The late epigrammatical Anglo-American pundit Christopher Hitchens once observed that “perhaps you notice how the denial is so often the preface to the justification.”
“Of course we don’t keep political dissidents in secret prisons,” dictators will say. “Not that there’s anything wrong with keeping them in prison if they’re agitating to disturb the peace, and if we did have secret prisons those dissidents surely be there for good reason.” Translation: Sure, we have political dissidents in secret prisons. But shh.
Perhaps it’s the fact that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo isn’t a despot. Or maybe he just doesn’t have the practice. Whatever the case, Cuomo has decided to reverse things and make the justification the preface to the denial.
On Wednesday, the Democratic governor appeared on MSNBC to promote his new book “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” One is again reminded of another quote (often misattributed to Winston Churchill): “History will be kind to me, for