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Birther boomerang

I consider this a very important article because without this article and the information following, the “Mailbox 11/7/2014” article would just stay at the top of the blog and I don’t think anybody wants that. I would really rather flip the page to something else.

The boomerang is the birther theory of the meaning of “natural born citizen,” a theory consistently rejected by legal scholars and the courts. The idea that a US President must be born in the United States of two US citizen parents was cooked up to try to make Barack Obama seem ineligible, and the boomerang returning is the effect this may have on certain conservative presidential hopefuls. In a poll this past May, a fairly significant number of potential voters believe it, and I wonder whether any Republican candidate can receive the presidential nomination who was born outside the United States, or has a non-US-citizen parent.

The occasion is a new article at Gerbil Report™ by Paul Hollrah titled “No, Ted Cruz is Not Eligible to be President.” Hollrah singles out more potential candidates than just Cruz—here’s his take on things:

Ted Cruz Born in Canada, foreign father
Bobby Jindal Born in US, two foreign national parents
Marco Rubio Born in US, two foreign national parents
Rick Santorum Born in US, foreign father

I don’t know whether Santorum’s father, who was born in Italy, was a naturalized citizen or not when Rick Santorum was born, but for the purpose of this discussion it doesn’t matter because we’re not really talking about facts but rumors. Have the birthers poisoned the well for these 4 potential presidential candidates? In a remotely close primary race, the birther nonsense seems to be something that would decide it against them. The disinformation factor was well-stated by the polling company, YouGov, who wrote:

That means more than half of Republicans (53%) would disqualify Texas Senator Ted Cruz from the Presidency on principle.  Cruz was born in Canada to a mother who was an American citizen, while his father was not.   But fewer than one in four Republicans think Cruz was born outside the country; only 10% know his mother was a citizen and his father was not.

imageSome suggest that my Senator, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, will be a candidate for President in 2016. I can just see him running against Hillary Clinton. The whole race would be about Benghazi. Ugh!

Why is Clinton smiling?

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30 Responses to Birther boomerang

  1. avatar
    gorefan November 9, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

    IIRC, Santorum’s grandfather came to the U.S. in the 1920s and became a naturalized citizen. His father was still living in Italy at the time. The grandfather brought his family to the U.S. in the 1930s. At that time Senator Santorum’s father only had to file a form and he would have been recognized as a U.S. citizen (derivative citizenship). For some reason he didn’t fill out the form. He joined the U.S. Army in WWII. He finally filed out the the form in 1961 or 1963 (Rick Santorum was born in 1958). That form says he gained citizenship in 1936.

    IIRC, Mario Apuzzo and Cmd Kerchner are the ones that got all the naturalization papers.

  2. avatar
    RanTalbott November 10, 2014 at 12:14 am #

    Let’s not forget your Governor, whose name comes up regularly in both birfoons and serious discussions.

    Since you’re a constituent, and pay a lot more attention: the press reports around the time of her election suggested that she was just a less-stupid version of Palin. But I’ve read stories since then that suggest she might actually be more like a Goldwater, who understands the difference between the “ideal” and the “realistic” in governance. And between “opponent” and “enemy”. Does she seem that way to you?

    It’d be nice to see some sanity at the upper levels of the GOP for a change.

  3. avatar
    Thinker (mobile) November 10, 2014 at 4:38 am #

    I think there will be some birfer boomerang, but Republicans have been pretty good with the meme that the birther movement was started by Hillary Clinton. I think the GOP will blame Obama birtherism on Hillary. I also think that they will ignore that the other versions of birtherism are coming from Republicans and aimed at Republicans. They will blame Dems for all birtherism.

  4. avatar
    The Magic M November 10, 2014 at 4:41 am #

    I don’t know whether Santorum’s father, who was born in Italy, was a naturalized citizen or not when Rick Santorum was born

    I don’t know IIRC, but wouldn’t his father still have been a dual citizen and thus violate the Vattelists’ “of parents not owing allegiance to any other country” claim?

  5. avatar
    The Magic M November 10, 2014 at 4:46 am #

    Thinker (mobile): but Republicans have been pretty good with the meme that the birther movement was started by Hillary Clinton

    Yes, the “born in Kenya” claim. But I don’t see how Republicans will be able to pin the “two citizen parents” birtherism on Hillary.
    And even if they try to, it won’t matter because it would still rile up the wingnuts against the “ineligible” GOP candidates (not that they are numerous enough to influence the result or that they would’ve voted for a “RINO” anyway, but it might spread enough into the right-wing sphere that it could make a difference).

    Seriously, with all the hateful stuff hurled at Obama and not properly denounced by leading Republicans, I might even be in favour of left-wing faux birtherism (i.e. claiming those candidates are ineligible despite knowing they are not) just for payback.

  6. avatar
    Bovril November 10, 2014 at 4:50 am #

    Other than on Gerbil Report or one or two of the other really fringe of the fringe sites, no one from the right swallows the birther mantra, certainly not in it’s distilled two citizen parent crazy form.

    Over at Freak Rethuglic, dissing Cruz will get get zotted, Red State has always called Birthers crazy, none of the radio talking heads buy into it other than via a bit of cherry picking of some of the memes to smear the president.

    If birfoons try and pull their cack on the Cruz/Santorum/Jindal/Rubio et-al prospectives during the primaries, expect a severe backlash from the right…Whilst of course still “having concerns” about Obama.

    IMHO….YMMV

  7. avatar
    The Magic M November 10, 2014 at 4:52 am #

    The whole race would be about Benghazi.

    While I can see some kind of swift-boat campaign running on that issue, it will mostly be among the right-wing crazy fringe (that will also resurrect Whitewater or the “Clinton murders”).
    I just don’t see how a GOP campaign would run on an issue that (I think ) 4 different GOP-led committees have found to have had no foul play involved from the Obama administration, let alone Hillary herself. That could backfire quickly.
    #Benghaaaaazi only serves to rile up the extremists, it would not work on independents or Democrat-leaning voters.

  8. avatar
    The Magic M November 10, 2014 at 4:54 am #

    Bovril: If birfoons try and pull their cack on the Cruz/Santorum/Jindal/Rubio et-al prospectives during the primaries, expect a severe backlash from the right…

    From a birther perspective, the number of “Obots” will suddenly double. 😉

  9. avatar
    Keith November 10, 2014 at 7:51 am #

    RanTalbott: But I’ve read stories since then that suggest she might actually be more like a Goldwater,

    Uhhh, that is a really, really, really, really, really bad comparison. Goldwater actually had a brain in his cranium, and knew what of he spoke when it came to environmental concepts – he was an excellent nature photographer for example. He did some great work in the Grand Canyon, a place that your ‘favorite’ Governor would probably see as an excellent place to dump stuff like nuclear waste, mining sludge, and undocumented aliens.

  10. avatar
    Slartibartfast November 10, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    Mario Apuzzo, at the very least (and Mario is the very least), seems to say that if the parents are American citizens at the time of birth (in the US) then it isn’t really real dual allegiance because stuff. So Spiro Agnew isn’t a problem because it doesn’t matter if Greece thinks he’s a Greek ’cause to Mario he’s all ‘Murican.

    Or something…

    The Magic M: I don’t know IIRC, but wouldn’t his father still have been a dual citizen and thus violate the Vattelists’ “of parents not owing allegiance to any other country” claim?

  11. avatar
    bob November 10, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    I think the difference between Apuzzo and Donofrio is that Donofrio definitely believed that dual allegiance disqualified natural-born citizenship, while Apuzzo has been more weasel-y on the subject. (Both are wrong, of course.)

    Another difference is Donofrio is a semi-pro chess/poker/bass player, and Apuzzo’s just a cranky crank.

  12. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG November 10, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    Another difference between the two: Donofrio realized that this birther business was going to be all for naught, so he bowed out about two years ago. Mario, however, can’t seem to grasp that no matter how many castles he checks, he’s never going to find Princess Peach.

  13. avatar
    Slartibartfast November 10, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    You forgot to mention him being the Paraclete.

    bob: Another difference is Donofrio is a semi-pro chess/poker/bass player, and Apuzzo’s just a cranky crank.

  14. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 10, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    Not to mention that Donofrio thought Obama was born in Hawaii.

    Andrew Vrba, PmG: Another difference between the two: Donofrio realized that this birther business was going to be all for naught, so he bowed out about two years ago.

  15. avatar
    Slartibartfast November 10, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    I’ve never understood Mario’s unshakeable refusal to admit this as the two birther theories are basically incompatible. Maybe it has something to do with how he’s chosen to misrepresent Arthur Hinman’s book…

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Not to mention that Donofrio thought Obama was born in Hawaii.

  16. avatar
    Joey November 10, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if Canada born to a Cuban father Ted Cruz proved to be the only Republican with a serious chance to defeat natural born citizen to two natural born citizen parents, Hillary Clinton?

    In the Birther Cult, what to do, what to do.

  17. avatar
    J.D. Reed November 10, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

    Joey:
    Wouldn’t it be ironic if Canada born to a Cuban father Ted Cruz proved to be the only Republican with a serious chance to defeat natural born citizen to two natural born citizen parents, Hillary Clinton?

    In the Birther Cult, what to do, what to do.

    Good point

  18. avatar
    J.D. Reed November 10, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

    Good point about Cruz father though I believe we should stress “non citizen father.” Some have anticipated this argument by saying that Obama’s presidency set a precedent that will necessitate that any foreign born candidate with one noncitizen parent be allowed to serve if elected. Ah but here’s the difference: For all their striving the Obama haters have never proved he was born abroad while Cruz has acknowledged he was born outside the U.S. and there s a genuine uncontroverted Canadian BC to prove it!

  19. avatar
    Dave B. November 10, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    And not that it should be of any particular significance to anybody BUT birthers, but under the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1947 (Statutes of Canada 10 George VI. Chapter 15.5.(a)), Cruz was without doubt a natural-born Canadian citizen.

    http://www.pier21.ca/research/immigration-history/canadian-citizenship-act-1947

    (It’s on the third page there.)

    J.D. Reed: For all their striving the Obama haters have never proved he was born abroad while Cruz has acknowledged he was born outside the U.S. and there s a genuine uncontroverted Canadian BC to prove it!

  20. avatar
    Dave B. November 10, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    Which is by the way an interesting exposition of the meaning of “natural born citizen” in another common-law country.

  21. avatar
    Suranis November 11, 2014 at 12:52 am #

    Sanatorum ran in the last Pres election and I don’t recall anyone bringing up his parentage. He was even the Front runner for a couple of weeks, considering they were given the choice between him and Ron Paul.

  22. avatar
    The Magic M November 11, 2014 at 5:32 am #

    Dave B.: And not that it should be of any particular significance to anybody BUT birthers, but under the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1947

    Nice idea, but you know that birthers reject the idea that “natural-born” can be defined by man-made law.

  23. avatar
    Keith November 11, 2014 at 6:44 am #

    J.D. Reed: Ah but here’s the difference: For all their striving the Obama haters have never proved he was born abroad while Cruz has acknowledged he was born outside the U.S. and there s a genuine uncontroverted Canadian BC to prove it!

    The Constitution doesn’t say the President has to be a natural born citizen of the United States – it only says “Natural Born Citizen, or Citizen of the United States…”. Could be NBC of anywhere.

  24. avatar
    Joey November 11, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    Keith: The Constitution doesn’t say the President has to be a natural born citizen of the United States – it only says “Natural Born Citizen, or Citizen of the United States…”. Could be NBC of anywhere.

    So the Constitution discriminates against those born via artificial insemination then?

  25. avatar
    Joey November 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    Suranis:
    Sanatorum ran in the last Pres election and I don’t recall anyone bringing up his parentage. He was even the Front runner for a couple of weeks, considering they were given the choice between him and Ron Paul.

    The Gerbil Report, worldnetdaily plus a few birther blogs are anti-Santorum: http://www.birtherreport.com/2012/03/rick-santorum-still-refusing-to-provide.html
    http://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/100-proof-rick-santorum-not-a-natural-born-citizen-father-naturalized-3-yrs-after-rick-was-born-foia-response-re-aldo-santorum/

  26. avatar
    Jim November 11, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    J.D. Reed: and there s a genuine uncontroverted Canadian BC to prove it!

    Until Cruz posts the original long-form on the web and its authenticity is verified by the Cold Case Posse (no layers! :D) and has Orly’s approval, then it’s a fake. Cruz must have been born in Cuba, where his wife gave birth while her husband was still back in Canada. Darn Communists!!!

  27. avatar
    Matt November 11, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    None of this matters, IMO. If by some strange miracle Cruz or Jindal or one of the others make it onto the general election ballot, all these birthers will hold their noses and vote for the GOP candidate. They may deny it publicly, but in the privacy of the voting booth, they would vote for anyone over a Democrat.

  28. avatar
    faceman November 12, 2014 at 7:53 am #

    But.. but.. but.. Cruz’s father really was a communist. As opposed to Obama, who’s real father (not Obama Sr., but the ‘real’ one, you know,) who was only alleged to be a communist.

  29. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) November 12, 2014 at 8:25 am #

    Jim: Cruz must have been born in Cuba, where his wife gave birth while her husband was still back in Canada.

    I bet Fidel was his real dad, just keep looking for a photograph where they both “look the same”. 😉

  30. avatar
    Kate1230 November 12, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

    J.D. Reed:
    Good point about Cruz father though I believe we should stress “non citizen father.” Some have anticipated this argument by saying that Obama’s presidency set a precedent that will necessitate that any foreign born candidate with one noncitizen parent be allowed to serve if elected. Ah but here’s the difference: For all their striving the Obama haters have never proved he was born abroad while Cruz has acknowledged he was born outside the U.S. and there s a genuine uncontroverted Canadian BC to prove it!

    The birthers make such a big deal about PBO’s father not being a citizen and yet, Cruz’s father wasn’t a citizen, either. He also didn’t bother to become a U.S. citizen until shortly before his son entered the political arena. How convenient for him. Living in the U.S. for decades but never bothering to become a citizen doesn’t bother the birthers although I’m sure they’d feel differently if it was President Obama’s father who had been in that position.