It's not that I like Gov. Andrew Cuomo because he is Italian American. I like that he is Italian American, and he's making us proud.
In helping to pass the right of gays to marry in New York State, Cuomo did the right thing. He put aside his Catholicism and separated what his church believes from he believes is legally correct. I wish more politicians would act this way. I cannot get it out of my head that President George Bush said that Jesus told him to invade Iraq. Really? Really?
But back to the man of the hour -- Cuomo. In her column today, Maureen Dowd jokingly suggests that Cuomo -- because of his positions on abortion, gay marriage and, not to mention, living in sin with a woman not his wife -- may be headed for hell. I would suggest that because of his strength, dignity and backbone, Cuomo is headed to that great big Arthur Avenue in the sky.
Cuomo has polished the veneer of being Italian-American. It's about time someone did. We live in a media world where Italian-Americans are routinely portrayed as biased buffoons with no class. Think of Jersey Shore or Real Housewives of New Jersey. I can't say there are no Italian-Americans who act this way but it's not that every Italian-American is that way.
Cuomo, like his father, is descended from what I call the Gay Talese (or does it go back to Michelangelo?) line of Italian-Americans -- witty, intelligent, dapper.
It's not that I'm naive enough to believe that Cuomo is a saint. After all, he is very much his father's son and the former Gov. Mario Cuomo was well-known for calling up reporters and screaming at them over the phone when they wrote stories he did not agree with. He never did it to me but I could hear him from across the room through the telephone making his displeasure known to other reporters.
But Andrew, like Mario, at least has other traits that I admire. Mostly, he is dignified and thank God for that!