Ostensibly he is an altruist devoted whole-heartedly to the service of his fellow-men, and so abjectly public-spirited that his private interest is nothing to him. Actually, he is a sturdy rogue whose principal, and often sole aim in life is to butter his parsnips.
His technical equipment consistes simply of an armamentarium of deceits.
It is his business to get and hold his job at all costs. If he can hold it by lying he will hold it by lying. if lying peters out he will try and hold it by embracing new truths.
His ear is ever close to the ground.
— H. L. Mencken on elected politicians, Notes on Democracy (1926)