Well, we had another re-infestation of a “birther” here at Wizbang. It didn’t last long — Olaf The Troll God’s Hammer is wonderful for pest control.
Since it keeps coming back, I guess I better reiterate my position on the whole “Obama is Constitutionally ineligible to be president” bullshit.
First, I am convinced that Obama was born in Hawaii. The evidence is hardly conclusive, but persuasive enough for me. (The birth announcement in the newspaper at the time are, to me, the clincher.) To speculate that he was born elsewhere relies on way, way too many conspiracy elements.
Second, I have read the argument that Americans who are citizens by birth are divided into two classes, and I find it utterly repugnant. The notion that some Americans born here are entitled to certain rights and privileges (mainly serving as president) that others born here are not disgusts me on a visceral level. I do not recognize any such class distinctions and social strata and hierarchies, and consider them antithetical to the very notion of America. Further, I have absolutely no patience for those who do.
Third, on a purely pragmatic level, there is absolutely no clear Constitutional remedy to the situation. If we remove Obama, who succeeds him? I can present arguments for – and against — five different contenders:
Joe Biden: He’s the sitting vice-president, and fully eligible. Should Obama be removed, he moves up. Conversely, he was chosen by Obama, and elected alongside him — should Obama be removed, Biden should be, too.
John McCain: he was Obama’s opponent in the election. With Obama disqualified from the election, he wins by default. But McCain did lose, and there are provisions for replacing a candidate should they somehow become ineligible to serve before the election.
Hillary Clinton: She was Obama’s last and strongest opponent. She, most likely, would have been chosen to take his spot on the ticket. But she wasn’t the nominee, and she wasn’t actually on the ballot.
John Boehner: If Obama is disqualified and his election is nullified, then so is Joe Biden’s. Next in line is the Speaker of the House, and that’s Boehner. But Boehner wasn’t Speaker when Obama took office, someone else was.
Nancy Pelosi: She was the Speaker when Obama took office. If his whole term is nullified, along with Biden, then she should get the presidency. But again, she ain’t Speaker now…
Finally, the whole “birther” bullshit is a losing argument from the get-go. All it does is empower Obama supporters, letting them tar all opposition to Obama with the “birther” brush. It makes some people feel smart and important, because it lets them pretend that they “know” the law better than most anyone else. Plus, it lets them rationalize their “get rid of Obama by any means” attitude.
If you wanna argue this with me, understand this: limit your arguments to the points I raised above: the sheer repugnance of the “two classes of citizens” concept, and the lack of a suitable remedy. Anyone who tries to subject me (and the readership) to paragraphs of legal citations and arguments about how some born-in-the-USA Americans are, by benefit of birth, more legally privileged than others, runs the risk of being banned, much like toyotamike68.
I might offer a warning, but I make no promises.