Can Obama Hatred Be Harnessed?

Rubio warned yesterday that, if Congress doesn’t pass immigration reform, Obama may legalize millions of undocumented immigrants by executive order. Catherine Thompson explains:

”I have been saying for more than a year that I believe that this president will be tempted,” Rubio said. ”If nothing happens in Congress, he will be tempted to issue an executive order, like he did for the DREAM Act kids a year ago, where he basically legalizes 11 million people by the sign of a pen.”

“We won’t get any E-Verify, we won’t get any border security, but he’ll legalize them,” he continued.

Drum thinks Rubio’s comment is “interesting for what it says about how Rubio views his tea party base”:

Basically, he’s given up on reasoning with them. Instead, he figures the only way to win them over is to appeal to their paranoid belief in Obama the tyrant, the man who’s unilaterally ruining America by running roughshod over Congress with his dictatorial executive order powers. Reason might not work, but perhaps they hate and fear Obama even more than 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Benjy Sarlin believes that Rubio’s gambit could backfire:

Many Republicans say they’re concerned about the security components of a bill because they fear Obama or a future Democratic president will find some legal rationale to delay or derail their implementation. Democratic and Republican supporters of the bill insist that they can find ways to prevent that from happening, either by specifying a clear set of security measures or by tying legalization to ironclad border metrics. But Rubio’s claim could feed perceptions on the right that Obama can’t be trusted to enforce the law and thus will ignore even the toughest border deal.