Why Did George Santos Lie About His Past To Get Elected to Congress?
When George Santos was elected to Congress to represent Long Island, New York, the media narrative at the time was that he was the first openly gay Republican elected to the House of Representatives as a non-incumbent. It was a minor story in the news cycle, which focused more generally on how voters rejected the fringier and Trumpian candidates the Republican Party put forward in November.
But now Santos is getting all sorts of national press coverage, because it turns out huge chunks of his biography—including his education and past employment—are complete fabrications.
Earlier this month, after investigating Santos’ background, The New York Times reported that it could not verify much of the information he had told voters. Santos publicly admitted some of his lies in an interview over Christmas weekend with the New York Post. He has not worked for Goldman Sachs or Citigroup, as he has claimed. (He was apparently working as a call center employee for Dish Network during that time). He also never graduated from Baruch College in New York City, as he had claimed.
It’s not clear at this point how much of Santos’ background is actually true. Is he even gay? He was once married to a woman, The Daily Beast reports, but divorced her in 2019 just prior to his first (failed) run for Congress in 2020. This, of course, doesn’t mean he’s not gay. (He recently married his male partner). But it is a bit unusual.
The misleading claims even turned comical when he admitted to the New York Post that he’s Catholic and not Jewish, as he had claimed. “I never claimed to be Jewish,” he explained. “I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish.'”
It sounds like something a character from Seinfeld or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia might say when they’re caught in a lie. Reason‘s Jesse Walker tweeted a memory of Harry Shearer telling a similar joke in the 1990s.
While the whole scandal is hilarious, it is also deeply distressing. Democrats are demanding that Santos resign for his lies or that Congress somehow refuse to seat him, but, really, is anybody in U.S. national politics in a position to seize the moral high ground here? Sen. Elizabeth Warren? President
Article from Reason.com