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Mark Steyn On Obama’s Threat Of Executive Action On Amnesty, And Lack Of Action On Keystone

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HH: I begin as I do on Thursdays when we are lucky with Columnist to the World, Mark Steyn. You can read all of Mark Steyn’s work at Hello, Mark.

MS: Hey, good to be with you, Hugh.

HH: Are you surprised that the President is going to jam down the legalization of four and a half million Americans via a stroke of his pen?

MS: No, I’m not. I think a lack of seemliness has characterized this President’s attitude to this office, and to the Constitution since he took office. You and I have talked about the difference between America and the rest of the English-speaking world before. I always say to you the difference is you guys wrote it all down. In Canada, whatever it is, paragraph 3 of the Constitution says executive power shall be vested in Her Majesty. And that’s all. All the rest is codes and conventions. There’s nothing about a prime minister. In the Canadian Constitution or the Australian Constitution, that office isn’t even mentioned. And it depends on gentlemen respecting the codes and conventions. You fellows wrote it all down, but in the end, that, too, depends on gentlemen respecting the codes and conventions. And this guy is now going to ride a coach and horses through that. And the question is what are, what is Congress, which has given away a lot of its power in recent decades, what is Congress actually going to do about it? Or are they just going to have, be left in the ground with King Barack’s coach tire treads over their bodies as he goes galloping off in the distance.

HH: I know. They’ve got so much to do, Mark Steyn. You know, Jon Gruber is out there explaining to us that this collapse of Obamacare was in fact premeditated. Everyone knew what was going into this law and how bad it was. Should they work about rebuking the President on immigration, or trying to undo Obamacare first?

MS: Well, I think they have to, I think they have to act and react if he goes ahead and does what he does. In other words, I think there have to be consequences, because otherwise, the floodgates are open, and he’ll be doing a lot more of it in the next two years. In other words, it won’t stop here. And he’ll do it, by the way, on Obamacare, because as the name suggests, he regards it as his law, and he decides which paragraphs are operative at any point in the day. I would prefer to see a situation where the Republican Congress decides for itself what is in the interests, what is in the interest of the American people. For example, 80% or so of the American people are opposed to amnesty. So they should put some kind of bill specifically excluding so-called amnesty on the President’s terms, on the President. They should pass it in the House, pass it in the Senate, and invite the President to veto it. Likewise the Keystone Pipeline, which I can tell you, Canadians are pretty sick of this sclerotic process that this thing’s been stalled in. Mary Landrieu is even sick of it. So it’s hands across the 49th Parallel on that one. So why don’t they just pass a simple Keystone bill and put that on the President’s desk?

HH: I think you may see that next week. Mary Landrieu is so desperate to do anything to save her skin. But they just reelected Harry Reid their leader. I don’t know how she appeals to the people of Louisiana that she’s other than an apparatchik, Mark Steyn.

MS: No, and of course, that is why these things matter, even if, you know, to take the opposite from the Republican Party, even Susan Collins from Maine, the point is that Susan Collins from Maine, as Scott Brown had he been elected, votes for their party’s guy to be majority leader. And that’s why in the end, that’s why they’ll forgive them anything else. But the fact is, Harry Reid as Senator majority leader demonstrated the same contempt for your Constitution as the President did. And now that’s interesting to me, because in many ways, they represent different aspects of the Democratic Party. But what you unites them is a kind of belief in a post-Constitutional order where if it happens to be ideologically, philosophically congenial to Democrats, they don’t care. And that’s actually what ties them in with this fellow, Gruber, that if it happens, the end justifies the means. And that’s true of immigration, that’s true of health care, that’s true of Keystone, that’s true of the whole thing, everything for those guys.

HH: Dr. Gruber has been a guest on this show a couple of times, and I put the transcripts, I pulled them out of the transcript pile and they’re over at I’m not particularly surprised by what he said, Mark Steyn. Are you?

MS: No, I’m not, because I think a sort of technocrat’s condescension is built into the liberal project. And I think that’s the other, that’s the other reason why they’re impatient with old fashioned stuff like laws and constitutions, because I think I say this, I can’t remember whether I said it in my new book or the previous book, but I’ve certainly said it in one of my books. Buy them all, and you’ll be sure to have the one I say it in. I say the difference between, you know, if you have an hereditary monarchy, at somewhere deep inside, those fellows understand that the only reason they’re sitting on the throne is because of an accident of birth. When you have people like this who actually believe they are smarter than anybody else, and know what’s best for everybody else, there really is no limits. That’s psychologically a kind of unhealthy person to be wielding power in a free society.

HH: You know, Mark Steyn, I’m going to spend hours two and most of three with Chuck Todd of Meet The Press. And his book, The Stranger, is really a damning indictment of the emptiness at the center of President Obama and his team. There is an absolute arrogance about their ability to do anything. But they don’t really know anything. They never had a plan for anything. It’s no wonder it’s a serial fiasco. They don’t know anything. And it’s that unmerited arrogance that is so maddening. Now I do have to rebuke you, though.

MS: Yeah, no, I want to agree with you on that, because I think it’s that, to go back to Rumsfeld’s line about known knowns and unknown unknowns and all the rest of it, which is actually a very sharp and sophisticated way of looking at the world.

HH: It was.

MS: These guys don’t know what they don’t know. And that’s why it doesn’t matter whether it’s governmentalizing one-sixth of the economy, or deciding that they’re going to go into Libya, or deciding what they’re going to do about the Islamic State. They don’t know what they don’t know, so they don’t care about what they don’t know.

HH: You know what they don’t know on this immigration executive order? They’re going to incentivize. If it’s as has been leaked that they are going to leave here anyone who has fathered a child or given birth to a child, you get what you reward. That which gets rewarded gets repeated. They’re going to incentivize everyone to go out and father or mother a child immediately, Mark Steyn.

MS: Yes, and I think that’s very, I mean, I think there’s an argument for actually getting rid of birthright citizenship in this country. But I can understand that people think well, if you’re born within the boundaries of the United States, in whatever circumstances, you should have the right to be American. But then to say that anyone who is the parent of someone with that birthright citizenship is also, or a minor who came here as a child, is also entitled to stay, I think then there’s no reason why all 7 billion people on this planet shouldn’t come here if they want to. And there is effectively no, there will effectively be no legal way of removing them.

HH: Oh, there’s a premium on procreation now. You get to stay in the United States if you drop a baby over here.

MS: Yeah, and I think, and everything is taken care of for the baby. What’s the big deal about that? The baby will get free schooling, free education, free health care and all the rest of it. As you say, you have to think very carefully about what you incentivize. And the incentives that Obama seems determined to provide here are terrible for the United States. I mean, it’s fascinating to me. I don’t particularly agree with aspects of Australian immigration policy or Canadian immigration policy. But they’re designed to attract the best and brightest. America is basically setting itself up as the welfare check in desk for the planet. It’s insane. It does nothing for the 300 million people for whom this president is actually responsible.

HH: Now let me close by rebuking you, Mark, Steyn. Had you run for Senate, we would have 55 seats today. Scott Brown could not close the gap.

MS: No, I know.

HH: Are you feeling guilt?

MS: I do, actually, because it turns out that a guy from Canada is actually a lot closer to New Hampshire than a guy from Massachusetts. And I certainly think I could have closed that gap. And it is actually sobering to me that I actually…

HH: You could have won. You could have been a senator.

MS: I actually have no idea, I have no desire to be sharing the Senate elevator with Chuck Schumer. But putting aside my natural disgust for entering that building, I do think I could have actually snaffled that seat away from Jeanne Shaheen.

HH: I think so. Last question, is the new record out? 10 seconds.

MS: It’s coming any week now. It should be with you next week.

HH: It’s almost Christmas, Mark Steyn. You’re pushing our deadlines here.

MS: Not even Thanksgiving.

HH: All right, Mark Steyn, the whole Steyn store, everything is available at Before Thanksgiving, you hear it here, news of the new release from the non-Senator.

End of interview.


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