What if the birthers are right?

As if the existence of a “paranoid style” in American politics required any further proof,  the birther movement refuses to die. It’s adherents claim, contrary to all available facts, that Barack Obama is not a natural-born U.S. citizen and is therefore ineligible to serve as President. Like all good conspiracy theories, it will never completely go away no matter how much evidence there is to disprove it. Ignorance and hatred are powerful things and the American right-wing has a shortage of neither.

Aside from the fact that the birther movement appears to be little more than another in a long series of attempts by the right-wing to delegitimize their opposition rather than engage with it, there is amidst all of this sound and fury, an important question that has yet to be thoroughly explored: what if the birthers are right? What if Barack Obama was born in Kenya rather than Hawaii? I have read speculation ranging from the idea that it would actually make Obama a British subject to the constitutionally unsound notion that he would be designated as ineligible and that therefore John McCain would be President.

I believe the answer is quite simple and that it is not one the birthers will like: even if Obama really was born in Kenya, he would still be a U.S. citizen. That’s right, being born in Kenya would not disqualify Obama from being President.

Think about it. John McCain was born in Panama, but no one seriously question his citizenship. Why is that? Is it a simple case of racism and double standards? No. John McCain is a citizen because his parents were citizens. The children of U.S. citizens born overseas are U.S. citizens.

But wait, you say, Obama’s father was Kenyan. Fair enough, but it doesn’t matter, Obama still meets the criteria.

  1. His mother was a U.S. citizen;
  2. She lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years before he was born; and
  3. A minimum of 5 of those 10 years were after her 14th birthday.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_nationality_law#Through_birth_abroad_to_one_United_States_citizen

Case closed. Not only are the birthers idiots, they’re wasting their time. Even if they could somehow prove their conspiratorial fantasies, they would STILL LOSE. What morons.

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3 thoughts on “What if the birthers are right?

  1. Granite says:

    Obama was NOT born in Kenya. That is the critical point. Obama’s first book, “Dreams from My Father” says that Obama and his mother applied for passports in 1966 or 1967. In other words, she did not have a passport in 1961, so she could not have gone to Kenya.

    In addition to this, there is the official birth certificate of Hawaii (Yes, the Certification of Live Birth is the official birth certificate), and it says on it–and the officials have repeatedly confirmed–that Obama was born in Hawaii.

    If Obama had been born in Kenya (and he wasn’t) then there could be an issue as to whether he was a Natural Born Citizen. He would have been a citizen, for sure, but whether a Natural Born one is an issue.

    Black’s Law Dictionary gives two criteria for Natural Born Citizen status:

    “Natural born citizen. Persons who are born within the jurisdiction of a national government, i.e. in its territorial limits, or those born of citizens temporarily residing abroad.” — Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition

    All citizens who were born in the USA fall under category 1, born within the jurisdiction. But it is not clear whether one or two US citizen parents are required when a person is born outside of the USA.

    But this is all silly and theorietical, since Obama WAS born in the USA. As one blogger I saw said: “If my aunt had male genetalia, she would have been my uncle.”

  2. Not bad – but still not completely accurate

    First off, Obama refers to himself as a native born citizen (Fight the Smears).

    Obama’s mother was too young to confer NBC if she gave birth in Kenya – she would have had to have been 19.

    As for this:

    like all good conspiracy theories, it will never completely go away no matter how much evidence there is to disprove it.

    Gold standard evidence exists right now that could put an end to it – he could have put an end to it before a single case went to court but he refused. Note also that that COLB he posted and what Dr Fukino vouched for have never been connected. The issue remains as it started out — release a copy of that COLB to be vetted by a disinterested third party (Annenberg and Politifact are not).

    And this:

    Ignorance and hatred are powerful things and the American right-wing has a shortage of neither.

    Not all birthers are Republicans or right-wingers. The original “birther” was Democrat Phil Berg. Polls have shown that anywhere from 10-25% of birthers are Democrats.

    And you are sadly misinformed as far as Sen McCain:

    Think about it. John McCain was born in Panama, but no one seriously question his citizenship. Why is that? Is it a simple case of racism and double standards? No. John McCain is a citizen because his parents were citizens. The children of U.S. citizens born overseas are U.S. citizens.

    John McCain’s NBC status was the subject of a senate hearing – Obama’s was not. John McCain submitted a copy of his original birth certificate when asked – Obama has not. And John McCain was named in some of the lawsuits Obama was.

    Why is it the birthers are always referred to as racists?

    And you want double standard?

    Would Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton or John McCain be president if they refused to produce their birth certificate, medical and school records?

    Of course not.

    And in your argument, you leave out the most obvious: why hasn’t he just released a copy of his “original vital recortdS” and be done with it?

  3. Barack Obama is a native born U.S. citizen. I was just speculating.

    As far as gold-standard evidence being in existence, you are right, and it has been presented. Obama long ago released a copy of his birth certificate – the same type of certified copy that any U.S. citizen would use to obtain a passport or otherwise prove citizenship.

    I’ve never seen or been asked for my original COLB, but I don’t doubt for a second that I’m a U.S. citizen. The REPUBLUCAN governor of Hawaii as seen Obama’s herself and says it’s genuine. That should be enough. Unless of course the Republicans are in on the conspiracy too. That would help explain how the fake birth announcements were planted in the Honolulu newspapers. It was probably done by the CIA back during the Bush administration. Bush was after all the top Republican and it all makes sense in the context of Bush trying to keep his old rival McCain out of the Oval Office. And wanting a Muslim socialist in the White House makes perfect sense when you think about it, after all 9/11 was an inside job…..

    But seriously.

    I don’t give a crap about who Phil Berg is. If you seriously want to argue that birtherism is not a right-wing phenomenon simply because the idea originated with a Democrat, then be my guest. By your own admission, 75 to 90% of birthers are not Democrats – not an effective way to support your argument.

    John McCain was only named in some of the lawsuits to give them a fig leaf appearance of fairness.

    Barack Obama is a natural born U.S. citizen. Get over it.

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