U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) waits for the start of the 118th Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 03, 2023. Win Mcnamee/Getty Images
Well, the guy's still there. You know, the serial liar who believes his own shit, somewhat akin to how pols view themselves as the avatars of intelligent governance in their endless pursuit of getting reelected. To yours truly, the fact Santos still resides in the house is the poster child of America's decay because we know the wheels are falling off as we speak. Just analyze how our reps are performing in the house ... or maybe not as there is no governance, thus reminding everyone just how far this once great nation has fallen in the halcyon year 2023,
After he was elected, America soon learned George Santos was at best a serial fabulist—and at worst a criminal fraudster and con man. He was not from a family of Holocaust survivors (he wasn’t even Jewish), his mother wasn’t a 9/11 victim (it’s not even clear she was in the United States at the time), and he wasn’t a highly-educated Wall Street tycoon. Santos had lied about almost everything; where he went to high school and college, where he worked, about funding an animal charity, and where his money came from. The Washington Post called the scope of Santos’s lies “breathtaking.” In May, he was criminally charged on 13 counts; the federal indictment included charges of fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and making false statements (Santos pleaded not guilty to all charges). A week after Santos was charged, a Democratic effort to expel him from the House faltered. Instead, Republicans punted to the House Ethics Committee, where they claimed Santos would be dealt with swiftly.
Well, it’s now half way through said August recess, and Santos appears to have only faded into the background; he’s still in his congressional seat, tweeting about the Biden family (claiming he knows the “players” and “sources” behind some undefined Hunter Biden smoking gun), shit-talking Michael Cohen, and complaining about mean people on Twitter (“I believe in Karma,” Santos tweeted). Of course, the words “ethics committee” and “move rapidly” do not really belong in the same sentence and perhaps we all knew deep down that this call for a rapid ethics investigation was merely a stalling tactic. After all, unlike the Office of Congressional Ethics, which has a fixed time frame for investigations, the House Ethics committee does not, and their probes can drag out for months. It’s possible Santos won’t actually be dealt with in the House until around or after the 2024 election.
The real reason ...
But more importantly, as much as Santos is a problem for Republicans, not having Santos’s vote could be even more of a problem. McCarthy, whose tenuous path to the speakership is emblematic of just how razor thin the Republican majority is, desperately needs almost every vote in his caucus. After all, to gain the gavel, McCarthy agreed to a one-person threshold for a motion to vacate the speaker. Santos, just like everyone else in that caucus, has that power. If he resigns, he is leaving a competitive seat open to a special election.