The George Santos story struck me as stranger than fiction from the start. I’ve revised that view: It’s as strange as the fiction created by Patricia Highsmith in The Talented Mr. Ripley as well as the 1999 movie adaptation with Matt Damon in the title role. George Santos is no Matt Damon.
The movie poster poses an apt question: How far would you go to become someone else? In George Santos’ case, very far indeed.
Let’s compare and contrast.
The Talented Mr. Ripley was an international man of mystery who in the movie killed Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character when he learned Ripley was a fraud.
The Talented Mr. Santos specializes in the political deaths of other Republicans. Nassau County GOPers want him gone because they fear a bloodbath at the next election.
The Talented Mr. Ripley fabricated his entire life story but tried to keep his story relatively plausible in order to avoid detection.
The Talented Mr. Santos fabricated his entire life story but doesn’t care about plausibility. He’s even claimed to be a volleyball star at the university he never attended. That rumor has been spiked.
The Talented Mr. Santos may be less lethal than The Talented Mr. Ripley but he takes shamelessness to new heights.
The Talented Mr. Santos is such a liar that he inspires others to lie. We all know why KMac is standing by his mendacious man: they have a four-vote majority and Santos would likely be replaced by a Democrat.
Instead of experimenting with truthfulness, KMac makes others look bad by saying stupid shit such as this:
“A lot of people here in the Senate and others” also fabricated part of their resumes, McCarthy told reporters on the Hill, after one of them pointed out that the freshman lawmaker has outright admitted to “embellishing” his resume.
“Is there a charge against him? You know, in America today, you’re innocent until proven guilty,” McCarthy added.
“I try to stick to the Constitution,” he told reporters. “The voters elected him to serve. If there is a concern it has to go through the Ethics [committee.]”
When in doubt, Republicans invoke the Constitution. In this instance, it’s a dodge but The Talented Mr. Santos is a dodgy character. One could even call him an Inartful Dodger.
The George Santos mishigas reminds me of a controversy involving a much more distinguished Congressman from New York, Adam Clayton Powell. Powell was a loud and proud Black man who fought for Civil Rights in his public life. He associated with some guys who are still famous:
Powell lived a rather loose and louche private life. There was a move to expel him from Congress for a variety of reasons including his personal conduct. Powell sued. SCOTUS spiked the attempt. Here’s a summation of the ruling from Justia.com:
An individual who meets the constitutional requirements for being a member of the House of Representatives may not be denied a seat there upon being properly elected.
Santos is definitely “an individual” in the sense that police spokespeople use the term if you catch my drift. Individual = Criminal.
Santos is trying to troll his way out of trouble by hanging out with members of the GOP’s freak show wing:
The Talented Mr. Santos even went on Steve Bannon’s podcast with Matt Gaetz. I am not making this up.
It will be interesting to see how long KMac will put up with being stalked by reporters with questions about Santos. It’s the media equivalent of tornadic activity: both the Beltway and New York press are on the job.
As to The Talented Mr. Santos, he’s hunkering down and trying to weather the shit storm. He’s proof positive why it’s better to tell the truth than to lie. You only have one story to remember.
We began with the tagline for film version of The Talented Mr. Ripley. It’s as good a place to end as any: How far would you go to become someone else?
The last word goes to Sinead O’Connor with a song from the soundtrack of The Talented Mr. Ripley: