I get riled up by Conservative newspeak. This one from the National Review Online caught my eye, from an article Ed Whelan titled: Ted Cruz, Originalism and the “Natural Born Citizen Requirement.”
Here’s the offending bit:
I hadn’t seen any reason to comment on the left-wing “birther” attacks on Senator Ted Cruz’s eligibility to be president. Cruz was born in Canada in 1970 to a mother who was then an American citizen. Under the laws then in place, he was an American citizen by virtue of his birth.
Have you seen any “left-wing” birther attacks on Cruz’ eligibility? I haven’t. All I see is ultra-right nut jobs raising the same issue about Cruz that they raised about Obama. Whelan did find one article at The New Republic that talks about an inconsistency in Cruz’ origanalist way of interpreting the Constitution and his own eligibility, but this is not at all an attack on Cruz’ eligibility, but about his way of interpreting the Constitution. In fact, the New Republic article by Noam Scheiber makes it abundantly clear that Cruz is eligible, saying:
Is someone who was born abroad so obviously a natural born American? The consensus among legal experts appears to be, emphatically, “yes.”
I think it’s pretty clear that natural born is defined in such a way as to include everybody that has citizenship, and who got it other than through naturalization. So the fact that Ted Cruz had citizenship at birth, and he clearly did under the statute that applied at the time, it’s pretty clear that he qualifies as natural born.
The Conservatives would like folks to believe that presidential eligibility nuttery is an equal-opportunity employer with the right attacking Obama and the left attacking Cruz, but it ain’t so. The folks on the right are ones attacking both candidates, and the folks on the left are gleefully watching the folks on the right making fools of themselves.
I do take issue with Scheiber’s article, though. Members of the First Congress, many of whom were those folks who wrote the U. S. Constitution, passed the Naturalization Act of 1790 that explicitly made the children of U.S. Citizen fathers born overseas “natural born citizens.” It is abundantly clear from this Act that those founders understood that being born in the United States is not a Constitutional prerequisite for becoming President.
The National Review Online is not the only conservative news outlet trying to make liberals into birthers. Newsbusters touts an article: WaPo went “birther” on Cruz, But They’re Not Alone. The Washington Post article cited also concludes that Cruz is most likely eligible based on the authoritative report from the Congressional Research Service.