George Santos Performs Act of Martyrdom for an Audience of One (Himself)

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

This is Totally Normal Quote of the Day, a feature highlighting a statement from the news that exemplifies just how extremely normal everything has become.

“I have made the decision to hang it up here and stop perusing this race, THIS YEAR!” —‍George Santos

The gall of George Santos knows few limits. In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, the disgraced former congressman announced that his largely unwelcome congressional bid for New York’s 1st District as an independent would be coming to an end. True to form, Santos credited current events—and not the fact that his campaign had raised zero dollars and was dead on arrival—with his decision.

“It is clear that with the rise of antisemitism in our country we cannot afford to hand the house to Dems as they have a very large issue with antisemitism in their ranks,” he wrote on X. “Staying in this race all but guarantees a victory for the Dems.”

It would be a comical way to frame his martyrdom—Santos, ever the noble public servant—if it wasn’t so grim and self-serving. In reality, his recent political jaunt in a new district of Long Island—following his expulsion from Congress last year after the House Ethics Committee found evidence of significant criminal wrongdoing—hadn’t attracted much support.

There’s no denying that antisemitism is a problem in the country; so is rising Islamophobia. But Santos’ declaration that he quit the race as a way to “always strive to stand on the right side of history” is simply not credible, to say the least.

Or perhaps more specifically, to earn a spot on the right side of history—however he defines that—Santos has quite the uphill battle ahead. His reputation as a grifter who frequents the wrong side of the law is underscored by the 23 federal charges of fraud he is facing; he’s headed to trial later this year.

But perhaps we should see his statement on X not as political missive, but as some sort of announcement to himself? Because who, after all this time, is he trying to convince?

In his brief tenure as a congressman, Santos’ farcical tales granted him a semipermanent position in the headlines as a cartoonesque villain. He lied so extravagantly—about his mother being in the south tower on 9/11 when it was struck, about his family escaping the persecution of Nazis, about his niece being kidnapped from a playground by operatives of the Chinese government—that he basically ensured no one will ever take him seriously again.

His reentry to politics as an independent seemed less like a vanity project than a joke, until you account for his massive debt and legal thunderclouds on the horizon. (When Santos left the GOP last year, he slammed it as a party that “stands for nothing and falls for everything.”) But no one is even paying attention at this point.

“It’s only goodbye for now, I’ll be back,” he promised (or cursed us).

Santos added: “The future holds countless possibilities and I am ready, willing, and able to step up to the plate and go fight for my country at anytime.” Good to know!