TeeJaw Blog

I’m Not a Birther — Am I?

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Thursday, April 21, 2011, 8: 57 AM

Because I know that “birthers” are kooks I swear I’m not one of them. I should not even bring up the fact that Obama refuses to release his original birth certificate because that alone could make me a kook or at least “sorta nutty” in the eyes of some people.

But then there is this. You all remember when the media and others were lamenting that Henry Kissinger could never be President because, even though he is a naturalized citizen, he was born outside the United States. You see, in that time and place and with respect to a man as much admired as anyone in National politics, the plain language of the United States Constitution seemed to matter. Article II, Section 1 says, “No person except a natural born citizen [exception for one a citizen, but not natural born, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution] shall be eligible to the Office of President…” The exception was not for George Washington. He was born in Virginia so didn’t need it. But it wasn’t known when the Constitution was written who the first president would be and there were likely other qualified candidates among the founding fathers who may have been born in England. At any rate, that was the sole exception in the Constitution. All other presidents are required to be natural born.

But with Obama, and without amending the Constitution, its plain words don’t seem to matter (except to a few people derisively called “birthers”). I guess that’s part of the “change” Obama promised when he came to office. Not only does it not matter what the Constitution says, some will conclude you’re “sorta nutty” if you think it does.

But does the appearance of this book, and it’s #1 rank on Amazon before it’s even been released, indicate that this issue might actually be a little bigger and little more important than some people think it is?

I don’t know anything about the author of this book. It’s possible that it’s a put-up job to stimulate conservatives into talking about the “birther” issue more because Democrats think it makes conservatives appear to be nut cases. There are certainly a lot of conservatives that are very uncomfortable with this issue and wish other conservatives would shut up about it. It’s still interesting and somewhat inexplicable that it was a serious issue in the case of Henry Kissinger, but not for Obama. I don’t claim to understand it, and I don’t much care about it because I tend to think the Democrats are correct in assuming that the more conservatives talk about Obama’s birth certificate the more it benefits Democrats. But that in itself, if true, is somewhat puzzling and astounding. If Obama were not Black would this issue be treated differently?

The bottom line is this: A President takes an oath to uphold and defend the United States Constitution. The natural born citizen requirement for eligibility to the office of President is written in plain English. If a President’s eligibility is reasonably called into question the President has the duty to clear that up for the American people. He should put it to rest, once and for all. The odds are that Obama was born in Hawaii and that his eligibility is not really open to question of that basis. But it’s not known with certainty. There’s a lingering question. What sort of a man leaves that lingering doubt to fester when he could so easily clear it up once and for all? Why is he refusing? That’s a worthwhile question to ask, and may be more important than the birth certificate itself.

Governor Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii said when he took office he was going to find that birth certificate and make it public to finally end this matter. Now he says he’s looked high and low for the birth certificate and he can’t find it. Obama still won’t help. It almost no longer matters whether Obama was born in Hawaii or on another planet. He’s violated his oath of office either way.

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