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Commentary By Bob McManus

Even After Manchester, Cuomo's Dodging on Marching to Honor a Terrorist

Cities, Public Safety New York City, National Security & Terrorism

There was no dust on Gov. Cuomo’s brogans last week when a self-described crazy man drove into a crowd at Times Square, killing one and scattering the injured all over the pavement.

“He was there like Batman,” one cop told The Post. “He might as well have taken off his shirt and gone around investigating.” No surprise that a tweeted photo of the great man in action followed within minutes.

But, hey, why not? It could have been a terror attack, instead of an alleged drunk-drugged-whatever lunatic looking for, as he himself put it, “help.”

And leaders lead, after all. Where more appropriate a place for New York’s First Citizen to be than on the scene of a potential terrorist attack — even as the ambulances were arriving.

On the other hand. Cuomo has long confused self-promotion with governance, so none of this should surprise. But it certainly underscores the inexplicable failure of gubernatorial leadership in the face New York City’s latest official affront to common decency.

That would be the announced presence of a convicted, and by all accounts unrepentant, terrorist — FALN mastermind Oscar López Rivera — at the head of the 2017 Puerto Rican Heritage parade. (He’ll be the happening’s “First National Hero,” don’t you know.)

Thank City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for that. It apparently was her idea. Also, Mayor de Blasio. The pair is famous for playing kissy-face with Marxist thugs, so Rivera is right up their dark alley.

But the question of the moment — made more urgent by Monday night’s slaughter in the UK — is whether Cuomo will confer his own imprimatur on City Hall’s shameful embrace of political violence.

That is, will Cuomo be with the marchers on June 11? Or will he not be?

Asked directly last week, he dithered. “This is something that I’m reviewing right now. I just heard about it, so I’m going to look at the situation.” (An inquiry Tuesday was unavailing.)

This is, of course, absurd. The Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional, or FALN, has been a part of New York’s political consciousness since at least 1974 — when its bombs maimed cops at One Police Plaza, followed a month later by the dynamite-bombing of iconic Fraunces Tavern that murdered four and injured 43.

The notion that rendering honor to one of the gang’s founders is something that requires a “review” is absurd. That, plus shameful.

So, as things stand, the only thing Cuomo and de Blasio see eye-to-eye on is marching with Oscar López Rivera on June 11.

That the governor’s indecision has survived the Manchester bombing merely compounds the infamy. Apart from the simple inhumanity of the crime — and the appalling fact that this time the terrorist seems chiefly to have targeted children — it remains that Ariana Grande puts on precisely the sort of show that routinely fills New York-area venues.

Manchester Arena could have been Madison Square Garden. It could have been Barclay’s. It could have been the Meadowlands. It could have been Nassau Coliseum. And so on.

It is, of course, not Cuomo’s place to secure such precincts. (Even if he does act like Batman sometimes.) But it is precisely his responsibility to provide the righteous leadership so vital to a confident society.

And no matter what happens next, that particular train has left the station. That is, when (if?) Cuomo comes to his senses, he’ll be a follower — not a leader.

It’s a pretty pass when New York’s political class is upstaged by a food-distribution company — Goya Foods — and the New York Yankees on a question of moral authority. And it’s more than a little problematic when New York City’s police commissioner finds it necessary to provide a good example to his own mayor on the matter of terrorism.

But Goya, the Yankees and a growing group of others — including the NYPD’s Hispanic Society — have rescinded their traditional support for the parade. Plus Commissioner James O’Neill has repudiated de Blasio’s support for it as well. No doubt there will be more defectors as the parade draws closer, and God bless ’em all. With each passing day, then, Cuomo’s position becomes that much less relevant.

He really should ask himself: “What would Batman do?”

And then do it.

This piece originally appeared in the New York Post


Bob McManus is a contributing editor of City Journal. He retired as editorial page editor of the New York Post in 2013 and has since worked as a freelance editor, columnist, and writer.

This piece originally appeared in New York Post