Today the New York Times checked in with a group of middle-aged, extremely online Manson Girls: the Andrew Cuomo defenders; the few, the strong, the brave, who are still donating online to the disgraced governor’s campaign. I don’t know what he’s campaigning for, but I checked: Okay, I still don’t know, but you can be one of the girls too.
According to the Times, more than 230 individuals have collectively donated $31,000 to Cuomo’s campaign since the governor resigned, and three out of every four donors is a woman. Many seem to live out of state and, as demonstrated by the women’s impassioned quotes, most latched onto Cuomo’s commanding presence in the darkest days of the pandemic, a period about which you can learn in his book, American Crisis.
“During the Great Depression, it was the woman of the family standing in the kitchen at 5:30 a.m. looking at four slices of bologna trying to figure out how they are going to feed a family. In March of 2020 that was me,” Dianne Butcher, a Cuomo supporter in Texas, told the Times. Watching Cuomo on TV gave her hope that “we just might survive this.”
Amid sharing vile memes of New York District Attorney Tish James and selling shirts that say “allegedly,” these women pore through the public statements of Cuomo’s lawyer, Rita Glavin, with the fine-toothed comb of a Swiftie watching the short film accompanying the release of “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version).”
“What concerned me was not the report itself, but the way she represented it as a violation of state and federal laws and a definitive statement that he had sexually harassed 11 women,” said Virginia Hagan, a 67-year-old moderator of the Facebook group “Women for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.”
“Particularly as women, the media diminished us, they came out and called us fangirls. They came out and called us Cuomosexuals,” said Sandy Behan, a fan in Rochester.
Sorry, that was all sexist of me to say. I’ve never been more scared than I was in those bologna months in early-to-mid-2020, and I can imagine a world where, if my circumstances were just slightly different, I would take supreme comfort in Andrew Cuomo’s words and be moved to defend him till the end.
I grew up in greater Chicagoland amid Governor Rod Blagojevich mania, and I was a teenager when he was removed from office and convicted of 17 fraud and bribery charges, several of which involved selling Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat after he left the post for the presidency. What a dynamic figure. What a head of hair. It was an exhilarating time to be a young progressive, and I will say my late night Googlings may have edged into Blagosexual curious territory.
Were the online custom apparel industry what it is today, perhaps I would have gotten “fuck them” embroidered on a Lingua Franca cashmere crewneck, in homage to his iconic and empowering quote “They're not willing to give me anything except appreciation. Fuck them.” He had a great head of hair, and I harnessed the power of its robust body wave to cyberbully his detractors. When President Trump to commuted his sentence? That was all thanks to me and my girlies. When women come together, they can do anything.
So I can laugh at these Cuomo-defending Texans, but on some level I get it. We all need a cause. In the meantime, Tish James’s office noted that several of their social media accounts used stock photos as their profile pictures and only tweeted about Cuomo. But I know they’re real as they come. Allegedly.