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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Birther Red Herring

Now that the Republicans have regained control of the House of Representatives, many are clamoring for an inquiry in to whether President Obama was born in the USA or not, presumably to prove his Constitutional ineligibility for office. While a conservative, never a supported of the current president, and concerned about how the president's radical Left connections constitute a danger to the republic, Uncle Cephas holds that the birther movement is a political red herring, doomed to failure, and a diversion from the more important task of crafting alternative policies, shrinking government, and exposing a radical agenda.

It is said that the president was born in Kenya rather than in Hawaii. If this is indeed the case, it may prove the president a liar, but it would not constitutionally disqualify him from the presidency.

The Constitution, in Article II, requires that the president be a "natural born citizen" of the United States. This indeed covers persons born in the USA (exclusive of those born to foreign parents in diplomatic status or visiting heads of state). However, it also covers a large number of people born outside the USA. With large numbers of Americans living and working overseas, US immigration and nationality law recognizes that American citizenship can be transmitted to offspring born outside the USA. In the 1980's and 1990's, when Uncle Cephas worked in the Far East and became the father of two sons over there, the requirements were that the US citizen parent must have resided in the USA for five years or more, two of which were after the age of 14 years. Hence, while my sons do not have birth certificates from any state in the USA, they do have Consular Reports of Birth Abroad issued by responsible US diplomatic offices. Further, their earliest entries into their country of citizenship was on passports rather than immigration documents.

If President Obama was indeed born in Kenya, but nonetheless was the son of Ann Dunham, he was born a US citizen. All evidence indicates that Ms. Dunham, however ill-advised her union with Barack Obama, Sr., was an American citizen who met transmission requirements. No evidence has been brought forth alleging that the President was born to any other mother. The President's Indonesian-born half-sister also benefited from transmission requirements descried in American nationality law. Obama's hypothetical birth in Kenya would disqualify him only if it were proven that he was not only born in Kenya, but also born to a couple of which neither parent was a US-citizen.

Should conservatives wish to question the president's fitness for office, let them examine his support for partial birth abortion and the unsavory crowd of Communists, race-baiters, Troofers, and Maoists that surround him. Let them look into the wisdom of pushing through major entitlement legislation at a time when the United States economy is all but bankrupt. Let them look into allegations that Obama's justice department is unwilling to look into possible voter intimidation by members of the New Black Panther Party during the 2008 election. By all means look into organizations such as ACORN. Let them also ask that if Obama was such a brilliant professor of Constitutional Law, where is his published scholarship?

It might also be useful to remind the detractors of Mrs. Palin that Alaska does indeed share a border with Russia--a maritime one passing through the narrow straits between Big and Little Diomede Islands in the Bering Sea, right off the easternmost peninsula of Siberia. The fact that the Left--official, media, and academic--failed to notice such an elementary fact suggests that their Eurocentricity renders them thoroughly unfit to guide American foreign, security, defense, and intelligence policy.

But following the birther line will prove to be no more than barking up the wrong tree.

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