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On Responding to Opponents of Presidential Eligibility

To date, a number of commentaries have appeared on the web fundamentally questioning — and producing endless numbers of leading conclusions — the rationale behind why sites such as mine are “still” questioning Mr. Obama’s eligibility. I’ve responded to a few of them, including The Politico, TheExaminer and HoustonPress (who didn’t even perform enough cursory reporting to realize that my site is not Dr. Taitz’ site), and — at the request of some in the opposition — a systematic analysis of the Holocaust Museum shooter, James W. von Brunn.

Today, however, CNN featured commentary that simply went over the top (even beyond what many opposition commenters on this site would dare venture to go). My posting is going to take the opportunity of this bombastic hyperbole to address some key points that go beyond a rational explanation for the eligibility question (links below).

From Roland S. Martin’s commentary, “Obama birth issue is nutty” (I’ll briefly embed my analysis and then continue with further points below):

Editor’s note: A nationally syndicated columnist, Roland S. Martin is the author of “Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith” and “Speak, Brother! A Black Man’s View of America.” Visit his Web site for more information.

(CNN) — The YouTube video of an out-of-control woman yelling and screaming at Republican Congressman Mike Castle’s town hall meeting in Delaware, demanding to see the birth certificate of President Barack Obama, is utterly hilarious.

To watch others cheer her insanity, and then boo the congressman who says the president is an American, shows you that we have a serious problem with mental illness in this country.

Much more on this below, but it did not occur to me that rhetorical dissention equals “mental illness.”

The nut jobs that continue to promote this story are wacky, right-wing radio and TV talk shows hosts and no-credibility bloggers. They have latched onto this story like bloodsucking leeches, and actually want us to believe this story has legs.

Well now, aside from the fact that DHS already thinks that individuals such as myself are “right-wing extremists,” I think anyone who has casually observed my blog knows that I’m “far right”-enough to believe in such concepts as a constitutionally strong but limited federal government that wholly respects individual rights (where the greatest minority is the individual).

As far as “no-credibility bloggers” such as myself “want[ing] us to believe this story has legs,” perhaps you’re barking up the wrong tree. Go talk to these media outlets. Oh, and let’s not forget — I guess Rush Limbaugh is now officially a “birther,” because he has mentioned Mr. Obama’s eligibility not just once but twice.

Last week, in a suit filed by perennial presidential loser, Alan Keyes, they even tried to claim a court victory after a federal district judge in California asked to listen to the merits of their case. I’m sure he simply wanted to see for himself how delusional they are.

“I’m sure?” Now begins the litany of leading conclusions with no basis in fact whatsoever. Why don’t you go ahead and ask Dr. Keyes yourself? He’s already made Friends with me on my Facebook page; maybe if you’re nice he’ll do the same for you, too 🙂

From the moment President Obama entered the race, he has had to endure the so-called flag-waving American patriots who think they are the arbiters of what’s right for the country. What cracks me up is that in order to justify their loony beliefs, they say, “The president could just end this once and for all by producing the birth certificate.”

You know, if it weren’t for that blasted language of “Of the People, By the People, For the People,” I’d perhaps think you’d have some sort of point regarding the fact that our constitutional republic is ultimately in the hands of the People. And from my reading of that classical document, I only ever see the People and maybe the States, per se, having rights; the federal government has none.

Ah, but remember — I’m merely a concerned citizen; what do I know about such sophisticated documents of statecraft such as the Constitution?

Do you actually believe these wackos will stop there? They will then accuse the president of doctoring the document and ordering up the state of Hawaii and federal officials to create the birth certificate.

Leading conclusion with no factual basis number two.

The next thing you know, one of those nut job right-wingers in Congress — and yes, there are left-wing nut jobs as well — will demand a federal investigation into the production of the birth certificate.

Oops! The next best thing has already occurred. Rep. Bill Posey’s (R-FL) HR1503 makes such a demand for future presidential candidates, and it currently sports 9 co-sponsors.

At least this leading conclusion number three has some semblance of factual basis to it.

During the presidential campaign last year, the issue of whether Barack Obama was a “natural born citizen” legally qualified to be president was scrutinized by reporters and researchers who concluded that Obama was born in the United States.

For example, in August, 2008, factcheck.org published the following: “FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false.”

Bad example, for two reasons I can think of:

1. FactCheck.org has never done what they’ve proclaimed to the original birth certificate; they allegedly did these things to a certification of live birth (see links below for further info);

2. Even if the certification of live birth “[met] all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship,” that is a mutually exclusive question from presidential eligibility.

President Obama is right to ignore these losers. They are right up there with Holocaust deniers like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the people who insist that the landing on the moon was done in a television studio.

Conspiracy theorists are everywhere. It’s just that today, we have to deal with the Internet and all the mess that is disseminated in the name of so-called transparency.

So nut jobs, keep it coming. In such difficult times, we all need a good laugh every now and then, and you provide great comic fodder.

OK. Time for a more in-depth analysis as well as what people can expect — really, have been expecting — from me and folks who think similarly to me regarding the eligibility issue.

I think we can all agree that, as Americans, we hold freedom of speech to be sacrosanct, especially as the concept is embodied within the 1st Amendment. We agree that classical liberalism and democracy absolutely depend on a free flow of debate on any given topic.

And this is really at the heart of it, isn’t it? We do not believe that anyone has the right to be offended, nor do we believe that any one individual or entity has the right to be the gatekeeper of determining exactly what can be discussed nor to what degree that thing can be discussed. Does this mean that such a debate is always going to be pretty or result in the conclusions that we each would like to see? Of course not, but with a free flow of discussion comes the innate understanding that either side may come to a better understanding of the topic at hand.

For example, folks over at TheBirthers.org have presented a very different view of the importance of the status of Mr. Obama’s parents (most people would agree that parenthood has at least something to do with presidential eligibility), specifically his father:

Currently there is a new myth being propagated by Obots that Obama is the son of an immigrant.  They want the American people to think that he qualifies to be a natural born citizen as the child of an immigrant. They are misleading the American people and what is evident is that these are educated people with access to the facts, which makes their misleading the public intentional.

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear, Obama’s Father was never at any time an immigrant to the United States, by intention or by law. He was a person of a “transient” nature to the United States. For Obama’s supporters to equate him to those who gave up home, friends and family to pursue the American Dream is to make a mockery to their contributions to making the United States their home.

On the US State Department’s website on the page entitled Immigrants to the U.S. it clearly states,

Immigrating to the United States to live here permanently is an important, and complex decision. This section provides information to help foreign citizens desiring to permanently immigrate to determine the visas, requirements, and related materials they will need to apply to immigrate to the United States.

Barrack Hussein Obama, Sr. had no intention of residing in the United States permanently, he was here in the early 1960’s because he was hand picked by the founder of the socialist, Nairobi People’s Congress Party to come to the United States to study in preparation for Kenya’s independence.

There are two types of student visas for the United States,  F-1 and M-1. Both are classified as nonimmigrant visas by the U.S. State Department.

Like father, like son, both transients. One a transient to the United States the other a transient to the Oval Office. In their passing through, both have left their mark. One left a young woman with a baby to care for, the other is damn determined to leave every baby for future generations with a debt that our children’s children will never be able to repay.

True immigrants serve a special purpose in the United States, and that purpose is not for cheap labor. They serve as a walking reminder to us that our ancestors left their mother and father lands to give their children the fruits of a dream they had, where their children and their children’s children would live free and be a part of the greatest experiment in the history of mankind.  There dream was to be Americans. Obama and his supporters use of the term “immigrant” when describing his father is insulting and demeaning to the sacrifices true immigrants to the United States have made over the past 200 plus years.

Do you folks — and I’m including everyone in this — get it yet? This has nothing to do with anything except the Constitution.

Some may say, “But Phil, all you’re really doing is trying to discredit an African-American.” Really? Have you actually thought about the undeniably bigoted ramifications of such a leading conclusion? How about this — are individuals such as myself prevented from questioning this man purely because of his ethnic background? What would that say about you and me?

What it would say is this:

Concerning the office of the President, it is of absolutely no consequence who this person is as long as they fulfill the requirements of the Constitution to the letter. To say anything above and beyond this truth is to add to the qualifications — or subtract therefrom — that anyone with any sort of distinguishing characteristics is above the law.

Perhaps you’re now beginning to get it. When individuals such as myself believe in respecting the Constitution, we didn’t say it was going to be an easy task; we simply find it so bizarre that there are any number of individuals who wish to see the politician as being somehow immune from constant and continued questions.

To be clear, I’m not talking about those who think that the eligibility issue has been settled; I say, “good for you.” Instead, I’m addressing individuals who have the same mindset as Mr. Martin manifests, above. He goes well beyond the concept of eligibility being settled for him. He literally holds individuals like myself to such a disdainfully low position that not only are we not qualified to hold an opinion, but to further question this President’s eligibility is like being a Holocaust denier or thinking that the Moon landing never occurred.

In my view, that kind of rhetoric is what’s dangerous for this country. Rather, what he should be saying is the following:

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
— The Friends of Voltaire, 1906

Nobody is above the law. Regardless of our personal ignorances, the Constitution is what it is; if anyone needs to re-familiarize themselves with it, then the eligibility question has provided a wonderful opportunity to do so. It certainly has for me.

See the following links regarding the eligibility saga:

-Phil

Twitter: @trsol -=- Facebook (TRSoL) -=- Facebook (Rightside Phil)

Photo courtesy CNN

29 Comments


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