How Did Santos Ever Get Elected?
Unfortunately for the Blue Team, the GOP leadership isn’t trying to make George Santos into a poster-boy for taking back the House. In fact, right now they are burying him as best they can, to the point that when his name was called during the 5th vote for Speaker and he didn’t make a response, the word started going around that maybe even his name was faked.
But the real question is not whether Santos invented his name the way he’s invented everything else. The real question is how does an asshole like Santos win a Congressional seat in the first place?
I could maybe understand Santos representing the 3rd CD in New York State if this district was so solidly red that the Blue Team wouldn’t even bother to put a name on the board. But the 3rd CD, which covers a chunk of Queens and some close-in Nassau suburbs like Great Neck, Mineola, and Syosset, has been more blue than red over the past twenty years. In fact, the Democrats have pulled a majority of votes for President in seven of the last eight national elections, with Joe beating Orange Sh*thead by 54 to 44 two years ago.
Santos ran for this seat in 2020 and lost to the Democratic incumbent, Tom Suozzi, by 16 points. When Suozzi decided to run for Governor last year, he gave up the seat and his replacement, Robert Zimmerman, had never previously tried for elective office, but had been a delegate to Blue Team national conventions and was hardly an unknown in local political affairs.
Santos ended up beating Zimmerman by 20,000 votes, 54% to 45%, in a district which not only has a majority of its registered voters signed up for the Blue Team, but is considered one of the wealthiest CD’s in the United States, thanks to moneyed towns like Great Neck and Glen Cove. These are also liberal towns, thanks to long-standing Jewish communities and a recent influx of Asian-Americans who also bring serious dough.
Which gets us to where the candidates stood on the issues in their campaign. Here’s the promo from the Santos campaign website: “Inflation is out of control and crime is rampant in the streets. New York City and Long Island used to be the gold standard for quality of life in America – now New Yorkers have watched their communities suffer due to the failed policies pushed by extreme Democrat rule in Washington and Albany.”
As for Zimmerman, here’s what he said on his Facebook page: "In Congress, I'll fight to defend abortion rights, stop gun violence, protect voting rights, address the climate crisis, and make Long Island and Queens more affordable for middle-class families.” Pretty standard stuff, wouldn’t you say?
As for how much the two candidates spent on the race, according to the Federal Election Commission, Santos spent $3,051,098, Zimmerman’s total disbursements were $3,158,795.
So here we had two candidates who basically parroted standard GOP and Democrat(ic) lines, spent the same amount of money in a district which was more blue than red, and yet the voters in New York’s 3rd CD not only sent a loony tunes to Washington, but the final vote wasn’t even close.
How does that happen? How did so many voters in this House district end up looking like a bunch of total and complete fools?
To their credit, all the crazy things Santos said about himself didn’t become public knowledge with voters until after the 2022 campaign came to an end. Which may serve as a bit of solace for the voters in the 3rd CD, but it sure ain’t very much.
How come the Fake News didn’t do any background research on Santos before the election? And since he made many of these same false claims when he ran for Congress in 2020, what we have here is a total and complete failure of political reportage to verify what a candidate was saying about himself for at least three years.
On the other hand, has Santos actually committed any kind of crime even if everything he has said about his education, his job history and his personal life are all false claims? After all, when was the last time that a Congressional election turned on how the voters felt about where a candidate went to high school?
If I lived in the 3rd CD, I wouldn’t have voted for Santos no matter how much he did or didn’t ‘embellish’ his resume, for the simple reason that I don’t vote for Republicans, no matter what they say about themselves. And my Democrat(ic) friends in the 3rd CD better figure out how and why this loon got to Washington, or we may be in for a tough time in 2024.