Commentary: If silence is complicity, one of our nation’s political parties seems to have had its lips sewn together. When a certain U.S. Senator from Florida is accused of human trafficking a minor for sex, all we hear are crickets from his side of the aisle.
When Hershel Walker was a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, he was accused of paying for his girlfriend(s) abortion(s). He lied about that among numerous other things, including his residency. He lives in Dallas. His party’s leaders remained silent and even campaigned with him.
While time and space will not allow us to delve into all the former president’s lies, sex scandals, coup attempts, and corruption, it should be noted that his fellow Republicans have buried their heads in the sand. That complicity has Donald Trump as the frontrunner for his party’s presidential nomination in 2024.
Taking a cue from their fearless leaders are George Santos and Alexandra del Moral Mealer. Santos, the newly elected Republican Congressman from New York, has told so many fibs he easily wins the Pinocchio award for politicians. First and foremost is his name. He goes by several aliases, depending on who he’s talking to. Besides George Santos, he has been known to go by Anthony Devolder, Anthony Zabrovsky and Kitara, his drag name in Brazil.
The openly gay serial liar may not be gay after all. “I’m very much gay,” he told the New York Post in December. “I’m OK with my sexuality. People change. I’m one of those people who change.” In 2019, however, Santos divorced a woman in Queens. His campaign bio discussed his husband, with whom he lives in Long Island along with four dogs, but no marriage record can be found online; when he arrived at the House in January, he was not wearing a wedding ring.
Santos says he attended the Horace Mann School in the Bronx during his first years of high school but had to leave the prestigious private academy in his senior year because his parents fell on hard times. A spokesperson for the school told CNN that there was no evidence he attended the school.
Santos claims he graduated with a degree in economics and finance from Baruch College in 2010. He claims to have been a star volleyball player and attended the school on an athletic scholarship. Santos is 5’3” tall and the average height of a college volleyball player is 5’10” if you’re on the women’s team. Just saying! The college has no record of this star athlete ever gracing its campus.
Santos claims Jewish lineage and said his “grandparents survived the Holocaust.” His campaign bio claimed that they “fled persecution during WWII.” Research shows he had no relations of Jewish heritage and he later backtracked to say he is “Jew-ish.”
“I never claimed to be Jewish,” Santos said in an interview. “I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background, I said I was ‘Jew-ish.’” (So glad he cleared that up.)
His pièce de resistance of fabrication may be the stories he has told about his mother. On Twitter, Santos said the September 11 attacks “claimed my mother’s life.” She died in 2016. On his campaign website, Santos claimed his mother “was in her office in the South Tower on September 11” and that she “passed away a few years later when she lost her battle to cancer.” She wasn’t even in the country when 9/11 occurred.
For all these lies and so many others, House leadership has rewarded Santos seats on the Small Business and the Science, Space and Technology Committees. If he keeps at it, a presidential bid could be in his future.
That brings us to our recently defeated Harris County Judge candidate, Alexandra del Moral Mealer. After losing to incumbent Democrat Lina Hidalgo by over 18,000 votes in November and conceding, Mealer’s inner Trump came out and is now contesting the election results and claiming a win was stolen from her.
Or maybe the conspiracy-believing Mealer is taking inspiration from defeated Arizona governor candidate Kari Lake. The Trump-backed loser denies it is possible that someone else may have received more votes than her, has lost in court case after court case, and refuses to reside in the real world.
“It is inexcusable that after two months, the public is no further along in knowing if and to what extent votes were suppressed,” Mealer says. She is seeking to either be declared the actual winner or hold a new election. Where have we heard this before?
Mealer is not the only defeated Harris County Republican living in the land of denial. At least twelve of her cohorts joined her in filing to contest the midterm election results. Mattress Mac and Dave Ward endorsed or not, Alexandra Mealer has proven to be just another typical Republican: “The election was stolen, unless I win.”
By Republican party leaders keeping their lips sealed and refusal to condemn blatant lies and attacks on our democracy they are complicit. They have lost any claim to the moral high ground and sense of integrity.
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