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Congress' First Item Of Business: Expelling George Santos From Their Ranks

When Will They Get Around To Matt Gaetz?

"The Badge of Honor"

Congress is back to work. Tomorrow they may finally expel Long Island crook and compulsive liar George Santos. Third try is the charm? Or will he resign first? He says he won't but... he tends to lie-- about everything and all the time. My bet is that he avoids expulsion by resigning. John Bresnahan, Andrew Desiderio and Jake Sherman reported that the expulsion is “the one thing most members seem to agree on” despite the GOP having just a very shaky 4-seat majority. “Giving away one of those seats— which Democrats are likely to recapture in a special election— is a concern for many Republicans.” The Democrats are putting up former Congressman Tom Suozzi, who is very admired in the district, while the GOP… doesn’t have a viable candidate and may wind up running an Ethiopian Israeli ex-soldier who seems to care a lot more about Israel than Nassau County. (It’ll be a special election— and NY Governor Kathy Hochul, while no friend of Suozzi, will do what she’s told and call the election as fast as the statutes allow.)

Writing for The Guardian, Adam Gabbatt, probably pleased a lot of Brits, who now know that their own Parliament isn’t the only legislative body with clowns, noting that Santos’ accomplishment was “to win election by weaving a staggering, barely believable web of lies, deception and deceit that is surely unmatched in the modern age.” [Mr. Gabbatt needs to check out Tennessee fabulist Andy Ogles.] “While he was running for Congress,” wrote Gabbatt, “Santos lied about almost everything that had ever happened to him. Sometimes it was to embellish his résumé and make himself appear more electable, but frequently, and fascinatingly, he lied for no reason at all, about things of zero consequence to his political career… Some of Santos’s lies were so banal it is unclear what the benefit was in telling them. Santos claimed he had been a ‘star’ on Baruch’s volleyball team. (He hadn’t, obviously, but what was the point of making it up? Is the college sports vote that crucial in Nassau county?) Santos also told a roommate that he had worked as a model, and said he produced a Spider-Man musical on Broadway. Neither of those things happened.”

One sure "no" vote on expulsion

Gabbatt wrote that “Given what we now know about Santos, it’s barely believable that he got this far. Political campaigns normally conduct extensive opposition research on candidates, but Jay Jacobs, chair of the Nassau County Democrats, said that Santos ‘wasn’t considered a serious candidate by Republicans or Democrats,” and so slipped through the cracks.” That’s an interesting spin. Jacobs, as corrupt as Santos and as big an asshope, was the chair of the Nassau County Dems and is now the chair of the state Democrats, a living example of why idealistic, young people are loathe to consider themselves Democrats. Santos’ opponent, Robert Zimmerman, was so utterly incompetent and unqualified for the job— a real Jacobs character whose only “qualification” was that he was a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton— and as far as the race “slipping through the cracks, between Pelosi’s SuperPAC and the DCCC just about $3 million was spent on the race, albeit not on a competent opposition research firm.

Jacobs chalked it up to the DCCC looking at Santos “as kind of a joke, so nobody took it seriously... With George Santos being— and I’m sorry, but this is how I’d refer to him— a bit of a clown, they just didn’t give it that kind of attention.” The DCCC spent $3 million so if someone didn’t do their job and take it seriously it was certainly, at the very least, Jacobs, who was widely blamed for the disastrous results in New York State since he started running the Democratic Party there.

For almost a year Republicans, who have a slim majority in the House, have been willing to hold their nose regarding Santos. The damning ethics committee report, however, may prove the final nail in the coffin.
After the report was published Santos said he would not run for re-election, but he is expected to face a third expulsion vote, likely to come next week. Two-thirds of the House would need to vote to remove Santos, and reports suggest that there are enough members ready to oust him, bringing an end to one of the great political con jobs of our age.

Exciting in the context of an expulsion vote tomorrow or Thursday but old news. Also old news, but newly revitalized: a move to expel Matt Gaetz, who represents a district that is red enough for the GOP don’t have to worry about losing it (R+19). McCarthy has been muttering about Gaetz— now a mortal enemy— getting the Santos treatment and yesterday Tom Boggioni fleshed out McCarthy’s fondest hopes. He wrote that Gaetz’s role as the ringleader behind McCarthy’s ouster as speaker “has created enduring resentment among more than a few of the Florida Republican's House colleagues who have grown weary of his grandstanding ways… Gaetz’s unpopularity among Republicans he serves with in the House has grown with one Republican telling the Daily Beast, ‘There aren’t a lot of people who, you know, are gonna go out of their way to defend Matt Gaetz. I mean, he’s a pretty diabolical character.’ Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), who admitted Gaetz has almost been involved in two physical fights with colleagues, added, ‘The anger is pretty well with him. I just think there will be long memories because he did serious damage to our House conference.’ One person who appears to be working behind the scenes against Gaetz is McCarthy, “stalking the halls like a ghost determined to avenge his own murder. In interviews, McCarthy has kept alive the idea that Gaetz and his allies deserve punishment, warning gravely that the party won’t heal 'if there’s no consequences for the actions.’”

McCarthy recently mentioned during a Fox News interview that Gaetz is still being scrutinized by the Ethics Committee, telling Maria Bartiromo, “Once that Ethics complaint comes forward, he could have the same problem as Santos and I think the conference would probably be better united to move forward and get this all done.”

…McCarthy may have a point, reporting that “Ethics is looking into a much broader range of potential violations, many of which could be deeply embarrassing and reputation-harming for Gaetz— including an allegation that he showed inappropriate sexual content to colleagues on the House floor.”
The report also notes that, while Gaetz represents a solidly Republican district, voters appear to be getting tired of his act too.
"A new poll from Florida Atlantic University found that, statewide, Gaetz only had a 21 percent approval rating, with 57 percent of voters disapproving of him. Notably, Gaetz was polarizing even in his own party, breaking almost exactly even among GOP voters," Brodey reported.

It’s far more likely that McCarthy will be out of Congress himself— likely working on K Street— long before the Republican conference ever considers expelling Gaetz, who probably has as many fans in Congress as he has detractors-- or almost as many.

1 comentário

01 de dez. de 2023

Did I miss it? Is he gone? Why not?

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