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Could Obama Issue a Blanket Pardon for Illegal Immigrants?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Yesterday, you might remember me mentioning that sometime before the program started, the Official Program Observer, Mr. Bo Snerdley, strode into the studio smiling ear to ear saying, "Well, I guess that's the end of immigration reform." I said, "Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. If you think the Eric Cantor defeat is the end of immigration reform in the Republican Party, you are misreading the situation."

I said, "They are going behind closed doors, and they're gonna get angry. They're gonna get ticked off. They're not gonna be scared. They're going to be mad about what'll happen." Well, let's see. I just got a couple of audio sound bites here of John Boehner on Capitol Hill for his weekly press conference. During the Q&A, Luke Russert asked Boehner, "A lot of people are saying immigration reform is dead because your conference will not move out of fear of what happened to Mr. Cantor. Is immigration reform dead?"

BOEHNER: Let me just first debunk the first thing. I don't believe the first premise of your question. Secondly, the issue of immigration reform has not changed. The president continues to ignore laws that he signed into law, violating his oath of office.

RUSH: "Let me just first debunk the first thing. I don't believe the first premise of your question." That was, "A lot of people are saying immigration reform is dead because your conference will not move out of fear..." Boehner said (summarized), "No, no, no, we're not afraid. I -- I -- I don't believe the first premise of your question." So he's saying, "We're not afraid."

And then he said, "The issue with immigration reform has not changed. The president continues to ignore laws that he signed into law, violating his oath of office." And that's going to continue because nobody's going to stop it. Oh! Let me run an idea by you. I was reading the Power Line guy, Steven Hayward. He has put forth what he thinks is a very real possibility.

After the 2014 elections this November, Barack Obama will issue a blanket pardon for every one -- every single -- illegal immigrant in the country, using the pardon power he has in the Constitution. Hayward points out there are no limits on it, that he could do this. And Hayward says, in his prediction, that one of the reasons Obama would do it -- not the only, one of the reasons -- would be to goad the Republicans into finally getting serious about trying to impeach him and actually do it.

Because the Democrat theory is that if they can goad the Republicans into doing that, then they will lose forever the race for the White House, and especially in 2016. The thinking is if the Republicans move to impeach the first African-American president, that this country will react in outrage. They already are predisposed to thinking the Republicans are extremists, and that will prove it, trying to impeach the first black president.

That will unite the Democrat base, and there is no way the Republicans can win. It's a protection. It's just a prediction. Hayward's not saying it's in the cards. But he does say he thinks that every reporter talking to any Democrat from now until November needs to ask that question: "If the president issues a blanket pardon as a means of securing amnesty for all of these illegals, would you support it?" He thinks every Democrat needs to be put on record answering that question.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Have you forgotten Jimmy Carter did a blanket pardon of all Vietnam-era draft dodgers? Do you recall that? Some of you are not old enough to remember that, but he did. Look, this is just a prediction by Steven Hayward at Power Line. I read it last night. Again, the thinking is that the Democrats would love for the Republicans to try to impeach Obama. They think that that alone would end the Republican Party.

They really do. Do not doubt that. They're way off in that. The Democrats do not understand -- and I mean this. They do not understand that we have political opinions. They don't understand that they're a minority, in the terms of the circumstances of how people live their lives. They do not understand that. They live under this false impression that they are, and have taken over a majority of the thinking and behavior in this country.

So they believe, even with Obama's approval numbers down, that he is still loved and respected. "People may be down on him right now because the economy's bad, but at the end of the day if the Republicans impeach Obama, the people of this country will rise up in righteous indignation at the Republicans! 'How dare you? We elected that man! This is the first African-American president. How dare you?'"

In truth, it would be the exact opposite. If Barack Obama ever issued a blanket pardon for every illegal immigrant, it would result in the biggest landslide defeat of the Democrat Party there has ever been in this country. Because in addition to those being pardoned, you're going to have a bunch of real hardened criminals.

You're gonna have rapists, murderers, purse snatchers who have committed crimes in addition to being here illegally. So if this were to actually happen -- and, obviously, it's a long shot -- I think the end result would be blanket disaster for the Democrat Party. But I also think that Hayward might be mistaken here. Because we had a sound bite on the program yesterday from Brit Hume at Fox News.

He said that immigration reform has nothing to do with pardoning the illegals.

He said, "That's what amnesty is. Look it up in the dictionary. I'm surprised so many people used the word and don't know what it means. It is a blanket pardon, and that's not what immigration reform is!" So somebody needs to tell Hayward that he might want to withdraw or rein in (in some fashion) his prediction here since they're saying in the establishment that amnesty isn't what's on the table here.

A blanket pardon would be amnesty. And Brit Hume clearly said that nobody's suggesting that illegal aliens would be pardoned. Now, actually they are. That's the whole point. Again, just to summarize. This is the divide. This is the great... (sigh) I don't know. Mystery? This is what you and I can't figure out about the Republicans, that they do not see that immigration reform is nothing more than a Democrat Party voter-registration drive.

But somehow they've got themselves believing it, and they're listening to Democrats, and they're listening to the media. The media's telling them these things, and they're believing it, that they're never gonna win unless they do amnesty and get the support of the Hispanic voters. "Hispanic voters only care about one thing: Amnesty. Hispanic voters only care about one thing: immigration reform.

"And if the Republicans don't do it, they're never gonna win because they're never gonna get the Hispanic vote." And they appear to believe that! Just like they believe that every election is won by winning the independents. That remains one of the greatest tricks ever perpetrated on a political party, in my book, the old saw -- and this is the Republican consultants that tell all these candidates this.

"Hey, I'm the guy that can put you over the top because I'm the guy who can run the ad campaign that's gonna get you a majority of the independents' votes. Take for granted your base is gonna vote for you." Ask Romney about that in 2012. "Take for granted Democrat Party base is gonna vote for them. So you got 80% of the vote already committed no matter what you do and 20% undecided -- independent, moderate.

"That's where elections are won." This is what Republicans believe. So what do they do? They run a campaign aimed at 20% of the country, and they run a campaign aimed at 20% of the country that's got nothing to do with standing up for who they really are and what they really believe. Conservatism, free markets, all of that, never enters the campaign because it is thought the independents are not interested in that.

It's one of the greatest tricks that's ever been perpetrated!

The Democrats seem to get away with trick after trick, and this immigration reform is perhaps the biggest one. Because all it is, is a Democrat voter-registration drive. Here is the second John Boehner sound bite. Remember we're playing these because I predicted yesterday that the Republican leadership is not gonna be scared over what happened to Eric Cantor. They're gonna be mad. Nancy Cordes, the CBS congressional correspondent, then asked Boehner, "On Iraq, do you think the US should be launching air strikes? And, if not, what should the US do?"

BOEHNER: It's not like we haven't seen, over the last five or six months, these terrorists moving in, taking control of western Iraq. Now they've taken control of Mosul, they're a hundred miles from Baghdad, and what's the president doing? Taking a nap.

RUSH: He's mad. Well, at least he's mad at Obama, so that's that.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Curt in Falls Church, Virginia, is where we're starting on the phones. Thank you, sir, for calling. It's wonderful to have you with us on the program.

CALLER: Hello. Thanks for taking my call.

RUSH: You bet.

CALLER: I just want to point out a problem with your pardon theory.

RUSH: It's not mine. It's not mine. It's not mine.

CALLER: Okay, Mr. Hayward's --

RUSH: That's right.

CALLER: -- at Power Line.

RUSH: Steven Hayward, yep, Power Line.

CALLER: The theory is you can be pardoned for prior actions and you can't be punished for them. But assuming that you're still in the United States and you still don't have a legal right to be here, you're immediately as guilty after the pardon as you are before the pardon.

RUSH: I don't think so.

CALLER: It doesn't give you a status to stay in the United States.

RUSH: Well, Mr. Hayward thinks it does. By the way, you're the first guy who said you can't do it. I've run it by a lot of people. Yeah, there's no constitutional prohibition against something like that because --

CALLER: Well, you can, if they were not in the United States and you pardoned them and they didn't come back illegally, they would be free. But assuming they're still in the United States and they're still here illegally, they're immediately guilty for actions that happen after the pardon.

RUSH: You can pardon somebody for all future.

CALLER: Actually, I don't think that's true. I don't think you can immunize --

RUSH: Well, even if you can't, by pardoning the fact that they are here illegally, the next day they don't start being illegal all over again, it's been pardoned. You're thinking they can only be pardoned up to that day. Right?

CALLER: Right. You can be pardoned up to that day, but if you don't have a legal right to be inside in the United States, you're not a citizen --

RUSH: Well, then how did Bill Clinton pardon Marc Rich and then say, and, by the way, you can never come back to this country?

CALLER: Well, what he said is Marc Rich is pardoned for these acts which have happened before.

RUSH: Right.

CALLER: If you violate the law after you've been pardoned, you're not immune. You're subject again for the acts that occurred after the pardon.

RUSH: Okay. Well, look, I will, as we say, take this under advisement. I'm gonna call some people and say, "We had a smart aleck caller who said that everybody talking about this doesn't know what they're talking about." (laughing) No, no, Curt, I'm just kidding. The real answer to you is, with this bunch, who cares what the Constitution says?

CALLER: Well, yes.

RUSH: I mean, that's the bottom line. And I was just kidding. You're not a crackpot caller. Thanks for the call. I appreciate it. He's not a crackpot. I didn't mean that.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  By the way, the draft dodgers that Jimmy Carter pardoned, they were still draft dodgers when they came back from Canada, and they weren't re-prosecuted when they got back here.  They were still draft dodgers.  But they had been pardoned from it.  And it did hurt Carter's reelection.  It did not help him at all.

END TRANSCRIPT

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