Exciting day

Dr. Conspiracy

Today was a really exciting day in the world of Obama Conspiracy Theories. Following up on a document filed by Mario Apuzzo, I found a treasure trove of debate from 1787 on on the acquisition of American citizenship. We had de Vattel; we had the general law of nations; we had political infighting and the final decision of Congress. I could hardly keep my eyes on the page, wanting to move on to learn more. That was fun.

However, the high point of the experience was where my researches went while scanning through the first records of our Congress looking for the debate on seating Congressman Smith. I was deeply moved when I stumbled upon the account of the Congress in joint session counting the votes and certifying the election of George Washington as our first president. You can read it too. I feel a part of that heritage and a I feel sense of pride that I in my own small way, continue to try to protect the integrity of American democracy.

About Dr. Conspiracy

I'm not a real doctor, but I have a master's degree.
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15 Responses to Exciting day

  1. Scott Brown says:

    You are truly misguided.

  2. misha says:

    Keep up the good work, Dr C. I’m an avid reader.

  3. richCares says:

    that’s a ditto from me!

  4. Greg says:

    It is also fascinating to read the 14th amendment debates. It has been called a “second founding.” And when you read it and realize just how close the nation was to never getting back together or coming together with the South having the same slave power as before the war (representation in proportion to a disenfranchised black population) it is an apt description.

    It is a vibrant and exciting debate (from the very opening bell where the Clerk simply refused to acknowledge a Southern legislator – didn’t read his name in the roll). If history class had been made up of reading stuff like this instead of the dry recitation of facts.

  5. BatGuano says:

    You are truly misguided.

    exactly. those are only digital internet scanned copies of the proceedings. they are not the originals. they prove nothing.

  6. nBC says:


  7. nBC says:

    The lack of any argument suggests a desperate attempt to hide one’s inability to respond…

    Well done Scott. I knew you would not disappoint us.

  8. Tome says:

    How many times must the traitors gathered here, be reminded that the rq for POTUS is “natural born citizen” NOT “citizen”?!
    William Smith.. Ramsay …. all of it— old news -7th grade History class
    The Founders/Framers –not a one– extended an invitation to individuals NOT throwing their lot in with “the rest of US” to install their off-spring as this nation’s “Top Gun”/”Head Honcho”/ Comm-in Chief …

  9. nbc says:

    Born on US soil makes one a natural born citizen. Citizens include naturalized people, which are of course not eligible to run.

    As to traitors, are you not a bit too harsh on the birthers? I’d best describe them as confused or misled.

  10. Arthur says:


    Why is it traitorous to ground one’s understanding of our nation’s laws in a close examination of original documents? Wouldn’t you agree that is is every American’s civic duty to investigate and reflect on the the important constitutional debates that have shaped our country?

    And please, if you want your ideas to be understood, to say nothing of being taken seriously, spell words out, use standard grammar and punctuation, and write in complete sentences.

  11. Greg says:

    Tome, if it’s “7th grade history,” then you can find ONE example of a history book used in school that says the President must have citizen parents.

    Did you know that when the dictionary defines “gullible,” they have a picture of you there? Definition 3; likely to believe birther nonsense without asking simple questions – see Tome.

  12. dunstvangeet says:

    I used to believe that, if they hadn’t started with some of the stupidest arguments ever. Yesterday, I actually heard a birther argue that when Factcheck said “When Obama was born in Honolulu, Kenya was a British Colony…”, they actually meant that Obama was born in Honolulu, Kenya.

    They don’t actually believe their arguments. They just look for a reason that the scary black man can’t be President, believing that will solve all their problems. There is absolutely no way that they can believe half of the stuff that comes out of their mouth. They just think that it might stick and get the scary black man out of office.

  13. Tome, perhaps you studied the Smith/Ramsay exchange in 7th grade. It was far to specialized for my school. You said:

    The Founders/Framers –not a one– extended an invitation to individuals NOT throwing their lot in with “the rest of US” to install their off-spring as this nation’s “Top Gun”/”Head Honcho”/ Comm-in Chief …

    The framers who addressed the issue (e.g. Madison) said that the essence of citizenship is community based place of birth, and that the reason for the eligibility clause was to insure a president’s “”attachment to the country” (Pinckney). Can you find a framer who based it all on “who your daddy was?” No you can’t and this why nobody with half a grain of sense agrees with you.

  14. ballantine says:

    The constutional debates are a great read as well. Unfortunately for the birthers, no Vattel or parentage and clearly no great fear of foreigners.

    “Mr. GERRY wished that in future the elegibility might be confined to natives. Foreign powers will intermeddle in our affairs, and spare no expense to influence them. Persons having foreign attachments will be sent among us and insinuated into our councils, in order to be made instruments for their purposes. Every one knows the vast sums laid out in Europe for secret services. He was not singular in these ideas. A great many of the most influential men in Massachusetts reasoned in the same manner.”

    This brought responses from the 3 most important framers:

    “Col. HAMILTON was in general against embarrassing the government with minute restrictions. There was, on one side, the possible danger that had been suggested. On the other side, the advantage of encouraging foreigners was obvious and admitted. Persons in Europe of moderate fortunes will be fond of coming here, where they will be on a level with the first citizens. He moved that the section be so altered as to require merely ” citizenship arid inhabitancy.” The right of determining the rule of naturalization will then leave a discretion to the legislature on this subject, which will answer every purpose.

    Mr. MADISON seconded the motion. He wished to maintain the character of liberality which had been professed in all the constitutions and publications of America. He wished to invite foreigners of merit and republican principles among us. America was indebted to emigration for her settlement and prosperity. That part of America which had encouraged them most had advanced most rapidly in population, agriculture, and the arts. There was a possible danger, he admitted, that men with foreign predilections might obtain appointments; but it was by no means probable that it would happen in any dangerous degree. For the same reason that they would be attached to their native country, our own people would prefer natives of this country to them. Experience proved this to be the case. Instances were rare of a foreigner being elected by the people within any short space after his coming among us. If bribery was to be practised by foreign powers, it would not be attempted among the electors, but among the elected, and among natives having full confidence of the people, not among strangers, who would be regarded with a jealous eye.

    Mr. WILSON cited Pennsylvania as a proof of the advantage of encouraging emigrations. It was perhaps the youngest settlement (except Georgia) on the Atlantic; yet it was at least among the foremost in population and prosperity. He remarked, that almost all the general officers of the Pennsylvania line of the late army were foreigners; and no complaint had ever been made against their fidelity or merit. Three of her deputies to the Convention (Mr. R. Morris. Mr. Fitzsimons, and himself) were also not natives. He had no objection to Col. Hamilton’s motion, and would withdraw the one made by himself.”

    Gee, where is the panic of foreigners? Where is the talk of Vattel or parentage. Earlier there had been this exchange:

    “Col. MASON highly approved of the policy of the motion. Were it not that many, not natives of this country, had acquired great credit during the revolution, he should be for restraining the eligibility into the Senate to natives.”

    Mr. MADISON was not averse to some restrictions on this subject, but could never agree to the proposed amendment. He thought any restriction, however, in the Constitution, unnecessary and improper:— unnecessary, because the national legislature is to have the right of regulating naturalization, and can by virtue thereof fix different periods of residence, as conditions of enjoying different privileges of citizenship;—improper, because it will give a tincture of illiberality to the Constitution ; because it will put it out of the power of the national legislature, even by special acts of naturalization, to confer the full rank of citizens on meritorious strangers; and because it will discourage the most desirable class of people from emigrating to the United States. Should the proposed Constitution have the intended effect of giving stability and reputation to our government, great numbers of respectable Europeans, men who love liberty, and wish to partake its blessings, will be ready to transfer their fortunes hither. All such would feel the mortification of being marked with suspicious incapacitations, though they should not covet the public honors. He was not apprehensive that any dangerous number of strangers would be appointed by the state legislatures, if they were left at liberty to do so: nor that foreign powers would make use of strangers, as instruments for their purposes. Their bribes would be expended on men whose circumstances would rather stifle than excite jealousy and watchfulness in the public.”

    And later:

    “Dr. FRANKLIN was not against a reasonable time, but should be very sorry to see any thing like illiberality inserted in the Constitution. The people in Europe are friendly to this country. Even in the country with which we have been lately at war, we have now, and had during the war, a great many friends, not only among the people at large, but in both Houses of Parliament. In every other country in Europe, all the people are our friends. We found in the course of the revolution that many strangers served us faithfully, and that many natives took part against their country. When foreigners, after looking about for some other country in which they can obtain more happiness, give a preference to ours, it is a proof of attachment which ought to excite our confidence and affection.

    Mr. RANDOLPH did not know but it might be problematical whether emigrations to this country were, on the whole, useful or not, but he could never agree to the motion for disabling them, for fourteen years, to participate in the public honors. He reminded the Convention of the language held by our patriots during the revolution, and the principles laid down in all our American constitutions. Many foreigners may have fixed their fortunes among us, under the faith of these invitations. All persons under this description, with all others who would be affected by such a regulation, would enlist themselves under the banners of hostility to the proposed system. He would go as far as seven years, but no farther.

    Mr. WILSON said, he rose with feelings which were perhaps peculiar ; mentioning the circumstance of his not being a native, and the possibility, if the ideas of some gentlemen should be pursued, of his being incapacitated from holding a place under the very Constitution which he had shared in the trust of making. He remarked the illiberal complexion which the motion would give to the system, and the effect which a good system would have in inviting meritorious foreigners among us, and the discouragement and mortification they must feel from the degrading discrimination now proposed. He had himself experienced this mortification. On his removal into Maryland, he found himself, from defect of residence, under certain legal incapacities which never ceased to produce chagrin, though he assuredly did not desire, and would not have accepted, the offices to which they related. To be appointed to a place may be matter of indifference. To be incapable of being appointed is a circumstance grating and mortifying.”

    Jonathon Elliot, The debates in the several state conventions on the adoption of the federal Constitution: as recommended by the general convention at Philadelphia in 1787. Vol. V., pg. 396-99, 411-12 (1876)

  15. G says:

    Fascinating read. Thanks for sharing these interesting quotes from the historical record.

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