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Colson: George Santos’ tally of lies

John Colson
John Colson
Courtesy photo

Holy lying dirtbag, Batman, you can’t make this stuff up — George Santos’ tally of lies keeps growing like a spinal tumor, though Santos’ apparent lack of a detectable spine may invalidate that particular simile.

I’m sorry if my attention to this scandal is not to your liking, but I can’t help it, since the Santos case seems to me to corroborate so much of what is wrong with at least a notorious segment of the leadership of the Republican Party.

By extension, Santos’ willingness to lie about, well, just about anything makes me wonder about the basic trustworthiness of the entire party.



The latest revelation about the recently “elected” newbie in Congress, while somewhat frivolous, is just another brick in the wall of growing criticism about this guy.

In a video clip from a campaign appearance on TV last October (unearthed by Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon) Santos and his Democratic opponent, Robert Zimmerman, are asked to recount a favorite family-holiday tradition.




Zimmerman spoke up first, telling his TV host that his family typically gathers at a relative’s home, dressed in sweats and gobbling up such delicacies as Haagen Dazs ice cream while watching football or some other holiday fare.

Santos, clearly at a loss to describe family holiday events, simply mimics Zimmerman’s words, down to the sweats and the Haagen Dazs ice cream, blatantly stealing Zimmerman’s schtick.

Fallon, astounded by the display, laughs long and hard before he declares, “That’s for real!” and adds, “I’ve never seen identity theft happen in real time!”

This may seem like small potatoes next to Santos’ ever-expanding litany of lies about his career, his personal wealth, the circumstances surrounding his mother’s death, his educational achievements, where he lives and more. But sometimes it’s the small potatoes that count in life.

Sure, it’s a silly, small episode, but what makes anyone think that Republican leaders, rank and file members and voters would act more responsibly if the lying behavior involved something more serious?

What is difficult to swallow about all this is how blasé the Republican leadership has been about it.

Newly-elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has, once again, reversed himself in his gyroscopic effort to remain relevant and keep the speakership (remember how McCarthy at first ridiculed Donald Trump in the 2016 election campaign, then became Trump’s close ally?)

Where last week McCarthy had intoned that Santos “has a long way to go to earn trust,” he later made it clear he would not ask Santos to resign and justified this seeming inconsistency by declaring that the voters who put Santos in the House would somehow feel cheated if he were ejected.

Never mind that there have been numerous news accounts about Republican voters who feel cheated by Santos’ lies, including the head of the Republican Party in the district Santos now serves.

But McCarthy, who recently squeaked into the speaker’s chair following 14 “no” votes by his own party, knows an ally when he sees one — Santos cast his House vote in McCarthy’s favor in every one of those vote tallies.

And since McCarthy at least can count, he knows his razor-thin margin of support would suffer from the loss of even one staunch ally, even one who clearly lied his way into the job.

To me, this is one more confirmation that far too many members of the Republican Party, by and large, are so used to lying and cheating to get their way, they see no problem when one of their number is caught in a web of lies following an election.

Now, imagine how these same GOP politicians would react to, say, a Democrat being caught in the same kind of chicanery.

They’d be howling for blood, that’s how they would react.

But it’s one of their own who has been caught, and GOP stalwarts seem to have no problem with what Santos did.

And far too many Republican voters appear willing to do the same.

Even though the leadership of the GOP in Santos own district has called on him to resign, the majority of the party’s members have not followed suit.

And that, right there, is what bothers me most about the party — it will do anything, countenance any bad behavior, and lie about the opposition in blatant and easily revealed ways, in order to scrabble to the top of America’s political heap and stay there.

And it seems to be getting worse every year.

jbcolson51@gmail.com