When Birthers turn on one of their own

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

SnakeTailIt was bound to happen. Once you let "the crazy" out of the bottle it is hard to put it back in.

The Birthers of the Tea Party who question President Barack Obama's "natural born" citizen status to qualify to be president — even though he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and his mother is an American citizen from Kansas — have quietly begun raising the same suspicions about one of their own: Sen. Ted "Calgary" Cruz (R-TX) who, unlike President Obama, was in fact born in Calgary, Canada and has dual citizenship, but whose mother is also an American citizen.

Over the weekend, "Calgary" felt compelled to respond to the Bithers questioning his birth status to qualify to be president. Ed Kilgore writes at the Political Animal blog, 

Ted Cruz Tries To Quiet Birthers:

It’s so richly ironic that is must be noted briefly: the champion of
the loud-and-proud Constitutional Conservative, take-no-prisoners,
Obama-is-un-American wing of the conservative movement, Sen. Ted Cruz,
felt constrained to release a copy of his birth certificate to the Dallas Morning News over the weekend. Questions about his eligibility to run for president were raised a week earlier by none other than Donald Trump, because Cruz was born in Canada and his father was born in Cuba.

Cruz maintains his mother’s birth in the United States made him a
“natural-born U.S. citizen,” the qualification for president set out in
the Constitution, which is not, of course, the interpretation maintained
by the people—millions, it appears—who doubt Barack Obama’s
eligibility. For the record, the newspaper that obtained Cruz’ birth
certificate argues
that as a dual citizen, the super-patriot senator would have to
formally renounce his Canadian citizenship to remove the cloud from his
own eligibility to become president
.

I suppose Cruz could couple this renunciation with an attack on his
native land’s socialist health care system and godless acceptance of
same-sex marriage. It’s a shame there are no Canadian consulates in
Iowa or New Hampshire where he could take that step before cheering
crowds of conservatives.

Dylan Matthews, who is doing an advice column for Ezra Klein's Wonkblog, has a lengthy analysis. Ted Cruz is a Canadian. That’s a terrible reason to prevent him from being president.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is already gearing up to run for president in
2016. So, obviously, Cruz — who was born in Calgary to an American
mother — released his birthday certificate Sunday, because that’s apparently what you do when you want to run for president these days.

Under Canadian law, anyone born in the country is automatically a Canadian citizen,
unless their parents were foreign diplomats (and Cruz’s were not). So
Cruz, much to his surprise, turns out to be a dual U.S.-Canadian
citizen.

That almost certainly doesn’t make him ineligible to become president under the prevailing interpretation
of Article Two, Section 1 of the Constitution, which restricts the
presidency to “natural born Citizen[s].” But it’s totally insane that
we’re even thinking about this. The natural-born citizenship clause is almost mind-numbingly stupid and it needs to be done away with.

That may be Mr. Matthews, but unless and until the U.S. Constitution is amended, "natural born citizen" is still a conditional qualification to be president.

Cruz isn’t alone. There are three other sitting senators who were born
outside the United States: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was born in
the Panama Canal Zone to American parents; Sen. Michael Bennet
(D-Colo.), who was born in New Delhi, India, where his father was
working as an aide to the U.S. ambassador; and Sen. Mazie Hirono
(D-Hawaii), who was born in Fukushima, Japan to a mother who was an
American citizen.

[I]n McCain’s case a federal judge actually ruled
during the 2008 presidential race that it is “highly probable, for the
purposes of this motion for provisional relief, that Senator McCain is a
natural born citizen.” And past presidential candidates with similar
issues probably would have made it through. George Romney was born in
Mexico to U.S. citizens, which wouldn’t have stopped him
from becoming president had his 1968 presidential run succeeded. But
their candidacies were complicated unnecessarily by the clause.

Moreover, there are plenty of other cases where foreign-born politicians
have been ruled out of the presidency for no reason other than their
nation of origin. Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) was born in
Vancouver, and thus was ruled out of contention as a VP contender in
both 2004 and 2008. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s
(R-Calif.) Austrian origins made him ineligible to run for president.

* * *

Worse, the University of Texas – Austin’s Jordan Steiker and Sanford Levinson, along with Yale’s Jack Balkin, have noted (working
off of prior work at the University of Minnesota), the wording of the
clause confines the presidency to either natural-born citizens or
citizens of the United States at the time the Constitution was the
adopted. Virginia ratified the Constitution after it had taken effect,
which occurred when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it.

That means, Steiker, Levinson, and Balkin argue compellingly, that
anyone living in Virginia when the Constitution was adopted was
ineligible to hold office. That includes George Washington, Thomas
Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. It also includes Andrew
Jackson and Zachary Taylor — who were in Tennessee and Kentucky,
respectively, when the Constitution was adopted, before either were
states — and Martin Van Buren, who was in New York, which ratified the
Constitution after adoption. “The only legitimate presidents among the
first nine chief executives were John Adams and his son, John Quincy
Adams,” Steiker, Levinson, and Balkin conclude.

* * *

There’s a reason constitutional law professors like Harvard’s Randall Kennedy and Yale’s Robert Post
have called it the single worst provision in the Constitution. The best
thing you can get to a rationale for it comes from John Jay, in his letter
to George Washington proposing the provision: “Permit me to hint,
whether it would not be wise…to provide a strong check to the admission
of Foreigners into the administration of our national Governments; and
to declare expressly that the Command in chief of the american army
shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.”

So the concern is that the command of the army could fall into the
hands of those with foreign allegiances. But if this is the goal. the
natural-born citizenship requirement is a rather preposterous check. The
Secretary of Defense can be a foreign-born citizen, and the Secretary
of State has been a foreign-born citizen multiple times, as has
the National Security Advisor. One can reach the highest echelons of
the military without having been born in the U.S. We have already
violated the wish of Jay to prevent the admission of foreigners into the
national government. Unless we want to prevent people like Madeleine
Albright, Henry Kissinger, and Zbigniew Brzezinski from serving the
government again, Jay’s logic doesn’t really make sense anymore.

None of this matters to people for whom facts do not matter. They know what they know. The Constitution to which they proclaim themselves to be Constitutional Conservatives frequently exists only in their fevered minds.

UPDATE: Bwahahaha! That didn't take long. Ted Cruz renounces Canadian citizenship:

[L]late yesterday, Ted Cruz filled out this form (pdf), renounced any claim to Canadian citizenship, and released a written public statement.

* * *

What a strange story. Ted Cruz, the Harvard Law School grad and Supreme
Court attorney, didn't realize he had dual citizenship until two days
ago? Because his Mom told him not to worry about it?

UPDATE: Not so fast Calgary. Apparently the process takes up to eight months, and is going to cost you $100 bucks Canadian. Cruz May Have To Wait A While To Stop Being Canadian.

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