The Lies of George Santos: Quantity Over Quality
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In the movie classic, “All About Eve,” George Sanders as the snob theater critic rakes scheming young actress Anne Baxter over the lies she told about her hard-knocks background.
The one where she claims being at a Shubert Theater in San Francisco was a lie too far. That theater never existed, Sanders roars: “That was a stupid lie. Easy to expose. It was unworthy of you.”
George Santos, who flipped a Democratic seat on Long Island, is an even-less talented liar. He got away with it thanks to trusting voters, the sleeping media and a comatose Democratic opposition. He was further helped by Republican insiders who knew it all and considered his resume “a running joke,” but, according to The New York Post, kept quiet about it.
Thus, Santos’ success was not so much a reflection of his mastery of deceit as of a credulous electorate made even easier marks by lazy political professionals. His response when found out was a whined “I’m sorry.”
Santos did not choose his lies wisely. Did he have to lie about working at both Goldman Sachs and Citigroup? Did he have to lie about attending both NYU and Baruch College? “Poor choice of words,” was his explanation.
His lies seem to come in twos whereas getting caught in one lie might have been dismissed as a rough patch. After all, he was vying to enter a caucus in which 139 House Republicans voted — on the record! — to support the very big lie that the 2020 election was stolen.
On Fox News, former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard carpet-bombed him about his blatant fabrications. “Look, I agree with what you say,” he responded, then added, “We can debate my resume.”
We will not go over all the particulars in that long-form fiction now, but note some high points. For starters, Santos claimed that his family owned 13 different properties. No record of that real estate empire was found.
It was learned, however, that Santos was a deadbeat tenant in Sunnyside, Queens, rental, and ordered by a judge to pay more than $12,000 to a former landlord. Santos was asked whether he had ever paid the arrears. He had not.
So much for his $10-million mansion in the Hamptons.
Where did Santos obtain the $700,000 he loaned to his congressional campaign? That would be interesting to know.
Related or not, he recently worked for a company called Harbor City Capital. The Securities and Exchange Commission accused the Florida-based operation “a $17 million Ponzi scheme,” according to Forbes.
A native of Brazil, Santos claimed to have been part Jewish through his maternal side. He could have gotten away with that vague claim, which he used to great effect — starting campaign letters in his heavily Jewish district with “As a proud American Jew … “ And he was clever enough to refer to himself as a Catholic who identified as “Jew-ish,” rather than explain the obvious facts of his religious background.
And so it was unworthy of him to risk exposure by weaving a story that his mother’s parents had escaped the Holocaust in Europe. They were apparently born in Brazil.
That was a stupid lie. Many of his Jewish constituents would have wanted to learn the details of his grandparents’ story, and the truth would have come out. The Republican Jewish Coalition is not amused.
Santos, who says he is gay, also claimed to have lost four employees at the gay Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Turns out he didn’t.
Santos insists “I’m not some mythical creature that was invented.” And to further reassure constituents, he adds, “I’m still the same guy.” That’s something he should hope they don’t believe.
Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.
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