Joseph Goebbels, the minister of propaganda for the German Nazi government, was a notorious proponent of the “Big Lie” theory that says if you’re going to tell a lie, make a big one. He contended that people were more likely to believe a big lie told frequently, than smaller, less significant lies. And Donald Trump has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to confirming that theory.
On Thursday morning the House of Representatives voted to expel George Santos from Congress. Among the allegations against him were the repeated lies he has told about his past, and his criminal indictments currently pending. Why Republicans in Congress are suddenly worried about lying is a mystery, considering that it has been their chief political strategy since assuming their razor-thin majority in the House earlier this year.
The final vote to expel Santos was 311 to 114. However, it is notable that a majority of Republicans (105-112) voted against the expulsion. That includes every member of the GOP leadership. Apparently they favor keeping pathological liars in their caucus to advance their agenda along with fellow liars such as Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and their new Speaker, Mike Johnson.
Most Americans, though, will be relieved that a slimeball like Santos has been ousted. Just as they were relieved when Trump lost to President Biden in 2020. However, the Republican Party remains enamored of their most dishonest political leaders. And the best example of that is Trump himself.
A comparison of Trump and Santos reveals the GOP’s faith in the “Big Lie” theory. Santos told relatively small lies about his education, work experience, and personal history. Trump has told humungous lies to facilitate a violent coup in an effort to undermine American democracy. He also told large lies regarding his net worth in order to either avoid paying millions in taxes or to deceive banks to get lower loan rates. He also lied bigly about his sexual abuse of dozens of women, including the rape of writer E. Jean Carroll. In the Lie Derby, Trump is clearly the winner.
The Trump/Santos comparison is also notable in that Santos is awaiting trial on 23 charges. Trump has 91 charges currently pending, nearly four times as many as Santos. And while Santos hasn’t been convicted of anything yet, Trump has been found legally liable for financial fraud with his businesses, his “charity” foundation, his “university,” and for defamation and rape. But despite Trump’s dominance in both lies and crimes, it is Santos who got banished from his political perch. Meanwhile, Trump is the frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
The lesson from this is that Santos erred by not committing more serious crimes. Had he done so he might now be Trump’s running mate. Although that may still be a possibility. Trump, on the other hand, has been rewarded for his more egregious criminality. Democrats don’t behave this way. For instance, Sen. Bob Menendez, who was recently indicted, has already been called on to resign by many Democratic senators.
Republicans, however, admire nothing more than crooks who are adept at getting away with their crimes. So it’s no wonder that they worship an accomplished mob boss like Trump. And the fact that some of them held Santos to account, but not Trump, really tells you all you need to know about the GOP’s affinity for outlaws.
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