A newly elected congressman, the execrable George Santos, completely fabricated his resume. So much so that we cannot even be sure that George is his real name.
Not surprisingly, Democrats have jumped on the revelation and are calling for his resignation. Should he fail to comply, Democrats believe Republicans should vote to expel him.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), the incoming vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, tweeted: “GOP Congressman-elect George Santos, who has now admitted his whopping lies, should resign. If he does not, then @GOPLeader should call for a vote to expel @Santos4Congress.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) whose accomplishments include sleeping with a Chinese spy and compromising America’s national security, is demanding that Santos be banned from taking the oath of office: “[Santos] confessed to defrauding the voters of Long Island and his ENTIRE resume.”
According to Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), if Santos is seated on Tuesday, it will set a dangerous precedent and prompt others to campaign for office while promoting false details about their own background. Try not to laugh too hard.
The hypocrisy of this self-anointed morality police is risible.
Unless Santos is convicted of a crime, this is an issue between him and the voters. Otherwise, who will be the arbiters of what is beyond the pale and what is acceptable deception? Certainly, it cannot be House Democrats.
When did embellishing a resume beyond recognition by itself constitute a high crime and misdemeanor worthy of the death penalty? In an earlier run for president, Joe Biden plagiarized speeches of former British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock and appropriated Kinnock’s life experiences as his own. It is hard to imagine a more dishonest representation of one’s resume than claiming to have lived someone else’s life.
More recently, President Biden claims to have played a “secret role” in the 1967 war between Israel and its Arab neighbors: “And during the Six-Day War, I had an opportunity to—she invited me to come over because I was going to be the liaison between she [sic] and the Egyptians about the Suez.”
Putting aside that Levi Eshkol was Israel’s prime minister at the time, Biden has never explained why Israel would ask him, a third-year law student at Syracuse University, to act as a liaison to its greatest enemy during a war in which Israel was fighting for its existence.
Later, Biden told another five-Pinocchio lie in an effort to win the African American vote leading up to the South Carolina Primary in 2020, when he claimed he was arrested by the South African police in the 1970s when he visited Nelson Mandela. That never happened. These whoppers are just the tip of the Biden iceberg.
There is no mystery as to why Lieu, Swalwell and Castro are willing to overlook the Biden lies but not those told by Santos: One set of lies was told by a Democrat and the other was told by a Republican.
The double standard does not stop with the president. Sitting Democratic senators have also been granted absolution for similar sins.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) fabricated her Native American heritage out of whole cloth. As it turns out, DNA tests demonstrated she is approximately 1/1,024 Native American. That did not stop her from lying when she applied for jobs as she built her dishonest resume or when she ran for Senate. How is misrepresenting one’s race or ethnicity to voters any less reprehensible than what George Santos did?
Remember, her assertion that she was Native American was central to her campaigns not just when she ran for Senate but, in her race for president as well. That was how she defined herself and represented herself to the American people. The only explanation for why her efforts to defraud the voters do not qualify for excommunication is because she is a Democrat.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is another profile in dishonesty. Blumenthal ran for Senate claiming he was a war hero having served in Vietnam. Of course, that was a lie. Rather than being deployed abroad, he received five military deferments allowing him to complete his studies at Harvard, obtain a graduate degree in England, work for The Washington Post and eventually take a job at the White House.
When his deferments ran out, he manipulated the process to become a member of the Marine Corps Reserve, guaranteeing he would never see combat. In fairness to Blumenthal, it should be noted that in the Marine Reserves he did organize a Toy for Tots drive. While this may make him a “community organizer,” it certainly does not make him a war hero.
One of the lies Santos has been forced to admit is that he is Jewish. After initially claiming his mother was Jewish and that his maternal grandparents escaped the Holocaust, Santos corrected the record by saying he is actually Catholic. He now says his grandmother told stories about being Jewish before converting to Catholicism.
As an American Jew, I find trying to leverage a false narrative about the Holocaust to advance one’s political career particularly offensive. However, is lying about being Jewish worse than being antisemitic? Why does Santos have to resign or be expelled while Jew-haters like AOC, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar (just to name a few) are given a pass? Unfortunately, there always seems to be a place for antisemitism in the Democrats’ big tent.
What George Santos did is disgusting. He deserves to be humiliated and held in contempt. Notwithstanding, he should be seated on January 3. Once seated, he should feel right at home in a rogue’s gallery of dishonest and disreputable colleagues. The voters will let him know when it is time to go.
Eric R. Levine is a founding member of the New York City law firm Eiseman Levine Lehrhaupt & Kakoyiannis, P.C. He is an essayist, political commentator and fundraiser for Republican candidates with an emphasis on the United States Senate.