Naturally, the frenzied bid by hapless House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to secure the speakership epitomizes the heart of the GOP's five-seat majority nightmare. Old Kev is currently in the process of shackling himself to every GOP cretin in the conference just to get his hands on a gavel that will be meaningless by the time he touches it.
But the House GOP's dazzling George Santos debacle previews another way in which the party's maddeningly slim House majority will haunt the caucus straight through 2024.
As Santos' entire biographical creation blows to smithereens ahead of his official swearing in, only a single member of his future caucus has dared to sound the alarms: Rep.-elect Nick LaLota, whose Long Island district neighbors part of Santos'.
“New Yorkers deserve the truth, and House Republicans deserve an opportunity to govern without this distraction,” said LaLota, who told The New York Times he had heard from "countless Long Islanders."
But other than that, House GOP leaders and their flock have been conspicuously quiet as reporters continue to expose Santos' web of lies, fabrication by fabrication.
That studied silence is born of necessity: Not only does McCarthy need Santos' support to have any chance of becoming speaker, but he represents a swing district in a largely liberal state where any sort of reelection could conceivably shave their majority to four.
And therein lies not just a governing problem but an electoral problem for the Republicans. Going forward, they will have to rally around any and every wounded soldier no matter how despicable and morally decrepit they prove to be. Santos will not be the only House Republican whose scandalous behavior invites the type of scrutiny that unearths a national scandal.
Santos is simply the first GOP creep Republicans will need to embrace to cling to their precious little majority.
As outgoing Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois tweeted of Santos, "McCarthy needs his vote. That is why his lies to get elected will be forgiven. He literally lied to win. FRAUD."
But it's not just a matter of lying; Santos is also under criminal investigation now, a preview of the deceit and corruption Republicans will be forced to defend straight into 2024.
In the meantime, their majority will be a living hell for GOP leaders, the caucus, and unfortunately, the country too.
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