The Man Who Never Was?
I’m genuinely puzzled by today’s well-researched New York Times story on newly-elected House representative George Santos, who represents part of Long Island and Queens.
The story is likely to get buried by the recommendation of the January 6 panel for criminal referrals for Trump, and yet it might not be wholly unrelated to the big story about Trump. If life were a mystery-thriller, the Santos story would turn out to be key somehow to everything that’s happened in the last six years.
I don’t think it’s going to be that dramatic in the end, but so far it seems to me that everyone is underplaying just how weird the Santos story is by the time you get to the end of it. Other press outlets reporting on the story just say that Santos may have “misrepresented” his resume, but when you read through the Times, here’s what you get:
Santos didn’t go to Baruch College. In fact, in the years he claims to have been there, he was charged with a crime in Brazil, in the city where his mother lived.
He didn’t work for Citi or Goldman-Sachs, as he claimed.
He didn’t run a charity that was registered as such with the IRS. There’s some evidence it existed in some form from one fund-raiser but no evidence that it actually ever carried out a philanthropic mission or made donations.
He has a business but he doesn’t seem to own any property, let alone the amount of property he claims to own. His considerable net worth is completely mysterious in terms of where it might have come from, considering that he has no employment history of note and no college education.
He’s been evicted twice from two different properties for non-payment of rent.
His campaign spent money in strikingly profligate ways.
All I know is that on reading the article, I wondered how on earth this guy ended up running twice for the House in that district, because nothing else about him seems real. Thoughts?
Yeah, he barely exists by ordinary measures, and that is his selling point. The Brazil connection is sobering, considering the ties between their former strongman and ours. And, of course, the unregenerate Fascists who have their own, insular communities in Brazil (and Argentina, to name two). The NY Times didn’t go into his immigration record, which seems as nonexistent as his employment and scholastic records. How did he slip through press scrutiny in two major elections?
Somewhere, there is a bag of money in this story if there’s anything to the part about him substantially contributing to his own claim. Second, I suspect he is the tip of the iceberg in terms of political figures with very sketchy backgrounds. Certainly, there are advantages to having no background to scrutinize or, alternatively, a made up one. Third, one should suspect that there is someone, or some group, behind his manufacture. There are surely additional questions but I leave those, that I can think of, to Hollywood script writers.