Now that the Republicans will control the House and the Senate, they’re free to strut their stuff and start governing. Anyway, that’s what some GOP boosters in the media are urging. But Rush Limbaugh as well as National Review Online understand that making laws—ostensibly what the politicians were elected to do—is a dangerous political strategy. In a post the NRO editors actually called “The Governing Trap,” they reasoned thusly:
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.
….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.”
….If voters come to believe that a Republican Congress and a Democratic president are doing a fine job of governing together, why wouldn’t they vote to continue the arrangement in 2016?
Stephen Colbert (who will be the blowhard Stephen ColBER for only several weeks more!) took the governing trap to its logical, absurd conclusion.