Musings on Sports, Politics and Life in general

More “birther” nonsense!

There are idiotic ramblings from both sides of the political spectrum, but there is one in particular that just simply will not die. There seems to be a hard-core group of nutcases who insist that President Obama does not meet the legal definition of citizenship and therefore, is ineligible to serve as President. They don’t realize that their infatuation with the President’s citizenship is a large part of the reason that the TEA party is looked on with disdain by nearly 70% of the country – including wide swaths of the electorate who would otherwise agree with most policy positions. But since the nutcase fringe, the people who once exiled themselves to the Jon Birch Society and the like, has taken up residence in the TEA party, it’s time the rest of us told them “Enough!” We care about the direction of the nation, not conspiracy theories.

Look, I do not care for the President’s policies. I certainly can’t stomach his approach to governance. I don’t even really much care for him as a person. As far as I can tell, the only difference between him and Richard Millhouse Nixon is that only one was actually convicted of lying. But none of that has any bearing on whether or not he is a citizen.

The latest bit of drivel contesting not only the President’s citizenship, but that of Senator Marco Rubio and Governor Bobby Jindal, comes from some hack named Joseph Farah. In a blog post that I’ve now seen passed around Facebook and Twitter like candy (not to mention had emailed to me three times), Farah demonstrates either willful ignorance or absolute disregard for the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. Farah states, without equivocation, “To be a natural born citizen means to be the offspring of U.S. citizen parents at the time of birth.” Really? Where in the US Constitution does it say that?

The 14th Amendment states, verbatim, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

In Farah’s bird-brained opinion of Constitutional law, anyone who cannot prove their lineage to the Mayflower is ineligible for federal office. It stands to his inexorable reason that unless you can prove your parents were born to his interpretation of “natural born citizens,” that they aren’t full citizens, either – and on down the family tree you go. Fortunately or us, the Constitution only acknowledges three types of citizens:

  1. Born: pretty simple – born in the US? You’re a US Citizen.
  2. Naturalized: Not born here, but you’ve met all the requirements and sworn an oath of allegiance to the United States.
  3. Here at the nation’s founding: If you know anyone still kicking after 240 years or so, let me know. We’ve got a story.

The version of citizenship pushed by the Joe Farah’s of the world doesn’t exist anywhere except in their imaginations. I don’t like defending the President against the peevish insults of men of that ilk – it makes me feel, dirty – but denigrating a person based solely on lies and misinformation should be well behind us as a nation. That it isn’t; that so many people insist on denouncing the President’s citizenship, demonstrates a side to our nation that should give anyone with a brain and more than a 2nd grade education pause.

I’ll make this simple, so that even the bird-brained “birther” conspiracists can understand it: bring us proof that Barack Hussein Obama was born outside the USA and we’ll listen. Otherwise, let those of who truly care about the future of the nation debate the issues and policies while you spend your time taking a civics course. Or two.

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