Last week, I wrote a column for WND titled, “Just who is eligible to be president?” In it I raised the question as to whether Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum are “natural born citizens” and thus eligible to be president of the United States.
The article generated a fair amount of response. Some respondents thought my interpretation of the law too strict. Others thought it too lenient – but no one challenged the legitimacy of the question or used profanity to make his or her point.
As I have been since reminded, people think – and speak – differently on the left. Catherine Thompson of the popular progressive blog Talking Points Memo found the WND article curious and asked to interview me.
As to why I consented, I have a new book to plug, “Scarlet Letters: The Ever Increasing Intolerance of the Cult of Liberalism.” I asked Thompson to give it a mention. She did not.
Without asking permission, Thompson recorded the interview and ran it back “lightly edited for length and clarity.” There was, however, one major conversational point she left out.
It had to do with Barack Obama. “I think if Obama – if Obama were in fact born in Hawaii, and I still think that’s questionable, I think he would prevail in court as a natural born citizen,” I told her and she reported.
“I think if he were born, say, in Canada, he would not prevail. He would lose because neither his mother nor his father was constitutionally, by law, able to confer citizenship upon him. His mother because she was too young and his father because he’s foreign.” Thompson reported this, too.
Sensing her skepticism, I asked here where Obama spent the first year of his life. “Indonesia?” she answered. “No,” I said. “He did not move there until he was six.” She edited out this question and her answer.
The answer, of course, was Seattle. I asked Thompson to survey her newsroom and see how many of her colleagues could answer a question “birthers” have known since before Obama was elected. She edited out that question, too.
As I explained, none of Obama’s four most prominent mainstream biographers told us anything at all about where Obama’s mother spent the six months before his birth. Not a sentence. Nor did they tell us how Obama got to Seattle.
If I were less civil, I might have said, “Catherine, you and your colleagues know next to nothing about the man you elected president, and you have the nerve to mock us as conspiracy theorists and birthers.”
But then again, she had yet to imply I was a conspiracy theorist. That would come later. To be fair, Thompson’s mockery was somewhat restrained. That of her respondents was not.
They seemed fully unaware that the Constitution limits presidential eligibility to “a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution.”
For the left, constitutional eligibility is basically a running gag. It is the kind of subject, Thompson implies, taken seriously only on “the conspiracy theory website WND” and other “birther” haunts.
A sampling of the responses – all of them seemingly written by one snarky “Millennial” typing away in his mother’s basement – hints at the corruption of the liberal legacy:
- “Natural born of course means not by C-section …”
- “‘Strict Constitutionalist’ = Racist, Fascist A–hole who ignores ever [sic] Amendment after the 2nd.”
- “An ‘allegiance’ litmus test which George Washington could not pass, since he had fought for the British Army during the French & Indian wars. Dumb a–es.”
- “I totally agree with the birther contingent that these four candidates are ineligible to be president. But it has nothing to do with the circumstances of their births, and everything to do with the fact they are all F—ING MORONS!”
- “Their names are not of English derivation and that’s what all the fuss is about. It’s a pea brained, trailer park and redneck worldview that’s behind this.”
- “Bat-crap-crazies-baggers are now questioning gop/bags birth certificates … how delightful.”
- “very strict constitutional tea party circles … Now there’s a classic oxymoron. Right up there with “military intelligence,” “industrial park” and “Israeli peace initiative.”
As I suggested in my original article, the DNC watches this debate with more interest than the basement dwellers. “Is that statement tongue-in-cheek,” Thompson asked me, “or are you accusing the DNC of endorsing specious claims about certain GOP candidates’ eligibility to run for president?”
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“They’re not doing that yet. But that will happen if a Cruz, a Rubio or a Jindal emerges as a candidate,” I answered. “They did it to John McCain!”
My McCain comment, of course, stoked the funny bones of the basement dwellers, but that is only because “history” to them means yesterday.
“A Hint of New Life to a McCain Birth Issue,” read the headline of a July 2008 New York Times article –”new life” because the Times was reviving a theme the media had been pounding unsuccessfully for months.
To taint McCain’s candidacy, the Times had dug up an obscure law professor from Arizona. This prof assured the Times readership that McCain’s Panama birth made him ineligible to be president.
The fact that McCain’s parents were American citizens, he insisted, failed to satisfy “the constitutional requirement that the president must be a ‘natural-born citizen.'”
“Natural born citizen” was not a punch line on the left in 2008. Nor will it be in 2016 if the Republicans nominate any of these “f—ing morons” or “space aliens” or “Hispaniolics” to be their candidate.
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