Repub Venality Open Thread: The Permanent GOP Sidles Away from Its Dear Figurehead Leader

If you are old & cynical, like me, you will remember that by the time Nixon coptered off the White House lawn, many Very Serious Persons (looking at you, Bob Woodward, not to mention Henry Kissinger) were informing us that Tricky Dick was a rogue psycopath — a lone gunman, even! — who wormed his way into the all-too-innocent Republican Party and corrupted a bunch of trusting younglings (like Dick Cheney) with his wicked political perversions.

Now cometh rumbles, amid the pleadings & sentencings of a new generation of Repub grifters, that the current Oval Office Occupant will be getting sent to the same Potemkin Coventry.

Today, for instance, Big Oil lifer Rex Tillerson trudged out in front of an audience to share horror stories of serving under the Squatter-in-Chief…

Rebuttal from the target:

Out on the far end of the respectability / popularity scale, Tucker Carlson — who is a bonded member of the Permanent Party, even if he does play a slack-jawed moron on TV:

My prediction: No later than January 4th, 2019, Chris Cillizza will be shaking his head over ‘lifelong Democrat Donald Trump’, multiple pundits on Axios will be extruding long posts linking Trump’s moral failings to Bill Clinton, and the Daily Caller will be wondering whether Trump’s grandfather didn’t change the family name because Drumpf sounded too, y’know, (((globalist))).

75 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    even if he does play a slack-jawed moron on TV:

    I’m …not sure it’s just an act.

    Re: the premise of the post, I’ll believe it when I see Senate Republicans do something, anything, beyond synchronized brow-furrowing and pairs pearl-clutching to hold Trump in check.

  2. 2
    Mike J says:

    I had heard about the Tucker stuff but hadn’t read it. to me it just reads like more deep state nonsense. Tucker is saying, in effect, “Trump wants to do right but the elite are lined up against him.”

    Not so much distancing himself as coming up with excuses for Trump’s failures.

  3. 3
    NotMax says:

    RINO watch begins … now.

  4. 4
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Trump is a symptom. Conservatism is the disease.

  5. 5
    Anne Laurie says:

    @dmsilev: They don’t wanna ‘hold Trump in check’ — he’s been good for Tucker Carlson’s trust fund! — they just wanna blame Democrats for all the bad stuff that’s breaking the surface.

    Tillerson isn’t one of the GOP kleptocratic elite; he’s a salaryman who got sent in by Exxon to milk the fleeting whims of the Squatter-in-Chief for whatever new laws or appointments might be turned to Exxon’s advantage. Now he’s being sent out again, to blame the cratering Dow and the rising cost of oil on… that guy, you know, the not-really-Republican failed developer.

  6. 6
    kindness says:

    Meh. I don’t think Fox is stepping away from Donald. Covering bases maybe but Trump’s base is Fox’s demographic.

    What will it take for me to never have to see or hear what ever moronic thing Cillizza says ever again?

  7. 7

    Peak Cillizza

    Ooooh don’t say stuff like that they’ll just escalate

  8. 8
    The Dangerman says:

    Downstairs, Ms. Rofer said lotsa people gonna do time; maybe we can make it an attraction someplace. Parents can bring their kids to point and laugh. We can call it “To The Pain”.

    /Princess Bride

  9. 9
    Mike in DC says:

    It will be fun watching Republican senators squirm for the next several months.

  10. 10
    jl says:

    In whatever fairness is due to ol’ Rex, he’s been dissing Trump since shortly after he got fired from the WH, with attention to Russian doings, and criticism of Trump kissing up to lawless authoritarians.

    Shortly after being fired, Tillerson said this stuff at fancy conferences and used fancy corporate board room and high toned multi-syllabic conference panel talk. His move to fake homespun plain talkin’ is jarrring. Maybe he wants to make sure Trump notices and understands it, in order to generate lots of damning tweets from Trump that he can display at his sentencing after the plea deal? Who knows?

  11. 11
    Keith P. says:

    My big prediction is that Mueller lays out his report + indictments against Jr. and Jared within a day of each other. Trump then pardons everyone, at which point the NY state officials come back and arrest Jr. (frog-marched) and start trying to shut down the Trump Org for RICO (or something similar), hitting Donald where it *really* hurts – his finances and legacy.

  12. 12
    jl says:

    @Mike J: Carlson is probably hedging, triangulating, and getting a finger up in the wind, to prepare for his next career move. $ in his pocket is what Tucker is all about, IMHO. He’s a showman.

  13. 13
    Mary G says:

    I’m wondering if Rex is implicated in some of this stuff – he did get a medal from Putin and seems to have come on board strictly to get the sanctions lifted, but Congress did find an ounce of spine somewhere and passed new sanctions instead. That was when he called Twitler a moron, if I am remembering right.

  14. 14
    lamh36 says:

    Oh Lordt…am I the only one who just now saw how similiar Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal look to one another.

    It’s like a low key, Bewitched Samantha and Serena…right?

  15. 15
    jl says:

    @Mike in DC: I’m kind of waiting for when Lindsay Graham breaks down on air and turns into that Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil whirly tornado thing.

  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @lamh36: No, they don’t look very much alike at all. The shapes of their faces are different, same with their noses.

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    The Secretary of Exxon got his tax break……he doesn’t care anymore.

  18. 18
    Duane says:

    Right-winger’s defending Trump with “He’s not a crook, he’s just sleazy” is pretty laughable. And pathetic. Of course that’s okay. Nice president you got there. Shame if he goes to jail.

  19. 19
    jl says:

    @Mary G: I wonder about Tillerson too, how close he decided to come to legal jeopardy before he packed it in. He seems like due diligence type of person, so looked before he leaped whenever Trump said to jump.

    IIRC, Tillerson called Trump a moron when Trump said he wanted to increase the US nuclear arsenal by a factor of ten. Is that right? So many times you can imagine Trump’s staff calling him a moron, it’s hard to keep track.

  20. 20
    Platonailedit says:

    Wonder which politico twit tweeted that turd’s decorum take.

  21. 21
    NotMax says:


    Trying to whip up a Tillerson ’20 groundswell?

  22. 22

    In open thread news, my roommates had some friends over Wednesday night. One of them randomly mentioned serial killers before I did, which is kind of impressive! (It’s something I’ve noticed I bring up more than normal people?)

    We are becoming friends now I think, he’s over again for Ru Paul and YouTube. Yay for friends.

  23. 23
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Maybe it’s just me and boring people I hang out it, but I do not recall serial killers ever coming up in conversation, randomly or otherwise. Unless one was in the news bigly at the time.

  24. 24
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    One of them randomly mentioned serial killers before I did, which is kind of impressive! (It’s something I’ve noticed I bring up more than normal people?)

    We are becoming friends now I think, he’s over again for Ru Paul and YouTube. Yay for friends.

    And then the serial murders began…

  25. 25
    NotMax says:


    Could have also been blurted out (but not reported) when Rex threatened to quit after Dolt 45’s speech to the Boy Scouts.

  26. 26
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Hope there are no fava beans on the menu.

  27. 27
    cthulhu says:

    It is certainly not to Trump’s benefit that this stuff is coming out in the context of stalled or declining markets. I’ve thought impeachment wasn’t really viable until Trump’s behavior starts hurting the people with money. We seem to be getting to that point now.

  28. 28

    @jl: at work the other day I did the lunch part of a job interview. Somebody asked me what I thought and I said, “I mean, it was lunch. What can I tell you? He’s like definitely not a serial killer.”

  29. 29
    Yarrow says:

    So many people are caught up in this, mostly Republicans. We have barely begun to talk about the Republican convention and the RNC. Where is Reince Priebus these days, anyway? How ’bout that Paul Ryan who chaired the convention. What about that platform change again? Hmmm….

  30. 30
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Hope you checked what was in the lunch.

  31. 31
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    One of them randomly mentioned serial killers

    And that’s when I scoot to the farthest opposite edge of the couch. With alacrity.

  32. 32
    Brendan in NC says:

    @The Dangerman: I like that. I’ll even take placing them ,in stocks, in the public square; so we can constructively rid ourselves of rotten fruits and vegetables

  33. 33
    Ken says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    It’s something I’ve noticed I bring up more than normal people?

    I’ve heard the average person thinks about serial killers once every seven seconds.

  34. 34
    Spinoza Is My Co-Pilot says:


    IIRC, Tillerson called Trump a moron

    It’s Tillerson who was reported to have privately called Trump a “fucking moron” back when Tillerson was still SoS.

  35. 35
    gene108 says:


    The real comparison is with Ivanka, as disgusting as that is.

  36. 36
    Ken says:

    @gene108: Ivanka’s not disgusting, she’s totally hot and doable. Her own father says so.

  37. 37
    jl says:

    @Spinoza Is My Co-Pilot: But there are so many Trumpster staffers who called him a moron or something similar, and so many opportunities, we are trying to figure out when. I think Tillerson said it when people couldn’t explain to Trump why increasing nuke arsenal by factor of ten was a bad idea. Another commenter thinks it was after Trump botched his Boy Scout speech. Or maybe it was over one of Trump’s idiotic ideas about his Wall.

  38. 38
    gene108 says:


    He even groped her at the RNC convention to prove that point.

  39. 39
    jl says:

    Something really irked me about the tweets and clips at the top of the post. But couldn’t figure it out until now. A member of our august corporate free press, Cillizza comes off as the most transparent sleazy self-interested hack with the least to say. And right there next to ol’ Rex and his fake plain talkin’ and Carlson angling for his next career pivot.

  40. 40
    Keith P. says:

    It’s going to be a real trip when a bunch of GOP folks go on TV to claim that multiple felonies do not constitute “high crimes and misdemeanors” (“It says ‘misdemeanors’, Anderson, *not* ‘felonies’!”). I bet some of the will be old enough to have been on TV 20 years ago to claim that lying under oath is a “high crime”.
    And slightly off topic (but on the topic of GOP logic being nuts), I have a suspicion that Trump picked Bill Barr because he is under the impression that because Barr was already in a cabinet, that counts as his confirmation. We’ll see if he tweets that it’s “unfair” that Barr has to have another confirmation hearing.

  41. 41
    NotMax says:


    He even groped her at the RNC convention to prove that point.

    Churls just wanna have fun.

  42. 42
    debbie says:


    That’s always been Trump’s type. If you can bear it, dig up old society photos of him and his “dates.”

  43. 43
    NotMax says:

    @Keith P.

    “There is no proof – NONE – that he was high when the crimes were committed.”

  44. 44
  45. 45
    jl says:

    Key point here. SCO needs to be precise, factual. If payday from Moscow project was “hundreds of millions” that’s orders of magnitude larger than the paydays Trump has had on buildings going back years.

    I did not know that. Some people have been worrying about whether Mueller is going narrow (‘just’ the collusion and obstruction of justice) or wide (decades of money laundering). Maybe both. Did the Trump tower in Moscow deal include some laundering, or a disguised down payment for future presidential services to be rendered later? Would be interesting to look for money trails that might have popped up after the deal fell through. People had to get paid somehow.

  46. 46
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @The Dangerman: I hear Ken Ham’s House of Horrors has an under-utilized boat with cages already included.

  47. 47
    Spinoza Is My Co-Pilot says:

    @jl: I recall the New Yorker reporting that Tillerson called Trump a “fucking moron” after some July ’17 Pentagon meeting (NBC news reported that same incident without the f-bomb). Don’t remember it being reported what the Pentagon meeting was about (coulda been something about nukes, and of course anything Trump would have said about that would have been fucking moronic).

  48. 48
    Platonailedit says:

    The past years have demonstrated that you can live in a "free" country but still be controlled by what amounts to state media. The government doesn't have to order people to parrot its propaganda; many will do so willingly because they have chosen ignorance and are led by fear.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 8, 2018

  49. 49
    Jeffro says:

    @Keith P.: RICO RICO RICO

    Make him resign!

  50. 50
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Spinoza Is My Co-Pilot:

    It’s Tillerson who was reported to have privately called Trump a “fucking moron”

    Republicans and oil men don’t often speak the truth, but it’s nice when they do

  51. 51
  52. 52
  53. 53
    Jay says:

    I knew an Individual 1 once. He cursed mankind by eating an apple he got from Individual 2. Then they had Individual 3, who killed Individual 4. Individuals suck, to be honest with you.”

  54. 54
  55. 55
    cmorenc says:


    @Mike in DC: I’m kind of waiting for when Lindsay Graham breaks down on air and turns into that Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil whirly tornado thing.

    Actually, the more apt LT character fit for Lindsey Graham would be Elmer Fudd. Or at best, a cross between Fudd and Yosimite Sam.

  56. 56
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @A Ghost To Most: In KY, right?

    Maybe haul Mitch in too!

  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Somebody was asking about Hannity earlier:

  58. 58
    Platonailedit says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The fucker is on film, ffs. Talk about lame preemptive defense.

  59. 59
    laura says:

    @jl: It’s impossible to have lived in California and not have a serial murder story. Mine’s Wayne Ford.

  60. 60
    C Stars says:

    @lamh36: Looks like they had the same plastic surgeon.

  61. 61
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Platonailedit: Bless his heart!

  62. 62
    Jeffro says:

    @NotMax: LOL to the L

    I’m serious. Once RICO shit hits the fan, Trumpov will be like, “BUTMYMONEY!!!” and be out of there.

  63. 63
    Platonailedit says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Extreme gaslighting?

  64. 64
    jl says:

    @Platonailedit: We’ll see inscrutable and ceremonious acts of signalling and positioning, that will become clear when the full story is out. Ol’ Rex is a hoot, IMHO.

    A few months ago after he was fired Tillerson was at conferences talking like (paraphrase) “I must confess to deep and abiding concerns about recent tendencies in government that depart from our sacred history of lawful process, and negligence of alliances with our democratic allies that are of utmost importance”

    Now: That Trump told me to BREAK THE LAW! And I said, Gosh golly gee, WE DO NOT BREAK THE LAW AROUND HERE. No Sirree. I won’t be breaking laws on your say so. And I just plumb walked outta there, on my granmamma’s grave I tell you folks right plain right here.

    What does it all mean? What are these mooks trying to do? God knows at this point.

  65. 65
    Jay says:

    “Real Stories From Life Inside the Migrant Caravan
    by Gerardo Alba and Alice Driver”

  66. 66
    Burnspbesq says:

    The word that will really push Trump over the edge?


  67. 67
    Platonailedit says:

    @jl: LOL. Indeedy.

  68. 68
    Burnspbesq says:

    If Rex is starting to think about primarying Cornyn, I’m not sure it’s in our interest to discourage him.

  69. 69
    jl says:

    @Burnspbesq: Ol’ Rex can talk real egghead fancy or homespun plain like he’s having a beer with ya.

  70. 70
    Ruckus says:


    What are these mooks trying to do?

    Geez,, they are trying to save their own asses from being set out to dry by drumpf. Take the minimum penalty for being a douche, rather than hang on till the ride crashes and burns. Because hanging on, not throwing drumpf under the bus and then getting in the bus and driving over him 3 or 4 dozen times isn’t going to go well. Drumpf doesn’t think he has any friends he can count on? Give this another 45 days and see how many rats have jumped off the sinking WH. You thought the Titanic was bad……

  71. 71
    Mike G says:


    Look for the authoritarian party to suddenly embrace outrage over the aggressive asset forfeiture legislation they crammed through in Reagan’s War on Some Brown People Using Some Drugs.

  72. 72
    Procopius says:

    @jl: I don’t think Tillerson is going to have to plead. A lot of what he did wasn’t illegal.

  73. 73
    Vhh says:

    @Jeffro: No. First you indict Uday (Don Jr) and Kushner. Then you go RICO on Trump.Org and Trump foundation, which likely gives you Qusay (Eric) and Ivanka, and forfeiture. Then you turn to Don Sr and start looking at Ryan and Mitch. Lon slow roast destroys the GOP.

  74. 74
    Batocchio says:

    Good stuff, Anne Laurie. Thanks.

  75. 75
    J R in WV says:

    @Keith P.:

    nice stuff… but RICO is a federal thing. No doubt some states have similar statutes allowing confiscation of ill gotten gains. I am desperately hoping to see RICO charges against Trump Org eventually.

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