Kevin McCarthy's silence to George Santos perfectly sums up today's GOP
The GOP is about power at any cost
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Kevin McCarthy silence on George Santos perfectly sums up today’s GOP
GOP Rep-elect George Santos has been making headlines since December 19—that’s the day the NY Times published its jaw-dropping story documenting Santos’s litany of lies about his work experience to his education and just about everything in between. (Santos later described his admitted lies as “resume embellishment.”) Since then, we’ve learned Santos despicably used The Holocaust as part of his web of lies--claiming his Jewish grandparents had fled the horrors of this tragedy—only to learn none of that was true. Adding to the firestorm are recent reports that criminal investigations have been launched by federal and state authorities over how Santos—when he first ran for Congress in 2020—reported he had no assets but in less than two years had accumulated millions of dollars and was able to lend his campaign $700,000.
But through the twists and turns of the story about Santos, one thing has remained constant: GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy has not condemned Santos. Not for Santos’s admitted lies, his use of The Holocaust as a prop, his questionable campaign funding or even new reporting flagging his spending of campaign funds on lavish travel to places like Miami.
This silence by McCarthy is many things but it’s not surprising. In fact, it perfectly sums up McCarthy and many in today’s GOP who seek power at any cost—with no regard for principle or the greater good of our nation.
Even fellow GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz—who has been vocally opposing McCarthy’s bid for Speaker of the House--recently slammed McCarthy for not having any core values, stating, “Every single Republican in Congress knows that Kevin does not actually believe anything.” Gaetz added, “He has no ideology.” (And yes, I’m actually citing Gaetz—not because I agree with him, but because he agrees with us!)
In fact, it’s likely because McCarthy is so desperate to secure the 218 votes he needs to be elected House Speaker when the new Congress is sworn in on January 3, that McCarthy has refused to condemn Santos. (Before this scandal broke, Santos had pledged his support for his McCarthy’s speakership bid—but has since apparently deleted that tweet.) Given the GOP majority in the House is a razor thin four votes, McCarthy absolutely needs Santos’s support if he has any chance of becoming Speaker.
Adding to the evidence that McCarthy has made a self-serving political calculation to remain silent about Santos is that McCarthy has been outspoken on many other political issues since the December 19th NY Times’ article first detailed Santos’s tale of deceit. For example, on December 21, McCarthy took to Twitter to slam the Jan 6 committee, writing in part: “Pelosi's Select Committee has been focused on political theater and posturing.” On that same day, McCarthy was on Fox News where he pledged that when the GOP takes control of Congress they will “eliminate waste and wokeism.” McCarthy has also shared on his Twitter feed since the Santos story broke criticism of everything from the Biden administration’s border policy to his December 19 appearance on Fox Business slamming the FBI for allegedly working to suppress news stories that hurt Democrats.
Yet not a peep about the Santos story--which even caused an uproar over on Fox News on December 27 when guest host, former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, interviewed Santos where she confronted him about his lies asking: “Do you have no shame?”
But it’s not just McCarthy. The GOP leadership has largely been silent about the Santos firestorm. One of the few senior Republicans to chime in has been Kentucky Rep. James Comer, the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, who on Fox News Thursday stated Santos is “a disgrace, he’s lied to the voters.” But Comer still didn’t call for Santos to reign, instead only stating that he’s “pretty confident” the House Ethics Committee will investigate Santos. Worse, MAGA superstar Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has been publicly defending Santos. (When Greene is your biggest defender you really need to question what you are doing!)
As we all know, this is far from the first time McCarthy has shown his willingness to abandon principle in the pursuit of power. The most glaring example came after Jan 6 attack when a little over a week later, McCarthy took to the House floor proclaiming about Trump: “The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.” McCarthy added, “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
It wasn’t long though before McCarthy travelled to Mar-a-Lago to make up with Trump and by April of 2021, McCarthy was rewriting history to defend Trump’s actions surrounding Jan 6 to make him not appear at fault. Why? Apparently because McCarthy understood that without Trump’s support he could never become Speaker. And that transaction appears to have paid dividends in that just a few weeks ago Trump came out publicly to support McCarthy’s bid for Speaker, urging his supporters in the GOP House caucus to vote for McCarthy.
Imagine for a moment if an incoming Democratic member of Congress had been in engulfed in a scandal like this? No one can doubt McCarthy would be screaming hysterically about how this Democratic member elect should not be in Congress and how Democratic leadership needs to denounce him.
Barring something unexpected, Santos will be sworn in as a member of Congress on January 3 without even a word of criticism by McCarthy. This is today’s GOP on display. It’s a party that stands for nothing except acquiring power at any cost—even if that cost is gravely bad for our Republic.
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