Natural Born Nonsense – Trump and Rubio’s latest gambit
By: Richard Cameron
Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and John McCain go to the citizenship card to derail Ted Cruz’ momentum
There has been a considerable amount of chatter regarding Donald Trump’s latest tactic in his ongoing scorched earth campaign, this time aimed at Senator Cruz’ campaign – in particular, the Senator’s legal qualifications to occupy the highest public office in the land. I refer to it as the NBC (Natural Born Citizen) flatulence. Flatulence in case you don’t know, is a polite term for stinking the room up.
While Senator Cruz’ and his campaign have addressed this issue on numerous occasions (quite satisfactorily) – as far back as August 2013; the timing of this attack from the Trump campaign is curious to say the least. Trump is now behind Cruz in the Iowa Caucus polling. The raising of the NBC flatulence is obvious on the face of it as a cheap desperation move to attempt to derail Senator Cruz’ momentum.
I have good friends on Facebook, who subscribe to the NBC narrative and whom I have had spirited discussions with and we have agreed to amiably steer away from the subject. Now is one exception. I can only issue a cautionary note against hopping on the Trump and Rubio Bandwagon on this matter. Even if you don’t find Trump’s antics as disreputable as I do, please be aware that you will also have some other quite dubious political bedfellows.
The Obama White House is joining in the chorus, questioning Cruz’ status of eligibility! As I told a family member who brought this up this morning, my objection to Obama’s legitimacy as President, did and does not center around his father (whoever that may have been) or whether Obama was born on American soil. It centered around thelies, obfuscations, contradictory documents, possible forgeries and ongoing withholding of details of his background. Details that the American people are legitimately entitled to examine.
In embracing this NBC faux controversy, you will also be in the company of Senator John McCain – who, by all appearances has worn out his welcome with Arizona voters and has, for the first time, some viable opponents lined up to term him out. McCain, who received a favorable interpretation of his own eligibility questions (having been born in the Panama Canal Zone), is acting as an “arms length” surrogate for his junior apprentice,Marco Rubio. McCain was quoted as saying, “I think there is a question. I am not a Constitutional scholar on that, but I think it’s worth looking into. I don’t think it’s illegitimate to look into it.”
But it is illegitimate to “look into it” Senator McCain. It has already been “looked into” by an eminent bi-partisan team of Constitutional scholars, in a commentary, titled “On the Meaning of `Natural Born Citizen’ ” in Harvard Law Review, co-authored byPaul Clement, Solicitor General during George W. Bush’s second term, and Neal Katyal, a former acting solicitor general in the Obama administration and during the 2000 recount, co-counsel to Bush’s opponent, Al Gore. You can read their detailed argument and analysis, here – although the point of this article is not necessarily to win converts to what I consider to be an open and shut case for Senator Cruz’ eligibility bonafides.
For reasons that are obvious on closer examination, the NBC issue is not something Rubio’s campaign wants Marco to get embroiled in personally. Rubio is also a target of the NBC fetishists because he was born in the United States to parents, neither of which were U.S. Citizens at the time of his birth. You have not heard ONE word from me on Rubio’s status and beyond this brief reference, you won’t again. Because to borrow a phrase that John McCain is fond of using – it is “Wacko Bird” stuff.
Not only have Clement and Katyal, “looked into it”, but the non-partisanCongressional Research Service (CRS), has as well:
CRS, Nov. 14, 2011: The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term “natural born” citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “by birth” or “at birth,” either by being born “in” the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship “at birth.” Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an “alien” required to go through the legal process of “naturalization” to become a U.S. citizen.
And, to add to the roster, Fact Check.org., references Sarah Helene Duggin, a Catholic University law professor, who wrote in 2013 on the subject, “There is a strong argument that anyone who acquires United States citizenship at birth, whether by virtue of the 14th Amendment or by operation of federal statute, qualifies as natural born.”
I could add Theodore “Ted” Olsen, former Solicitor General, who defended a lawsuit contending John McCain was not “natural born”. Mr. Olsen, a noted legal participant of the infamous Bush / Gore 2000 debacle, told National Review that “My conclusion would be that if you are a citizen as a consequence of your birth, that’s a natural-born citizen.” Another respected Constitutional expert, this one with liberal leanings and personally favorable experience with Ted Cruz, Harvard Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz opined in National Review, “Of course he’s eligible.”
And of course, I ask the same question my friend Trevor Loudon asks on his blog,New Zeal:
Did the founding fathers really believe that any pregnant American woman who happens to be on holiday or business outside of America could be jeopardizing her child’s future chances of becoming the president of the United States?
Did they indeed? One fascinating analysis of that question, was credibly answered by a very respected Senior Fellow at the CATO Institute, Mr. Ilya Shapiro – guesting on the “Doc” Washburn radio program. Among other things, Mr. Shapiro notes that Congress early on, had to revise or at least clarify the definition of “Natural Born Citizen” because the first 6, count ’em, 6 US Presidents were not born on United States soil – technically speaking, because when they were born the United States did not yet exist!
Shapiro also explains the later modification to the law that Congress instituted in 1952 –The Walker McCarran Act – or the Nationality Act of 1952, defining “Natural Born” and that after 1986, they widened the parameters even more. Ted Cruz, Mr. Shapiro notes, comfortably fulfills the requirements of that legislation. He also sheds more light than I’ve seen elsewhere on the “intent of the founding fathers”.
But you, should you hop aboard the NBC clownwagon, will also find yourself in the dubious company of one of the most unhinged, leftist Democrats in Congress, Florida House Member Alan Grayson, who has unabashedly equated the Tea Party to theKu Klux Klan and who has said that he intends to file suit in Federal court to challenge Senator Cruz’ eligibility. This from a man who terms Obama ‘Birthers’ as “loons”. No contradiction or inconsistency there unless you happen to have any degree of intellectual honesty and do not fit the profile of “partisan hack”.
If these uncomfortable bedfellows have not yet convinced you that you should leap from that flea ridden bed forthwith, perhaps the folks at the “National Society of Natural Born Citizens” will give you the “jolly old convincer”. Not only do they maintain a preposterous list of individuals past and present whom they deem ineligible to occupy the Oval Orifice, but they also are of the remarkable belief that:
An Amendment is necessary to provide the law necessary to provide woman eligibility to the Presidency. Woman (sic) are currently not eligible to the Office of President because they are not included in the definition of “natural born citizen and an Amendment is necessary to provide the law necessary for races other than European eligibility to the Presidency. Currently, only those of the European race are in the definition of “natural born citizen.” Congress needs to propose an Amendment to the Constitution that will provide the law necessary to provide other races eligibility to the Office of President. Congress is currently outside the law by accepting Electoral votes for a person not included in the definition of “natural born citizen.”
Did you catch that? European Race???? Only Whites and specifically White males are Constitutionally franchised to be elected to the office of the President of the United States? How do I double capitalize OMG? Really, do you want to be thought of in the same frame of reference as these lunatic obsessives?
I trust the answer is no – at least I hope so.