Sycophant. That word is being thrown around a lot these days. It sounds so derogatory. It has so many negative connotations. According to the trusty Merriem-Webster Dictionary, a sycophant is defined as : "a person who acts obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage." Synonyms include "flunky", "toady"..."lickspittle". I have heard talking heads in the mainstream media refer to the following as sycophants: Pence, Pompeo, Barr, Mnuchin, Mulvaney, Conway, Graham, McConnell. Most of the accusations have come from Democrats, disgruntled Republicans or former Trump Administration employees. So what are we to make of these pronouncements and should we care?
The eye test
Americans are not idiots. We can only form opinions on what we see and what we hear. As mentioned in a previous piece ( https://www.wormwillturn.com/post/facebook-twitter-political-advertisements-news-opinions-what-does-it-all-mean), we do have an obligation to ensure our opinions are informed by facts, and not the opinions of others. So let's look at the above list. Pence is an elected official who also happens to be Vice President. Like most VP's, he is mostly out of sight. By definition, he is not really a sycophant as he has no advantage to gain with Trump. However, in his obligation to the American people who elected him, and the constitution, he may be a sycophant. Pompeo, Barr, Mnuchin, Mulvaney and "alternative facts" Conway are, by definition, all sycophants. Throw in DeVos too. I know they serve at the pleasure of the president, and in private they may make strong arguments against Trump's worst inclinations..blah..blah, but we can only go by what we see. What are their individual motivations to be sycophants? Who knows? It's probably different for each one of them. If they are true believers in everything the White House decrees, at the expense of their own responsibilities at State, Justice, Treasury, etc, they are sycophants. If they are not true believers but just roll over anyway, they are sycophants with no honor. Graham and McConnell are elected officials who serve both the people and the constitution. They may be serving their constituents in Kentucky and South Carolina, but are failing in their application of the constitution when it comes to White House decrees. Both sycophants.
So what can we take from all of this? First, you may not want to believe anything Pompeo, Barr, Mnuchin, Mulvaney, DeVos or Conway say right now. Secondly, recommend we believe what Graham and McConnell are saying...for now, but watch what they do. Lastly, if you thought clown shows went out of fashion, think again.