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A Short Note in the Morning

with 9 comments

In general, I don’t have a lot of tolerance for converts.  People who go from left to right or from right to left tend to be more Catholic than the Pope in every ssense of the word, and they also tend to be more apocalyptic.  I get tired.

However, today, I found this


at Front Page, David Horowitz’s site.  Horowitz, in case you don’t know, is a former New Left SDS radical who has gone very conservative indeed.  Mostly, he just makes my head hurt (about as much as what’s his name, who left the Republicans and founded MediaMatters).

But the article above is not by Horowitz himself, and it gives a very unusual explanation of why so many people on the right buy into, or partially by into, the birther nonsense.

I thought I’d risk posting the link and keeping my fingers crossed that forty of you don’t decide that I must be a birther myself.

Then I’ll go back to wishing that people would notice the obvious.

The child of an American citizen is an American citizen at birth.

It doesn’t matter if he’s born on the moon.

And I know this because my younger son was an American citizen at birth in spite of being born in London.

But that’s a lament for another day.

Written by janeh

April 25th, 2011 at 7:49 am

Posted in Uncategorized

9 Responses to 'A Short Note in the Morning'

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  1. “The child of an American citizen is an American citizen at birth.”

    The birthers seem unable to hear that sentence.


    25 Apr 11 at 1:44 pm

  2. Articel 2, section 1 of the US Constitution

    No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

    The question in how “natural born Citizen” is defined. Is it sufficien that the parents be US citizens or does the birth have to take place within the US?

    Not that there is any question about Obama. He was born in the state of Hawaii, hence born within the US.


    25 Apr 11 at 3:00 pm

  3. jd, as I understand it, the argument is that the Hawaii “short form” birth certificate is a forgery and Obama was born in Kenya–which doesn’t get them around the “natural born citizen” business and postulates massive fraud, since there’s no evidence Obama’s mother ever visited Kenya, and plenty that she was in Hawaii at the time he was born.
    And it’s counter-productive. If in 2009 they HAD found a way to disqualify Obama, that put Clueless Joe Biden in the White House–or Nancy Pelosi. I don’t know any conservative who didn’t prefer Obama to the alternatives. You should try not to pick fights you’d regret winning.

    But I think the poll numbers and book sales are more a solidarity thing. The “birther” percentages among conservatives about match the “truther” percentages among liberals–or the percentage of black Americans who think (in surveys) that AIDS was a government plot against them.
    But no one ACTS as though they believe these things. By the poll numbers millions or tens of millions of Americans believe that the previous administration engaged in the cold-blooded murder of its own citizens to justify conquering portions of the Middle East, that the current President is, effectively, a foreign imposter, and that the government is engaged in biological warfare against its own minority citizens. If millions of people really believed these things, we’d be in the middle of civil war. Instead, people act as though the opposition is legal and constitutional–to be dealt with by campaign contributions and voting drives, not shotguns and Molotov cocktails. Something’s going on here, but it’s not what the polling and book sales indicate.

    I try to pay special attention to converts, though. They can be tiresome, but at least they’re capable of changing an opinion. Most of our political writers haven’t deviated from the orthodoxy of their group in 30 years, and the novelists may be worse than that. Still, at least a novelist can be wrong and interesting. If you already know what a political writer will say, why bother?


    25 Apr 11 at 5:14 pm

  4. The question in how “natural born Citizen” is defined. Is it sufficien that the parents be US citizens or does the birth have to take place within the US?

    The United States Congress defined natural born citizen as:

    “A Natural Born Citizen is one who is born of citizen parents. A child born abroad to two US citizen parents is a natural-born citizen: Provided, That at least one citizen parent had a prior residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions. U.S. Code: Title 8, 1401.”


    25 Apr 11 at 6:05 pm

  5. Oh, and just for completeness:

    TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER III > Part I > § 1401

    (d) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year prior to the birth of such person, and the other of whom is a national, but not a citizen of the United States;


    25 Apr 11 at 6:20 pm

  6. michaelwfisher@cox.net

    25 Apr 11 at 6:21 pm

  7. Well, I just read the actual article.

    If half the country is that f–king delusional, we’re doomed.


    25 Apr 11 at 7:24 pm

  8. Thank you Michael. And I owe the birthers about half an apology. This would give them legal ground if they were right, and the necessary conspiracy would be no larger or more senseless than most of the JFK stuff.

    I note also, this means that the communities in Mexico and Brazil descended from US citizens–mostly ex-Confederates, but not all–are debarred by the residence clause. I wondered how that worked out.

    Of course, all this assumes that in a pinch the SCOUS doesn’t throw it all out.


    25 Apr 11 at 7:27 pm

  9. “Of course, all this assumes that in a pinch the SCOUS doesn’t throw it all out.”

    Even Scalia would find it a truly Herculean task to twist constitutional law that much.

    Defining exactly what “natural born citizen” means is exactly the kind of duty assigned to the Congress by the constitution in Article 1 section 8:

    “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”


    25 Apr 11 at 8:00 pm

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