Mistakes of the birthers
When it comes to the Obama birth issue, even more discouraging than the shameless falsehoods spoken by the lying Democrats and by idiots like Bill O’Reilly, are the gross misstatements made by the birthers themselves (and please note that I do not use that word in a derogatory fashion, since I call myself a birther). Birthers keep repeating that a person must be born in the U.S. to be a natural born citizen. Thus Jeffrey Kuhner in the Washington Times writes:
If Mr. Obama was not born in America … it would spark a constitutional crisis. The Constitution is absolutely clear that to be president one has to be a “natural born citizen.” Therefore, every major initiative implemented during the Obama administration—the health care overhaul, the massive stimulus package, the government takeovers of the auto companies, big banks and insurance firms, the sweeping anti-carbon regulations, allowing homosexuals to openly serve in the military, the nearly unprecedented expansion of state power, the new START Treaty—would be invalid and possibly illegal. It would drive a stake through the heart of Mr. Obama’s regime, triggering impeachment and his removal from office. This is why liberals ferociously insist that the birth issue must be buried at almost any cost.Kuhner is incorrect. Kuhner and most birthers seem to be unaware of the federal laws on this issue, which were discussed in detail in Randall Hoven’s important article at American Thinker in December 2008 and in VFR’s thread inspired by it. First, most importantly, natural born citizenship status does not necessarily depend on being born in the U.S. For example, if a person is born abroad to U.S. citizen parents who happen to be traveling or on vacation, he is, as I understand it, a natural born citizen. (If I am wrong on this, someone please correct me.) Second, it is not necessarily the case that if Obama, the son of a U.S. citizen mother and an foreign father, was not born in the U.S., he would not be a natural born citizen. It depends on specific factors. It is true that under the relevant federal law, and based on the age of Stanley Ann Dunham at the time of the birth of her son, if Obama had been born abroad he would not be a citizen. However, this would only be the case if Stanley Ann was married to the child’s non-citizen father. But given the fact that Barack Hussein Obama Sr. was apparently already married to a Kenyan woman during the time he was with Stanley Ann, it is very likely that Barack Sr. and Stanley Ann were not legally married. And, as surprising as this sounds, under the relevant federal law, if Barack Obama Jr. was born illegitimate and was born outside the U.S., he would be a natural born citizen; the law is easier on a child born abroad of a U.S. citizen mother who was not married to her foreign husband than it is on a child born abroad of a U.S. citizen mother who was married to her foreign husband. This is why I’ve previously raised the possibility that the information Obama is hiding is not his non-natural born citizenship status, but his born-out-of-wedlock status. Obviously for Obama to have lied about the location and other circumstances of his birth would be very damaging to him politically. But it would not necessarily lead to the conclusion that he was not legally president.
Given the complexity of the underlying law and of the (still largely unknown) facts, it is understandable that birthers simplify the issue by stating that if Obama was born abroad, he is not legally president. But that doesn’t make it right. Birthers need to educate themselves on the relevant federal law, and a good place to start is Randall Hoven’s article.
There are also idiot birthers who state that for a person to be a natural born citizen requires that both his parents be citizens. This is obviously ridiculous, given the fact that a person born in the U.S. of two illegal alien parents is a natural born citizen under the existing interpretation of the 14th amendment.
James P. writes:
Kuhner says:Robert B. writes:
You are correct in your analysis of the birth issue. Regardless of where Obama was born, if Stanley Ann is his mother, he is a natural born citizen. [LA replies: That’s not necessarily true, and that’s not what I said. It all depends on several different factors. ] This is actually known as “The Bastard Clause” in constitutional studies classes and is believed to have been written to accommodate Hamilton, should he have wanted to run for President. Hamilton was a favorite of George Washington and it is believed Washington used his influence in this regard.LA replies:
There is nothing in the Constitution or in any federal law of which I am aware that says what you have said here about requirements for the presidency. The only constitutional requirement, in addition to being of the age of 35, is that the person be a natural born citizen, and there have been various federal laws defining natural born citizenship.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 13, 2011 01:25 PM | Send