As Mueller Sputters in Front of Congress, Joe Scarborough Asks Forgiveness for "Being a Republican"


One hopes Wednesday was the day that the Mueller report was finally put to rest, tucked into bed for a sound sleep by the man who assembled it and the legislators who dragged him before Congress.

There were two words that came to mind watching Robert Mueller testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees: diminishing returns.

Once sharp and considered, the former FBI director and special counsel was reminiscent of your aged uncle trying to explain his cell phone plan to you. When he wasn’t giving halting one-word answers, he was responding to questions with some permutation of, “I’d refer you to the report.” Bombshell stuff this wasn’t.

The Democrats — the party that had wanted him there, the party that seemed to consider him the last, best hope to kickstart impeachment hearings — were left patiently explaining Mueller’s own report to him, usually in children’s book language. Charitably, this could have been seen as creating a public record of what was in there. Uncharitably, one could also detect a sense they didn’t quite think Mueller actually knew, either.

The Republicans, meanwhile, throttled Mueller repeatedly.

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Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida hit him on his handling of the Steele dossier and Fusion GPS. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio questioned why Joseph Mifsud — the shadowy professor who tried to get campaign information out of George Papadopoulos — wasn’t charged with lying to the FBI while other figures were.

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Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas, meanwhile, attracted attention by wondering why Mueller seemed to have an “inverted burden of proof” with the president on issues of obstruction of justice, forcing Trump to prove he was innocent.

In the midst of all this, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough seemed to have one takeaway: Republicans were being mean, or something.

“Jesus, forgive me for ever being a Republican,” the “Morning Joe” host tweeted, shortly after expressing his disdain for Texas GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert’s line of questioning:

In other words, asking any sort of difficult questions of Mueller is somehow unseemly, even though the special counsel declined to answer these questions for the past few years. OK then.

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In case you’re not familiar with what Scarborough did before he hosted President Donald Trump’s least-favorite morning cable news show, he was once a Republican congressman from Florida. He left the House of Representatives in 2001 and announced that he was leaving the Republican Party in 2017. (He made that announcement in that most hallowed of venues where all political announcements of interest to Democrats seem to be made these days: “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”)

I personally thought he might have more to apologize for in terms of being on MSNBC. Of course, as The Washington Free Beacon’s David Rutz pointed out, this phrase may actually have other meanings pertaining to his place of employ:

Scarborough replied using the Freudian projection defense, which is a slightly literate version of “I am rubber, you are glue…”

And this was how the MSNBC host viewed the outcome of the hearings:

A 0-0 tie. Really, now.

I suppose the scoreboard is in the eye of the beholder. However, Wednesday was a sign that the Mueller report still isn’t the Key to All Trump-thologies that Democrats hoped it would be and that the man who oversaw its assemblage may not have been the best pick. That’s not a tie by any stretch of the imagination, particularly when the Democrats needed a home run.

Then again, maybe this was part of Scarborough’s “apology” for being a Republican. Like the rest of his mea culpa schtick, it wasn’t terribly convincing. If asking difficult questions of Mueller is suddenly a reason for Scarborough to beseech the Deity for forgiveness, it’s a good bet they probably don’t want to claim him, either.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture