Stephen Colbert Warns GOP Leadership On Calls For Them To Govern: ‘It’s A Trap!’ (VIDEO)

Posted by Elaine Magliaro

Stephen Colbert tells Republicans they had better listen to their leader Rush Limbaugh and the editors at Bill Kristol’s brain trust (National Review) if they’re even going to pretend they’re interested in governing.

The Governing Trap (National Review Online)


Already a conventional wisdom about what Republicans should do next has congealed. Supposedly it is up to Republicans to “prove they can govern” even though they do not have the White House. Senator Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) told NPR listeners that Republicans could do this by moving on trade-promotion authority, the immigration bill the Senate passed in 2013, and corporate tax reform.

With all due respect to the senator and like-minded Republicans, this course of action makes no sense as a political strategy. First: While trade-promotion authority and a tax reform that includes (but is not limited to) corporations are good ideas, voters are not, in fact, waiting anxiously for any of this. Business lobbies are. The Republican party should not pursue an agenda that is identical to theirs.

Second: The desire to prove Republicans can govern also makes them hostage to their opponents in the Democratic party and the media. It empowers Senator Harry Reid, whose dethroning was in large measure the point of the election. If Republicans proclaim that they have to govern now that they run Congress, they maximize the incentive for the Democrats to filibuster everything they can — and for President Obama to veto the remainder. Then the Democrats will explain that the Republicans are too extreme to get anything done.

Third: A prove-you-can-govern strategy will inevitably divide the party on the same tea-party-vs.-establishment lines that Republicans have just succeeded in overcoming. The media will in particular take any refusal to pass a foolish immigration bill that immediately legalizes millions of illegal immigrants as a failure to “govern.”

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7 Responses to Stephen Colbert Warns GOP Leadership On Calls For Them To Govern: ‘It’s A Trap!’ (VIDEO)

  1. eniobob says:

    “Voter Turnout in Midterm Elections Hits 72-Year Low

    Charlotte Alter @charlottealter

    Nov. 10, 2014
    Voters cast their ballots at a polling station in Alhambra, Calif. on November 4, 2014. Voters cast their ballots at a polling station in Alhambra, Calif. on November 4, 2014. Frederic J. Brown—AFP/Getty Images
    The last time voter turnout was this low, the U.S. was fighting WWII

    The last time voter turnout for a national election was as low as it was on Nov.4, Hitler was still in power, and Mitch McConnell was only nine months old.

    Only 36.4% of eligible voters voted in this year’s midterm elections, down from 40.9% who voted in 2010, according to preliminary analysis by Michael McDonald at the University of Florida. The last time voter turnout was that low was 1942, when only 33.9% of voters cast ballots, according to the United States Elections Project.

    That was also a year that the U.S. established the European Theater of Operations in WWII, so a large share of the voting population was a little busy doing other things.

    Voter turnout in presidential elections is historically much higher than in midterms– 58.2% of eligible voters voted in 2012, and 61.6% voted in 2008, the highest turnout since 1968. In other words, turnout for Obama’s first presidential election was almost double the 2014 midterm turnout.”

    Mandate anyone ?

  2. swarthmoremom says:

    No mandate, eniobob, and in some states the low turnout can be partially attributed to the voter id laws.

  3. swarthmoremom says: “he Republican electoral sweep in yesterday’s elections has put an end to speculation over whether new laws making it harder to vote in 21 states would help determine control of the Senate this year. But while we can breathe a sigh of relief that the electoral outcomes won’t be mired in litigation, a quick look at the numbers shows that in several key races, the margin of victory came very close to the likely margin of disenfranchisement.”

  4. Elaine M. says:

    After Gutting the Voting Rights Act, Alabama Cites It As an Excuse for Racial Gerrymandering
    The state uses a measure it helped destroy to justify redistricting that ghettoized minority voters.
    —By Stephanie Mencimer | Wed Nov. 12, 2014 6:30 AM EST

    You have to give Alabama credit for its cheek. Last year, the state’s Shelby County persuaded the US Supreme Court to find unconstitutional part of the Voting Rights Act that required certain states with histories of discriminatory election laws to get permission from the federal government before changing their voting practices. On Wednesday, Alabama will argue before the court that the same provision it helped decimate compelled lawmakers to racially gerrymander the entire state.

    This convoluted case got its start after the GOP took control of both houses of the Alabama state Legislature in 2010. The Republicans then redrew the state legislative voting districts in 2012 as part of the regular redistricting process. The new plan preserved most of the state’s majority-minority districts, where black residents had political power and tended to elect Democrats—often African American ones. But state legislators also redrew the lines in a way that minimized the influence of African American voters in districts where they did not make up a majority of voters.

    Here’s what happened: The population of several districts in the state had shrunk significantly. They needed to be redrawn to include more residents. But when the state legislators redrew the lines of those districts, they recast a few of them in extraordinary ways, going to great lengths to move in African Americans from neighboring districts. The result: The surrounding districts became more white, and thus, more hospitable to Republican candidates.

    One district in Montgomery—nearly 72 percent black and already represented by an African American Democratic senator—needed an additional 16,000 residents to make up for population loss since 2000. GOP map makers reconfigured the district to add 15,785 new residents. Only 36 of those new residents were white. While working hard to add every possible black voter in the vicinity to the district, legislators moved white people out of the district and creatively drew the map to exclude a majority-white area of Montgomery. The impact of the segregated redistricting on this month’s election was stark: The number of white Democrats in the state Senate fell from four to one.

  5. blouise says:

    This should make things a bit easier for Democratic candidates in the 2016 race for President as they will be able to define themselves against a Republican dominated House and Senate rather than against Obama. This is important as Obama is still very much a vote getter who inspires a strong Democratic turnout. Clinton knows this very well as it was his semi-hostile takeover of the party back in 2008 that doomed her candidacy.

    Although this bit by Corbert is hilarious, there is, as with all good comedy, a large kernel of truth embedded within the matter.

  6. buckaroo says:

    Nothing makes comprehension anymore – Why don’t we just do away with all this confusion – hold another “Decision in Philadelphia”

  7. eniobob says:

    “Third: A prove-you-can-govern strategy will inevitably divide the party on the same tea-party-vs.-establishment lines that Republicans have just succeeded in overcoming. ” ???

    “But just a week and a half after the elections, the kooks are pounding on the door.'”
    The more things “SUPPOSEDLY CHANGE ” the more they stay the same:

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