One thing about fishing, it gives you time to think.
I was standing in the Knik river casting for silver salmon this last weekend and something occurred to me.
These people are idiots of the highest caliber. Birthers make the standard issue conspiracy nut look like a paragon of rational thought, their delusion is on such a scale that it almost defies description.
Now, I’m pretty sure that the real basis of the Birthers’ persistent fervor is simple racism egged on by the pundits and the talking heads – the ones that keep bloviating on about how America is going to hell in a handcart because they didn’t get what they wanted in the last election.
The crux of their protest is the following Constitutional paragraph:
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.
The issue being, of course, that the Birthers believe Obama is not, in fact, a “natural born” American citizen.
The problem is that the Constitution is pretty vague on what, exactly, a “natural born” citizen is. Nowhere in the Constitution is “natural born citizen” defined*. Could be that that the framers only intended to have as their president someone who was born naturally, without drugs or surgery or other such midwifery – too bad for all those born via Caesarian Section I guess. Or maybe they meant the kid had to be born of two American citizens, or on America soil or only be right handed (lefties being considered somewhat unnatural at the time), or not a slave or a woman or Caligula's horse.
But the truth of matter is that the Founding Fathers didn’t mean any of those things.
What they did mean is fairly clear – as outlined in the Federalist papers and the personal writings of a number of the framers. They intended that the President be an American. That was their chief concern. Specifically what they really intended was that President’s loyalties were to the United States and the United States only. What they were afraid of was that a bastard member of the English aristocracy would emigrate, become a citizen, and get elected – and turn the United States back over to the King in one form or another.
The Birthers don’t care about that, of course. They really don’t give a damn about the Constitution, or the intention of the Founding Fathers. What they really want is that black man out of the White House before he stinks up the place. They’re angry and hurt that America is not the crazy religious theocracy that they think they want to live in. They’re upset that they lost, and not just lost but lost by what nearly amounted to a landside. They simply can’t accept it, can’t accept that there is a black man in the White House, a liberal, a Democrat – so in their twisted minds the man must be a “usurper.” He’s black, he must have stolen the election, he must have cheated – because, of course, that’s what black people do. The common use of the word “usurper” is a dead giveaway, the Birthers feel that only a white man is naturally born of the United States and only a Conservative is a true American, and therefore rightfully the president.
Let’s say they got what they want, i.e. definitive proof that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, or Canada, or Whatthefuckistan, and is not, in fact, a natural born American citizen - however we chose to define it.
There’s no provision in the Constitution for a do-over.
And the Constitution and electoral process doesn’t work like the Miss America Pageant. The runner up doesn’t get the crown in the event that the winner pisses off Donald Trump.
See, the Birthers seem to think that if they get rid of Obama, John McCain and Sarah Palin will automatically take over the Office and Jesus will then stop crying and be happy.
But it doesn’t work like that.
You have to read the whole Constitution, not just the one paragraph that says what you want to hear – it’s sort of like the Bible in that regard, you’re supposed to read all of it and comply with all of it, even the parts you don’t agree with.
The election is over.
The Democrats won.
If the President is unfit to hold office, well then the very next paragraph of the Constitution applies:
In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation or inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then act as President, and such officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
See? That’s why it pays to actually read the Constitution, not just quote the parts that Rush or Glenn or Dobbs or your pastor happen to mention. That’s why it pays to actually, you know, think for yourself.
If Obama is declared unfit to hold office, you don’t get John McCain.
You get Joe Biden**
Update: This is the leader of the Bithers. Right here. This is the woman who started this nonsense, who continues to fan the crazy flames, and will not let it die. This shrill disjointed obnoxious woman, right here.
If you are a Birther, this is who you’re keeping company with.
If I point and laugh, it's because, well, you're an idiot. Really.
* However, natural born citizen is defined in a number of places in federal statute.
** And if Joe Biden is found unfit, then you get whoever Congress decides is President – the Democratic majority Congress. The Birthers don’t like President Obama, I wonder how they’d feel about President Pelosi?