The Washington Post dived deep into its archives to find precedent for George Santos, a politician who lied.
It happened 70 years ago. In “The congressman who ‘embellished’ his résumé long before George Santos,” the Post describes the case of Douglas R. Stringfellow, a very real World War II veteran with very real wounds who nevertheless lied about war injuries, secret missions, Nazi torture, medals, and his educational background before election to the U.S. House of Representatives from Utah.
Santos, like Stringfellow, told tall tales about himself. It turns out that the Long Island U.S. representative-elect never worked for Goldman Sachs, graduated from Baruch College, or grew up Jewish (he now says he merely called himself “Jew-ish” — that little, bitty change). He allegedly lied about much else.
It bespeaks the probity of the ruling class that the last time a congressman lied in this way, rock ’n’ roll, Hulk Hogan, the McDonald’s golden arches, and Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine did not exist. Or, alternatively, the story demonstrates that even in shining light on a lie establishment journalists cannot resist their own impulse toward deception.
In deciding to ride the DeLorean even further back than Marty McFly did to find a politician fabulist, the company town’s booster sheet protected a lot of liars in the protected class — something something comfort the comfortable.
A lengthy American Spectator investigation can reveal the truth of the few lies George Santos did not tell (yet?).
George Santos never recounted holding “the great honor of being arrested with our U.N. ambassador on the streets of Soweto trying to get to see” Nelson Mandela.
George Santos never divulged, “I used to drive a tractor trailer, so I know a little bit about driving big trucks.”
George Santos never said that he “had a house burn down with [his] wife in it.”
George Santos never maintained that his son “lost his life in Iraq” when he died of brain cancer six years after his service there in Maryland.
George Santos never angrily told a voter questioning his credentials, “I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do,” before rattling off such false accolades as winning “the outstanding student in the political science department” at the University of Delaware, where he “graduated with three degrees,” before going “to law school on a full academic scholarship” and finishing “in the top half.”
George Santos never claimed that he played football for the University of Delaware.
George Santos never slandered a truck driver by saying he “drank his lunch” to fictionalize a very real family tragedy.
George Santos never boasted of confronting, chain in hand, the notorious gang leader Corn Pop after a legendary incident concerning improper diving-board use at the community pool.
George Santos never described himself as having been “raised in the Puerto Rican community at home.”
George Santos never, to cover up courting another man’s wife, concocted a cornball story of a chance sighting of a woman in an airport advertisement leading to a date to see A Man and a Woman, a movie about a widower given a second chance at love, which in turn led to marriage.
George Santos never expropriated the life story of British politician Neil Kinnock by pointing to “my ancestors who worked in the coal mines in northeastern Pennsylvania and would come up after 12 hours and play football for four hours.”
If only George Santos said any of this, then maybe Democrats would quit calling for the congressman-elect’s resignation and instead nominate him for the presidency.