By Tom Ballantyne
Let's get a few things straight. As much as we all loved Andrew Breitbart's moxie, he, like virtually every other national conservative who was or is a part of the "establishment" (read, those who have established themselves financially and been acknowledged by their peers – apparently on both sides of the aisle), had avoided the issue of the constitutional eligibility of the president of the United States much like Sewanee, the University of the South, has avoided gridiron rematches with Texas, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn, LSU and Ole Miss since beating all eight (along with four other schools) in their 12-0 1899 season. Far better to boast that they had once proved their mettle on the playing field than to have to do it again … in real time!
So, like the mythically fearless Michelle Malkin, or the once-cocky and courageous Ann Coulter, the "Senior Staff" at Breitbart (with an average age of 30-something, if that) prefers to live off of past – and in their case, borrowed – glory; and, given their namesake's own calculated denial of this historic issue, the youngsters at Breitbart apparently believe they can get away with it. But it's tough trying to be all things to all people – especially when the views encompassed are diametrically opposed.
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So here come the princes of political archeology – they can hardly be called monarchs in their own right – and they have a find … but it's a sticky one. You see, the recognized king of sequestration, the billionaire financier of burying (not excavating) the past, has declared certain digs "off limits." Those would be any that might uncover relics from the entombed past of the current occupier-in-chief. So … to disclose or not to disclose? Such a dilemma! The heady thrill of breaking a story of potentially enormous national interest, as well as consequence, but on an officially quarantined (and hermetically sealed) topic. How to proceed?
Ah, the obvious approach … break the story, but make sure that the purse-strings-that-be know that you yourselves don't take it seriously. Heaven forbid! Bittersweet, but what could be more important at this point than one's Arianna-approved "intellectual" (press) credentials – even if such a notion is in its very essence oxymoronic … or, just plain moronic? So here we have it, in their own contortionist's attempt at simultaneously claiming credit for and dismissing the obvious implications of a recently unearthed find:
Note from Senior Management:
Andrew Breitbart was never a "Birther," and Breitbart News is a site that has never advocated the narrative of "Birtherism." In fact,Andrew believed, as we do, that President Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961.
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Yet Andrew also believed that the complicit mainstream media had refused to examine President Obama's ideological past, or the carefully crafted persona he and his advisers had constructed for him.
It is for that reason that we launched "The Vetting," an ongoing series in which we explore the ideological background of President Obama (and other presidential candidates) – not to re-litigate 2008, but because ideas and actions have consequences.
It is also in that spirit that we discovered, and now present, the booklet described below–one that includes a marketing pitch for a forthcoming book by a then-young, otherwise unknown former president of the Harvard Law Review.
It is evidence–not of the President's foreign origin, but that Barack Obama's public persona has perhaps been presented differently at different times.
Wow! Where to begin? Let's start with disclaimer No. 1: "Andrew Breitbart was never a 'Birther,' and Breitbart News is a site that has never advocated the narrative of 'Birtherism.'"
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Reading this makes me want to ask in bemused wonder: How old are you? (I could, of course, ask the same question of Anderson Cooper, Bill O'Reilly, Mark Levine, Neal Boortz, or Glenn Beck – who are clearly much older to a man.) But seriously, how immature – or insecure, at least – must one be to be so concerned with what the cultural elites think of them? Breitbart's young Ben Shapiro (28, and reportedly the youngest nationally syndicated writer in the country) went to Harvard Law. One wonders if he had been president of the Law Review, if we would have ever seen one of his publications – but I digress. Joel Pollak … sure enough, went to both Harvard and Harvard Law, just as I had expected.
While I must congratulate the two on emerging from that milieu with any non-collectivist values, it seems that neither of them escaped with a penchant for identifying and confronting the Alinsky staple of marginalization – or they accept the practice so fully that they simply can't bear the thought of being on the receiving end thereof. Well, grow up, boys! If what Media Matters says about you is a concern (and it clearly is), then perhaps you should choose another line of work. I recently observed with some pride that the highly irrelevant New Times – I believe it was – a radical statist rag no doubt printed in an abandoned warehouse (or basement) somewhere near the ASU campus, had called me a "birther." I wouldn't have known it except that in checking up on the circulation of some recent video productions I stumbled across it. My point being that it made me laugh … not cry.
Why would I – or anyone over the age of, say, 13 – care? Short answer? He wouldn't – that is, if he had any sense of his own self-worth; and I thought that was all they taught in school these days!
So, the timorous teens immediately jump on the pejorative (and proverbial) bandwagon with "Birther" and "Birtherism." What does that mean, Joel? Are you referring to those who not only profess to believe in the Constitution, but are actually willing to defend it? I suppose we should just cut to the chase, then, and call John Jay "the original birther" – rather than Hillary supporter Phillip Berg. (It was – they were – actually, Lawrence Turley and Gabriel Chin, two highly regarded law professors, from Georgetown and the University of Arizona, who originally raised the issue with respect to Sen. John McCain, with the full support of the national media, and without derision, just respectful awe for this serious constitutional inquiry, which, they said, must be undertaken. According to Chin, nothing less than "the rule of law" was at stake! See Chapter 17: "The Final Word from Professors Turley and Chin," in the newly released "Oh Really, O'Reilly! – Part I of II.")
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Why John Jay? Because it was he who, in a letter penned to Constitutional Convention President George Washington, on July 25, 1787, queried: "Permit me to hint whether it would not be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of foreigners into the administration of our national government; and to declare expressly that the command in chief of the American army shall not be given to, nor devolve on any but a natural born citizen." (Emphasis added.)
Or perhaps we should go back further still, to Emmerich de Vattel, the contemporary legal authority of the day, to ascertain the meaning of the phrase from which the more erudite term "birther" most assuredly derived. The Swiss diplomat was the author of "Law of Nations," about which Benjamin Franklin (was he a "birther" as well?) said the following in a letter to Charles W. F. Dumas, the book's publisher, in December 1775:
"I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the 'Law of Nations.' Accordingly, that copy which I kept … has been continually in the hands of the members of our congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author." (Emphasis added. The source of the quote is an excellent article on the superiority of Vattel over Blackstone and English Common Law as the predominant legal source of the writers of the Constitution, as Blackstone defines "natural-born citizen" or "natural-born subjects" of the king as any born within the British Empire. One immediately sees the motive for such a definition as it applied to "subjects," in contrast with "citizens" who might one day command the military.)
"The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. … I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be of a father who is a citizen; for if he be born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country."
So yes, it looks like we've found our man! Now that we have cleared up the auspicious origins of the tin-foil-hat terms "Birther" and "Birtherism," so skillfully employed by the youthful Pollak and company (Breitbart's "Senior Staff"), in distancing themselves from their own explosive find, I will finalize my analysis of their Houdini-like effort to extricate themselves from what appears (to them, at least) to be both certain and painful death!
In an excruciating attempt to continue the heralded "vetting," while voluntarily confining themselves within the officially sanctioned limits of inquiry (which excludes anything and everything – of a factual or provable nature, at least – prior to his election, or, in other words, his entire life), the post-pubescent heirs to the Breitbart legacy submit to the Soros-inspired shackles with a willingness and zeal that can only give one pause.
They heroically chastise the "mainstream" media (once again displaying a mindlessness beyond my meager ability to comprehend) for "refus[ing] to examine President Obama's ideological past, or the carefully crafted persona he and his advisers had constructed for him."
Yep, his "ideological" past is somewhat fair game, but not his real past – things like where and when he was actually born; who his father really was (these things are a bit difficult to prove absent the same validating document that every American is required to have for that very legal purpose); how he actually got into three formidable universities (Occidental, Columbia and Harvard) with obviously mediocre grades; and on what sort of scholarship. (For anyone who might suggest that his grades were anything but an embarrassment, is it even remotely plausible that the narcissist-in-chief would not have paraded them before the world if they were? No, it is not!)
And finally, what about "the carefully crafted persona he and his advisers had constructed for him." Are those of us not so fortunate as to have gotten into Harvard via affirmative action (Mr. Obama could, of course, dispel that misguided notion – if it is such – by simply releasing his school records, as did his much-maligned predecessor) supposed to simply accept "on faith" that his "carefully crafted persona," i.e., totally fabricated life story, somehow magically begins or ends with … what? I guess I just can't grasp the new Breitbart.com "rules" for what we can and can't "vet"! This is no doubt what passes for "nuance" at Harvard and other elite academic environs. That may be, but real Americans aren't buying it!
And what about this scholarly summation of their pre-emptive disclaimer?
"It is evidence–not of the President's foreign origin, but that Barack Obama's public persona has perhaps been presented differently at different times." (Emphasis added.)
Since the absurdity of this has been duly covered ad nauseum elsewhere, I will just conclude with the highlighted word "perhaps." Perhaps. The aging "Senior Staff" at Breitbart (who have clearly not yet come of age) have engaged in a desperate game of "Please don't throw [us] in the briar patch!" except that they were regrettably serious – but in their feeble attempt at supplanting the truth, they can't even do that with decisiveness.
How about this instead? His "public persona" is so ensconced, and has been so often sealed or falsified, that we know not with any certainty, where he was born; when he was born; who his father was; if his parents were ever married; why his kindergarten records are missing; what his real/legal name is (it was Barry Soetoro, among others, at various points in his life); if he ever reapplied for U.S. citizenship – which could or would make him a naturalized citizen, depending on his age at the time (his Indonesian elementary school application lists his country/nationality as "Indonesia"); how he got into Occidental College, Columbia University, or Harvard; how he paid for it, or who paid for it; what his grades were at any of the three highly exclusive schools; what he did while in the Illinois State Senate (those records are all inexplicably missing or have been destroyed); and, finally, why both he and first lady Michelle Obama were required to surrender their law licenses (that isn't done voluntarily, but is done to avoid further legal sanctions).
In summation, the Senior Staff at Breitbart.com has shown an inordinate insecurity and woeful inability to simply report the facts and allow their readers to decide for themselves what those might mean. So, given their essentially adolescent refusal to do so, here's what their story clearly demonstrates: Barack Obama was either lying to us then – and the ruse continued for 16 years, from 1991 to 2007 – or he has been lying to us throughout the five years since. Absent any kind of legal proof – and a widely discredited digital image on a website does more to suggest fraud than to dispel it – we have only the "public persona," which we have all witnessed over the past four years, on which to rely, and his proclivity for misrepresenting the truth is so profound that one doubts that he has ever done otherwise!
Perhaps the most honest thing he has ever done is to not compare himself to our nation's first president – the man known for never telling a lie! I say "perhaps," only because I'm not entirely certain that he hasn't – but the Obama night is still young, as is the Senior Staff at Breitbart.com.