CSotD: Issues of Standing



Matt Davies (AMS) cartoons for Newsday, which makes Andrew Cuomo his governor, which gives him standing to address the current issue.

There are 23 Democratic governors and 27 Republican governors, by the way, which is relevant within their states and not all that relevant elsewhere.

In the case of NY, it means that, if Cuomo resigned, he’d be replaced by Lt. Gov. Tish James, another Democrat, and then by whichever Democrat voters chose in the next election. (Correction: James is AG. Kathy Hochul is Lt. Gov. and would take the reins.)

However, the particular governor is relevant within the state boundaries, and Davies’ take on the man aligns with an article from the Gothamist, which I link with a tip of the hat to Steve Brodner, born in Brooklyn and still living in the Empire State.

The headline is “It’s The Cuomo Way”: Former Staffers Describe Toxic Workplace Under Governor’s Relentless Thumb and this is one time when the editor wrote a hed that matches the story under it.

Cuomo is portrayed as an overbearing, bullying perfectionist whose demands on employees are a combination of micromanagement and elevation of his personal quirks into workplace requirements, a noxious brew that would drive most people screaming out of the building in a week and apparently aren’t that much more healthy for those with the stomach to stay.

It reminds me of legendary Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes, a notorious bully for whom some very successful NFL players expressed great affection.

Which is all well and good, but nobody interviewed the OSU players who might have done well, too, if they hadn’t been scarred and intimidated by his tactics.

In Cuomo’s case, the portrait that emerges somewhat softens the inappropriate behavior towards women because so much of his actions fit into the same eccentric box: Women were expected to wear heels, yes, but men were expected to fit a Brooks Brothers stereotype as well.

As noted in Davies’ cartoon, Cuomo apologized profusely and I think sincerely for a personal style that included hugs, kisses and intrusive personal questions, but which one of the former staffers dismisses as “fatherly.”

Which doesn’t make it okay, but does make it part of a horrific workplace atmosphere that points in another direction:

Which suggests that, however you feel about his hugs and kisses, it’s impossible to believe that his staff rejiggered those figures on nursing home deaths without his knowledge and likely at his direction.

Let’s see him apologize for that.


As long as we’re on the topic of personal management style, this Michael de Adder piece cracked me up. He was the anti-Cuomo, after all.

I understand the conspiracy theorists have now decided he’ll return to power on March 20.

Calibrating, calibrating.


I also got a laugh out of Robert Ariail (AMS)‘s concise analysis of what’s happening in Texas, mostly because so many cartoonists have tried to come up with more elaborate commentary.

That is, I appreciate the gallows humor in that fourth panel, but I also appreciate that you don’t always have to overthink things.

Boom, there it is.


Still, just as Matt Davies has standing to comment on his own governor, Walt Handelsman has standing to make a statement on this topic by virtue of being in and from NOLA.

He uses that standing to make a point that is decidedly local but can be understood from the outside as well.


The same can be said of Marty Two Bulls (AMS) in this commentary on opposition to the nomination of Deb Haaland for Sec’y of the Interior.

It might seem like the Oglala cartoonist is indulging in a bit of ethnic cheerleading for Haaland, an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo, if she weren’t stepping into a very troubled situation, particularly with issues of pipelines and oil exploration on native lands.

Two Bulls has standing both for a little native pride and for his misgivings about who owns what in this country.

Indian Country Today reports that Haaland gained approval by the committee last night, but even with now-expected Senate confirmation, she’ll still be dealing with legislators who are indebted to the oil and gas industry.


I hoped we were done with the Dr. Seuss non-event, but we’re clearly not, judging from both social media and still-emerging cartoons.

J.D. Crowe offers not only this simple piece but a good summing up to go along with it that is worth a read, though god I thought we all knew this by now.

And I laughed at this tweet:

But here’s something to stop the laughter and jokes, because the issue of how Dr. Seuss depicted this or that minority figure pales before the overwhelming issue of how certain people are entirely denied standing in our culture.

The term “white privilege” is thrown around a lot, and it rankles those who, though white, face their own problems and troubles and barriers, because they read it to mean clear sailing.

No. It means having standing in society by virtue of how you look, by virtue of having been declared the default by the majority, who look like you.

But for all the standing it gives you, the one power it deprives you of is the ability to see it from the outside, from the perspective of people who, in a just society, would not be on the outside.

Read (and please share) this extraordinary thread, not just to learn about the Dr. Seuss issue, and not even just to learn about the importance of inclusion in children’s literature, but to learn how overall lack of inclusion in our society and culture hits when it’s your group that isn’t included.

Michael Harriot has standing to explain what standing means.

4 thoughts on “CSotD: Issues of Standing

  1. And gosh – The Lone Ranger and Larry Doby were male ! Sure crushed my childhood dreams.

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