When I first contemplated writing about the George Santos scandal, I assumed I would be chiding those on both sides of the political and ideological spectrum for the double standard I was sure would emerge.
Democrats and progressives, I knew, would be hammering the Republican Congressman-elect from Long Island for re-inventing not just his academic and professional resume, but virtually his entire life story; after having ignored, for years and continuing to this day, very similar, and ongoing, academic, professional, and life story fabrications still being spun by Democratic President Joe Biden.
Republicans and conservatives, I felt just as certain, would, having constantly taken Biden to task for his habitual lying, try to downplay or ignore all of Santos’ lies.
Only that’s not what has happened. Democrats, progressive activists, and mainstream media have indeed jumped all over Santos, in a way they never have over all the years of Biden’s lying, his plagiarism, his shady (to say the least) financial dealings.
But Republicans, conservative activists, and conservative media, who of course have never tired of denouncing Biden for his continued mendacity, have not given Santos a pass.
His county GOP chairman demanded that he explain himself. Republican Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and Nick LaLota, another Republican Congressman-elect from Long Island, have called for an investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
And Nassau’s Republican District Attorney, Anne Donnelly, my former colleague when I worked as spokesman for DA Denis Dillon, has launched an investigation of Santos.
As for media, just contrast the approach of the two newspapers I read daily. The conservative New York Post has of course been pounding away at Joe Biden’s serial lying, summing it all up just before Christmas with a reader’s quiz on the president’s 20 most significant lies in just the last year.
But the Post has also been front-and-center in going after George Santos, with news articles, editorials, and op-ed pieces deploring his dishonesty and demanding answers.
Liberal Newsday has predictably been all over Santos as well—as they should be. But one will search far and wide across Google or the paper’s own online archives without finding anything regarding Joe Biden’s dishonesty that even remotely resembles their reaction to that of George Santos.
To be clear, this is not an appeal on my part for letting Santos slide.
I believe George Santos should decline to be seated when the new Congress convenes next week. If he wants to demonstrate the integrity he insists he has, he should acknowledge his lies, not try to minimize them as “embellishments” or “a mistake”; and he should show good faith to the voters of his district by declining the seat he won by willfully deceiving them.
I reject his cynical attempt to defend himself by pointing to the president’s comparable lies—for which he was called out by former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on FOX News, yet another conservative outlet that is not letting him off the hook the way progressive media continue to give Biden a complete pass.
I am pleased that Republicans and conservatives—except for Santos himself—have declined to engage in this kind of “what-aboutism,” defending misbehavior by one of their own by pointing out that “the Democrats do it, too.” They are holding Santos to the same standards of truth and integrity they call for, but have not gotten, from Biden.
Would that Democrats and progressives would similarly decline to engage in the “so-whatism” that allows them to condemn George Santos while collectively shrugging that President Biden’s embellishments, fabrications, and outright lies are “just Joe being Joe.”
Which, of course, is precisely the problem.
14 thoughts on “Santos Should Not Take Seat in Congress”
So, you want Santos to resign ?? To what end? So the left can run another election which the DEMs will buy with millions in dark money in order to win, and further tighten the very slim Republican majority? Or so that the current DEM governor of NY can appoint another DEM to “finish” Santos’s complete 2 year term of office? These are probable , but completely unacceptable, scenarios. It could not be more clear how the last two years of DEM rule have been destructive and poisonous in every sense of the word for the country as a whole. From the open southern border spewing fentanyl and poor illiterate illegals into the country who pose a burden on schools, hospitals and taxes and all social services, to a rotten inflation-ridden economy. Shall we talk about the supply chain debacle? The shortages of infant formula and now medications? Attempts by the dishonest DEMs to use a so-called marriage act to attack religion and reality? Disgusting attempts at social engineering is a DEM specialty, including promotion of fantasy-based sexual orientations as normal behaviors. Drag Queen story hours? Your kid turned transgender without your knowledge, aided and abetted by the school? Yep. And YOU as a parent being subject to FBI investigation, or the confiscation of your child by the laughably titled “child protective services” if you complain. So, Santos “lied” or exaggerated his sexuality, and his religious background. If indeed you are so shallow as to consider those issues AT ALL when you vote, you are no doubt experiencing a spasm of outrage. For me, you can check the box that says” who cares?” “Whataboutism” indeed!! Biden is the KING of lies, even lying about his own son’s manner of death. Evidently that is OK. . Why are transgressions such an outrage when committed by a Republican but never reported upon when committed by a DEM?? What I have NOT heard thus far is that Santos lied about his policy stands and beliefs . THAT is the matter upon which an intelligent voter casts their vote. Based on recent year’s votes, few Americans appear to any long have the intellect to make informed votes, preferring to knee-jerk vote based on NO information, tradition, race, or for whomever pays them off with the most taxpayer goodies, from union contracts to reparations, the good of the nation be damned. The reality is, being a moral prig is a luxury we can not afford in the present political climate. We cannot afford to let the left get one further toe-hold as they continue their quest to strip us of our religion, constitutional freedoms, history, cars, economic security, and a sane notion of sexuality. Women will continue to be robbed of their opportunity for sport scholarships by men POSING as women , all while the propagandized clap from the sidelines. Those who protest the attacks on reality are cancelled for encouraging “hate crimes”. Did Santos do the right thing in lying?? Not by a long shot. Should he step down?? No. There is simply too much at stake.
Well, to first of all clarify, the governor is not empowered to temporarily appoint someone to fill a vacant House seat. That provision only applies to the Senate. A vacant House seat shall remain vacant until filled in a special election–that will now admittedly be far more difficult for Republicans to win after their candidate has so flagrantly broken faith with the voters in that District.
You single out two of Santos’ deceptions, having to do with his sexuality and religion, as though those were his ONLY lies. The fact is, his deceits and fabrications are so numerous it is hard to find ANYTHING he said in the campaign that we can trust was truthful. That being said, how are you so confident that he will be a reliable vote on ANY of the many compelling issues you have listed? I share your concern about many of these issues; I personally have NO confidence we can trust the truth-averse Santos on any of them.
But the bottom line is I refuse to accept that in order to promote pro-life, pro-family, pro-freedom values, I have to accept a candidate who embraces and employs the kind of dishonesty that I deplore when it is practiced by candidates whose views I also disagree with. I cannot denounce Joe Biden’s constant lies and habitual mendacity, then defend it, or say it doesn’t matter, when it is practiced by someone I might otherwise vote for. Of course, voting often involves imperfect choices, and I have not infrequently chosen the “lesser of evils,” or at least the lesser of imperfections. But I still believe that character has got to count for something in choosing our leaders.
First of all let me make it clear I do NOT advocate running liars for public office. The REALITY is, like it or not, this guy is ALREADY elected. We can force him out and end up with a Democrat. How is that helpful
to the country in any way? That would only make the Republican effort to get the country back on track even more difficult, as our house margin is SO thin. . New York is already nearly impossible place for a Republican to score a win. Why hand the DEMs a victory on a platter? The time for journalists and second guessers to point out any inconsistencies about this man as a candidate was BEFORE he was nominated. Now it is too late. I simply pointed out his lies about sexual orientation and religion for the sake of brevity. The truth is we have PLENTY of RINO elected officials who cannot be counted upon as a reliable vote. I think about ( and regret my vote for )Mitt Romney. What about Susan Collins of Maine and Murkowsky in Alaska??
It is possible that Santos may act to redeem himself while in office. It’s equally possible he will not, in which case he will be voted out in two years. What is CERTAIN , is that if a DEM was elected to take Santos place should he resign, they will NEVER vote for any Republican proposals. EVER. It makes an “unreliable” Congressman look good by comparison. Being inconsistent is part and parcel of politics I am afraid, as politics is a dirty sport. . In truth, continuing to play by the rules when your opponents play by NONE is both foolish and the surest path to defeat and the further destruction of the country. I really wish that were not so. Sadly, it is. I think we have no alternative but to stick with Santos for now. And in the future, make VERY certain that all our candidates are deeply and properly vetted.
Thanks for the continued discussion (below). I understand your thinking. I would also add that, while the GOP establishment has sought to blame the disappointing mid-term showing entirely on the Trump factor (which I agree played a role), this is another example of the establishment’s own contributions to that disappointment. Santos was clearly the choice of the Nassau GOP organization, the failure to vet his background is on them. Instead of looking to place blame elsewhere, the Republican establishment needs to fix its own shortcomings.
Thanks, Rick, for your essay. Nicely-done. Msgr. Batu
Thanks so much, Monsignor.
So very well said Rick!
Thank you, Walter.
Extremely disappointed and angry about Santos. I am glad to see Republicans stepping up to condemn this behavior.
Exactly, Gina, too bad they did such a poor job of vetting him in the first place. Thanks for your thoughts.
Rick, great article as always. If I was advising Santos I would recommend that he offer to resign if Biden will do the same.
Thanks, Jim. Problem is, I think Santos’ problem is with his own constituents. They were the ones he deceived to get elected, and I think he owes it to them to step aside regardless of Joe Biden’s behavior.
An honorable perspective. Here’s another: https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2022-12-31-one-of-the-all-time-worst-political-liars
Thanks for sharing this link, Rob, he illustrates the double standard in much greater detail than I did.