WC is indebted to long-time reader CaliforniaCruisin for the word “snollygoster.” She applied it to Fairbanks politician wannabe and serial loser Joe Miller. But Miller is a piker, a mere pretender, just a hack in comparison to the grifter in the White House.
A snollygoster is “One, especially a politician, who is guided by personal advantage rather than by consistent, respectable principles.”
And that’s a very accurate description of Donald J. Trump.
He has no principles, let alone consistent or respectable ones. His response to any criticism is an immediate, childish personal attack on the person criticizing him. Most recently, Congressman Justin Amash, a Republican, pointed out that Attorney General William Barr had mis-characterized the Mueller Report, and that when the actual report was reviewed, there was compelling evidence of obstruction of justice. And that it warranted further investigation. Trump’s response was to attack Michigan Rep. Justin Amash as a “loser” who opposed him in order to gain popularity. Trump didn’t rebut or attempt to rebut Rep. Amash’s accusation; instead he indulged, as is his habit, in a personal attack, an ad hominem fallacy.
That’s our snollygoster.
The origins of the word are a little obscure. You can find it all the way back in 1845. Much later, Harry Truman, during the Eisenhower Administration, used it to describe a few Congressmen. Some dictionaries mark it as obsolete, but if that’s true, WC is arguing for its revival.
You need more evidence Trump is a snollygoster?
Trump insists on placing government guests, visiting dignitaries and others at Trump’s D.C. hotel. Since Trump began occupying the White House, his hotel income jumped about 80%, reaching $60.8 million in 2017. If you want a favor from President Trump, you suck up to him, including by staying at his hotel. Trump opened the the hotel in the Old Post Office hotel in D.C. late in 2016 despite the clear provision in the lease that “No elected official of the Government of the United States…shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease.” Since then, it has become the go-to hotel for any foreign visitor looking to win favors from the Trumps. It’s also become the headquarters of GOP activity in D.C.
Then there’s his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. That golf club simply doubled its membership fees to $200,000 before taxes. USA Today found that executives from 50 government contractors and 21 lobbyists hold memberships at Trump clubs. Those executives and lobbyists play golf on days Trump is there. Trump makes money each time, and makes it obvious how to find him if you need a favor.
The list goes on and on.
The best part is you can use the term and neither Trump or his base will have any idea what you are saying.