George Santos: Kevin McCarthy's new pet
Kevin McCarthy has no soul. He believes in nothing and stands for nothing – except, no matter what it takes, the greater glory of Kevin McCarthy.
To that end, McCarthy embraced Marjorie Taylor Greene for Congress, even though she proposed the assassination of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He was one of 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 election on January 6, even after an armed mob of Trump supporters sent him running for his life. After spending one minute blaming Donald Trump for the insurrection, he quickly changed his tune, voted against impeaching Trump, and rushed to Mar-a-Lago to kiss an especially large part of Trump’s anatomy.
Yet nothing reveals McCarthy’s lack of moral compass more than his embrace of serial liar George Santos, or whatever his name is. For the last three months, reporters have been digging hard to find anything Santos says is true. So far, they’ve found nothing: not his name, heritage, family, religion, sexuality, education, career, wealth, home address – or, most likely, what he had for lunch.
Among many whoppers, Santos said he graduated from Baruch College, where he played on the varsity volleyball team. (He did neither.) He claimed to have worked at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. (He did not.) He boasts of owning 13 properties. (He does not).
Santos also lied about his family. He said his family name was Zabrovsky. (It’s not). He said his mother immigrated from Belgium. (She did not.) He said she was in the South Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11 (She was actually in Brazil on that day) and died a few years later. (She died in 2016.) He said his grandparents were Ukrainian Jews who survived the Holocaust. (They were not. They were born in Brazil.) He claimed that his family was Jewish, but later said he only meant they were “Jew-ish.”
That’s just for starters. In Brazil, Santos now faces renewed criminal charges of fraud for allegedly using a stolen checkbook in 2008. He’s under federal and state investigation for financial irregularities, including loaning more money to his campaign than he made on his job or had in his bank account. And this week, in the how-low-can-you-go category, he was accused of stealing $3,000 he’d fraudulently raised for life-saving surgery for a poor veteran’s service dog. Without surgery, the dog died.
In any other profession – attorney, doctor, CEO, chef, journalist – anybody who told such a string of lies would be summarily tossed out of their job. Were any Democrat so guilty, Republicans would be holding impeachment hearings. But what has happened to George Santos? Nothing! Despite his pack of lies, he was sworn in as a Member of Congress and awarded seats on the House Small Business and Science, Space and Technology Committees.
McCarthy claims his hands are tied. “I try to stick by the Constitution,” he piously told reporters on January 11. The voters elected him to serve, he insisted, so it’s up to the voters to make another decision two years from now. In the meantime, there’s nothing he can do about it.
And that’s as big a lie as any lie George Santos has told so far. There are at least three things Congress could do to hold Santos responsible. At the very least, they could block him from sitting on any committees. Democrats did that to Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar in 2021. And Republicans stripped one of their own, Iowa’s Steve King, from all committees in 2019.
The Constitution gives Congress a second option: Censure. It requires only a majority vote, and forces a Member to stand in the well of the House while the Speaker reads the bill of charges against him. It’s been used 24 times since 1832, most recently in 2021, when the House censured Paul Gosar for tweeting an animated video in which he killed Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Third option? What Congress should do – and would do under a Speaker with any moral compass: Expel George Santos from the House. This is the ultimate punishment, requiring a two-thirds vote of the House. It’s only been used 20 times. It’s reserved for those who’ve proved themselves utterly unworthy of serving in Congress.
If anybody fits that bill, it’s George Santos. But this Congress will do nothing about Santos – only because Kevin McCarthy is desperately afraid of losing just one Republican vote. What Santos has done is disgusting. Even more disgusting is that he has the full faith and support of the Speaker of the House.
(Bill Press is host of The BillPressPod, and author of 10 books, including: “From the Left: My Life in the Crossfire.” His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Readers may also follow him on Twitter @billpresspod.)
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