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Obama acknowledges doubts about his legitimacy

In an interview on the NBC Today Show March 29, 2010 on the subject of political divisiveness, Barack Obama answered questions, including one about the “Tea Party” movement and those who question his legitimacy as President.

…[The tea party] is still a loose amalgam of forces. There’s a part of the tea party movement that did exist before I was elected. We saw some of it leading up to my election. There were just some folks who just weren’t sure that I was born in the United States, whether I was a socialist. … So there’s that segment of it which I think is just dug in ideologically and that strain has existed in American politics for a long time. Then I think that there is a broader circle around that core group who are legitimately concerned about the deficit or are legitimately concerned that the federal government may be taking on too much; and last year a number of the emergency measures we had to take in terms of dealing with the bank crisis, bailing out the auto industry, fed that sense that things were out of control. I think those are folks who have legitimate concerns and so I wouldn’t paint in broad brush and say that everybody who is involved or who has gone to a Tea Party rally are on the fringe.  Some of them, I think, have mainstream legitimate concerns and my hope is that as we move forward and are tackling things like the deficit, imposing a freeze on domestic spending, taking steps that show that we’re sincere about working on our long-term problems. Some of that group will dissipate. There’s still gonna be a group, at their core, that question my legitimacy or question the Democratic party generally, or question people who they consider to be against them in some way, and that group we’re probably not gonna convince.

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18 Responses to Obama acknowledges doubts about his legitimacy

  1. Black Lion March 31, 2010 at 11:24 am  (Quote) #

    Unfortunately it is more than the tea partiers. We have the core group of birthers that seem to have infiltrated not only the tea party movement, but more legitimate GOP areas and are hell bent on pushing this ridiculous birth certificate issue.

    For instance we have the most recent idiot that wants to join Major Cook in infamy. It seems Lt. Col Terry Larkin wants to force the President to produce his BC because he is questioning the President’s NBC status under the US Constitution. Interesting. However the irony is that the so called proof of his birth is a COLB. You really can’t make this stuff up….

    http://www.safeguardourconstitution.com/

  2. Scott Brown March 31, 2010 at 11:27 am  (Quote) #

    “Some of them, I think, have mainstream legitimate concerns …There’s still gonna be a group, at their core, that question my legitimacy”

    But ‘those groups’ couldn’t possibly be one in the same could they – or at least have some crossover members….according to this ‘smart’ president, they are two totally different groups. To be honest, I gave him more credit that than. I hope he is just being snide …. for arguments sake.

    “that group we’re probably not gonna convince.” YA THINK?

    LOL – sometimes he is just too much. Just talking because he likes the sound of his own voice. I mean – what did he say that we didn’t already know?

  3. Kathryn N March 31, 2010 at 12:24 pm  (Quote) #

    He was asked a question. He answered it. It’s a skill Bush never mastered. I’m so glad we have a president with brains.

  4. YellowDog March 31, 2010 at 1:20 pm  (Quote) #

    Birther, please.
    The president was being polite in response to a question. Frum gave part of the real answer–the Tea Baggers and the Republicans are the Faux Noise machine’s useful idiots–and got canned (and if Michael Steele has his way, caned). The other part of the real answer is their disgust at having “that” usurper in the “White” House.

  5. Dr. Conspiracy March 31, 2010 at 2:33 pm  (Quote) #

    Scott Brown: what did he say that we didn’t already know?

    What could/should he have said that we didn’t already know? Let me introduce a new concept to you: constructive criticism.

  6. Dr. Conspiracy March 31, 2010 at 2:38 pm  (Quote) #

    Lakin is refusing to deploy to Afghanistan because he hasn’t seen the long form.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea9JVnck_-E&feature=player_embedded#

  7. Rickey March 31, 2010 at 2:39 pm  (Quote) #

    Actually, it’s unclear if Lt. Col. Lakin has actually disobeyed an order yet. This story says that he was notified that he is subject to deployment to Afghanistan, but the story does not say that he has actually received orders to Afghanistan.

    http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.5867/pub_detail.asp

    However, it’s worth noting that the author of the article, Margaret Calhoun Hemenway, is the daughter-in-law of birther lawyer John Hemenway, he of Hollister v. Soetoro infamy.

    As you say, you can’t make this stuff up.

  8. Rickey March 31, 2010 at 2:42 pm  (Quote) #

    Obsma can’t sneeze without people such as “Scott Brown” complaining about the way the does it.

  9. Black Lion March 31, 2010 at 2:56 pm  (Quote) #

    Agreed…When Bush did something to the GOP and Fixed News it was OK, but if Obama does the same thing all of a sudden it is the usurper ignoring the Constitution and ruining our country. The recess appointments are a perfect example. They hypocrisy by the GOP, Fixed News and the teabaggers is astounding….

  10. Black Lion April 1, 2010 at 4:38 pm  (Quote) #

    Hey, it looks like Leo is back and our friends at WND are giving him a soapbox to spread his information. Besides the usual bunch of misinformation it is amusing how they explain the credentials of Leo. They write that “Leo Donofrio is an attorney with 20 years’ experience. He is a partner in the law firm of Pidgeon & Donofrio and he authors the Natural Born Citizen blog.” Wow…I thought Leo was a poker player and had an alter ego. The things you learn from WND….

    http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=134881

    I have posted some of the excerpts from the article for review…

    The constitutional question presented is whether a person born with citizenship in and allegiance to a foreign nation can be considered a “natural born citizen” of the United States as required by Article II, Section 1.

    The U.S. State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual discusses problems associated with dual citizenship:

    7 FAM 081: U.S. Policy on Dual Nationality:
    (e)While recognizing the existence of dual nationality, the U.S. Government does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Dual nationality may hamper efforts by the U.S. Government to provide diplomatic and consular protection to individuals overseas. When a U.S. citizen is in the other country of their dual nationality, that country has a predominant claim on the person.

    This helps explain why the definition of “natural born citizen” as one born in the nation to parents who are citizens makes perfect sense in that such a person will not be infected by dual-allegiance problems. If the parents are citizens, neither will confer allegiance to a foreign nation. Additionally, if one is born on soil foreign to the parents, that nation is likely to recognize the person as a citizen. Owing allegiance to more than one nation is an unnatural circumstance of citizenship.

    In 1790, the first Congress deemed all persons born of two United States citizen parents abroad to be “natural born citizens,” but the words “natural born” were repealed in 1795. Congress never again legislated the definition of “natural born citizen,” and no United States statute currently defines the term or even mentions it.

    The citizenship of a person born in the United States to parents who are citizens is self-evident and has never required naturalization, a federal statute or an amendment, and the Supreme Court has indicated that such persons are the only citizens who satisfy the natural born citizen requirement of Article II, Section 1.

    An important historical definition of “natural born citizen” comes from a 1797 translation of the “Law of Nations,” a 1758 text by Emerich de Vattel, which summarized that body of international law known also as the “Law of Nations”:

    The citizens are the members of the civil society: bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.
    Note that a child of former aliens can be a natural born citizen under this standard if born in the United States to parents who were naturalized prior to the child’s birth. That was made clear by the Supreme Court’s opinion in Perkins v. Elg.

    It appears from James Madison’s notes of August 1787 that the delegates used the terms “native” and “natural born citizen” synonymously. Additionally, Ben Franklin stated that the framers frequently consulted Vattel’s text. Also consider that Article I, Section 8, grants Congress the authority to “punish … offenses against the Law of Nations.”

    In the case of The Venus 12 U.S. 253, 289 (1814), Chief Justice John Marshall stated:

    Vattel, who, though not very full to this point, is more explicit and more satisfactory on it than any other whose work has fallen into my hands, says “The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives or indigenes are those born in the country of parents who are citizens. …”
    Chief Justice Marshall relied upon a pre-1797 edition of Vattel’s text. The 1797 translation was adopted by the Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1874), where Chief Justice Waite stated:

    The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. …
    It’s significant that this decision was issued six years after the 14th Amendment was enacted. As such, Minor illustrates that the 14th Amendment simply defines who is a citizen, not which citizens are natural born.

    If Obama had run for president in 1874 – six years after the 14th Amendment went into effect – he wouldn’t have been eligible since he doesn’t fit the Minor Court’s standard for a natural born citizen.

    In 1898, Justice Horace Gray wrote one of the most controversial opinions in Supreme Court history wherein a man born in the United States of Chinese alien parents was held to be a citizen. Wong Kim Ark is the precedent relied upon for the assertion that any person born on United States soil, regardless of parentage, is a citizen. But that’s not accurate. The holding in Wong Kim Ark appears to require for citizenship that a person be born on United States soil to parents who are permanently domiciled here. If the domicile requirement is upheld in future cases, anchor babies will no longer be assumed to be United States citizens.

    Regardless, the holding in Wong Kim Ark did not state that such a citizen was “natural born.” In fact, Justice Gray reiterated the definition of natural born citizen as one born on United States soil to parents who are citizens when he favorably discussed Minor v. Happersett:

    That neither Mr. Justice Miller nor any of the justices who took part in the decision of The Slaughterhouse Cases understood the court to be committed to the view that all children born in the United States of citizens or subjects of foreign States were excluded from the operation of the first sentence of the Fourteenth Amendment is manifest from a unanimous judgment of the Court, delivered but two years later, while all those judges but Chief Justice Chase were still on the bench, in which Chief Justice Waite said: “Allegiance and protection are, in this connection (that is, in relation to citizenship), reciprocal obligations. The one is a compensation for the other: allegiance for protection, and protection for allegiance. … At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children, born in a country of parents who were its citizens, became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens. …”
    While the dissent feared the majority holding would make Wong Kim Ark eligible to be president, Justice Gray’s restatement of the Minor Court’s definition of a natural born citizen as one born in the United States to parents who are citizens stands in direct contrast to the dissent’s fear.

    A few years after Wong Kim Ark was decided, the Albany Law Journal published an article by Alexander Porter Morse entitled, “NATURAL-BORN CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES: ELIGIBILITY FOR THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT” (Albany Law Journal Vol. 66 (1904-1905)):

    If it was intended that anybody who was a citizen by birth should be eligible, it would only have been necessary to say, “no person, except a native-born citizen”; but the framers thought it wise, in view of the probable influx of European immigration, to provide that the president should at least be the child of citizens owing allegiance to the United States at the time of his birth. It may be observed in passing that the current phrase “native-born citizen” is well understood; but it is pleonasm and should be discarded; and the correct designation, “native citizen” should be substituted in all constitutional and statutory enactments, in judicial decisions and in legal discussions where accuracy and precise language are essential to intelligent discussion.
    The term “native born citizen” has been erroneously substituted for “natural born citizen” by numerous commentators. Mr. Morse correctly points out that the two are not synonymous. His article also proves once again that Chester Arthur’s dual nationality was hidden from the public. There would have been no point in writing the article – which doesn’t mention Chester Arthur – had the nation previously condoned a president born with dual allegiance.

    The argument against Obama being eligible rests on multiple Supreme Court cases that define a “natural born citizen” as one born in the United States to parents who are citizens. This is not a political issue. It’s a legal issue faced by a nation where nobody is supposed to be above the law. As such, it deserves judicial review.

  11. Black Lion April 1, 2010 at 4:39 pm  (Quote) #

    Doc, I just posted a comment that got stuck in moderation. Can you review it when you get the chance? Thanks.

  12. G April 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm  (Quote) #

    Obviously, Scott Brown, you have no clue what a Venn Diagram is, do you?

    It is called overlap.

    The crazies are at the core. I refer to those the Tea Baggers of the Tea Pary movement.

    The crazies consist of a lot of overlapping groups – Birthers, Birchers, White Supremacists, Anti-Tax Protesters, Truthers, Militia Movement, NWO Conspiracy folks, etc.

    Crazies themselves are not necessarily in all of these groups and not all members of those different crazy elements are members of the Tea Party movement either. But there is a lot of intersection & overlap if you drew the circles for each of them.

    But not everyone who attends a Tea Party is even among any of those crazy groups at all.

    There are some of these angry folks who are just susceptible to any broad ecomomic trauma and/or conservative /libertarian messaging out there and are ginned up by the fear & anger that is being stoked around them or fed to them via radio, TV & internet media or by their fellow neighbors.

  13. Dr. Conspiracy April 1, 2010 at 9:09 pm  (Quote) #

    Black Lion: Doc, I just posted a comment that got stuck in moderation. Can you review it when you get the chance? Thanks.

    Just so you know. I check for comments in moderation before I read regular comments.

  14. Dr. Conspiracy April 1, 2010 at 9:13 pm  (Quote) #

    Wow am I behind the times. I didn’t realize that Leo’s blog was back in business.

  15. The Sheriff's A Ni- April 1, 2010 at 10:13 pm  (Quote) #

    He shouldn’t have gone all in on that last hand. Now its back to the birther fountain o’ cash to make this month’s mortgage payment.

  16. The Sheriff's A Ni- April 1, 2010 at 10:15 pm  (Quote) #

    To repeat: Presidenting While Black. They’d pull him over for doing 55 in a 54.

  17. Black Lion April 1, 2010 at 11:05 pm  (Quote) #

    OK. I wasn’t sure and I wanted to make sure that we all got a chance to see Leo’s new commentary. Which is a repeat of his same old crap…

  18. Black Lion April 1, 2010 at 11:08 pm  (Quote) #

    Agreed. I guess Leo is back on his meds so he is back to being the “smartest lawyer” in the birther business….I wonder how is Chrysler case is going?…..Also his so called conclusions are so far off it is borderline Sven fiction…

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