Monday, July 27, 2009

One more question for the birthers

Josh Marshall has a good post outlining some of the legal issues around the birthers' bizarre idea that Obama was not born in Hawaii and is therefore not the legitimate president. Read the post for the specifics, but it has something to do with the legal requirements for a child born to one US citizen and one alien parent being considered a natural born citizen. I had no idea it was this complicated, but, according to law, if Obama was, in fact, born outside this country, he would not qualify as a natural born citizen. It's quite complicated. The birthers' argument, presumably, is that his parents forged his birth certificate to show him as a natural born citizen because, under the law, he would not have been.

There are a couple of obvious problems with this. First, it presumes that the Obamas knew exactly what law governed American citizenship in 1961. But we're talking about an 18-year old woman in Hawaii. In this age of the Internet, it's easy to find that kind of thing out. Back then, it would have been much more difficult. Of course, Hawaii was a new state, so issues of citizenship were probably much talked about. But it's still weird to contemplate an 18-year old woman having the foresight and knowledge of American citizenship law to figure out how to circumvent it.

The second problem is that it presumes that Obama's mother and father would have wanted to prove that he was a "natural born citizen." Of course, it would have made it easier for him to be a citizen later in life, but he would have presumably had a very good chance of becoming a citizen, given that his mother was American. But the only job that I know of that requires an American be a "natural born citizen" is president. Planning for your biracial child born in 1961 to become president in 2008 would be like planning to pay for their college education by winning the lottery.

By far the most serious problem with the whole birther argument, however, is this: it assumes that Obama's mother was not present in the United States at the time of his birth. But she was 18. She presumably had no income of her own, or very much money of her own. As far as I know, she was living in Hawaii because that's where her parents lived. Obama's father was there for grad school. So both Barack Obama's mother and father were living in Hawaii before he was born, when they were married, and after he was born. Hawaii is literally thousands of miles from any other country. It would have been physically difficult, not too mention financially extravagant, for the two of them to travel to any other country, let alone Kenya, before Obama was born. They had every reason not to leave Hawaii: that's where her family was, and the medical facilities were presumably better there than in Kenya in 1961.

So here's the question for the birthers: why, in 1961, would an American woman with very little money, married to a graduate student with presumably not much more money, travel to a foreign country, thousands of miles from her family, to give birth to a child where she didn't have access to the latest in medical care, and then return thousands of miles to her parents' hometown with her husband and son? She would have absolutely no reason to do so, and every reason NOT to do so. So, unless we see concrete evidence proving that Obama's parents did exactly that, the idea that Obama was born anywhere other than Hawaii makes no sense whatsoever.

1 comment:

Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Barack Hussein Obama was born on August 4, 1961 in the state of Hawaii. That was the week the Berlin Wall went up.

Coincidence? I wonder.

This evil, subversive plot has been in the making for damned near forty-eight years! By all evidence, since the moment of Obama's birth! Here is a question that all good and decent Americans should demand an immediate answer to: Was the newspaper, the Honolulu Advertiser, in on the scheme when they printed little Barack's bogus birth announcement on August 9, 1961? Just where the hell does that paper lean editorially? To the hard Left, I strongly suspect. Wouldn't that just figure!

The NAACP, in coercion with the American Communist Party, Democracy NOW and Ed Asner, concocted this evil plot deep in the basement of Norm Chomskey's home in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the midst of a week-long peyote mushroom binge. The elevation of this dangerous and subversive man to the highest office in this grand and glorious land of ours is only the first step in their dastardly plan. Their next objective will be to force our daughters - our little personifications of patriotism and purity - to court and co-mingle with NEGROES.

Before very long our children - your children - will be physically forced to memorize whole chapters of James Baldwin's "Native Son" and "The Autobiography Of Malcolm X". Trust me, it's only a matter of time.

They must be stopped. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the country that we all hold so dear to our freedom-loving hearts. America is falling; victimized by forces who would put a foreign-born A-Rab in the seat that was once held by the sainted Ronald Reagan - RONALD REAGAN, I TELL YOU!

My friends, now is not the time for the faint-of-heart. It a time for boldness and stoutness of mind and spirit. Only our collective intestinal fortitude will defeat the Liberal cabal - those nattering nabobs of negativism - who would burn our beloved country down. The time has come to give America back to the real Americans. My fellow citizens, you ignore me at your own peril....

And one more thing we must never ever forget: Barack and Michelle Obama named their two daughters, "Sasha" and "Malia". What's that all about?

Of course, what you just read is meant as satire. Only a complete and utter fool could possibly take any of it seriously. The really disturbing thing, however, is the fact that there are millions of people out there who would read those last eight paragraphs and wouldn't even come close to getting the joke. While there is plenty of satirical gold to be siphoned from the bottomless mine that these lunatics have provided us with, they have created a dangerous atmosphere that is enabling the nuttiest angels of the American nature. That is something that would do us all well to think about.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY