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Monday, December 27, 2010

The Bizarre "Birther" Intellectual Dance

There is a bizarre intellectual dance taking place around the topic of Barack Obama's birthplace. 

The world has been artificially divided into "Birthers" and "anti-Birthers" when in fact I suspect a large percentage or even majority of the population is neither and simply wants all the evidence released so that we can move beyond the issue.  For most people, who have had to show their own birth certificates at various points in their lives, the notion that a presidential candidate should release his or her birth certificate to prove qualification for office reflects neither pro- nor anti-Obama sentiment, but a "what's the big deal?" attitude.

It also seems that the supposed intellectual poles have been reversed.

People who supposedly are irrational and driven by hatred demand to see the evidence.  People who supposedly are rational and driven by dispassionate intellect demand that the evidence not be seen.

Isn't this the exact opposite of what should take place?  Or have the labels been misapplied?

We can push and probe as to George W. Bush's military record even though most of the claims made clearly were crank and politically motivated (and based on forged documents).  We can lament that 35% of Democrats as of May 2007 still believed George W. Bush knew of the 9/11 attacks in advance, or that Truthers still claim 9/11 was an inside government job, even though we have had commissions and investigations which prove otherwise.

We can deal with accusations of John McCain's alleged misconduct during imprisonment even though such suggestions were beyond the pale, and also questions as to whether McCain's birth in the Panama Canal Zone disqualified him from the highest office in the land:
The Senate has unanimously declared John McCain a natural-born citizen, eligible to be president of the United States....

But Sarah H. Duggin, an associate law professor at Catholic University who has studied the "natural born" issue in detail, said the question is "not so simple." While she said McCain would probably prevail in a determined legal challenge to his eligibility to be president, she added that the matter can be fully resolved only by a constitutional amendment or a Supreme Court decision.
"The Constitution is ambiguous," Duggin said. "The McCain side has some really good arguments, but ultimately there has never been any real resolution of this issue. Congress cannot legislatively change the meaning of the Constitution."
And when we confront crank and politically motivated theories, we do so with the best evidence we have available.  And if we don't have all the evidence, we go out and get it.

We regularly rebut and rebuke crank theories with evidence, and by pointing out the lack of evidence to support the theory.  We don't do what so many pundits are doing, and saying thing such as "oh, well even if we release the evidence, they won't believe it."

Yes, it's true that die-hard conspiracy theorists never will be convinced, but that doesn't mean we don't try to convince the large segment of the population which will be convinced.

Why isn't everyone who believes the "Birthers" to be driven by hatred and racism, and motivated by politics, doing what Obama's family friend and the new Democratic Governor of Hawaii wants to do, rebut and rebuke with the best evidence?

I think a large part of this is the fear of being labeled a "Birther," which is the functional equivalent of being called a "racist" by the mainstream media and by organizations such as Media Matters, Think Progress and their progeny.  As I have pointed out before, you don't need to doubt Obama's birthplace or eligibility to be labeled a "Birther"; just ask Scott Brown.

We have reached the point that merely expressing normal political and legal inquisitiveness will result in a charge of Birtherism or racism because it now involves Barack Obama, even though similar questions as to John McCain's eligibility for office were raised in the 2008 election cycle.

I repeat, whiter-than-white John McCain had his eligibility questioned because of his birthplace, so how is it necessarily racist that the same thing takes place as to Barack Obama?  The racist charge is just a way of shutting down the conversation, a convenient excuse for epistemic closure.

As I've posted before, I think the circumstantial evidence supports the view that Obama was born in Hawaii, and there is no credible evidence otherwise.  But to reach this conclusion, the one thing neither I nor anyone else can honestly say is that all the evidence has been reviewed.

And personally, I'd love for the records to be released and show that Obama was born in Hawaii, so as to put this politically losing issue behind us.  I'd much rather focus politically on Obama's destruction of the health care system and bankrupting of the country, than be drawn into the birthplace dance.

But I also have pointed out that Obama's strategy of concealing the records and dismissing the "Birthers" as cranks is not working in the longer term.  While the charge of Birtherism can be used by Democrats to shape the political landscape, polling shows that there is a substantial segment of the population which doubts Obama's legitimacy

Instead of evidence and inquiry, we have this bizarre intellectual dance, driven by fear of being labeled a Birther or racist, in which otherwise curious reporters, bloggers and pundits try to out-do each other in proclaiming that they do not want to know what the best evidence shows.  In order to prove that one is not a "Birther," is seems that pledging allegiance to the "anti-Birther" movement is required.

Thus, it is not surprising that even people -- like me -- who believe Obama was born in Hawaii are afraid to touch this subject. Trust me, every time I do a post on this topic I am extremely careful because I know there are people out there just waiting to twist my words and take things out of context.

There are enormous risks for anyone intellectually honest enough to wonder why merely asking questions or seeking the truth constitutes a punishable offense.

How is it that have we reached the point that the most vociferous opponents of Obama want the same evidence that Obama's most vociferous defender, the Governor of Hawaii, wants? 

And how is it that these opposites who are attracted to the same thing cannot seem to get what they want?

Update:  Trending, Chris Matthews, David Corn and Clarence Page all say put the issue to rest and release the original birth certificate (h/t HotAir):

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  1. Bravo!

    You hit a high note here, professor. I became embroiled in this the last few days and have followed this since August '08. What a succinct statement of the issues! Why the difference between the two candidates? Why has this gone on so long and why is the tardy act of the governor of Hawaii hailed so much? You have clearly stated the issue and your position is sound and reasonable, but the wingnuts will not heed.

  2. We don't need to see a physical birth certificate. In this new "flat earth" paradigm, all we need is a consensus among a few strong-willed partisans to establish our "facts". Logic and common sense are now intellectual inefficiencies that only bog the discussion down in contentious debate by people motivated only by hate.

    Welcome to the new Dark Ages. Can a modern day Torquemada converso be all that far away? Maybe Governator Arnold?

  3. I believe the answer lies deeper, under the surface. IMHO within the "anti-birther" community are at least two significant camps.

    The first group wants a "Barack Obama" type* in the office at any cost, and doesn't care how it happened, so they wish by any means possible to prevent the issue from being further examined.

    The second segment, and these folk might be more numerous than the first, take ecstatic delight in contravening the US Constitution in any way possible. They are hoping against hope the US electorate may have been duped into electing someone not technically qualified. To them it is the best possible revenge against a nation they detest, and they want the situation to last as long as possible before the "bubble" is burst. At some point this group wants the "embarrassment" to become public knowledge.

    * By "type" I don't mean "black". I mean a modern, progressive, socialist, metro sexual, politically connected Ivy Leaguer. That the candidate may also be a "person of color" is, to them, icing on the cake.

  4. BTW, it's not only Obama's birth records that have been placed behind a wall of expensive lawyers, his college records are also sealed. Although I happen to believe that Obama was born in Hawaii, I'm not sure he satisfies the constitutional requirements to be a "natural born citizen". But the very act of classifying these records at such great expense and effort is too curious to be easily dismissed. If their is something critically important being hidden in these records, it's and indictment of the entire system, not just Obama and the Democratic Party, but to the GOP that never challenged this issue long before 2008. We've known since at least 2000 that Obama was being groomed as a presidential candidate and surely this could have been addressed long ago but wasn't. What gives?

  5. While it is possible that he was born in Hawaii - if so, why spend a gazillion dollars fighting? There's that question. The Birth Certificate along would be a non-issue even so. But it's combined with other missing information. College writings, and records and grades - things that, like the Birth Certificate, there is no earthly reason to hide. Honestly, he should be proud of his college records, right? They'll be in the Presidential library someday, right?

    I don't understand how he gets away with this. No one else would. McCain certainly wouldn't have, and the media went digging through Sarah Palin' garbage looking for every scrap of info. It must be some sort of reverse racism that they are afraid to do the same with this guy.

    Call me a birther if you like, I think he should man-up and quit hiding his past. But I figure it will all come out when he pisses Soros and the left off.

  6. All it takes is one SoS to question his eligibility in 2012 to get a ruling from the Supremes. My reading of the Constitution and subsequent amendments renders Obama ineligible as his father was not a citizen, so where he was born is immaterial.

  7. "There are enormous risks for anyone intellectually honest enough to wonder why merely asking questions or seeking the truth constitutes a punishable offense."

    Sounds like Soviet Union.

    I've often wondered all that you said, and voiced it throughout the campaign in 2008. I believe it is correct to ask, "What do you have to hide, and why?" What is in these records that they need to be sealed? One of his first acts after being sworn into office was to write an EO to seal ALL his personal records. For such an historical president?! What can possibly be in these records worth so much secrecy? And, the penultimate question: why spend so much money on legal fees keeping this information secret?

    I am not a "birther" (read tin-foil-hat nut case) because I question anyone who goes to such great lengths to keep his/her past secret.

    You hit it right on the head, as always, Professor: "the supposed intellectual poles have been reversed."

  8. Just go to 'citizen wells' blog. Just had a LTC Lakin courtmarshalled for refusing to deploy because he does not beleive that Barry O was born in Hawaii. Does not matter where he was born. His father was a British subject. He was adopted, and there is no record of him changeing his citezenship later. Traveled on an foreign passport.ETC...

  9. http://msgboard.snopes.com/politics/graphics/birth.jpg




  10. The question is what is "Natural Born". Since his father was not a citizen of the USA, he is not Natural Born, but native born. He may a citizen, but is not qualified to be President.

    And, to question John McCain, and not Obama is Racist. (there I said it).

  11. Professor, you've hit the nail right on the head.

    The real issue is that this is the tip of the iceberg concerning key data the American people have not seen (but want to see and are afraid even asking makes them 'racist'),

    I've never seen an editor of a law review who did not publish. I've never seen college transcripts and articles and papers secreted away, the first lady's are available, as are mine.

    And when it comes to birth certificates, I have a copy of mine, a worn out yellowed copy (in NYC they are also 'official' records but my mother got one nonetheless), so why doesn't the President have a copy of his?

    Once we see the thing, assuming the 4 years of controversy haven't given Hawaiian officials to make sure it says what it's supposed to say, then curious constitutional scholars can go into the issue of his fathers nationality at the time.

    It's a sad time when our most precious secrets are all over wikileaks but nobody knows for sure if our President really has a birth certificate.. .. ..

  12. It matters not where aka obama was born he can never be a natural born citizen based on the foreign citizenship of his father.

    Suggest the author research the word natural and it relationship to Kind and Gecynde. You may have to go back a few years.

    The Founders limited natural born citizenship to the descendants of the original citizens after the ratification.

    The 14th Amendment cannot change what the Founders did when they used the term natural born citizen. It means a lot more than what you think it does.

  13. .

    This will settle everything for an Associate Clinical Professor at Cornell Law School.

    Article II Section 1 of the Constitution of USA states:

    "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..."

    Clearly then it follows that only a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, AT THE TIME Of The adoption of this Constitution (September 1787), shall be eligible to the Office of President. Given no one alive today was a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, in September 1787 then an Associate Clinical Professor at Cornell Law School will agree no one is eligible to the office of President and the Constitution of USA is void.

    You're welcome.

    Ema Nymton
    The LEFT - taking shit for being right since long before you were born.

  14. Ema has a point, but it is not the one she wants to make. Inadvertantly, she is making the point made by Professor Duggin that NBC law is not simple. Based on what professor Duggin said, since McCain's status could be challenged, President Obama's status is also subject to debate. If not more debatable. I think he would likely win, but you never know what will happen when you walk into a court room, which is why he stayed out.

  15. this quoted professor doesn't know what she is talking about:

    > "Congress cannot legislatively change the meaning of the Constitution."

    but in fact in precedent the courts have ruled that some constitutional provisions can be expended by legislation. for instance, teh peonage system was not considered slavery by the courts. but congress was allowed to outlaw it based on the 13th A. that is they could call something slavery that was not normally considered slavery, like it or hate it.

  16. I believe we're supposed to shut up and believe what we're told by our self-appointed betters. Liberals believe that the nanny state is supposed to do our thinking for us, because we're too stupid to be allowed to think for ourselves.

    Questioning authority is sign that you hate America.

  17. Whatever happened to celebrating diverse beliefs? I may not agree with someone's belief about Obama's citizenship, but I will defend their right to have their own beliefs.

  18. I think Barry was born in Hawaii and I think he is technically eligible to be president. His real father(Frank Marshall Davis) was an American citizen.As to the hiding of the birth cert., the father is probably listed as Davis or unknown. That and the birth name is not listed as Barack Obama.

  19. There are two possible outcomes from releasing Obama's birth records: either there will be something damaging/embarrassing in them or there will be nothing of any importance in them. It is obvious that there can be a downside for Obama if there is something damaging or embarrassing in the records. However, there is also a downside if there is nothing of any importance in the records. He has fought to keep these records sealed and thereby encouraged a great deal of controversy. If there is nothing there, he has to explain why he fueled this controversy when it could have been easily extinguished. It does not seem that he can win regardless of what is in those records, so he will fight to keep the records from being released.

  20. This issue is not about obama's citizenship but about his Natural Born Citizenship status as required by the Constitution to be eligible to serve as POTUS. Notice the continuing spin by Matthews and the left wing media accusing the "birthers" of not believing obama is a citizen. Obama may be a US Citizen, but his status as a Natural Born Citizen is doubtful as he was born a Brit with dual US citizenship. Born a Brit, Not legit...

  21. OK. I have to out myself. I am the blogger that did the most recent "research" on the obama newspaper birth announcements. I sent a friend to HI to collect, in person, copies from the two libraries there that house the micro films. I collected copies from the Library of Congress. I got fed up with the Bill O Reily's, ect. claiming that they had "researched all that" by glancing at the copy on some blog, and that blog owner hadn't even collected the copy themselves either.
    How is that research? And how is a newspaper birth announcement "proof".
    Anyway, I did find that the only time the two papers listed the same announcements in exact descending order, one day apart, was when obama's announcement appeared. I checked, and can document, that this did not occur the same way during the period spanning 7/23/61 ~ 9/08/61. A lot of other strange things turned up in the research also. For example, the micro film box containing the Aug. 1 ~ 15, 1961 Honolulu Star Bulletin film, in the Library of Congress, has the original reference numbers completely scribbled over, then rewritten in a different color ink. It was the only film box that I handled that was altered this way. I took a photo of the box.
    I tried not to draw conclusions with my "work". I just wanted the material to be available for those interested in researching the subject. I did find more than I bargained for though.

  22. That's it, then, now that the far left is also asking to see it, the pressure will mount until it has to be released.

  23. The whole birth certificate issue serves show how arbitrary the enforcement of the law has become and how arbitrary the entire political selection process has become by the MSM. E.g. the MSM tried their best to ignore the adulterous behavior of man whose wife was dying of cancer all because he was of a certain political party. Any other person with an R behind their name would have been mercilously eviscerated like another certain governor whose wife wasn't dying of cancer.

    The huge issue here is the failure of any government agency to vet any credible hint of misconduct by a public figure. If it is true as rumored that Obama got college funding by lying about his legal status then he is a felon. A recent incident (a known terrorist) exposed this kind of fraud as common, claiming you are NOT a US citizen to get special financial benefits for going to college.

  24. All this talk about intellectual honesty is anything but honest, let alone intellectual.

    Intellectual dishonest myth #1: Claims that the birth announcements confirm birth location

    The birth announcement address listed in the papers do not match the address listed in the Polk county registrar for the address of Obama Sr which would presumably also be the address of his wife Ann Dunham Obama...

    Hawaii newspaper birth announcements for Barack Obama Jr. was 6085 Kalanianaole Highway

    Polk Directory of Honolulu for 1961-1962 lists Barack Obama Sr.'s address as 625 11th Ave while at the time Dunham's address is listed as that of her parents, 6085 Kalanianaole Highway. This residence was owned by Orland Lefforge, listed on the U of Hi faculty roster in 1961 (political speech) with 3 small children of his own, and who was also an aide to Sen Daniel K. Inouye in the late 60's.

    Hawaii's own records confirm that the newspaper announcements are not factual and thus the lame stream media and good professors continue to pass along intellectual dishonest information instead of standing behind the US Constitution & law, not to mention intellectually honest journalistic reporting.

    I'll keep checking back to see if & when any sort of intellectual honest writing ever appears before the truth hits the wires. Because one thing history teaches us, the truth always surfaces no matter how much intellectual dishonesty tries to cover it up.

  25. Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804

    No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.

    John Adams Rights of the Colonist, 1772

    If men through fear, fraud or mistake, should in terms renounce and give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the great end of society, would absolutely vacate such renunciation; the right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of Man to alienate this gift, and voluntarily become a slave.

    What I see are intellectually honest writers & reporters caving to intellectualy dishonest politicians and their media lapdogs because they are afraid of being called a 'birther'. Just goes to show how cheap the cost of relinquishing your freedom comes these days.

  26. It goes to show that the resident lefty from MoveOn.org who is currently given the assignment of reading and commenting here, has absolutely no idea about interpreting the Constitution.

    She gives us the clause that points to the fact that Øbama is ineligible to be POTUS and then claims that it is invalid. Nope... Ema just got a big fail for Constitutional studies.

    Looking deeper at the clause, one has to seek to understand what was on the minds of the founding fathers. The answer is to be found in Vattel's law of nations which tells us that a natural born citizen is one whose parents were born in the country of origin (USA in this case). The exception in the Constitution applies only to the founders. That exception does not apply to Øbama who claims that his father is Øbama Sr. a Kenyan national and a British citizen.

    Unless Øbama Sr. is not the father of Barry, then Barry is not a Natural Born Citizen as defined in the Constitution.

    The reason that McCain's eligibility was questioned is that he was born in the Panama Canal Zone. He was born in the hospital, but not on the base which could have been considered USA soil. The difference between the two scenarios is that McCain's parents are both USA citizens who were on a diplomatic or military posting at the time of his birth. Yet he is not born of the soil. This is the reason why his status was questioned.

    In the case of Barry there are some very murky details. Did Ann Dunham, who dropped her studies during her pregnancy, go to Kenya prior to the birth of her son? Rumor has it that she was supposed to give up Barry and return without him... but she came home with him, and then she enrolled at Washington University for a course that began toward the end of August.

    The University of Washington has released records that indicate that Ann Dunham enrolled in a course shortly after the birth of Barry. This means that she was not living with Øbama in Hawaii.

    It also means that much of that which was written in Dreams is in fact fictional. The question is how much of the story is fiction.

    Another murky detail is Ann Dunham's marriage to Lolo Soetoro, her subsequent departure to Indonesia, and the subsequent adoption of Barry by Lolo Soetoro in Indonesia when Barry was given the name Soerbarkh. In fact her released passport application details shows that Barry's name was removed from her passport application - this is how we found out about Barry's name being changed to Soerbarkh.

    When Barry was adopted in Indonesia, he became an Indonesian citizen. Did Barry ever renounce that citizenship? So far there is no straight answer.

    This leads to questions about his educational records. What name did he use to get into Occidental college, and later into Columbia University? Was he using his foreign status to get a scholarship?

    All of the records need to be released. We have not seen one single thesis from Barry. He wrote nothing for the Harvard Law Review and he needed a ghost writer to complete his books.

  27. From the article -- " ... I think the circumstantial evidence supports the view that Obama was born in Hawaii, and there is no credible evidence otherwise. But to reach this conclusion, the one thing neither I nor anyone else can honestly say is that all the evidence has been reviewed." ...

    On the contrary, credible evidence does indeed exist that Obama was NOT born in Hawaii -- but you are correct in stating that all the evidence has not been reviewed.

    Barack Obama was born August 4, 1961 at the Coast Province General Hospital in Mombasa, Kenya and not in Hawaii as he claims. A high resolution copy of his Kenyan birth certificate is available for free download at WasObamaBornInKenya.com.

    The fascinating story of how Lucas Daniel Smith obtained a certified copy of the document directly from the birth hospital on February 19, 2009 is included as part of his July 4, 2010 Letter to Congress. This document is also available for free download at the above cited website.

    Congress needs to fully investigate the critically important issue of Obama's Constitutional eligility for POTUS.

  28. I appreciate that it seems that you are trying to be honest.... SCOTUS rulings prove that obama is not a natural born citizen because he had a foreign father that was NEVER a U.S. citizen. I see a lot of supposedly smart liberal educators ignore this fact. I am suing obama and it did NOT ever stem from hate. I fight for truth and justice under our Constitution. The only question of Natural born centers around where a child was born.. Parent citizenship has always been required to be of TWO citizen parents. If Obama was born in HI as he claims but has not proven, he would only be a NATIVE born citizen as he says on his own campaign website. Native and Natural Born are not equal. Native is Jus solis, but ignores the jus sanquenis aspect to make him Natural Born. There is also a difference between being Born a citizen and natural born.

    I swore an oath to defend the Constitution and so did LTC Terrence Lakin who sits in Fort Leavenworth for demanding this issue be resolved before he would deploy again. safeguardourconstitution dot com
    you can also see my new website unlawfulpresident dot com for videos that support my belief obama is not NBC.
    CPT Pamela Barnett

  29. Why has Obama, for over 2 years, employed numerous private and government attorneys to avoid presenting a legitimate birth certificate and college records?
    That is the question.
    With all due respect, there is no credible circumstantial evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii. As a matter of fact, the efforts expended in keeping the records hidden and covering up put suspicion on where he was born.

  30. .

    Not that it matters to 'some people,' -

    The 14th Amendment defines citizenship this way: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." But even this does not get specific enough. As usual, the Constitution provides the framework for the law, but it is the law that fills in the gaps. The Constitution authorizes the Congress to do create clarifying legislation in Section 5 of the 14th Amendment; the Constitution, in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4, also allows the Congress to create law regarding naturalization, which includes citizenship.

    Currently, Title 8 of the U.S. Code fills in the gaps left by the Constitution. Section 1401 defines the following as people who are "citizens of the United States at birth:"

    * Anyone born inside the United States *
    * Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)


    One does not need to be an Associate Clinical Professor at Cornell Law School though to ask the salient question.

    "At the time of Mr Obama's birth (4 August 1961) was Hawaii a state in USA?

    Answer, "Yes, Hawaii was a state in USA."



    "At the time of Mr Obama's birth (4 August 1961) was Mr Obama's mother, Ann Dunham Stanley a citizen of USA?"

    Answer, "Yes, his mother was a citzen of USA."

    So as it is clear Mr Obama is a natural born citizen of USA at birth.

    Ema Nymton
    The LEFT - taking shit for being right since long before you were born.

  31. Ema, you continue the liberal lie of trying to equate a regular "citizen" under the 14th Amendment with a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN. Quit being intellectually dishonest, it is destroying the country.
    if what you are saying was true then Schwartzenneggar could be POTUS.. quit lying.

  32. BTW, Soros, the ultimate communist progressive funds the two man team in CA to spread lies when it benefits progressives. look at the website info page - they have no investigation experience and don't legally stand by their work.. Snopes is a joke- it has not legal relevance.

  33. Ema; you may continue with these same tired and misleading arguments, but you are convincing no one. The Constitution clearly elevated the requirement for POTUS to NBC, above that for Senator or Rep, US Citizen, for the express purpose of assuring the Commander in Chief have no other allegiances. Their reasoning was sound, as is now evidenced by our current President's efforts to disarm and destroy America. The Truth will set us Free!

  34. Ema, can you explain why the children born in the US to alien fathers were not granted US citizenship at birth ever since the 14th’s enactment? Why it is that when one researches naturalization papers for one’s ancestors in the early 20th century, that they find that the US-born children of non-US citizen fathers are listed on the father’s naturalization papers as becoming US citizens when the father did? Or, for example, that the children born in the US to Mexican citizens here under the Bracero guest worker programs of the 1950’s were not given US citizenship?

    Constitutional scholar Dr. John Eastman has done quite a bit of research on the transformation of our country’s understanding of the 14th, and found that the shift in perception began in the late 1960s. He said: "I have challenged every person who has taken the opposite position to tell me what it was that led to this new notion," he said. "There's not an executive order. There's not a court decision. We just gradually started assuming that birth was enough."

    In addition, John Bingham, the author of the 14th, as recorded in the 1862 37nd Congressional Globe, stated the following:
    “All from other lands, who, by the terms of your laws and a compliance with their provisions become naturalized, are adopted citizens of the United States; all other persons born within the Republic, of parents owing allegiance to no other sovereignty, are natural-born citizens.”

    This statement clearly shows that Bingham equated the 14th’s phrase “subject to the jurisdiction” with “allegiance.” The phrase in the 14th, if it did not mean something other than merely birth within our borders, would therefore have been redundant and unnecessary. Bingham also clearly defines natural born citizenship as deriving from both jus soli and jus sanguinis.

    And, as Barnieca noted, "citizen" and "natural born citizen" are not the same, as clearly evident in the Constitutional requirements for Congressman vs. the Presidency.

  35. It's been released. It's what Hawai'i deems as sufficient and what Federal law acknowledges is sufficient. Under the full faith and credit cvaluse there's nothing else President Obama had to do. But the birth certificate is only the first in a long line of "prove it!" documents that the hard core birthers want. They want everything. Because it's hard for them to believe that someone who doesn't look like every other President before him got elected.

  36. Since Ema failed so miserably with her posting of the very thing from the Constitution that ensures that Øbama is not eligible to be POTUS, she tries the 14th Amendment, and for the second time this Soros funded leftie fails miserably.

    Hey, I am Australian. I am not a USA citizen, but I have American relatives. My relatives were born of an Australian mother who did not become an American citizen. None of my cousins are eligible to be POTUS because they were not born of citizen parents.

    The reason that you fail with regard to the 14th Amendment is that you fail to understand that the 14th Amendment did not address the situation of Natural Born Citizen or eligibility to be POTUS.

    The 14th Amendment addresses who is a citizen. The case that you should have mentioned is Kim Wong Ark, which of course, does not address the issue of Natural Born Citizenship, but of ordinary citizenship.

    People who are being honest do not quote Snopes because Snopes no longer has any form of credibility. Neither do they quote the Øbama and Soros backed Annanberg Factcheck site. It needs to be pointed out that Øbama funded Factcheck.org and therefore anything it posts is obviously biased and irrelevant.

  37. @STepper is right. I can't believe that someone who looks so smug and haughty could ever be elected president and be a true American !

    This is my 1st time at this site. I have always thought that the birth cert might be a red herring, but if they give in om its release then it would be school/ college records which would show unequivocally that he either lied or definitely considered himself to not be an american.

  38. Sallyven, very well said about the 14th Amendment and about how Bingham defined Natural Born Citizen to have two American parents and born on American soil. Clearly, our founding father's knew how important it is/was that the Commander in Chief and POTUS only have allegiance to the United states and no other country.

    Obama is a true citizen of the world with allegiances to Kenyan and Indonesia. He also has allegiance to the Saudis because they paid for his schooling at Harvard according to Percy Sutton who was a very well respected black man formaly from NYC.

  39. @Ema, Not once in the 14th Amendment is "Natural Born Citizen" mentioned. The 14th Amendment is only abut Citizenship, and does not pertain to "Natural Born Citizenship" as required for POTUS eligibiliy status. Ema, your arguments are based on biased and limited research. You are either a blinded Obot regurgiting some talking points or you are intelectualy dishonest if you have actually done any substantial reasonable research...

  40. Little bit of false equivalence here. It's not quite yankees/white citizen's council bad, but you seem to love absurd parallels.
    The issue with Mccain's birth has nothing to do with people not believing Mccain's origins. It has to do with him LITERALLY NOT BEING BORN IN AMERICA. It's purely an academic issue, hence the academic giving a rather academic answer in the piece you quote. Is a natural born citizen determined by congressional law, or is there another standard that can be reasoned from what the Founders thought of the clause? Legitimate unresolved question. Purely academic but legitimate.

    With Obama, what we have is a bunch of people asking for an ever raising standard of evidence. The certificate he's shown isn't good enough. The birth announcement in the Honolulu paper isn't good enough. And that's the hard evidence. The circumstantial evidence, like Obama having an american passport (which is hard to get without being proving you're citizen) isn't good enough.

    To get down to it though, what's missing here is a rational explanation of why what Obama has already presented isn't good enough. If you can't explain that then why should anyone believe more evidence is magically going to turn you into a logical, rational human being? The governor of Hawaii apparently like indulging, nonsense. I don't... except when I comment on blogs.

  41. Dero, it so happens that I believe that Obama was born in Hawaii, so you don’t need to indulge me. I am a “birther” because I understand the Constitution, the difference between natural born citizenship and citizenship, and the meaning of the 14th amendment.

    As the Professor has noted, isn’t it interesting that those who rationally discuss Obama’s Constitutional eligibility are the ones labeled conspiracy theorists, while those who have no intelligent footing are the ones flinging the invectives? (Sorry, but I don’t consider a digital image advertised on a campaign website, pictures taken by a couple of kids for an obviously partisan website, digital images of a newspaper announcement linked to another blog, and twitters (as a Judge in one of the cases relied) as intelligent reasoning, and find it extremely funny that the MSM several years ago referred to Obama as “Kenyan born” (guess it was the cool factor) and that Chris Matthews himself, before the advent of "birtherism," once referred to Obama as “Indonesian.”)

    I have yet to hear one person in the MSM even mention the true Constitutional question. Instead racism or kooky conspiracy theories are always the issue, and the polls focus only on the place of birth or “citizenship”, not “natural born citizenship.”

    Have the American people become too stupid to understand the difference? I don’t think so, and now we have the ones (most with the media bullhorns) who are too blind to even consider the issue, calling the others the crazies.

    As even Matthews noted, now the “crazies” represent at least 43% of the entire American population.

    When “birthright citizenship” is addressed by the new Congress, it will be interesting to discover if anyone else realizes the implications of the non-US-citizenship of Obama’s non-US-domiciled father.

  42. @Sallyven

    Cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Everyone born in America acquires citizenship by virtue of being born here, and ONLY that. There's no law that says, "by the way, if you're born in america you get citizenship if your parents are citizens."

    The "birthright" part is immaterial... you can't even get over the hurdle that if Obama isn't a citizen, NONE OF US ARE.

    Here's current law:

    You tell me how someone born in america can become a citizen if the first option doesn't exist. You tell me what limitations you see on that first option...
    Congress has already addressed the questions you want addressed. Just open up a book of federal statues some time. And they were addressed the same when Obama was born (although it was a different set of federal laws, that were stricter on persons born abroad).

    What makes you kooky, is the fact you birthers grasp for any straw that you can see without seriously thinking it through. Reason and facts just bounce off. All I can determine from this convo, the only thing that would help you is a civics lesson and Obama to personally mail you his birth certificate.

  43. What the hell are you talking about? The state of Hawaii already released his birth certificate to the press years ago.

  44. @Stenar, what a fool, you make yourself look like a real ass.

    The COLB is not a birth certificate. It is at most an "extract" of birth. It is not evidence of anything.

    On top of that the State of Hawaii has refused to verify this COLB, which by the way is a proven fraudulent document.

  45. @Dero,

    you need to research the meaning of Natural Born Citizen because you have no clue when it comes to the difference between citizenship and Natural Born Citizen.

    I will use my cousins as an example here. My aunt is/was an Australian citizen who became engaged to a Marine by the name of John, during the Second World War. She was on the ship that brought those Australian brides and fiancees to the USA immediately after the war. My aunt gave birth to 7 children - 5 boys and 2 girls - all of them are American citizens because of their father, but none of them are NBC because my aunt did not become an American citizen until well after the last of them was born. Since they are citizens but they are not Natural Born Citizens, they are not eligible to be POTUS. On the other hand, their children and grandchildren are eligible to be POTUS.

    A proper reading of the clause of the Constitution shows that there is a sunset clause for the first of the American citizens after the Constitution was adopted. It means that in all other cases the POTUS must be born on the soil and he or she must be born of citizen parents.

    Is that too hard to understand?

  46. Hand hurts, so cut and paste from 2+ years ago:

    Hawaii allows for the amending of a certificate of birth if there is either another birth certificate already on file:
    A person born in the State of Hawaii who already has a birth certificate filed with the Department of Health and
    has become legally adopted, or
    has undergone a sex change operation, or
    a legal determination of the nonexistence of a parent and child relationship for a person identified as a parent on the birth certificate on file has been made, or
    previously recorded information in relation to the person’s surname and/or the father’s personal particulars has been altered pursuant to law.
    A person born in a foreign country who has been legally adopted in the State of Hawaii.

    I believe the point that the lawsuits are going on is this:
    For a person born in the State of Hawaii who already has a birth certificate filed with the Department of Health and previously recorded information in relation to the person’s surname and/or the father’s personal particulars has been altered pursuant to law
    relating to his father’s citizenship.

    Some also point to this:

    Both of which show that a non-original Hawaiian certificate of birth– such as the one here, generated by the legal information on file– isn’t enough.

    *grin* Maybe Obama was born Bonnie-Anne Obama and thinks it’d make too much of a fuss, who knows?
    On a more serious note, maybe his mom didn’t list his dad. Some other thing that’d embarrass him.

    Comment by Foxfier — 12/4/2008 @ 3:42 pm

  47. Not sure if my last comment went through, so the short and sweet version:

    @ Maggie
    You're making things up. Period.
    Chester A. Author's father wasn't an american citizen when Chester was born.
    James Buchananon's dad probably wasn't a citizen
    History, it's your friend.

    Hell, even setting aside citizenship law and the fact that Congress already defines those that are citizens at birth... Just where do you get this idea that one would need 2 citizen parents to be a natural born citizen? It's not in the constitution, it's never been law, and I don't personally know of any scholarly commentary on it. Everything's a controversy if you're allowed to make up your own rules.

    @ Foxfier

    Alright, commonsense should tell you that just because you can get a birth certificate made by the state of hawaii... doesn't mean that birth certificate is magically going to automatically say you were born in Honolulu.
    But commonsense is in short order these days so perhaps this makes more sense:


    "“It’s crazy,” said Janice Okubo, director of communications for the Hawaii Department of Health. “I don’t think anything is ever going to satisfy them."

    “If you were born in Bali, for example,” Okubo explained, “you could get a certificate from the state of Hawaii saying you were born in Bali. You could not get a certificate saying you were born in Honolulu. The state has to verify a fact like that for it to appear on the certificate."

    Simple concept.

  48. Dero-
    I was not replying to you, I was responding to Stenar about HA and the COLB/BC difference.

    Common sense should tell you that, since nowhere did I say anything about him being born elsewhere, I was probably not replying to you. You'd been acting an ass, and I get enough of that elsewhere. It seems utterly silly to respond to yet another "you're all birthers!" guy on a post decrying the same.

    If you want some hard-core Birther arguments try that link.

  49. This one has comments for you to look for "birthers" to fight.

  50. Dero,

    can you tell me why their are 3 different versions of obama's online "birth" document?? Daily KOS and Fight the Smears versions are just photoshop concoctions. Look at them man... they are not scans, it is so obvious. if you right click the images and check out the info on them you will see "photoshop".

    The other created non authentic concoction on Factcheck.org - obama's old employer and supported by the terrorist buddy william ayers and the NWO commie Soros - is missing the Hawaii Seal in one of the photos with the arm shadow on the document. the picture of the seal is obviously from someone else's Hawaii birth document. In the day and age of illegal aliens forging thousands of birth documents a day, why are you going to believe only one person in unsworn testimony from HI that says he was born there?
    BTW, I have a bridge to sell you..

  51. Professor Jacobson,

    Of course you are also doing the "dance", carefully staying away from the real question, which is whather Obama is a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN. Birth in Hi. is ONE part of the equation (Blood and Soil). The BC is needed to verify that BO Sr. was actually Obama2's father (as a real attorney well knows, a pic on a website is proof of nothing). If the purported father is the truth, then Obama has already admitted his ineligibility. Divided allegiance at birth disqualifies him as a natural born Citizen.

    @ Dero
    The fact of Chester Arthurs father's non citizenship until CA was 13 has only recently been found, and not available to the public at the time. He went great lengths to hide that fact, including lying about his place of birth, and burning all family history. Fraud is not precedent. Obama undoubtedly knows this history, and seeks to set precedent. That is why he made such a big deal about his drunken, Communist father, who abandoned him before he was 3. He hoped no one would notice that made him ineligible.
    Buchanan's father was naturalized before his son was born by a mass Naturalization Act.
    So WRONG on both counts. Try again?

  52. If a "Citizen At Birth" is the same as a Natural Born Citizen, then any time Congress changes USC Title 8 Section 1401, it would be illegally amending the Constitution. Chew on that little twist of logic for awhile.

  53. The "Their" should be "there" in my last comment.

  54. Thank you Professor for saying this!!! I have been fighting with Obots FOREVER about how the real Birther question is not WHERE Obama was born but WHY he hasn't coughed up a Long Form or something and put an end to this.

    I have what I call the KISS analysis to review the possible answers, and frankly, being from Kenya is the nicest of the possible answers:

    K - Kenyan. He's a Kenyan.
    I - Ignorant. It never occurred to Obama to release his bumpy Birth Certificate into PUBLIC. Or a Long Form.
    S - Snobby. Obama thinks Americans are too stupid to believe the real thing.
    S - Slimy. Obama thinks having some Americans look crazy is good for him politically.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter