With the Speakership vote finally settled and House Speaker McCarthy nominally in charge of his caucus, it’s important to remember the people who helped get him there. People like George Santos. Santos, known for his flagrant lying about his background and employment history, has spent time since his recent victory in 2022 midterms cozying up to the likes of Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert, whilst also supporting Kevin McCarthy’s pursuit of the speakership. Despite this, McCarthy has made it clear that Santos will not be receiving any top committee appointments. Ah come on, Kevin! He voted for you in every round of the Speakership vote! That’s loyalty.
Santos is a committed, pathological liar. He ran on being an Jewish, even though he very probably isn’t, or that his family survived the Holocaust. He’s claimed that he worked at Citibank and Dish Network at the same time, and interestingly neither is true! He’s lied about being brought up in abject poverty, he’s lied about his family having extensive real estate investments in the US and Brazil. He’s lied about having cancer, apparently. He once said that while he worked at Goldman Sachs (which is also not strictly speaking true) he attended the SALT private equity conference. This claim was debunked by none other than, Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci.
When the Mooch appears, you know your time is near.
Yes, the Republicans have increasingly seen him as a dangerous liability. The Nassau County Republicans have denounced him, demanding that he resign and that other Republicans demand that he do so. Joseph Cairo, chair of the Nassau County Republicans stated that “disgraced the House of Representatives, and we do not consider him one of our congresspeople.” Likewise, fellow New York Representative Louis D’Esposito called on him to resign.
Santos has vehemently rejected the idea of resigning. Shocking, I know. Santos says he’s fighting for the people of his district and not party leaders. Even if that were true and he genuinely cared about his constituents, all constituent calls are being directed to Rep. Louis D’Esposito going forward.
At the time of this writing, however, it unclear if House Republicans will do anything about him. He’s a solid vote and their margin of control in the House is thin indeed. Not like they have a problem with pathological liars in their caucus in the first place, he’s just embarrassing. Republican leaders had been aware of his lies prior to the election, it was a “running joke”. The question remains if it’s worth going through a special election should he resign for them and I don’t think it is. They’ll just give him a window seat in Congress, he won’t be able to do anything or push things through, but he’ll get to stay, so long as he votes correctly. Then he can be quietly primaried when he’s up for re-election.
Santos is an example of what Trump unleashed. What does it matter if you lie? So long as you can deliver reliable votes, should it matter if you were caught for forging checks in Brazil? He’ll catch flack and maybe marginalized but he’s not going to be punished for his lack of integrity. That’s what Santos is betting on. And others are going to see what happens to him and take their cues accordingly. When truth has no value, nothing has meaning.
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