RUSH: I want to start by going back to yesterday's program, about 24 hours ago, and I want to review what I said leading into a discussion of President Bush's speech ( transcript | video ) on immigration the night before.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Let's get to the president's speech on immigration last night. What you saw, what you heard, I think, is a sincere leader trying to lead the nation. Then we got the third rail of third rails here, illegal immigration, and the horses are out of the barn on this. You can lock the door to the barn all you want, and you can say (muttering), but when the horses are gone, the horses are gone, and this is one of these issues. You heard the president. You saw him trying to solve a problem that previous leaders and politicians created, ignored, and encouraged. It's a tough thing.
RUSH: All right, now, just a question. Does that sound...? I was giving the president the benefit of the doubt. I was understanding this is a big problem. Yeah, he's had a role in it but it's a problem created long before he got there, and of course I know it's got a lot of people roiled. But you didn't hear anything in that that would constitute bigotry or harsh criticism of the president, did you? In fact, you go through the whole program yesterday and you won't really hear that. I was respectful of Vice President Cheney, as I always am on this program and I, you know, asked him some pretty tough questions. I didn't lob a bunch of softballs at him. So imagine my shock and stunned amazement when I'm watching the roundtable, one of my favorite television shows, Special Report with Brit Hume, and they're discussing the reaction to the president's speech, and Fred Barnes turned to speak, and he said this.
BARNES: The president did not do very well among the hard-core anti-immigrant [sic] people. The hard-core people, the blogs, the conservative blogs, the conservative talk radio people, Rush Limbaugh and so on. The difference is they don't have a vote, and once you get an issue that has tremendous momentum behind it, it's really the chemistry in the Senate and the House that matter.
RUSH: Whoa! Now, what is this, "anti-immigrant"? When in the world, especially yesterday or any day, have I expressed "anti-immigrant" sentiments? I have expressed alarm and concern over the original Hagel-Martinez Bill that would have allowed as many as between a hundred and 200 million new legal immigrants into the country in 20 years. I think that's a bit overdone. I've never suggested we ban immigrants, ban immigration. I've only spoken about illegal immigration. What is all this, "these anti-immigration people, the hard-core people, the blogs"? You know, this is disappointing. There's no "anti-immigration" sentiment, among any of the people I know about this. It's all anti-illegal, and I don't understand what's so hard to understand about that.
The word illegal, if it doesn't mean anything anymore, take it out. But if illegal still has meaning, if you go to the dictionary you can find that it has a meaning and it continues to be used, then why ignore it, and why try to cast people who are not anti-immigrant as anti-immigrant? You know, I'll tell you what, this issue is causing more divisions in the Republican Party than any issue that I can recall in a long time, including the Dubai Ports deal. I can't recall an issue. I've been doing this for 18 years. It will be 18 years in August, a big anniversary coming up. I can't remember. I'm trying to think. There have been some, but I can't think of any single issue which has Republicans, slash, conservatives more up in arms than this one -- and particularly with the apparent lack of response at the highest levels of government, House, Senate, White House.
The House Bank was a big deal, and the House Post Office, and some of those corruption scandals that existed back in the late eighties and early nineties, but this is incredible. You've got even among the conservative, quote, unquote, intelligentsia -- and, yes, we have pointy-headed elites in the conservative movement just like they exist on the left, and they're mostly inside the Beltway, and even those people are divided on this. Some of them are calling each other anti-immigrant. The others are saying, "Yeah, you don't understand the problem in America. You need to get outside the Beltway and go see it." This is a classic illustration here of how at least Fred Barnes... I don't know if he's speaking just for himself or representing the Weekly Standard where he works as well, in an editorial sense. But this idea that there's an anti-immigrant mood out there is misstated, and, frankly, it's absurd.
Now, there's action in the Senate, as you know, Jeff Sessions succeeded in reducing these numbers from 100 to 200 million to somewhere between -- I think the top will be 60 million. It's strange when you can have new immigration of 60 million over 20 years be considered a victory. These guys start with this massive high starting point, 100 to 200 million new legal immigrants, and Sessions said, "Whoa, that's too many," and starts alerting people in the Senate, and they voted to amend it and they get it down to the top now would be, yeah, 60 million is what it would be if the full caps are reached.
But that's not really the big story. The real big story is that, "The Senate yesterday voted against securing the border before implementing provisions that would grant the right of citizenship to millions of illegal aliens and that would double the flow of legal immigration. The amendment would have delayed the 'amnesty' and guest-worker provisions in the Senate's comprehensive immigration-reform bill until the border had been sewn up successfully. The majority of Democrats, 36 of 44, were joined by 18 Republicans and the chamber's lone independent to kill the amendment on an 55-40 vote." Well, that sort of sums up where we are here, 55-40, and, "The amendment would have delayed the 'amnesty' and guest-worker provisions in the Senate's comprehensive immigration-reform bill until the border had been sewn up successfully."
Meaning, if you look at it the other way, 55 Senators said, "Screw security! We're going to join the Democrats and the open-borders crowd here." Would you like to hear the names of the 18 Republican senators who voted with the Democrats on this? Here we go, in alphabetical order: Robert Bennett of Utah; Sam Brownback of Kansas; Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island; Norm Coleman, Minnesota; Susan Collins, Maine; Larry Craig, Idaho; Mike DeWine, Ohio; Lindsey Graham, South Carolina; Chuck Hagel, Nebraska; Dick Lugar, Indiana; Mel Martinez, Florida; Lisa Murkowski, Alaska; Senator Shelby, Alabama; Olympia Snowe, Maine; Senator Specter, Pennsylvania; Ted Stevens, Alaska; Voinovich, Ohio; and John Warner from Virginia. There were four Republicans that didn't vote: Thad Cochran, Mississippi; Judd Gregg, New Hampshire; Trent Lott; and Senator McCain.
RUSH: I guess we're supposed to applaud this today. The Senate voted today. We have audio sound bites from Senate action today. Ted Kennedy flips out. That's coming up. "The Senate voted [today] to exclude illegal immigrants convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors from a chance at remaining in the United States under what critics say is an amnesty program. The unanimous vote on an amendment that before Easter had been considered a 'poison pill' provided added momentum for broad immigration reform that would give legal status to millions of illegal immigrants and put many of them on a path toward citizenship."
This is the Kyl-Cornyn amendment -- Kyl of Arizona, Cornyn of Texas. They offend the bill Tuesday in negotiations with the supporters of the legislation. "The sponsors agreed to include exceptions for hardship cases and those who didn't know a deportation order had been issued for them..." Senator Ted Kennedy said, "We want to keep those who could harm us, the criminal element, out. Those who can benefit us ought to remain." Yeah, of course. You want to know what one of the hardships is? "It will hurt my family if you deport me." If somebody's family would be hurt by deportation, they don't get deported. Okay. I'll tell you, it's going to be fascinating to see where this goes.
Folks, I know, it's getting worse by the day, and it's inexplicable. It doesn't make any sense. What are these 18 Republicans doing? What is so difficult to understand about this in terms of the smart, sensible thing to do here? The first thing is the security of the border, and to have 18 Republicans, "Oh, nope, can't put that in there." Maybe they didn't like the fact that we can't do anything else until the border is secure. Well, what is wrong with that? I am trying to maintain my composure, but no matter where I look and no matter how deep I dig, I can't come up with a explanation for any of this that makes sense to me.
Here's some of the details. By the way, I need to issue a correction. Senator Sessions' fix, the top is 90 million now, between 60 and 90. I said it was 30 and 60 million that the new amendment adjustments allow for. You know, it used to be a hundred, 217 million, somewhere between there, those two numbers, after Jeff Sessions did his magic, the range now is between 60 and 90 million, but, I mean, so what? I got it wrong by 30 million, ten million here, ten million there. What are we talking about anyway? These numbers are still ridiculous, they're still absurd. I mean, it's crazy when the top figure now gets reduced from 217 million to 90 million and you think, "A-ha! Victory!"
At any rate, the amendment to delay the amnesty and guest worker provisions until the border had been sewn up successfully was offered by a senator from Georgia, by the name of Isakson. He said, "We didn't enforce the border. We granted amnesty in 1986, and 20 years later there are 11 to 12 million or 13 million who have come because of the promise and opportunity of this country, but also because we've given a wink and a nod to the security of our border." Mr. Isakson's fellow Georgian, Republican Saxby Chambliss, said, "I don't see how any senator who is serious about border security and enforcing our immigration laws can disagree with this amendment. To disagree with this amendment sends the message to the American people that we're more eager to give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship than we are to secure our borders from further illegal immigration and the smuggling of illegal drugs and weapons."
Speaking of that, illegal drugs, Jonah Goldberg had a piece today in the National Review Online. He's one of their editors at large or executive editors, and he said it's interesting if you compare the way we're fighting the war on drugs to the way we are fighting the war on illegal immigration. He said pretend for a moment that illegal immigrants are illegal drugs, and is the war on illegal drugs working? And, in fact, some people are saying it isn't going to work because the supply and demand laws are going to take over. As long as there's a demand for drugs, they're going to find a way in the country no matter what you do at the border.
He said if you look at illegal immigration that way, some people might have the same take. But his interesting analysis is that while all kinds of people are just dead set serious on the war on drugs. "We're not going to cut anybody any slack. We're not going to back off one second!" The same problem: you still got an insecure, unprotected border that leads to the existence of both problems. You got the illegal immigrant crowd, the open borders crowd, "Ah, borders? We need to deal with this on the interior basis. We need these borders," whatever cockamamie thinking they've come up with, and when it comes to the war on drugs, it's an entirely different mentality and attitude by the same people.
So it is interesting. We'll link to it at RushLimbaugh.com. Also, there's an amendment that was defeated yesterday. That was the Byron "Helmet Head" Dorgan amendment, defeated 69-28. His amendment would have eliminated the central plank of Bush's immigration policy, a program to offer temporary guest worker visas to 325,000 foreign workers a year. Dorgan and some union leaders said that the program would in-source a steady flow of cheap labor that would compete for low skill jobs, lowering wages for everybody. So a Democrat amendment to scrap the guest worker plan was also defeated, and it's interesting, Dorgan acting here at the behest of unions -- and then there's this.
So many aspects of this story are mind-boggling. From Nuevo Laredo, Mexico: "Mexico warned Tuesday it would file lawsuits in U.S. courts if National Guard troops detain migrants on the border, and some officials said they fear the crackdown will force illegal crossers into more perilous areas to avoid detection. Bush announced Monday he will send 6,000 National Guard troops to the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border, but said the troops will provide intelligence and surveillance support to U.S. Border Patrol agents and will not catch and detain illegal immigrants. 'If there is a real wave of rights abuses, if we see the National Guard starting to directly participate in detaining people ... we would immediately start filing lawsuits through our consulates,' Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez said in an interview with a Mexico City radio station. Mexican officials worry the crackdown will lead to more deaths."
Now, let me see if I understand this. (It's getting harder and harder to make sense of any of this.) Mexico says that if the US National Guard actually takes any action to protect our borders by holding back illegal aliens, then they are going to sue. In the United States, in our own courts, they're going to sue us in our own courts for essentially protecting our border? Who they going to call, John Edwards? Who's going to take the case for them? I know they'll find a lot of lawyers to take the case. Will not one, just one elected United States official stand up and take a position on this? Just one? Is there not one? I don't care what party. Is there not one elected official who, when hearing that Mexico threatens to sue us in our courts if the Guard actually happens to participate in protecting the border, to announce the lunacy of this and to say, "Who do you people think you are?" By the way, Mexico, where's your shame? Does it not bother you that so damn many of your citizens want out? Nobody looks at it from that angle, either. But this is absurd, in so many different ways it makes no sense. I can't figure it out, folks. I'm sorry.
yesterday afternoon for the next issue of The RUSH: You heard right. Mexico is warning of lawsuits in our courts if the National Guard detains immigrants. When is somebody in our elected capacity going to stand up and say, "Hey, Mexico, your own immigration laws are nothing but a bunch of BS, and we demand that you change them"? We just sit around and take it. You know, these little Third World countries just diss on us all the time and we just sit around and take it because we have institutional guilt, folks. We have guilt and so forth. It's pervading every aspect of American culture and politics now. By the way, I interviewed Shelby SteeleLimbaugh Letter, and it was fascinating. This man has written a book, "White Guilt," that will just...
I have people come up to me all the time and say, "Rush! Rush! How can a liberal be a liberal? How can anybody be a liberal?" You know, I go through my various answers -- this, this, this -- and he answers it. He answers it. You've got to have a tremendous foundation of guilt. He also explained to me, and I thought I knew the answer to this, but I wasn't quite all the way there. We were talking about his views on the black population and how it's just in terrible trouble because the current civil rights leadership, which he thinks is fading away. He's very optimistic that all this is going to change, but said the current civil rights leadership has done its best to make sure that successful blacks are not portrayed as role models, such as Condoleezza Rice, or Colin Powell, or Justice Thomas or any number of them.
I said, "Well, why is that?" I mean, I understand the threat to the civil rights coalition of people like Dr. Rice and Justice Thomas and Colin Powell who have achieved outside the prescriptions that the civil rights coalitions say are necessary, such as affirmative action and all, he said (summarized), "No, no, no. It's nothing to do with it." He said, "The problem is that Justice Thomas and his success and Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell demonstrate that there is no institutional racism in America anymore. They demonstrate that black people are free," and he said, "Black people, the civil rights leaders have just done their level best to keep their charges, their people, the people they claim to lead, ill-equipped to deal with freedom. They'd rather keep them in entitlement mentality."
He said, "This is not about rage. When you see riots after Rodney King episode or O.J., it's not about rage. It's not." He said, "If oppression caused rage, then the slaves would have revolted. They didn't. There's no rage that's causing all of this." He said, "This is a purposeful, strategic attempt to use guilt and to blame white people and other people in power and perpetuate this, and the purpose of it is to continue to spread this guilt among non-blacks and non-minorities, and it's working, and it's been working for a long time." This business of illegal immigration, I guarantee you, that as far as the Democrats are concerned the reason we're not going to do anything about it is because they refuse to be seen or thought of as being cold-hearted, mean-spirited and cruel to the "disadvantaged."
Not to mention the political aspects. They see them as future voters and a way to expand their party and all that, that of course, makes sense, but aside from the other... It's like the story I told, the big-time TV personality got into an argument with bunch of us out in southern California over immigration. He finally got frustrated at being unable to refute any argument that we were giving him. He finally got mad, and he started pounding the dinner table. He said, "Look, if any poor person, color, wants to come to my country to try to improve their life, I am not going to stand in their way. I will not do it. I am going to welcome them in." He was so frustrated. Well, voila! The guy was hell-bent on making sure that nobody thought he was mean-spirited, cruel, cold-hearted.
The inability to put his own country first, the inability to put what's right to enforce the law or what have you, the inability to deal with the national security of this country on any issue subordinated to his own guilt, and that's, I think, where a lot of people come down on this illegal immigration business and trying to seriously do something about it, because they're afraid what others will say about them, especially in an election year. I mean, the worst thing that you can say, a politician, one of the things about which a politician will be the most afraid of having said about him or her is, "doesn't care about the poor." I mean, it's almost a requirement that you care about them, or say you do, if you have any chance of being elected.
RUSH: Tom in Knoxville, Tennessee. We'll start with you on the phones today. Welcome to the program, sir.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Thank you for taking my call. Hey, I think I have an answer for you on these possible lawsuits coming out of Mexico. My thought was when you read that, I was surprised, but I thought, you know what? We can't even defend our own homes without a threat of a lawsuit, you know, if you have somebody that's trying to break in or perhaps invading your property, and so I think they've learned from the best.
RUSH: Well, but that's not the point. I mean, I understand the point that you're trying to make about that, lawsuits and courts are out of control. All I'm saying is, where is somebody with some sense and some responsibility in a position of elected power going to stand up and say to Mexico, "This is absurd. You try to sue us! You can't tell us how we're going to protect our own country," and yet they're doing it, and we're just standing around twiddling our thumbs! In fact, 18 Republicans joined with the Democrats yesterday to make it clear, border security is the last thing they care about. (interruption) What are you laughing at in there, Snerdley? (interruption) Well, I mean the (interruption). What? Don't want to...? I didn't understand what you said. (interruption) Where, what voter? (interruption) Who? (interruption) Uh, I'm not sure I understand. I'll get it from you in the break.
But here's the thing. The conservative movement has defined the Republican Party for 20 years. We're a national security, we're a law and order, free market party, and we're not beating the crap out of the enemy in Iraq, and Steele is right about that, Shelby Steele. We're not enforcing our own law on the border, and we're spending like idiots, and I think one of the pieces of glue that's holding the conservative movement together today is the detestable, contemptible left. We know the country simply can't be turned over to them. Plus, there are some other signs out there of conservative muscle flexing. There was a literal earthquake in Pennsylvania, just as there was in North Carolina, and just as there was in Ohio.
In these primary elections, RINO Republicans, liberal blue-blood country club Rockefeller Republicans are being thrown out of office, and conservative Republicans are winning in these primaries. So the Republicans in Pennsylvania and Ohio, North Carolina -- and Pennsylvania, this is pretty remarkable. Pennsylvania not known as a hotbed of conservatism, and the Republicans in these primaries just clean the clocks, these conservatives of these old moderate country club Rockefeller blue-blood types, and it's the same thing with Ken Blackwell in Ohio and -- what else? There was one other state. Maybe it was Ohio, but I forget. I know North Carolina, but some... Oh, it was in Reston, Virginia, where these people that wanted to set up a day labor center for illegals, they got thrown out as well. So there's clearly unrest out there, and these people in Washington had better notice it, or they are going to be in the deep doo-doo with all the rest of us.