Friday, March 1, 2024

George Santos, clown and grifter, is the story of 2023 throughout

Issues can at all times worsen. If there’s one lesson to remove from this 12 months/this decade/this century/ongoing existence on this capitalist hellscape usually, it’s precisely that: issues can at all times worsen — and subsequent 12 months they in all probability will.

Within the meantime, it’s additionally necessary to be glad about small mercies. And whereas 2023 might find yourself being remembered because the comparatively delicate amuse-bouche de merde that preceded the arrival of the almighty shit sandwich {that a} Donald Trump victory within the 2024 US presidential election would represent… nicely, for now a minimum of, we are able to recognize that this 12 months additionally provided a measure of comedian reduction.

Why sure, George Santos, we’re speaking about you. Step ahead, please. What’s that? You’re recording a Cameo? Oh. Nicely, everytime you’re prepared, we are able to go forward with the presentation of the inaugural Anthony Devolder Award for Hilarious Grifter of the 12 months — and, extra importantly, the coveted Man of the 12 months trophy.

I’m hardly the primary individual to level out that in addition to embodying the spirit of 2023, Santos embodies just about every little thing the Republican Occasion stands for lately, insofar because it stands for something in any respect: the relentless grifting, the tradition warfare speaking factors, the barefaced mendaciousness, the cynicism, the obvious flat-out criminality. And the puppies. The irony of Santos’ temporary profession is that if something, he represented all these, um, virtues too nicely: the entire conservative mission works provided that it’s accompanied by a measure of believable deniability, a token try and a minimum of say the quiet half and not using a megaphone.

Santos by no means fairly grasped this, which is maybe why he elicited such hostility from his personal get together. (That, and the truth that a number of the folks he swindled had been wealthy GOP donors, which — as we’ve already identified this 12 months — is the one factor you completely can’t do within the US.) The 12 months’s defining second was Republican grandee (and fellow do-er of unusual issues with canines) Mitt Romney staring down Santos after which snarling: “You don’t belong right here.”

In some methods, Romney was proper. Santos is an immigrant (so far as we are able to inform, anyway), he’s homosexual, and worst of all, he’s an arriviste. He didn’t slot in, and he didn’t have the cash or energy to make his congressional colleagues settle for him anyway. He was a humiliation, and that’s actually saying one thing in a political get together that counts coach Tommy Tuberville, area laser fanatic Marjorie Taylor Greene, theatre aficionado Lauren Boebert, and — in fact — Trump amongst its representatives.

Nonetheless, Romney’s denunciation of Santos additionally denies the truth of his get together. It might as soon as have been the get together of the Hamptons, of a moneyed elite who weren’t above dipping into some grubby rhetoric to verify their wants (low taxes, normal impunity to behave as they noticed match) had been perpetuated in Congress. However as with many different conservative events all around the world, the GOP is previous the “fucking round” part at this level. It’s deep into the “discovering out” course of, and what it’s discovering out is that when you invite the lunatics into your huge fancy home, they not often show particularly eager to depart.

Santos is hardly a worst-case state of affairs on this respect. He’s a clown and a grifter, not a fascist. I’m positive he’s much less humorous for those who’re one of many folks he’s screwed over financially in his temporary flirtation with prominence, however for the remainder of us he’s a welcome supply of amusement. However sadly, even the enjoyment of laughing at Santos’ evident absurdity is hole as a result of his basic lack of seriousness says one thing about in the present day’s American political panorama.

So if we’re laughing at Santos, it’s solely as a result of his get together is laughing at us. Issues can at all times worsen, .



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