Scaros: Oust George Santos Now, Gain Many More Republican Seats Next Time
On Nov. 8, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman defeated television celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz to win a seat in the U.S. Senate.
But four months before the election, Fetterman suffered a stroke, and right up until and through Election Day visibly and troublingly exhibited signs of cognitive erosion that rightfully called into question his fitness for office.
Among Fetterman’s alarming statements were “hi, good night, everybody” in his debate against Oz and, referring to Philadelphia’s hometown professional football team, “the Eagles are so much better than… the Eagles.”
Nonetheless, the Democrats did not remove him from the ballot, and he proceeded to win the election. Never mind his far-left views on defunding the police, followed by his feckless denial that he ever took that position, considering there’s ample footage confirming his words and actions.
The point is that regardless of party or political ideology, Fetterman’s health rendered him unfit to serve and the Democrats should have placed integrity above power-grabbing and stopped supporting his candidacy.
Their reasoning, of course, was that as long as he was lucid enough to vote yea or nay, depending on how the party expected him to vote, it really didn’t matter very much if he was otherwise unable to do his job effectively.
But wait — if you think the Republicans are any better, consider the case of George Santos, who on the day of Fetterman’s victory won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from New York state.
So what’s the problem with Santos? Turns out he lies about almost everything — where he went to high school and college, where he worked, his financial history — and there are even allegations that, after starting a GoFundMe page on behalf of a veteran with disabilities whose dog needed life-saving surgery, Santos absconded with the money. The dog — never receiving the operation — died.
Assuming that even a fraction of these seemingly endless stories are true, in the words of Peggy Noonan, “George Santos has got to go.”
I haven’t agreed with Noonan very much over the past five years. She grew into D.C.’s conservative press corps as a speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan and wrote an excellent book about him, “When Character Was King.” But she’s clearly exhibited a mild to moderate case of Trump Derangement Syndrome since 2015, so I don’t take her word as gospel.
Nonetheless, Noonan is correct when she says that if Santos is expelled from the House and the Democrats win the special election to fill his seat, Republicans would still have a majority of four in that chamber. As I see it, that’s a great investment to make for the future. Here’s why:
Elections are not won and lost by diehards who will vote for their party — or against another party — no matter what. They’re won and lost based on the largest swatch of voters — independents. They’ll vote based on a particular candidate, or if they think one of the two major parties has recently done something particularly noble.
Independents are not like Democrats who want the Green New Deal or Republicans who want to ban abortion: They just want politicians and parties with integrity. And for the GOP to expel a liar and risk losing a seat in the process would make them vote Republican in 2024, causing Republicans to gain considerably more seats than they otherwise would have.
A majority of four instead of five for the next 23 months isn’t likely to change much. It’s not like four Republicans are going to defect to the other side.
But sending the message to the American people that “we are morally superior to the Democrats” might help Republicans regain something that neither major party has had in a long time: respectability.
As I wrote in my 2017 book “Grumpy Old Party,” the way for Republicans to reclaim a dominant stronghold in government is not to try to eke out razor-thin victories, but rather to generate a national mandate — as Reagan did — and win in landslides. Potentially sacrificing a House seat on principle will go a long way toward making that happen.
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