I have always believed that the idea that Barack Obama was not eligible to be president because he is not a citizen is lunacy. After spending a couple of hours yesterday arguing the merits of this with some birthers I'm now thoroughly convinced I am correct. The people who subscribe to this theory are misguided, woefully misinformed have too much leisure time and/or have some mental or emotional obsession.
The arguments they offered were:
1- Obama was really born in Hawaii in 1958. Therefore he was not a citizen because Hawaii was not a state yet.
This is patently false. Even if Obama were born in 1958 - which he clearly was not - anyone born in a US territory is a US citizen.
2- Obama has never released his birth certificate.
This is a lie. A copy of the birth certificate was posted to the internet and an official of the Hawaiian state government has verified the authenticity.
3- Numerous Birthers told me that a Supreme Court case, US v Wong Kim Ark, established the definiton of "natural born" citizen. This is important to one of the birther arguments. "Natural born" - is a term used in the Constitution of the United States as a qualification for presidential eligibility.
The birtheers assertion that US v. Wong Kim Ark is hilarious and illustrates just how misinformed and/or fanatical birthers are. Not only did this case NOT define natural born citizen, Justice Gray who wrote the majority opinion specifically stated that the Constitution doesn't define "natural born."
Birthers believe that Obama is not a natural born citizen - that he was born in Kenya. Now, even if true, from what I understand, since his mother was a US citizen and she met certain residential requirements he would still be a citizen. This is according to the US code.
However, birthers want people to believe that the US code defining citizenship is unconstitutional. The term "natural born" is the only thing that matters.
None of this is true. Obama was born in the US and Wong didn't define 'natural born.'
4- Birthers said both Obama's parents had to be US citizens for him to be a citizen.
Again this illustrates just how misinformed birthers are. It is only necessary that one parent be a citizen.
So to sum it up - "birthers" believe in a lie (Obama wasn't born in Hawaii) and can't prove what the definition of "natural born" means.
They are simply chasing moonbeams.
Now since the real issue becomes credibility let's examine who is leading the Obama is not a citizen movement and who believes he is a citizen.
You tell me who you trust.
1- The "Obama is not a citizen" was started by a Clinton campaign operative.
2- One of the first lawsuits filed was by a lawyer who is not only a "birther" he is a "truther" too.
So a Clinton campaign operative and a lawyer who is both "birther" and "truther" lead the birther movement.
Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, stated in July 2009 that she saw the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen.
This was also the opinion of Factcheck.org, an organization of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. They claim also to have seen the certificate.
American Spectator founder and editor-in-chief R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. has written that his reporters found evidence verifying Obama's citizenship.
Snopes.com a website that debunks internet rumors has also confirmed the birth certificate.
I have personally spoken to citizenship and immigration law experts from the Federalist Society who have told me there is no question Obama is a citizen.
Scholars from the Heritage Foundation have told me the same.
Finally, these lawsuits have been thrown out of every court in the land including the Supreme Court.
Who would you believe?
The scholars, legal experts, publishers, news organizations, independent groups, government officials and judges who think Obama is a citizen and can prove it?
The campaign operatives or lawyers (including one who filed suit against Bush because he claims he caused 9-11) who say Obama is not a citizen and cannot prove it?