Cuomo channels Weinstein, announces new "gun safety" group in bid to rehab reputation

AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool, File)

When Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein was first facing allegations of sexual harassment and assault, you might remember the producer’s initial response was to apologize for his behavior before attempting to deflect attention elsewhere; specifically the NRA.

I want a second chance in the community, but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it. I have goals that are now priorities. Trust me, this isn’t an overnight process. I’ve been trying to do this for 10 years, and this is a wake-up call. I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt, and I plan to do right by all of them.

I am going to need a place to channel that anger, so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same place I had my Bar Mitzvah.

How’d that work out for ol’ Harvey? For better or worse Wayne LaPierre is still helming the NRA, and given that Weinstein’s earliest possible release from prison isn’t until 2039, my guess is that he’s not going to be able to make it to LaPierre’s retirement party whenever it does take place.

Weinstein was widely ridiculed for his ham-fisted effort at deflection back in 2017, but that’s not stopping disgraced former New York governor Andrew Cuomo from adopting the same strategy in his own effort to rehabilitate his tarnished reputation after resigning his office over sexual harassment allegations. On Wednesday, Cuomo released a bizarre video roughly eight minutes along in which he outlines his plans for the future; a weekly podcast, a new political action committee, and (because we don’t have enough already, apparently) a new gun control outfit.

… Cuomo said he was “starting the Gun Safe America Project” because “I do not believe our federal government has the courage or the capacity to make real progress” on the issue of gun control.

“President Biden gave a speech a couple of weeks ago saying he was determined to pass an assault weapons ban,” he said.

“But the Senate just passed the gun bill, and it had no ban and it had no capacity limits. The Democrats wouldn’t even put the bill banning assault rifles on the floor, with Democrats united in support, to show that the Republicans are stopping passage.”

“Gun Safe America Project” is a pretty lame name, to be honest. I think Cuomo should play to his brand and call his new organization Gropers for Gun Control instead.

What exactly does Andrew Cuomo think he can do to ban guns that deep-pocketed outfits like Everytown for Gun Safety can’t? The reason why the ban on so-called assault weapons that passed the House earlier this year hasn’t been brought up for a vote in the Senate is simple: the votes aren’t there for passage, and demanding a vote would put vulnerable Democrats like Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto and New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan at even greater risk of losing their seats. Does Chuck Schumer want to see an “assault weapons” ban signed into law? Without question, which is why he’s not willing to hold a show vote that has no chance of passing but could hurt his chances of retaining his title of Senate Majority Leader.

Andrew Cuomo’s not concerned about those political realities, of course. His real goal is to return to the spotlight, not to ban the most commonly-sold rifle in America. Gun control is a means to an end, just as it was for Harvey Weinstein when he was desperate to improve his image. And I suspect that Cuomo’s new anti-gun group will be just as successful in that regard as Weinstein’s pledge to send Wayne LaPierre into retirement was at swaying public opinion: not at all. But hey, maybe Cuomo can start a chapter of the Gun Safe America Project at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles. There’s a “gun safety” advocate locked up there with a lot of time on his hands who might be willing to lend his name to the cause.