The word humbug, according to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, means
1 a : something designed to deceive and misleadBarnum made a fortune off the public's insatiable gullibility. So what if his famous Fiji Mermaid was really a fish's body crudely sewed to the upper portion of a monkey, or that his exhibit of George Washington's hundred-plus year old slave mammy actually turned out just to be a very old (but not that old) black woman, or that his museum's sign pointing "This Way To The Egress" was just a fancy, not too well-known alternative name for an exit. It was all in good fun and usually left people smiling.
b : a willfully false, deceptive, or insincere person
2 : an attitude or spirit of pretense and deception
3 : nonsense, drivel
Ah, politicians, too, are masters of humbug. They say the damnedest things, make the most contradictory and puerile of statements, and stretch the truth hundreds of miles - and the citizens mostly just smile and nod in approval. Especially when they are "in" on the humbug.
There is no lie which cannot be spun into a truth with sufficient audacity and sheer volume of wordsmithing. Right becomes left, down becomes up, and vice can be made into virtue, all sparkling and white.
Barnum was also quoted as saying: "I am a showman by profession...and all the gilding shall make nothing else of me."
Truer words have never been spoken nor ever will spoken by any of our politicians. It certainly applies to politicians in general, I believe.