top of page
Search

Santos Is A Shoddy, Off The Rack Version Of Trump Who Couldn't Quite Pull It Off

There'll Be A Movie About Trump-- But About Santos?



Unless he’s even stupider than he comes across, the dance George Santos, or whatever his name really is, is doing now is just a prelude to formal negotiations. Everything is about minimizing how much time he’ll have to spend in prison. He may not realize yet that “no time” is simply not going to fly. His indictment isn’t about fibbing about being Jewish or not being a drag queen or being captain of an imaginary badminton team or whatever he said he was doing when he was pretending to be in college. No, he’s facing some very serious financial charges that come with real accountability. Bargaining away his House seat— if he does it soon— will whack a couple years off the sentence but he’s going to do real time— and if he holds out so long on the resignation too long, it won’t be worth much in terms of sentence reduction. The feds know he’s not going to be reelected or even be the Republican Party nominee. He isn’t falling anyone— except maybe Matt Gaetz.



Yesterday, Nick Fandos reported that “For the entirety of his public life, Santos has been a man shrouded in myths. He cast himself as a self-made American success story, spinning audacious lies about university degrees, fast cars and vast wealth. And when that persona unraveled, fellow politicians and the media fixated on the idea that he was a criminal mastermind evading detection. The searing 13-count indictment unveiled by federal prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York on Wednesday cut through all of that. It cemented a story closer to The Great Gatsby, The Talented Mr. Ripley or other mainstays of a popular subgenre of frauds that snakes like a corrupt seam through American life. In prosecutors’ telling, George Santos, defendant, is just another grifter with a taste for fame and designer goods, willing to lie and defraud wealthy people to get what he wants. That the stage happens to be politics seems incidental: As a two-time congressional candidate, he took advantage of donors, state officials and even the House of Representatives… Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato, a Long Island Republican whose name graces the courthouse where Santos was arraigned, was more blunt. ‘He’s a two-bit thief,” he said, ‘He is dead in the water. They got him good.’… Republican leaders in New York and Nassau County, who supported him just two years ago, plan to back a primary challenger next year. They have a history of lining up money and volunteers to see their candidates through.”


There were hints in the 20-page indictment that prosecutors may still be digging through the tangled web of Mr. Santos’s financial life. It included work for the Florida investment firm accused of operating a Ponzi scheme; campaign finance reports riddled with irregularities; and attempts to broker the sale of luxury goods between wealthy businessmen he met through his political campaign.
The indictment also provided new details about three distinct schemes that prosecutors said Mr. Santos undertook in recent years.
They charged him with two counts of making false statements on personal financial disclosure reports that he had submitted to the House, by misstating the source of his income and then by overstating it.
The unemployment benefits scheme resulted in two counts of wire fraud and one count of stealing public funds.

This situation and the CNN shitshow Tuesday inspired an ominously-titled essay from Tom Nichols, We’re Living In A Post-Shame America. Trump’s CNN cheerleading section in New Hampshire certainly have no shame whatsoever— absolute monsters. Thank God none of them and no one like them are my neighbors! “A verdict against a sexual abuser and the indictment of a con-man fabulist,” he wrote, “are causes for optimism. But the fundamental indecency of the new American right marches on.”


Nichols’ problem is not that “People who have polluted the waters of American politics have had a bad few weeks.” We can all celebrate that “Another gang of seditionists was found guilty of plotting against the United States. Donald Trump was found liable for the sexual abuse and defamation of E. Jean Carroll. And one of the weirdest phonies ever to bumble his way into a congressional seat, George Santos, has been booked by the Justice Department for a long list of alleged offenses. (He has pleaded not guilty to all of them.)” But Nichols’ isn’t popping open the champagne bottle. He’s here to rain on our parade, “because the struggle to restore basic decency in politics is still mostly a rearguard action.”


He ventured that “One might hope that Trump’s loss in New York would lead him to slink away in shame, but we now live in post-shame America.” Instead, CNN treated as if he was “a normal person running for office instead of a sexual abuser who incited sedition and violence against the government he is once again seeking to control.” CNN gave him an hour long infomercial.


Trump, of course, has the self-awareness of a traffic cone, and he is seemingly incapable of remorse. But CNN’s decision to move ahead with the event, as if nothing has happened, is disappointing. A more defensible position would have been to scrap the town-hall format and tell Trump that he is still invited to sit, one-on-one, with a CNN reporter. To present him to voters as just another candidate, however, is the very definition of normalizing his behavior.
I understand why CNN, as a journalistic outlet, would give a town hall to every candidate. Trump is the leading contender for the GOP presidential nomination, and he is by definition newsworthy. … Trump and Santos are clowns, and sadly, we’ve gotten used to them. But their antics have also taken our attention away from the indecent behavior of other public figures. One might think, for example, that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy would be breathing a sigh of relief that Santos is reaching the end of his cringe-inducing political fan dance. One would be wrong. McCarthy, instead, is mumbling his way through fuzzy and shapeless expressions of concern.
Finally, let us temper any celebration of justice with the realization that Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama is holding up nearly 200 promotions of senior U.S. military officers because … well, for a lot of reasons, apparently. Tuberville’s hold began weeks ago, when he objected to the Defense Department’s policy of paying for the travel of service members seeking an abortion. (Tuberville apparently thinks that if you’re a member of the military, and you drew the short straw of a deployment to a state whose laws on reproductive health care have been sent back to 1972, the U.S. government should not enable your interstate travel.)
Tuberville now has a new beef with the Pentagon: The senator from Alabama is upset that the U.S. military would like to prevent white supremacists from joining its ranks. In an interview with a Birmingham public-radio station, Tuberville was asked if he believes that white nationalists should be allowed to serve in the military. Referring to the Biden administration, Tuberville answered, “They call them that. I call them Americans.”
He went on to explain, for some reason, how the January 6 insurrectionists were mostly good people:
There were probably a hundred of them that came in, broke windows and broke doors that should have been locked up. That’s not how we do it in America. But there were hundreds of thousands that didn’t come in, outside, that were true Americans that believe in this country. But right after that, we, our military and Secretary Austin, put out an order to stand down and all military across the country, saying we’re going to run out the white nationalists, people that don’t believe how we believe. And that’s not how we do it in this country.
As it happens, I was a Defense Department employee when Austin issued that order, and I participated in that stand-down. It was a pretty anodyne event, and I was actually disappointed at the time that it wasn’t more forceful and more focused on the growing problem of extremism in the ranks. But even this watery response was too much for Tuberville’s fragile sensibilities.
(Tuberville, however, did have a reaction to the Carroll trial in New York. He said the verdict “makes me want to vote for [Trump] twice.”)
The cause of justice has advanced over the past few weeks. But the cause of decency is still under bombardment from people who have lost any sense of shame, while more reasonable people remain apparently unable to exercise the kind of moral judgment and leadership that should exile extremists, frauds, and abusers from the public square— and especially from offices of public trust.

And since there was a mention or two of Santos already... Blake Zeff did a series of interviews with Santos, which he’s been releasing on Twitter. This caught my attention:

On his mysterious income, Santos said: “I will go to the grave before anybody on this planet asks me to reveal information prior to the relevancy of my service in office. I don’t have to. I’m protected as an American citizen. Not because I’m hiding anything, just because out of spite I won’t do it. Because it’s my constitutional fucking right and I’m going to hold onto it. People get to write whatever they want and call it freedom of the fucking press. I get to have my constitutional rights too!”


We may soon see how that plays out in court.


Yeah, we may… but I have a feeling that that “out of spite” thing won’t hold up in court, not in any court.


128 views

3 Comments


One can argue that, just as Trump is today's GOP brought to its ultimate extreme, Santos is, too. In our third branch, one might also say the same thing about a SCOTUS member whose travels have brought some attention lately.


Predicting whether "Santos" will resign, plead out, and/or actually serve time is above my pay grade. I merely think that he's not that far off the end of the GOP bell curve as some like to pretend.

Like
Guest
May 12, 2023
Replying to

santos is trump without the stinking rich daddy to backstop his early fuckups.


do you find it at all interesting that you did not include "be voted out or recalled" and "be removed from congress" in your predictions?

You intuit that he only goes away if he wants to go away. quite inciteful. After all, who is there who would force him out? pussies? never!!


Am I the only one who wonders why this is and how the shithole got this bad?


I am, evidently, the only one who has any kind of viable ideas as to HOW to fix it. y'all certainly ain't contributing.


also, today's GOP is nowhere near it's ultimate, which is a full blown nazi reich.…


Like

Guest
May 12, 2023

1) santos (or whatever his name is) knows he only has to drag it out another 18 months. he'll be pardoned. or the reich will disband the doj. or the democraps will pussy out. he's got nothing to worry about after he negotiated away the financial fraud charges from Brazil. He just has to be patient.


2) america has been "post shame" since nixon. when you are allowed to commit treason in order to have a campaign issue to run on... and win because of it (see also: reagan and, now, trump), that whole "shame" thing is long gone.


3) america is now shithole america.


4) potential for improvement? less than zero. half of all who vote are now devo…


Like
bottom of page