“Natural Born Citizen for Dummies,” correctly identifies its target audience. It says that the historical record shows US Presidents must have citizen parents, and that liberals are using propaganda and legislative tricks to change it. Of course, the truth is exactly the opposite, as has been shown in numerous articles1 and comments here, not to mention in the Press and in the law journals.
The video is slick and obviously designed to instill confidence in the viewer, to make the viewer of a mind to reject out of hand any opposing view as liberal lies. It’s a classic example of the rhetorical fallacy, “poisoning the well.”
Poisoning the well (or attempting to poison the well) is a logical fallacy where adverse information about a target is pre-emptively presented to an audience, with the intention of discrediting or ridiculing everything that the target person is about to say.
Comments are closed on the video so that no counterarguments can be attached. Allowing comments would be a problem in this case because it is easy to verify lies in it. So let’s examine it here, where I will make good on my claim that there are 9 lies in the first 45 seconds.
The video says:
For some time now liberals have attempted to eliminate that [natural born citizen] constitutional requirement altogether, seemingly without a care that to do so would actually require a constitutional amendment ratified by at least 38 states. To try to change the Constitution they have made numerous end-runs around it even though it plainly details how those changes are to be made.
From Natural Born Citizen for Dummies video
The opening sentence announces the overall plan: bias the viewer against the historical consensus view by attaching the name “liberal” to it. What follows is a list of past proposed House resolutions and Senate bills that the video describes as liberal attempts to get around the “natural born citizen” requirement of Constitution while avoiding the proper path of constitutional amendment. The video invites the viewer to believe that liberals are going to lie to them, proven by the fact that they have been sneaky in the past with the bills and resolutions listed. The list looks like evidence, but is it? The viewer has to trust the video over what these resolutions and bills are really about and such trust would be misplaced. I suppose 99.9% of the viewers aren’t going to check the details, but I did.
Here’s the list on the video screen while the narrative preceding was spoken.
- 1975 – H.J.R. 33 “Joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States….” The bill was sponsored by Rep. Jonathan B. Bingham (D-NY) with no cosponsors. Given the resolution’s title, it is without a doubt not an example of what the narrative claims it is: an example of liberals trying too make an “end run” around the process of constitutional amendment. The video lies.
- 1977 – H.J.R. 38 Identical to previous. Lie #2.
- 2003 – H.J.R. 59 “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States…” It’s obviously not an attempt to get around amending the Constitution. The bill was sponsored by Vic Snyder (D -AZ) with 6 cosponsors. Lie #3.
- 2003 – H.J.R. 67 “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States….” The bill was sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D – MI). It’s obviously not an attempt to get around amending the Constitution. Lie #4.
- 2004 – S2128 This bill would define “natural born citizen,” a term that is not defined in the Constitution itself. The definition it offers adds eligibility for foreign-born adoptees to the consensus view. The Sponsor is Sen. Don Nickles (R – OK) — a fiscal and social conservative. While some might honestly argue that this is an attempt at an end run around the Constitution, they cannot honestly say that Sen. Nickles is a liberal. Lie #5.
- 2004 – H.J.R. 104 “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States….” The bill was sponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R – CA). It’s obviously not an attempt to get around amending the Constitution. Republican and global-warming doubter Rohrabacher is no liberal either. Lie #6.
- 2005 – H.J.R. 2 “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States….” Same as 2003 – H.J.R. 67. Lie # 7.
- 2005 – H.J.R. 15 “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States….” Same as 2004 – H.J.R. 104. Li3 # 8.
- 2005 – H.J.R. 42 “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States….” The bill was sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D – MI). It’s obviously not an attempt to get around amending the Constitution. Lie #9.
Nine lies in 45 seconds! Stay tuned for more on this nasty piece of work.
1I wrote about another Dean Haskins video on the same subject back in January of 2009.
Not to mention that it is ESTIMATED that there have been over 10,000 proposed constitutional amendments proposed since 1789 and the current running average is 100-200 per year.
I posted a comment with a link to this article at Dean’s blog (Dean is also the banned Fogbow poster ‘vattel’).
It’s in moderation (and will probably never see the light of day) but it was worth a shot.
Not a hope Slart, in all his posts he has allowed precisely one “comment” which was just the usual BS from Kerchner
I hate it when someone tries to mask staggering incompetence and stupidity with false confidence. Birthers do it, and the idiot I work with does it too. I guess the former I can just avoid all together, but the latter I need to put up with 40 hours a week for the next 3 months.
Actually pretty sad that anyone would think Donofrio and Apuzzo to be Constitutional experts. As he clearly doesn’t understand law, there is no way to convince such people that if a lawyer described the case law he way he did, he would likely be sanctioned as a court would not stand for such misrepresentation of precedent.
Someone should also ask him why no one ever proposed to amend the Constitution to allow for native born children of non-citizens to be President.
For some reason, comments for this video have been disabled. I wonder why.
The video is more a slight of hand. The first example that they present was from 1975, over 35 years ago. However, the videos desperately try to attempt to link the event in 1975 to Obama’s presidency. Skeptic will check the facts of the video, but those who want to believe will use it as an example to support their conspiracy theory.
Interesting enough they used MINOR v. HAPPERSETT.
The string of double negatives beginning around 7:30 made my brain twitch.
I think he should say something like this to be accurate:
“Althought the two-parent theory has recently been rejected by a state appelate court, was said to be wrong by Professor Tribe and Theordore Olsen, with Tribe recently calling it “wacky,” has been rejected by numberous members of our current Congress, has no support in any modern legal dictionaries or legal treatises, nevertheless, the great scholars Donofrio and Apuzzo say everyone is wrong and they are right.”
He could then go into some these great scholars’ achievements. Say, like winning a big poker tournament.
I swapped emails with Dean Haskins (firstname.lastname@example.org) last month, challenging, among other things, his reliance on Mario Apuzzo’s claim that “A scanned document only has one layer of information.”
Haskin’s final response was:
“I understand what Mario is saying, and I understand what you’re saying. But, I’m going with Mario on this one–because of the makeup of the layers, and what OCR always produces (and it isn’t the layers present in this document). To top it off, now the liars are claiming that what was released was simply produced on a copy machine. Please tell me you understand how absolutely preposterous that is. They’re all a bunch of liars–plain and simple.”
Ballantine don’t be silly. Anyone is qualified to be an expert on whatever topic Birthers desire, so long as that person says what the Birthers want to hear. Conversely, no level of education, professional experience, peer review, and professional accolades could make someone who contradicts Birther views an expert on anything.
Pop quiz time! Which of the following people is an expert on the law in Birtherstan?
A) Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts
B) Mario Apuzzo
“I wrote about another Dean Haskins video on the same subject back in January of 2008.”
Having only been “interested” in this topic for 6 weeks, I cannot fathom the mental anguish of 3.5+ years in the field. This field anyway. Long suffering.
@Charlie Burrow … the ignoramce and simplemendedness of layer mania is maddening, isn’t it? Try pointing out to them that the PDF file structure is open to interpretation, meaning the representation of the arrangement of the objects in the document is left to the software opening it. Open the file in similar applications with vector-editing capability, say Illustrator, CorelDraw, and Inkscape, and you get get different structures. Illustrator arranges it in layers. Inkscape in groups on one layer. If birthers could wrap their heads around this, what might they think of it? Devilry? Witchcraft? Who knows. I’ve tried pointing this out to a few, but they can’t fathom it. They’re so wound up on Illustrator, they can’t be bothered. Which is all the funnier as Illustrator had nothing to do with the creation of the WH LFBC PDF.
I love how this stuff becomes acronym city. Almost as bad as the military about that!
Here’s a real attempt of a subversive amendment:
In his second term as a Congressman, Anderson introduced a constitutional amendment to attempt to “recognize the law and authority of Jesus Christ” over the United States.
Then of course there’s Jerry Falwell. In a speech at his fourth tier Liberty University, he called the 1st Amendment “a mistake,” and proposed an amendment to nullify separation of church and state “with the Jewish people declared a protected minority.”
So who are the real subversives?
Or this one: God told me to invade Iraq. – GW Bush
It’s an effective ploy. Now that the birthers have been convinced that Minor is “binding precedent” they believe that any evidence to the contrary (including 400 civics books and authorities) can be safely ignored. I saw this a few minutes in an email. I sent ballantine’s link of Books on Google, and I got this reply:
Sorry about that. It should say January 2009. It’s only been 2.5+ years. But I take breaks.
Perhaps the focus is on the wrong half of the “I see layers, it’s a forgery” allegation.
The underlying premise seems to be that something in the White House version of the birth certificate has been changed from what was in the original. OK, so what is it? What specific piece(s) of information could conceivably have been changed from whatever was in the original so as to benefit Obama’s presidential eligibility? If the “experts” and their acolytes can’t answer the question then the technical arguments become meaningless. I don’t think they can credibly answer the question.
Pretend you’re a birther. Answer the question: What specific piece(s) of information could conceivably have been changed from whatever was in the original so as to benefit Obama’s presidential eligibility?
I ask people that too, and run through the list of anomalies, and demand meaning, and the only answer is always “It’s a forgery!” So i guess they mean they believe the LFBC is a total hoax, whole-cloth fabrication.
So then referring birthers to other images of the same, scans and photos of photocopies given to the press (such as what Doc is hosting), saying, “OK, same document, no PDF artifacts. What now?” And it doesn’t matter. It’s just ranting and raving, PDF obsession.
I guess the most charitable interpretation would be to say their contention is that the act of releasing the “enhanced” PDF was fraud. The release of an image of a document that we think is suspicious constitutes FRAUD. The document itself and its contents are irrelevant. Apparently.
Pointing out the PDF was uploaded for informational purposes and for the public’s benefit, not to fulfill any legal obligation, doesn’t go over too well, either.
And it’s pointless. Work back through the chain of events, and the conspiracy is self-reinforcing at every step. All fuel to keep the theme in the birther collective consciousness. Obama is illegitimate. He just freakin’ is, mmmkay?
I posted the bit about the malleability of PDF structure (“layers” in birtherese) to suggest that not only do the birthers not know what they’re talking about, but that it’s even weirder than they have yet realized. If they knew more, oh how much nuttier would they go!
Yes. Why would they acknowledge that “an original” exists? These people are willing to accept that entire state governments are, willingly or not, supporting a hoax in order to keep the President in office. It’s “suspicious” in itself that it took this long just to release a somewhat convincing forgery.
There is no winning this “argument”. Of course there is no “losing” it either. Obama will remain in office until is term expires, and he will be on every presidential ballot in every polling place in every state. The birthers will not vote for him (I HOPE!), but their net effect will not have a measurable impact on the election. Anti-Obama sentiment, in general, will have a significant impact on the results of the Republican nomination process, but that is quite likely to work in Obama’s favor.
The closest I’ve ever seen to an answer was, “It doesn’t matter if they didn’t change anything. It’s still a forgery and Obama’s a fraud.”
With reasoning like that, I think the world’s supply of wet paper bags has nothing to worry about.