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It’s time to stop talking about George Santos

George Santos, the human, has been around since 1988. But George Santos, the notoriously deceptive and nationally known Republican congressman, has only been around for about six weeks.

Most people discovered this Santos in mid-December – a simpler and much more boring time. The midterm elections were over. Congress was in a lame session, bracing for new leadership thanks to the new GOP majority slice. And the dominant GOP storyline was Kevin McCarthy’s quest to become Speaker of the House.

Several weeks and many news cycles later, whatever control Republicans once had over the narrative of their resurgence has been completely co-opted by a single freshman congressman from New York.

There have been plenty of outstanding reports on Santos that have exposed the serial liar behind the bogus CV. But there are plenty of other members of Congress who deserve the obsessive attention paid to a guy who clearly uses the media to promote his own stardom — and has fun doing it.

The Dead Winter news cycle only fueled breathless coverage of Santos, who was caught lying about his education, career, finances, living conditions, religion and name. . Not only was Santos a character in his own right, but he touched on the third rail of things honest people never, ever lie about: the Holocaust and 9/11. And if you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Santos literally stole money from a dying dog.

Since the New York Times published its initial Santos investigation, the news cycle has produced a steady stream of new revelations, ranging from potentially criminal (Santos’ campaign recorded a statistically impossible spending number of $199) to purely entertaining (Santos has a Brazilian drag alter-ego and enjoys a good bop!) to ridiculously speculative (Santos was apparently wearing a stolen $520 Burberry scarf at a “Stop the Steal” rally) to nauseating Beltway -centric (Santos has been spotted all over DC, including at a popular karaoke bar near Capitol Hill.)

For six weeks, you feel like you’ve learned too much about Santos and also nothing at all. Every twist in the Santos saga is like a new episode of a show you’re forced to watch because everyone else is – like Tiger King, but it’s 2023 and there are no tigers, only fraud.

The product is a cartoonish depiction of an allegedly corrupt congressman who is apparently so obsessed with money that he will sell your pet and lie about his own mother for influence. Santos same castigates journalists to do their job, when he’s not dragging them around with donuts and chicken sandwiches, a crude ploy to chain people up harass him for the answers, of which there are still none.

Rep. George Santos (RN.Y.) leaves a House Republican conference meeting Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

It shouldn’t be surprising that Santos hogs the spotlight. He was impersonated by several comedians on late-night television — performances that Santos called “terrible” in a tweet. At a recent fundraiser for McCarthy, Santos reportedly told people that he, not McCarthy, was the most famous person in the room. In what was generally considered another trolling of – colleagues? journalists? human decency? — Santos, who lied about being Jewish and a descendant of Holocaust survivors, gave a speech Friday in the House commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Presiding over a slim GOP majority, McCarthy strenuously resisted telling Santos to step down. A month into the new Congress, Santos has become the main distracting noise that House Republicans have failed to present a substantive policy agenda to tackle all the things they talked about during their election campaigns. midterms, such as fixing the economy, un-indoctrinating “woke” schools, and fighting crime.

The issue of crime was something Santos successfully campaigned on to take a battleground seat in a race that was mostly framed as a clash between two gay men, Santos and Democrat Robert Zimmerman. This race will go down as the greatest collective escape of the media, political operatives and their verification structures. “We knew this guy was sleazy, that he was engaged in sketchy stuff, and that there was an element of fraud around the campaign – to what extent, we didn’t know,” said a Democrat involved in the campaign. the HuffPost race. “But a lot of the coverage was ‘Here are two gay contestants’ – what does that say to anyone?”

Santos’ appetite for more drama has swept away even the minor characters from his life. A few weeks ago, I spoke with Gregory Morey-Parker, a friend of Santos who was first cited by The New York Times as a former roommate. Morey-Parker, who now lives in Massachusetts, told me the Times contacted him because they noticed he had commented on one of Santos’ old Facebook posts. He said he and Santos first met to pursue a romantic relationship, and when that didn’t work out, they remained friendly. The two briefly lived together in the home Santos shared with his mother and sister in Jackson Heights, in the Queens borough of New York. That was about a decade ago and only for several weeks as Morey-Parker was looking for an apartment. He couldn’t remember the dates or Santos’ exact address.

He said it was clear to him that something was wrong with his friend “Anthony” (Santos was called Anthony Devolder). “Things didn’t make sense. They didn’t add up,” he said, alleging that Santos, who claimed in financial statements that he was wealthy, was not working.

Morey-Parker then gave many other interviews. We stayed in touch. Then five weeks into the Santos news cycle, I got one last text from him: “Thank you for reaching out. I currently have no further comment on Congressman Santos. Sincerely, GMP.

Around this time, I also spoke with Grant Lally, a former GOP congressional candidate and publisher of the North Shore Leader, a Long Island newspaper credited with being the only news outlet to raise the alarm about Santos before the elections. Lally is another loose former acquaintance of Santos who has found herself in high demand recently. The two first met at a restaurant on Long Island in 2020. Lally described Santos as “evasive, oddly boastful, and very insecure.” For someone looking for mentorship and political endorsement, Santos acted oddly, Lally recalled, slumped in his chair and “having a lot of fun” while “drawing attention to himself.”

Although Santos is viewed with curious detachment by his colleagues in Washington, he is considered an outcast at home. Long Island Republicans are already calling for his replacement, in two years or sooner, if Santos resigns or faces impeachment. The GOP seems to take its mission more seriously now. “We just elected this guy and who is he?” said Lally, describing the initial stunned response to Santos’ denouement. “The general perception is that he wasn’t serious and that Zimmerman was serious. But elections sometimes produce strange consequences.

Unless it is learned that Santos invented the cure for cancer, he is not expected to win another term, positioning him to become one of the most notorious congressmen in history. This may be exactly what he wants.

The Huffington Gt

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