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Farah Remains a Birther for Cruz

I’ll give our old pal Joseph Farah of the Worldnetdaily a tiny bit of credit for remaining consistent on this one. The guy who has led the battle to have Obama declared a Kenyan Muslim interloper says that Sen. Ted Cruz is also not eligible to be president because he was born in Canada:

Now let me say this at the outset: I really like Ted Cruz. I think he would very likely make a fine president. But I think it’s important that we elect only those who are constitutionally eligible – those who fit the definition of “natural born citizens.”

Is he eligible?

I don’t know for sure, but I suspect not – at least not by my understanding of what the founders had in mind when they ratified the Constitution.

I admire the way Ted Cruz has handled the matter. He quickly released his birth certificate. He didn’t make ad hominem attacks on anyone who questioned his eligibility. He didn’t suggest anyone who dared question him had racist motivations.

He even went so far as to renounce his Canadian citizenship! And he is not yet a candidate for president. The next presidential election is still three years away.

But I have to honestly say that I don’t think the founders intended for those holding dual citizenship at birth to be presidential candidates. After all, America has plenty of people who clearly meet the minimal eligibility requirements to be president. Do we really need to stretch them to the breaking point?

Of course, the difference is that Obama was actually born in the United States, unless you think Hawaii is part of another country or that someone traveled back in time to plant fake birth announcements in two newspapers to set up a fake paper trail. And that’s just plain dumb. But the truth is that they’re both eligible. Both were born to American parents; where they were born is irrelevant.

Comments

  1. jamessweet says

    You’ve written in the past about the distinction between “intellectual dishonesty” vs. regular dishonesty. I think this is a good illustrative example: Farah is being intellectually honest here, even as he lies about what the Constitution actually says. Like you say, he deserves an iota of credit for that. (Which, given how thoroughly discredited Farah is in every aspect, doesn’t mean all that much… but credit where credit is due, I suppose)

  2. Alverant says

    Was Cruz’s mother a US citizen at the time of his birth? I know his father wasn’t. I also have to disagree with you. I think a US president should be born within US borders. That includes territories but excludes other countries.

  3. unbound says

    @Alverant – So, if parents (both US citizens) visit a distant relative in another country, and experience the birth of their kid in that country, the kid isn’t a US citizen and/or not eligible to be president? I’m sorry, but that’s nucking futs.

  4. Doug Little says

    But I have to honestly say that I don’t think the founders intended for those holding dual citizenship at birth to be presidential candidates

    How do I know? Well I was talking with Bennie and George at the pub the other week and they mentioned something about those damned duels and how they would like to do away with them.

  5. Larry says

    Citizenship is derived from the married parent’s citizenship status or from the birthplace being located in the US or its territories. Both Obama and Cruz meet the requirements. Both are natural born citizens.

  6. Chiroptera says

    But I have to honestly say that I don’t think the founders intended for those holding dual citizenship at birth to be presidential candidates.

    If only the founders had left behind written records of what they intended when the drafted the Constitution, say several papers describing their vision of what federalism meant for them, a series of “federalist papers” if you will.

    But seriously, if their intentions are so hard to divine, maybe that’s a sign that “intent” has limitations in regards of interpreting the Constitution.

  7. Chiroptera says

    Oops. I meant to quote the following bit in my last comment:

    I don’t know for sure, but I suspect not ….

  8. colnago80 says

    Re Alverent @ 2

    My information is that Cruz’s mother was a US citizen at the time of his birth but his father was not.

  9. Alverant says

    @colnago80
    For years we’ve heard “Obama wasn’t born in the US so he can’t be President” speil from cons. Well now it’s their turn and I’m going to hold them to their words. If someone born outside the US can’t be President, then I’m not going to let them change their minds when a candidate was born in Canada.

  10. says

    Ed:

    I think that Cruz has been a little more circumspect about his JESUSLOVE than some other candidates. If he comes out as Fundigelibanic fuckhead, I ‘spect pornstache Joe will be perfectly happy to endorse him.

    @1:

    Occam’s razor says that pornstache Joe is just dishonest. He’s not bright enough to be intellectually dishonest.

    “My information is that Cruz’s mother was a US citizen at the time of his birth but his father was not.”

    Does that mean that Cruz will have to undergo sexual reassignment surgery in order to be a TRUE MurKKKan (TM)?

  11. jamessweet says

    Occam’s razor says that pornstache Joe is just dishonest. He’s not bright enough to be intellectually dishonest.

    Hah! Excellent point :)

  12. says

    The whole place of birth requirement is stupid. Sooner or later some foreign born American will prove popular enough to see an amendment removing that requirement.

  13. uncephalized says

    @Alverant #2

    Why? What the fuck difference does it make where a US citizen was born or what other citizenships (s)he may have held? I can understand an argument that a President or other high federal officer ought not hold multiple citizenships while in office, since that could lead to conflicts of interest in international affairs; but why is a person born in this country who never had to do anything to earn citizenship more worthy of office than someone who has come here later in life and worked hard to integrate themselves?

  14. dshetty says

    @15
    because apparently the consistency of laws and the feelings of people long dead are more important than reason/logic or justice.

  15. dickspringer says

    I am glad that Alverant is not on the Supreme Court. I have a cousin who was serving in the US Army in Germany when his children were born there. Shouldn’t they be eligible for the presidency, along with such past presidential candidates as John McCain, born in Panamanian territory, and Mitt Romney’s father George, born to American parents in Mexico?

  16. psweet says

    Alverant’s missing a historical fact, as well. When Romney’s father ran, Congress passed a law clarifying that individuals born to American parents in foreign countries are considered natural-born citizens and are therefore eligible to be President.

  17. says

    God, all this nonsense about having to be a “natural born” citizen to be the President of the United States does my head in. The simple truth is that there isn’t the remotest possibility of a presidential candidate making it to the White House without enough invasive investigation into every aspect of their lives to make the anal probe seem like the more attractive option.

    The idea that we could ever elect a Manchurian candidate, or even a carpetbagger, to national office these days is just preposterous.

    And there isn’t the slightest doubt in my mind that there are millions of naturalized Americans (and even those who aspire to be) out there who are more in love with America and the (supposed) ideals behind America than tens of millions of people who were born American citizens.

    Anyone who can be elected to Congress should be qualified to become President. It’s as simple as that.

  18. Synfandel says

    After all, America has plenty of people who clearly meet the minimal eligibility requirements to be president. Do we really need to stretch them to the breaking point?

    Furthermore, American has plenty of right-handed people who clearly meet the minimal eligibility requirements to be president. Do we really need to accommodate left-handed aspirants?

  19. Chiroptera says

    tacitus, #20:

    I agree with just about everything you said in that comment. Unfortunately, the natural born citizen requirement is pretty explicitly stated in the US Constitution, and so it will take an amendment to change it. I would support such an effort to amend the Constitution, but unless there is an incredibly popular foreign born potential candidate, I think it would be very difficult to get such an amendment through the process.

  20. says

    @alverant: A natural-born citizen is someone who is a citizen from birth as opposed to someone who became a citizen later. You can argue over what the law should be, but that’s the requirement as it stands.

  21. says

    Unfortunately, the natural born citizen requirement is pretty explicitly stated in the US Constitution, and so it will take an amendment to change it.

    Yeah, you’re right, and as long as politics in the US is as polarized as it is, the likelihood of *any* amendment to the Constitution passing is around about zero. For all its undoubted historical importance and value, the virtual immutability of the US Constitution (combined with certain capricious interpretations handed down by the Supreme Court) is increasingly becoming more of an obstruction to progress than a net benefit to society.

  22. says

    This was always the craziest thing for me about birtherism: the constitution does not say that you have to be born in the US to be president. It says that you have to be born a citizen, and being born within the border is only one of the ways that that can happen–the other, of course, is being born to parents at least one of whom (with some odd restrictions that I CBA to look up) is an American citizen. So even if the birthers were right about him being born in Kenya, he still would have been eligible to be president.

    Which, really, was the retarded cherry atop the stupid cake.

  23. whheydt says

    There was noise about attempting a Constitutional Amendment to make Schwarzenegger eligible. Didn’t get anywhere.

    Everybody has missed the other way to eligible (which won’t matter unless the US formally annexes some more territory) and that is by being resident when the Constitution goes into effect.

  24. Nemo says

    Although he only hints at it here, the dual-citizenship “argument”, if I can call it that, is much stronger than the birthplace argument. Just as it doesn’t matter where Obama was born if he has U.S. citizenship through his mother, it may not matter where he was born if has British citizenship through his father. Does he? I don’t care enough to figure that out, because unlike Farah, I’m not pretending that dual citizenship is somehow a barrier to natural-born citizenship. That’s the part where he’s just making it up.

  25. colnago80 says

    Re Synfandel @ #21

    Furthermore, American has plenty of right-handed people who clearly meet the minimal eligibility requirements to be president. Do we really need to accommodate left-handed aspirants?

    That would make 3 of the last 4 presidents ineligible, as Bush pere, Clinton, and Obama are left handed.

  26. Artor says

    It’s ironic that the birfers claim that the founder’s intent was that only natural-born Americans were eligible for the presidency. Let’s see, how many of the founding fathers were natural-born citizens themselves? Well, considering that the US didn’t exist until 1776, it looks like that would be zero. They were all born British citizens, to British parents, on British soil. It wasn’t until the 8th President, VanBuren, that we had a Prez born on American soil.

  27. bobcarroll says

    RE Synfandel@21 and coinago80@28.
    All those left-handed presidents? Sinister, I calls it!

  28. says

    Apparently, according to Alverant’s logic, if two foreign spies have a baby in the United States, that baby is legally able to become President of the United States. Similarly, a baby born in the United States to non-US parents and raised abroad as a non-US citizen could become President of the United States. However – according to Alverant – the baby of the President of the United States of America – if it happened to be born in another country – would not legally be able to become President of the United States.

    Apparently, this is also Farah’s logic.

    Maybe I’m missing something in Alverant’s logic, though… Or maybe Alverant is trying to be satirical?

  29. dingojack says

    umlud – it’s all rather simple. One is a citizen of a country* if:
    A) At least one of one’s parents is a citizen of that country (by blood)
    AND/OR
    B) One is born in the territory claimed by that country (including diplomatic missions, sea & air going vessels etc.). (by soil,)

    Children of foreign spies (but not diplomats) born in the US are citizens of the US (and their parent’s country of birth).
    Children of the US President are citizens of the US (by virtue of their parent(s) being US citizens) matter where they are born.

    Got it?
    Dingo
    ——-
    * afaik, IANAL

  30. says

    Dual citizenship is a complete red herring. Under US law, you are either an American citizen (natural born or naturalized) or not. Period. All that birther fuss over the possibility that Obama became an Indonesian citizen made my teeth itch with the idiocy of it. The only way Obama could have lost his American citizenship would have been for him (even as a child) going in front of a US consul and renouncing it personally. Even then, as a child, the consul would have had to have believed that he was not being coerced by his parents.

    All this is plainly documented on the US government web site, but I guess that’s a step too far for many birthers.

  31. martinc says

    Ford and Reagan were born left-handed too – they had right-handedness at least partially beaten into them. So it’s five of the last seven. And the two who weren’t – Carter and Dubya – were probably the least successful Dem and Repub respectively. Go us lefties!

  32. KRS says

    I love how Alverant inserts his opinion of what natural born citizenship should mean into a discussion of what the law about this concept actually is.

    My understanding is that US law says that a child born in another country is a natural born US citizen as long as one of the child’s parents is a US citizen who has lived in the US continuously (vacations and short trips don’t count) for a certain number of years.

  33. colnago80 says

    Re martilnc @ #36

    As was Harry Truman.

    It was the policy in many places in the US when they were still children to force left handed people to write with their right hands.

  34. says

    “Ford and Reagan were born left-handed too.”

    Hello, Illuminati!

    There, I said it. I would’ve said “you-know-who” but he was right-handed.

    Wonder if JESUS was a lefty; I can see a movie on CBN, “Southpaw Savior”.

  35. eamick says

    @18

    John McCain, born in Panamanian territory

    McCain was born in the Canal Zone, which was a U.S. territory at the time. If he’s disqualified, so was Barry Goldwater, who was born in the Arizona Territory.

  36. eamick says

    @26

    Everybody has missed the other way to eligible (which won’t matter unless the US formally annexes some more territory) and that is by being resident when the Constitution goes into effect.

    Uh, not quite. Here’s the relevant passage:

    No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President

    The Constitution was adopted in 1787 and ratified in 1788. Absent a time machine or some bizarre provision in the annexation, how exactly would anyone in newly-acquired territory be eligible under that criterion?

  37. says

    Farah is being intellectually honest here, even as he lies about what the Constitution actually says. Like you say, he deserves an iota of credit for that.

    So fucking what? I’m really getting tired of being told some hateful bigoted moron deserves credit for being a “consistent” hateful bigoted moron — especially when said moron pays absolutely no price for being “consistent.”

    So what if Farah is “consistent?” That’s pretty easy for him: everyone knows he’s irrelevant, and no one really believes Ted Cruz has any chance of getting even 1% of the trouble Obama got over his citizenship status. Farah is taking no real risk here, and there’s no reason why I, or any other helfway-decent American, has any obligation to give this scumbag a cookie just because he manages to keep his hateful lies straight for more than one day.

    “Consistency” is something that simpleminded, uncaring ideologues like Ron Paul and his morally-retarded fanboys brag about because they have nothing else to offer. Sure they’re totally detached from reality and spout the same BS taliing-points they’ve been spouting since the 1970s…but at least they’re CONSISTENT, and that makes them better than all those other politcians who actually give a shit about the complexity of real life, right?

    All this blather about “consistency” is nothing but the political equivalent of a bunch of children relentlesly demanding that the grownups make life simple for them. Lowering the bar that far won’t do anyone any good.

  38. says

    Also, I suspect that people like Farah may be looking to manipulate liberals into supporting a birther conspiracy theory against a Republican — which would pretty much neutralize the Republicans’ insane racist birtherism as an issue in the next election, without doing Cruz himself any real harm. I, for one, have no intenetion of following that lead. Fighting racism with racism never seems to benefit anyone except racists.

  39. says

    Dual citizenship is a complete red herring.

    As opposed to the “natural-born citizenship” issue, which is only an incomplete red herring?

  40. says

    “If he’s disqualified, so was Barry Goldwater, who was born in the Arizona Territory.”

    No, wrong. John McCain was born in a jungle environment, one teeming with short, brownish, indigenous types. Goldwater was born in a desert environment from which most, though not all, of the SBIT’s had already been extirpated. See, it’s easy if you think, “Conservapedishly”.

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