To my memory, the word “snooker” was used to define politicians starting with President Bill Clinton, although many may argue that almost all politicians tend to snooker the public. But looking at Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden, it is easy to feel snookered.
I know that many Democrats will argue that President Trump is really the one who has snookered us, but it is difficult to see that. While Trump has a mannerism that is revolting to many people, he does exactly what he says he will do, so really no trickery there.
He said he would cut taxes; improve the economy; wipe out ISIS; rein in North Korea; confront China; arm Ukraine; bring home American troops fighting in endless wars; fill judicial vacancies with constitutionalist judges; start the Space Force; reduce income inequality; reduce the poverty rate to historic lows; reduce the unemployment rate for black Americans, Hispanics, and Asians to record lows; pass prison reform; and ensure long-term funding for historically Black Colleges.
He did exactly what he said he would do when he campaigned. Certainly no snookering here.
On the other hand, Bill Clinton really snookered us. Since before his tenure as attorney general in Arkansas and through his governorship and presidency, he was constantly getting into trouble, sometimes with criminal implications.
Clinton, however, was always able to talk and dance his way out of it. From the Whitewater scandal to his efforts to avoid the draft to his claim that he “didn’t inhale” when he tried smoking marijuana, “Slick Willie” kept avoiding the consequences of his actions.Perhaps the most blatant example of his snookering concerned his adultery. Forced to answer questions about his behavior before a grand jury, he lied. He then snookered us by clinging to fine distinctions about the definition of sexual relations.
President Obama also snookered us in 2012. Running for re-election he told us we are better off in 2012 than we were in 2008, when the economy was in the middle of a recession. By late 2012, about 15% of the roughly 120 million households had an adult who was unemployed, under-employed, or discouraged from seeking work.
Almost 70 million households had seen the value of their primary investment (the home) decline in value. Almost all workers had seen stagnant wages or a decline in income. While the recession technically ended more than three years prior, the recovery had been almost nonexistent.
And then he tried to tell us it was George Bush’s fault we were in this mess and unless we re-elected Obama, we would go back to worse times.
Obama also snookered us when he passed the Affordable Care Act. He assured us we could keep our doctor, that we could keep our health care plan, and that premiums would fall. Never happened.
Hillary Clinton also snookered us, saying she did nothing wrong with her private server for all of her emails. And anything she deleted had nothing to do with sensitive or classified information. Investigations, including Anthony Weiner’s laptop, showed otherwise.
Now we have Joe Biden, who claims to be the president-elect. Trump’s attorneys say this time the Dems are doing more than just snookering us. This time, they went much farther.
Some of Biden’s snookering is not that substantial. He says he will raise taxes only on Americans who earn more than $400,000 annually. The problem is that’s a tiny percentage of the population, not nearly enough to pay for all of his proposed programs. He is snookering us here.
Other snookering is more substantial. Biden says he will be tough on China. Although the mainstream media mostly fail to report on his dealings with China, there may be enough there to compromise his position and make him less willing to be tough on China. Another snookering.
He says he will improve relations with countries worldwide, but during the Obama/Biden years, North Korea became aggressive, ISIS formed a caliphate, Russia annexed part of Ukraine with no U.S. response, and China greatly expanded its worldwide influence. Perhaps Biden is snookering us about this.
Even more than snookering is the involvement the Democratic Party may have had in falsifying voter counts. Trump’s attorneys say they have enough proof of this activity to swing the election to Trump’s favor. It remains to be seen if that is accurate.
If it is accurate, the Dems’ snookering has turned much more severe.
Michael Busler, Ph.D. is a public policy analyst and a professor of finance at Stockton University, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in finance and economics.