Friday, January 08, 2016

It's What He Does

"If you're.... it's what you do" goes the theme of the current series of GEICO commercials (immediately below and way below).

And if you're a spokesman for the far-right wing of the Republican Party, it's what you do.

Amid the controversy stirred up about the eligibility of Ted Cruz, born in Canada to an American mother, to be President of the United States, Amanda Marcotte informs us of

Rush Limbaugh, who added even more cover to the story by shifting the blame to Hillary Clinton. “And if Cruz is the nominee, you can make book on the fact that Trump is right about one thing, that Hillary’s gonna raise it,” Limbaugh warned. “So I wouldn’t doubt that Trump’s right, that the Democrats might bring up Cruz’s citizenship aspect, maybe even challenge it in court, because they’ve done it before.”

Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution limits the presidency to a "natural born Citizen." Given that  "the original meaning of the phrase ‘natural born Citizen’ includes persons born abroad who are citizens from birth based on the citizenship of a parent," Cruz, the son of a Cuban-born father and an American-born mother, is almost certainly qualified.

Nonetheless, Trump has remarked "Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: 'Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?' That'd be a big problem,"

And it was a big problem for the biggest name in talk radio, who has stayed clear of endorsing anyone for the GOP nomination, both to avoid alienating some listeners and because once the nomination of a particular individual is assured, he will be falling all over himself praising the presumptive nominee. Nevertheless, it has been clear (at least to me) for several months that the extremely conservative Limbaugh, who has placed himself rhetorically against the Republican establishment while being a vital part of it, prefers Ted Cruz to any current or former candidate.

As an anti-establishment poseur and recognizing that Trump might win the nomination, Limbaugh daily defends the latter.  Now Trump has criticized Cruz, and Limbaugh needed a way of simultaneously defending both the front-runner and his own guy.

So blame it on Hillary while complaining "And if Cruz is the nominee, you can make book on the fact that Trump is right about one thing, that Hillary’s gonna raise it."

That's sheer speculation, but it gets better. He has "heard it before," Limbaugh maintained, "that the Democrats might bring up Cruz's citizenship aspect, maybe even challenge it in court, because they've done it before. John McCain and Barack Obama.

Limbaugh did not identify the Democrats who have "done it" to John McCain or Barack Obama. However, in an earlier presidential election cycle, in April of 200,8 the U.S. Senate approved a non-binding resolution reading

Whereas the Constitution of the United States requires that, to be eligible for the Office of the President, a person must be a natural born Citizen of the United States;

Whereas the term natural born Citizen, as that term appears in Article II, Section 1, is not defined in the Constitution of the United States;

Whereas there is no evidence of the intention of the Framers or any Congress to limit the constitutional rights of children born to Americans serving in the military nor to prevent those children from serving as their country’s President;

Whereas such limitations would be inconsistent with the purpose and intent of the natural born Citizenclause of the Constitution of the United States, as evidenced by the First Congress's own statute defining the term natural born Citizen;

Whereas the well-being of all citizens of the United States is preserved and enhanced by the men and women who are assigned to serve our country outside of our national borders;

Whereas previous presidential candidates were born outside of the United States of America and were understood to be eligible to be President; and

Whereas John Sidney McCain, III, was born to American citizens on an American military base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936: Now, therefore, be it

That John Sidney McCain, III, is a natural born Citizen under Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States.

The resolution had been introduced by one Republican, and five Democratic, Senators. The five included Hillary R. Clinton of New York and Barack H. Obama of Illinois.

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