Mario Apuzzo has raised an objection to my recent article titled, “The moral dimension of birtherism,” in which I say that birtherism is immoral. Apuzzo writes:
Dr. Conspiracy must be losing his mind, arguing that we Anti-Obots are immoral for arguing, as the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court explained in Minor v. Happersett (1875), that a natural born citizen is a child born in a country to parents who were its citizens at the time of the child’s birth.
In my article about the immorality of birthers, I focused on three specific immoral items:
- Character assassination
- Fabrication of evil stories
When I wrote my article, those who promote a novel definition of “natural born citizen” were not what I had in mind. Apuzzo is the one who makes the association between my article and his statement about Minor v. Happersett. What Apuzzo doesn’t say, but we all know, is that persons who make that statement about Minor do so for the purpose of promoting a claim that somehow Barack Obama became president while ineligible to serve, yet avoiding the notice of most of the electorate, the Congress, the Chief Justice, and the legal academic community—a very remarkable claim when you think about it. So, yes, we do call those persons “birthers.” Are they immoral? I will address that question in two ways:
First, those who promote the two-citizen parent theory misrepresent the Minor Decision (as does Apuzzo above), using a basic logical fallacy of confusing necessary and sufficient conditions, one that any attorney must recognize, therefore making the fallacious argument by Apuzzo intentional. The judge in the Purpura case told Apuzzo that his position had “no legal merit.” To put such a theory forward without at least mentioning that rebuke from a judge (and the repudiation of the theory by 10 other judges in similar cases since 2008) is to misrepresent the view as something other than a fringe view, and someone is hardly “out of their mind” for knowing this. I consider using fallacies to persuade a form of lying, and have considered such things immoral since high school. So yes, I think that those who knowingly misrepresent Minor are acting immorally.
The second problem I have with Mr. Apuzzo’s remark is that I do not know who he is talking about. Who is this person who holds the two-citizen-parent theory but does not spread other evil stories about Barack Obama? We had a brief discussion about this in comments on this blog, and no one was able to name such a person–Mr. Apuzzo himself is not. Reviewing Apuzzo’s brief in Kerchner v. Obama’s second amended complaint, we find that the large majority of its numbered points deal with casting doubt about where Obama was born or his early life. If I had to characterize the Kerchner brief in one word, it would be “innuendo,” but there are a number of outright lies too such as:
…Hawaiian law that existed in 1961 when Obama was born (Chapter 338-178 Hawaiian Statues which applied for all births prior to 1972), which allowed parents to register their foreign born babies in Hawaii, was lax in terms of assuring the integrity of the documents and did not adequately safeguard against fraud in the process.
It also has the fake travel ban to Pakistan story. See my article: “Kerchner v. Obama and the WHOLE COUNTRY,” for more examples.
So Mr. Apuzzo has a history of character assassination and lying, and like Apuzzo, so do all others who support the two-citizen-parent theory that I know about. Even those who are victims of clever writers like Apuzzo, have the responsibility of double-checking stories before passing them on and themselves becoming guilty of rumormongering.