The DVD-R arrived this afternoon, containing all 1721 pages of Bob Gard’s “ON GARD, OBAMA, YOU ARE AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL PRESIDENT BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT A NATURAL-BORN CITIZEN, WHICH I SHALL PROVE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.” The original mention of Bob’s book here drew 815 comments before I closed comments, one of the largest for an article on the site. I usually shut comments down before that many accumulate. (This one had the most.)
A discussion with lots of people making lots of comments and going off in many directions is hard to follow, so I have created a controlled-comment article (this one) so that Bob and I can talk about his book, one-on-one. I’m calling it a “debate,” but it not a debate in any formal sense.
Here’s the “debate” framework:
- After I have had time to become more familiar with Bob’s book, I will update this article with some observations of a general nature to give folks a picture of what I’m looking at (from my perspective).
- I will then offer some sort of a challenge to Bob in a comment regarding something in the book (at which time the “debate” will start).
- Bob may reply in an email to me (I’ve sent him an email before, so he has my address) and I will copy the text of his email to a comment posted under his name. The exchange here should look like he’s just leaving comments, although it will be less immediate because of the email delay.
- I will either reply to Bob’s comment (and we go back and forth) or I will offer a new challenge. What I would like to attempt to do is to arrive at some consensus, or an “agree to disagree” before moving on to the next challenge.
- And this process will continue so long as there are comments from the participants.
- I agree to publish all of Bob’s emailed comments in their entirety and as promptly as practical, so long as they meet the site’s editorial policy, and I don’t anticipate any issues with that.
- This is not a debate to figure one who is the better debater, but to examine particular arguments related to presidential eligibility and the constitutional meaning of the phrase “natural born citizen.”
Bob Gard has agreed to this procedure, writing to me in email:
I find all the guidelines you set down fair. You can post the fact that I am surprised but grateful to you for the opportunity.
While comments are closed on this article, general commenters are welcome to leave comments at the companion article, “The Great Debate – kibitzer’s edition,” “Part 2,” “Part 3,” and “Part 4.” Commenters are welcome to offer suggestions to either side in the debate. I certainly intend to use material left here by other commenters over the years on my side.
By the way, the second thing I did after I got the book, a 175 MB Microsoft Word Document, was to convert it to PDF. Microsoft Word took a minute to open it and then several minutes more to stabilize enough to page through the book. Adobe Acrobat reader opens the PDF version in less than a second. That’s all I’m going to say about the technical aspects of the book’s production.
Because we’ll be using a strict alternation in comments, it will turn out that all of my comments will have a blue background and Bob’s will have a white background. This may help the reader keep things straight.