The Talented Mr. Santos: Imposter Indicted

The worst thing that ever happened to George Devolder Santos was winning his Congressional race last year. It led to intense scrutiny from the New York Times, which led to revelation after revelation after revelation. It was revelatory.

We tend to think of con men as clever and quick witted. The Talented Mr. Santos is neither. He’s not only an inartistic con artist, he’s a dumbass:

“The scheme Mr. Santos is charged with is so flagrant, so spectacularly dumb in both conception and execution, that Justice clearly decided it had a no-brainer of a case. If Mr. Santos had structured an improper political money stream the way the grown-ups do every day, he might have gotten away with it.


Instead of exploiting existing political loopholes, he just took the cash with all the finesse of a Long Island pump-and-dump operation, leaving a pathetically obvious paper trail for federal investigators to follow.

“Usually, the only people who get indicted for campaign finance crimes are those who don’t have good lawyers,” said Rick Hasen, an election law expert who runs the Safeguarding Democracy Project at the U.C.L.A. School of Law. “You can do almost anything you want to do. But what Santos did is as dumb as it gets. If the government can prove this, it’s a cut and dried case.”

I’m not superstitious but there’s rough justice in Santos being indicted on 13 counts. The superstitious believe that 13 is an unlucky number. It certainly is for The Talented Mr. Santos.

These lyrics sum up Santos-Devolder’s current dilemma quite well: “When you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer, superstition ain’t the way.”

The number 13 also reminds me of this venerable song by a long-forgotten band:

The 13 charges range from that old favorite wire fraud to money laundering to making false statements to Congress. The most appalling charge involves Santos defrauding the unemployment system for nearly $25K. As always with Santos irony abounds: he’s the co-sponsor of a bill that takes aim at COVID era unemployment fraud.

The curious case of The Talented Mr. Santos shows the extent to which the Indicted Impeached Insult Comedian has infected the body politic. Trump moved his con man act from the private to the public sector, which has inspired creeps like George Santos to say, “Why not me?”

After pleading not guilty, Santos continued to channel the Kaiser of Chaos:

“Following the arraignment, Santos said he doesn’t plan to resign and intends to continue running for reelection. “I’m going to fight the witch hunt,” he said. “I’m going to take care of clearing my name.”

Which name: Anthony Devolder? Kitara Revache? George Devolder Santos? George Santos? I may have missed a few but you catch my drift.

These bozos need some fresh material. The witch hunt thing is getting old. It’s just another recycled Trump trope. You would think a con man would be more creative, but NO: everything comes out of the Trump playbook. It’s as ineffective as it is boring.

Speaking of boring, the response of the House GOP leadership remains the same. Steve Scalise invoked the presumption of innocence, which only seems to apply to members of his caucus whose votes he needs. I haven’t noticed Scalise and KMac presuming that the hapless Hunter Biden is innocent.

As with all novelty acts, The Talented Mr. Santos’ time  in the spotlight is winding down. He’s not a one-hit wonder: the number 13 will always be associated with his name. I expect there will be a plea bargain followed by, at long last, his resignation from Congress. After this 13-count indictment, Santos’ 15 minutes of fame are nearly over.

In the end, the curious case of The Talented Mr. Santos will be a footnote to the MAGA Republican crime wave that has yet to crest.

The last word goes to Elvis Costello:

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