MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow removed her glasses and held her head when she learned during an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Tuesday that House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) had secured a government funding bill to avoid a shutdown, but only with the help of Democrats which drew ire from far-right members of his party.
“I’m sure Mr. Johnson is very smart and capable and knows exactly what he’s doing,” Maddow sarcastically commented. “But he got this job because the previous guy [California Rep. Kevin McCarthy] was driven out with pitchforks and torches for having had the temerity to speak to political opponents rather than wishing them dead and now he [Johnson] needs his political opponents in order to keep his job.”
“We all know how this ends,” Maddow added, signaling Johnson’s time in the leadership position could now be under serious threat.
The GOP is “not a party that is trying to govern” and is in thrall to former President Donald Trump and his anti-democratic tendencies, said Maddow.
Democrats “are still treating this like it is a governing project” when “the two parties are doing two very different things,” she added.
“Now we are going to keep the government open, it is because the Democrats came to the rescue and said that we should,” Maddow explained. “But this is the Republican Party still not even wanting to keep the government going because they don’t believe that governance is what we need in this country, they believe we want a strongman form of government under a guy who just says what he wants and it happens.”
“The stakes are really high right now and it’s just depressing to see what’s happening in Congress,” she summarized.
“How do we get out of this mess?” asked Colbert.
“The big picture answer is if you are trying to defend democracy, you only have one arrow in your quiver, you only have one weapon and that is democracy. You cannot fight an anti-democratic movement with anti-democratic means,” Maddow replied.
“You have to treat your fellow Americans like human beings, you have to fight against scapegoating and toxic conspiracy theories that are trying to make you think that your fellow Americans are not worthy of participating in a democracy with you,” she continued. “You need to beat people at the polling place and you need to make sure the public knows the truth about this stuff” and “not be scared of people who are trying to use violence to intimidate us out of this process.”
“It’s small ‘d’ democratic commitment and we need it more than we’ve ever needed it this year,” Maddow concluded.
Watch the interview here: