicly rejected Catholic teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman, railroaded “marriage equality” through the state legislature, and denounced opponents as bigots.
In 2013, he stuck it to the Church again when he proposed expanding abortion rights, even though New York is the nation’s abortion capital.
Then in January 2014, Cuomo declared that pro-lifers and opponents of same-sex marriage should move out of the state. Such people, he said, are “extreme conservatives” and “they have no place in the state of New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”
Even as he excoriated practicing Catholics, Cuomo tried to placate them by promising an Education Investment Tax Credit to help the financially troubled Catholic school system. Despite assurances to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, he threw Catholics under the bus by cutting the tax credit out of the budget to accommodate legislators in the pocket of the teachers’ union.
I’ve been a Cuomo watcher for years, but it was only a few months ago that I finally learned his guide to political behavior: Niccolò Machiavelli.