Saturday, August 01, 2009

Dear Mr. Fantasy, play us a tune

Quick note to Congresspersons, Senators, and pundits who breathlessly announce that they, too, are unsure of Barack Obama's birth bona fides:

The dude has a passport. To get a passport you have to do this:

When applying for a U.S. passport in person, evidence of U.S. citizenship must be submitted with Form DS-11. All documentation submitted as citizenship evidence will be returned to you. These documents will be delivered with your newly issued U.S. passport or in a separate mailing.

Primary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship (One of the following):

Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport
Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state*
check box Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
Naturalization Certificate
Certificate of Citizenship

*A certified birth certificate has a registrar's raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar's signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar's office, which must be within 1 year of your birth. Please note, some short (abstract) versions of birth certificates may not be acceptable for passport purposes.

He moved to Indonesia in 1967. He visited Europe and Africa in 1988. He did this with his, you know, passport.

But here's the thing: It doesn't matter where he was born. Not one bit. Why?

Because the US Constitution says:
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; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.
And who is a "natural born citizen"?

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

  • Anyone born inside the United States *
  • Any Indian or Eskimo born in the United States, provided being a citizen of the U.S. does not impair the person's status as a citizen of the tribe
  • Any one born outside the United States, both of whose parents are citizens of the U.S., as long as one parent has lived in the U.S.
  • Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year and the other parent is a U.S. national
  • Any one born in a U.S. possession, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year
  • Any one found in the U.S. under the age of five, whose parentage cannot be determined, as long as proof of non-citizenship is not provided by age 21
  • 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)
  • A final, historical condition: a person born before 5/24/1934 of an alien father and a U.S. citizen mother who has lived in the U.S.

So according to the law, since mom was a citizen, he could have been born on the moon and still be a citizen.

Seriously, you may be playing to your deluded base, but they're pretty sad examples of critical thinking. Compared to the 'Birthers', Archie Bunker looks enlightened. You're helping wash the Republican brand down the drain.

On 2nd thought, keep it up. Thanks.

And if you think this would be happening if Obama was white? Well, you haven't been paying attention.