As local, state, federal and international investigations swirl around Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., let us not allow the voters of New York’s 3rd Congressional District to get off scot-free.
These are the people who pundits and right-wing politicians said were motivated to vote for Santos largely out of an aversion to lawlessness. You likely remember that Republicans — particularly, those watching and running House races in New York — claimed that inner-city lawlessness emanating from the five boroughs was the motivating factor that led voters to back New York Republicans in November and give the GOP a narrow majority in the U.S. House.
Critics have rightly noted the racist undertones in a lot of these claims, which may explain why this GOP fearmongering worked better in New York exurbs, including Santos’ district, than in Manhattan and much of the five boroughs, where Republicans struggled to gain ground in last year’s midterms.
Santos himself even leaned into the shtick.
“Crime is sweeping in from the city into the north shore of Nassau County. So that needs to be recognized,” he told Fox News after winning his race last November. “We are in a crime-wave crisis in the state, and I can’t wait to bring back commonsense solutions.”
Various pundits bought the narrative, as well: Long Islanders really care about crime, we were told.
As it turns out, voters in New York’s 3rd District elected someone who would soon be facing local, state, federal and international investigations.
It’s like the Joker has been tasked with saving Gotham City.
(“I am not a criminal here — not here or in Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world,” Santos recently told the New York Post.)
Ultimately, pro-Santos Republicans who looked to draw a distinction between their region and inner-city New York were half-right. Nothing screams “I’m not from the city” like being duped by a two-bit huckster.
Never forget that Long Island Republicans foisted the disgrace that is George Santos upon the nation. And never forget the deeply ironic reason they claim to have done so.