Are the American people too used to lies?

December 29 – Congressman-elect George Santos is under investigation by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office in Long Island for the numerous falsehoods uncovered during his campaign for New York’s 3rd Congressional District. 

Santos lied about his heritage, his education and his employment and yet is still scheduled to be sworn into the United States House of Representatives on Tuesday. 

The real question here:  is there enough outrage from the American people to do something about this? 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “If we get upset about this and we have enough pushback on this, maybe we can do a little bit more.” 

PA Representative Rob Kauffman said, “I don’t know that the outrage is there because we’re used to it by now. I’m not justifying it. I am actually fascinated that this guy could lie about everything in his life and get away with it. The reason that it is growing in the media is only because he’s a Republican. You know President Biden has lied about so many things. If you go back to 1988, even before, he just fabricates everything. He says he was in this place, he wasn’t anywhere near it. That’s why I don’t know that the outrage is there because people are used to these prominent politicians just bold-face lying to them.” 

Interviews with people on the streets of Long Island have said Santos should step down or be dumped by the Republican Party and that he just seems to be a dishonest person. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “This guy needs to go. The US Attorney’s Office in New York is also investigating this case. Every day it’s new lies.” 

Santos also lied about where he attended boarding school. Interestingly, his website has been scrubbed of his biographical information. 

And now more questions have begun to emerge about his finances. 

Barkdoll said, “He ran for Congress two years ago. He said his income was about $55,000 a year. This last cycle he says he had income of upwards of $11.5 million. Something clearly is off with this guy.” 

Some Republicans and Democrats are calling for something to be done. 

Barkdoll said, “They’re calling on Kevin McCarthy and Republican leadership in Washington, don’t swear this guy in next Tuesday. Get out in front of this and just get him out.” 

Published reports by retired National Security Intelligence experts have pointed out Santos could be an espionage threat to the United States government. 

Once he gets sworn in, he’ll have access to all sorts of classified, confidential information.

Barkdoll said, “Based on this background we’re now learning about him, this is not a guy you want at a high level of government. It really could pose a threat to everyone.” 

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “What I find hilarious is there’s an article in The Hill about Democrats call for George Santos to resign over whopping lies. Now we totally agree with that. We just expressed that. Clearly. However, I find it rich when Democrats who want to continually support ‘my own personal lived truth, how I identify matters more than the actuality of who I am.’ They have no right. Shut up. Sit down and shut up. You have no right because this guy could easily turn around to you Democrats and say, ‘well I identify as Jewish.’ Oh, that’s outrageous! Really? More than identifying as the opposite sex? Really? It’s more outrageous than that? I just find it amusing. They are saying the right thing. I do think this guy should step down, but to hear people who insist that truth is relative and that the ends justify the means and there’s plenty of Democrats I think that are in there that are also a threat to security because of some of the things that they’ve allowed to slide, but nobody’s going to bring those up. I just find the hypocrisy here a little bit amusing.” 

Barkdoll added, “What’s interesting to me from the political standpoint is how this guy slipped through the cracks of the system. Why was there no opposition research from the Democratic candidate? Where was the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee that vets these candidates? And where was the press? We can say it’s all of the above. They’re all liable here for not exposing this.” 

Kauffman said, “It wasn’t caught because he identified as a gay Jewish man.” 

Jansen agreed, “He was part of two marginalized groups and when you are part of a marginalized group, you do not get scrutinized very closely, especially identifying as openly gay and this is not a slam against gay people or Jewish people, but it is a weird thing that is developing where you’re not allowed to question somebody if they’re part of a protected group. We’ve got to stop that. Ideology counts, too. If you are a conservative ideology, question away, but if you either are Democrat or you’re one of these protected groups, you get less scrutiny. This is unequal application of the law, unequal application of scrutiny. We need to knock that off.” 

All this came out through an expose from the New York Times – five weeks after the election. 

People in Long Island are saying they want a do-over because they didn’t know all the lies. 

Barkdoll said, “My concern is if this guy is sworn in, so regardless of how this all unfolded, everyone agrees this guy’s a fraud, if he’s sworn in next Tuesday, are we setting just a further precedent? Can you just run and say anything and the truth is out the window, it really doesn’t matter? What if he does get in there and it turns out that he’s some kind of an espionage threat or he’s some kind of nefarious actor? That is causing real damage then, not only to Congress, of course, but to the entire country.” 

The next few days will tell the tale. Congress does have the authority to not seat him, even though he has been elected. 

Ryan said, “Doesn’t this say if you scream loud enough and it’s outrageous enough, then finally the silent majority is actually listened to and you actually can move the needle?”

Jansen noted, “But meanwhile we’re telling our teachers they need to develop critically reflexive practices. That there’s a subjective understanding of reality is what we’re teaching our teachers and what we’re telling them to teach our kids. This is the results you get. It’s got to stop.” 

But here are the politics at play with this situation:  Santos came out a few days ago and publicly said he would support Kevin McCarthy for Speaker of the House. Additionally, Santos flipped the seat from Democrat to Republican, so he would be part of the four-seat Republican majority in the US House. 

If he resigns, that majority is down to three seats and there would have to be a special election this spring. 

Barkdoll suggested, “My feeling is that at the high levels, McCarthy and the leadership in the new House, they’re undoubtedly talking about this saying ‘we don’t care how bad or corrupt this guy is. We just want that extra seat as a safe vote.’ That’s unfortunate. If that’s the dynamic that’s influencing this, that should not be happening.” 

Jansen pointed out, “You know what’s annoying? You’ll hear Republicans say the Democrats would never give up on this seat and that’s why they stay in power and we lose because we actually have ethics and principles. That’s a really sad state of affairs. I wish we’d actually force the Democrats to have more ethics and principles and I don’t want to give up on ethics and principles, but you’re going to hear that from a certain segment of Republicans.”