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D’Souza’s “Kenyan Anti-Colonial” Distraction

I have an aversion to conspiracy theories. It has little to do with whether they’re true. Indeed, some things we now consider common knowledge were once conspiracy theories. It has everything to do with the obstacles they create and political reform they undermine.

The murky notion that President Obama is some sort of secret-Kenyan-Muslim-communist is a prevalent fantasy held among some elements on the Right, from the “Birther” movement spurred on by attention-whore Donald Trump to Dinesh D’Souza’s movie “Obama 2016.” Before the election, The American Conservative’s Michael Tracey summarized [1] D’Souza’s sleeper hit: “The central theme of D’Souza’s film is that deep-down, Obama harbors seething hatred for America, and thus his presidency has been designed to bring about its downfall by a host of surreptitious means. It’s a revolting hour-and-a-half of cinema, targeted at the most angst-ridden and pliable Americans looking for answers…”

When I was boarding a plane leaving Tampa after the Republican convention in August, I sat near two men probably in their mid-to-late 50s. Said one man, and I’m paraphrasing: “You know what you need to see? That Obama 2016 movie.” The other man replied, “Oh yeah, I heard that was really good. Gives us a good idea of what we’re really up against.”

It’s no secret what conservatives are “up against” when it comes to Barack Obama. There’s no mystery to it. From unemployment and staggering debt to ObamaCare—the president’s record is as public as it is repugnant.

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Pushing conspiracy theories to “explain” Obama’s record undermines the actual awfulness of his record. What if Obama’s policies really are part of some contrived, anti-American agenda—would the president’s big government onslaught somehow be preferable if it were all-American in origin? Is the problem that the policies themselves are bad? They likely aren’t very different from what a President Hillary Clinton—or let’s face it, Mitt Romney—would have pursued. Must conservatives also prove there is some underlying, unpatriotic plot?

No secret motives are needed to explain obvious bad government.

Conservatives are usually on solid ground when they argue against Obama’s damaging policies. They are on even better ground when they can offer attractive policies of their own. But they are on counterproductive and unwinnable ground when they insist that Obama is an anti-colonial, Kenyan, secretly Muslim communist. These arguments not only sound stupid—they aren’t even arguments. The American Conservative’s James Antle captures [2] why such thinking is entirely beside the point: “Is there anything less interesting than the theorizing about why Obama governs as he does? Obama is a liberal, and a fairly banal one at that … Yet there remains a cottage industry of explanations for why a liberal president has compiled a record of generally liberal policy positions, something akin to a discovery process as to why a quarterback is so taken with throwing touchdown passes.”

It’s no surprise that Romney lost the election given that the core message of his campaign was that he is not Obama. It should also come as no surprise that a GOP void of any positive agenda would double down on the negative. Republicans as high profile as Newt Gingrich complained [3] about Obama’s “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior.” When conservatives could no longer articulate what they stood for, this characteristic negativity veered deeper into conspiracy paranoia. Refusing to examine themselves, conservatives instead began subjecting their enemies to cartoonish levels of scrutiny.

Conspiracy theories are not ideas. They represent an absence of ideas. The subtext to most conspiracy theories is that there is no point in arguing over philosophies of better governance, because those who govern are beholden to secret agendas beyond the control of participatory politics. Why vote? We’re all doomed.

While such theories are not always implausible, they are also generally more fun than fact. There will always be a large audience for this stuff for the same reason Americans are more interested in Tom Cruise’s divorce or Kate Middleton’s baby than foreign or monetary policy—it’s titillating and easy.

It’s also a major distraction. As the conservative movement tries to recover, are voters more likely to listen to Republican conspiracy theorists demanding to see the President’s birth certificate and ranting about Obama’s “anti-colonial rage”?

Or liberal Democrats who believe federal stimulus and healthcare is a godsend? Who sounds crazy? Who sounds reasonable?

Like many conservatives in this election, the two men I heard on the plane speaking glowingly about D’Souza’s movie didn’t have anything particularly praiseworthy to say about Romney or the GOP, so of course they were attracted to the idea that Obama was the bogeyman of their worst nightmares. It was all they had left.

Conspiracy theories can be fun. But they will also continue to cripple any serious conservative effort to promote limited government.

Jack Hunter is the co-author of The Tea Party Goes to Washington [4] by Sen. Rand Paul and serves as New Media Director for Senator Paul. The views presented in this essay are the author’s own and are independent of any campaign or other organization. 

34 Comments (Open | Close)

34 Comments To "D’Souza’s “Kenyan Anti-Colonial” Distraction"

#1 Comment By Richard W. Bray On December 17, 2012 @ 3:19 am

Every four days or so, Barack Obama blows up some Muslims in Pakistan. (This isn’t counting the Muslims he blows up in Yemen, the Philippines, Somalia, etc.)

Barack Obama’s Justice Department recently sided with a Dutch oil company against Nigerian citizens who accuse that company of serious criminal activity.

Barack Obama is militarizing Africa at an alarming rate.

Barack Obama defied the United States Congress (and debased the United States Constitution) by cluster-bombing Libya into a state of anarchy. (The greatest beneficiaries of this action are likely to be European corporations.)

Like the father of the eponymous brawler in Shel Silverstein’s A Boy Named Sue, Barack Obama’s father was an angry drunk who abandoned his son after giving him a funny name.

And now Barack Obama, someone who would not qualify to sit on a jury involving a Muslim defendant, sits as judge, jury, and executioner for so many Muslims.

#2 Comment By NGPM On December 17, 2012 @ 6:32 am

Conspiracy theories aren’t supposed to inform political or electoral decisions. Conspiracy theories play to a deep desire to understand and make sense out of the apparently senseless. The U.S. is a particularly ripe land for such theories: a tradition of free press and mistrust for a central government presiding over a huge country of over 300 million. No one “in the heartland” really knows what is going on in administrative and NGO buildings in D.C. and New York on a day-to-day basis. (Neither do most ordinary folk in D.C. or New York.)

So on one level the author is justified in finding it disturbing that these conspiracies have, in the case of Barak Obama, become mainstream. But there is another side to the coin, as well, and this is it:

The president of the U.S. has a curious role with respect to the political and legal processes in his country. He wields far more clout in dealing with the legislative and judicial branches than do the (often nominal) heads of state of, say, Britain, Italy and Germany, yet his executive overriding power is not nearly so great as that of, say, the president of France. Arguably his most important role is as the symbolic head and diplomat, the face of his country on a level that, in terms of day-to-day business, can surpass even the Queen of the United Kingdom.

I do not, by the way mean to belittle Her Majesty, whose presence and reign have an essential and therefore indispensable significance for the people of Britain. Nevertheless, in the mundane ongoings of daily life, when people need to talk to Britain, they will first turn to the head of Her Majesty’s government and not to the British head of state. In America, they will turn to the head of state – the President.

The head of the American state incarnates the nation on an almost royal level. I acknowledge that, given the de facto non-royal status of the president and the nearly-popular electoral process, this may well be thought of as an intrinsic fault of the presidential cult that started with Lincoln, exploded under Roosevelt, and then Kennedy and was finally cemented by Reagan. But it is a reality.

Americans are not at all unreasonable, therefore, in attempting to understand the man who will incarnate themselves for the next four years. Perhaps this is why the conspiracy theory has such appeal when it is applied to a president whose life and background are unlike anything most people are used to dealing with.

No, these mainstream conspiracy theories aren’t effective responses to the Democrats’ proposals. But neither are the Republicans’ proposals, if you think about it. And any way you slice it, the suspicions are not going away any time soon.

#3 Comment By NGPM On December 17, 2012 @ 6:41 am

I should add, though, that emphasizing one other aspect of the President’s background WOULD be quite useful. The Muslim-Afro-Nationalist drama only resonates with inherently conservative voters anyway. Moderates and even a few on the Left might be swayed if more emphasis were placed on Obama’s conduct as a product of the Chicagoland Machine. Obama got his start in Chicago, and throughout his entire career has conducted himself as shrewdly as any Chicago Machine politician would:

Evidence exists to suggest Hillary Clinton was offered the post of Secretary of State not because Barak Obama thought she was a good candidate for the job (in any event, she was most decidedly not a good one), but because the original outline for her campaign memoir was said to be sharply critical of the 2008 Democratic nominee.

My friends who work at the American embassy tell me that dozens of the coveted U.S. Ambassadorships have been filled with friends to whom Obama owed favors.

Then of course there is Obama’s choice of Attorney General, someone who is allowed to promote his own left-wing communitarian agenda while the president turns a blind eye.

One could go on and on and on… but here’s the point. Once a Chicago machine politician, always a Chicago machine politician. And this does not get hammered home often enough. (And it should, because as you suggest, Republicans have very little to play at this point apart from the fact that theirs is not the party of Barak Obama.)

#4 Comment By Dan Phillips On December 17, 2012 @ 7:59 am

The anti-colonial thesis is not a conspiracy theory. It is a highly speculative explanation where no explanation is needed. Obama is a liberal who started out as a radical and drifted toward political pragmatism as he got older. This describes literally millions of his generation, the vast majority of whom do not have Kenyan fathers.

#5 Comment By reflectionephemeral On December 17, 2012 @ 8:40 am

This article’s outlook is akin to a self-styled 1600s moderate claiming, “it is completely unnecessary to burn witches at the stake. However, witches should stop practicing witchcraft in order to prevent these overreactions.”

Most Americans, and economists, believe that it’s just plain false to lay the blame entirely on the president for our unemployment levels and our debt levels. This makes sense– [5], because, as Cheney explained, “deficits don’t matter.” They also fought relentlessly for expanded federal & executive power. Now those same people– McConnell, Boehner, Ryan, the Tea Party, etc– claim to care passionately about the deficit & small-government conservatism. They don’t. They care about the emotion of not compromising.

Vote View ranks Pres. Obama as the most centrist Democratic president of the postwar era. This makes sense– like Paul Ryan in 2001, he pushed for stimulus in 2009, and he pushed to enact the Heritage Foundation’s health insurance reform plan. But the GOP has forgone rational discussion of public policy for the projection of disdain onto perceived out groups.

There is no such thing as “attractive policies” from today’s GOP. What are the conservative policy achievements of the past 15 years? The Affordable Care Act? In a world where any policy– such as the individual mandate– can be supported by Republicans for decades, then instantly and unanimously decried as unconstitutional socialist death panels, no Republicans have the incentive to behave rationally on policy matters. So Paul Ryan’s plans are vague and math-averse; Gov. Romney barely bothered to offer policies at all.

The notion that the president is a Kenyan anti-colonialist is the heart and soul, the alpha and the omega, of membership in the Republican Party.

#6 Comment By Scott Lahti On December 17, 2012 @ 9:35 am

D’ocumentary Dineshtor Direc D’Souza So Mad You Guys (commences slicing Onions) – those Bolshie blackguards at the Academy wot dunno what’s good for ‘murka failed to nominate 2016: A Spite Oddity as the living heir to Flaherty by way of Hannity among their Best-Doc finalists (upon which tragedy of CinemaScope proportions – I await Michelle Malkin’s christening the snub “Smell-O-Vision” by New Year’s at the latest – Brent Bozell, five-star Crybaby-in-Chief of Movement Conservatism, Newthbuthterth Division, has delivered unto a waiting world his [6] of the Gore-y details).

Hey, you guysanddolls, at least the land Dinesh loves like – and as – an adoptive son just gave him six weeks ago the early War-on-Christmas present of four more years of free screenplay material and a captive market now guaranteed to remain as red in the face – and thus green in the palm – as ever. And if you’re going to bet the content farm on outing an anti-American radical whose family origins among obstreperous colonial Others explain everything about him disqualifying him from shaping the future of a country born in colonial resistance – it can’t hurt if you match the description yourself.

#7 Comment By icarusr On December 17, 2012 @ 9:54 am

“From unemployment and staggering debt to ObamaCare—the president’s record is as public as it is repugnant.”

This sentence is precisely why the anti-colonial Muslim communist line of attack has so much resonance among Republicans. (Let’s not pretend Republicanism and conservatism are the same, or even inhabit the same space-time slice of the universe.) Deep down, most Republicans know – even if you pretend otherwise – that much of the blame for “unemployment and staggering debt to ObamaCare” is really to be placed on the incompetence of the previous Republican administration and the cynicism of the current Republican leadership. Iraq and its trillion dollar cost were not sprung on an unsuspecting American population by Obama; the country was not shedding 800,000 jobs a month in January 2009 because of Obama; Medicare Part D and its nefarious “pay pharma what it charges” rule was a Republican brain-child; Obamacare was birthed by Heritage, and in any event, Ryan specifically, untruthfully, brazenly and cynically attacked its core savings on Medicare.

Deep down, Republicans – high and low – know all of this. They can no more attack Obama for “unemployment and staggering debt to ObamaCare” than they can bang their heads against a dresser, Dobbie-like, for their own mistakes under Bush. It gets worse – not a single Republican of note is actually acknowledging those mistakes. Iraq? Didn’t happen. Medicare Part D? What’s that? “Restore Obama’s cuts to Medicare”; increase defense spending … it’s as if 2000-2008 did not happen; as if the financial crisis, the recession, etc. did not take place in 2007-2008 …

So retreat into conspiracy is the only solution for a mind to save itself from cognitive dissonace. Well, either that, or a brazen misattribution such as:

“From unemployment and staggering debt to ObamaCare—the president’s record is as public as it is repugnant.”

#8 Comment By Charlotte Juett On December 17, 2012 @ 10:21 am

While I usually enjoy your articles, Jack, on this one I must disagree. There is NO proof of where Obama was born, there is NO proof that he ever converted to Christianity. There is NO proof that he ever renounced his Indonisian citizenship. There is NO proof that he enrolled in schools as an American citizen instead of a foreign student.
While I am willing to be convinced that BHO IS an American citizen, there are WAY to many hidden areas in his life, including his REAL birth certificate, that even Israeli scientists have declared to be a fake, to just believe whatever he says.
Incontrivertable proof is what is needed and I don’t think that he CAN provied it.

#9 Comment By The Wet One On December 17, 2012 @ 10:24 am

You could speak to the racism that underlies these “conspiracy theories,” but eh, why bother? This is a conservative outlet after all.

I wonder if similar theories will be so plentiful when a white Democratic president next holds the White House. I suspect not, but time shall tell.

The Wet One

#10 Comment By Greg T. On December 17, 2012 @ 10:52 am

Mr.Hunter. Who are the prominent conservatives who engage in this fantasy? Hate to break it to you,but fringe people are on all sides. I remember that about 30% of Democrats believe Bush was behind 9/11. Does that mean the Democratic party as a whole did?

#11 Comment By Franklin Paisley On December 17, 2012 @ 11:19 am

Charlotte, I think that birth announcement in the Hawaiian newspaper may count as some proof of where he was born. Real birth certificate? Oh please.

#12 Comment By EliteCommInc. On December 17, 2012 @ 11:37 am

Prior to 9/11, I entertained conspiracy theories a great deal of attentive and pollite skepticism. But after 9/11, what we wre willing to do to another in an effort to coerce agreement shown a healthy light on what for me was reserved for the likes of the CIA, Skull and Bones, Council on Foreign Relations . . ., etc. But immediately after 9/11, the levels to which people will stoop to damage opposition are frightening. Even going so far as to invite foreigners with a vested interested to engage in ruining the lives of citizens. My conspiratorial cynacism is diminished. So I appreciate your acknowledgement that past conspiracy is now history layed bare.

But, still the machinations of today are comprised of a very complex of coincidences that seem to lacking one very important component: substantive evidence. I too wonder,”Good grief, just pull out your certificate and end it.” But absence of this or that is not proof. The question isn’t who are the breeders of these conspiracies? Often that is the point, they seem to take on a life of legitimacy all their own and in an era which is rapidly becoming one of absence of evidence is in fact, evidence, they are hard to put to rest.

But to advance these ideas, and they are ideas, as a reason to reject or adopt a particular political and policy viewpoint sounds unreasonable and I think our failure to make the case for Mitt Romney was certainly damaged but just how pervasive these ideas were as part of our case/discourse in the election.

And a media and internet venues with a vested interest seized upon these oportunities as served on a platinum platter.

#13 Comment By Andrew E. On December 17, 2012 @ 11:40 am

NGPM: “Obama got his start in Chicago, and throughout his entire career has conducted himself as shrewdly as any Chicago Machine politician would”

Like the epitath “Alinskyite” Pat Buchanan used in his column a few days ago I have no idea what is meant by “Chicago Machine” or how it is supposed to set Obama apart from any other shewd politician. How has he practiced his craft any different from the Clintons or the Bushes or Pelosi or Gringrich et al? Did the Little Rock Machine explain Bill Clinton’s infidelities? The Kennebunkport/Crawford Machine Bush’s push for war?
I suspect it’s a nice dog-whistle phrase that people agree upon without understanding the meaning but I’m open to a some sort of specific definition.

And to Greg T. I completely reject the equivalency of Dems to Repugs considering the fever swamp of conspiracy and hysteria consuming conservatives right now. Everyone from the top down- politicians, media and the political base is lousy with it. Turn on Fox, listen to the radio, read the blogs and message boards; it’s all there.

#14 Comment By EliteCommInc. On December 17, 2012 @ 11:54 am

As hard as it is to say it again and again — we launched an entire invasion — on the premise that: no evidence is reason enough.

#15 Comment By cdugga On December 17, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

We need republicans. We don’t need the current people in the republican party that are sponsored to appeal to the current people in the republican party. The democratic party is a party of change and progress. Change is not always good and so needs to be tweeked, changed again and tempered by intellectual input. Democrats are crippled in their ability to change our country for the better when their only competition comes from the vegetable garden republican sponsors cultivate (I can’t find any qualified people in this country?). Cultivating that garden and then pointing to the vegetables and saying how stupid they are speaks volumes about republican leadership, and fits very well with their political about faces on their very own initiatives. Basically, there really are 2 types of people in the world: Those that build themselves and others up at great personal cost, and those whose only mission is to pull others down at any cost, including to themselves (get a job!?, yeah, if you lose your seat, go get a job coward). The poor white males with the resources to take a plane ride are just some of the poster boys for the pathetic victimhood recruited by the republican party (dare I say anything about the gun toting victims of a UN new world order conspiracy to take away their god given right to multiple glocks, mega rapid fire clips and a cool bumper sticker that says, out of my cold clenched blood spattered hands). Another poster boy would be the people like the author, who never ever spell out any progressive policy action or even define beyond vague generalities what is wrong with democratic policy. Big government, Tax and spend, welfare state, personal responsibility, godless, immoral, liberal, socialist, pinko commy and fascist. Grow up. Then we can talk.

#16 Comment By TheFulishBastid On December 17, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

What amazes me is that no one wants to acknowledge his white heritage. This is a white man parading around as a black man.

#17 Comment By icarusr On December 17, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

“What amazes me is that no one wants to acknowledge his white heritage. This is a white man parading around as a black man.”

“no one”, “wants”, “parading” … Obama wrote two books talking, in part, about his white mother and white grandparents. As well, it’s almost certain that Barack Obama, had he looked like Mitt Romney, would not be subject to something like “There is NO proof that he ever renounced his Indonisian citizenship.”

The great irony of tne 2008 and 2012 elections, and especially the delusional attacks on Obama – “There is NO proof that he enrolled in schools as an American citizen instead of a foreign student.” – is that McCain was born in Panama and Romney’s father was born in Mexico. Neither was questioned about his faith or citizenship. The only reason Obama was questions about his is that he is – not just parading around, but actually is – a Black man.

#18 Comment By Krek On December 17, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

Does all this really matter anymore? He won re-election, get over it guys, it’s over, conservatism lost.

#19 Comment By fred glauser On December 17, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

so what is the conservative’s message – I mean specifically not the usual euphemisms “freedom, individualism, capitalism, religion and small government”?

#20 Comment By Hemingway Lopere On December 17, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

I once read, and I paraphrase here, that what scares people most is that our world is not being controlled by invisible strings by powerful few who decide our destiny. It is that this world is spinning, uncontrolled, and we have to make the most out of the chaos that is handed to us.

To me, conspiracy theories, as Jack states in this article, are for the intellectually lazy. They give the individual a sense of mental control and an out of personal responsibility to take action in their lives.

#21 Comment By Dan Phillips On December 17, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

icarusr, there were people who questioned McCain’s eligibility. In fact, the Senate passed a resolution affirming it.

IMO, a case can actually be made that McCain was not eligible. It is a hairsplitting technical case, but it is a case nonetheless.

#22 Comment By Dan Phillips On December 17, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

“Obama wrote two books”

While I think knee-jerk birtherism has been a problem, it is also true that reactionary anti-birtherism has been a problem. Because of hysterical anti-birtherism you can’t examine reasonable questions about the man without some hysteric crying “Birther!”

Did Obama really write those two books as he said he did? It is highly doubtful that he wrote the first one (either that or someone else wrote the known writing samples we have that are attributed to Obama), but it is utterly certain that the person who wrote the first book didn’t write the second one. Were it not for fear of birther “taint” maybe some “respectable” journalist would be looking into this.

#23 Comment By Bob Weber On December 17, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

@ Charlotte Juett, you do know, of course, that it’s impossible to “enroll as a foreign student” in college if you’re graduating from a U.S. high school, nor is there any reason one would wish to.

Foreign students don’t get any discount or preferred treatment; they pay top dollar, and have to deal with the INS constantly, which can deport them at any time. They must prove to the INS’s satisfaction that they have the financial means to attend college. There are few jobs they can hold.

Actual foreign students have to get student visas, which are a matter of public record, and revocable at any time by the INS if they decide the person is not making adequate progress towards a diploma, or not making adequate grades, not even flunking out. Revocations of student visas are non-appealable and non-reviewable. The INS will simply deport the person back to their country of origin.

#24 Comment By icarusr On December 18, 2012 @ 10:13 am

“Did Obama really write those two books as he said he did?”

This is not Shakespeare we are talking about – and even then, there is no doubt about who wrote the plays. Not birtherism, but silliness, to question authorship of the books. All the talk of writing samples and comparisons between the two books – they are different, so of course they would be differently written – is just another conspiracy theory nonsense. What, he is too stupid or too black or too African or … to write successful books? This is along the same line of thinking – idiotic and borderline racist – that says that Obama can’t talk without a Teleprompter. So no, not birther, but silly nevertheless.

#25 Comment By Dan Phillips On December 18, 2012 @ 11:16 am

Bob, as the anti-birther enforcers have frequently pointed out, Obama would have had dual citizenship if he had any foreign citizenship at all so none of what you said above applies. Whether claiming foreign citizenship would have gained him any sort of advantage is a different question.

The issue is whether having dual citizenship (if he did which is highly disputed anyway) would disqualify him from “natural born” status. I don’t care about Court decisions. I care what the Founders who wrote the requirement intended. Also, if it was public knowledge that he was a dual citizen prior to the election would that have impacted people’s votes? His team has dismissed the suggestion that he was ever a dual citizen. There are only two reason to deny it. Because it isn’t true or because it is true and they thought the info would hurt him.

These matters can be viewed rationally and objectively without either default birther believism or reactionary anti-birther hysterics.

#26 Comment By George On December 18, 2012 @ 11:32 am

Just a quick question…..what’s the matter with being “anti-colonial”? Wasn’t that how our country was formed?

#27 Comment By CrossingTheDelaware On December 18, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

Wrong.

1. Understanding Obama’s motivations is important. Of course the actions and policies that have *already* been implemented speak for themselves. But those policies were the first step. Understanding his motivations helps one better understand the next steps and his ultimate objective. And if you think Obama will speak frankly, honestly, transparently about where he wants to take this society, well, you would be mistaken.

2. Alinsky tactics work. Look how well the left employs simplistic, bite sized, easily digestible smears of their opponents. And they repeat them endlessly. Identity politics worked: “Republicans don’t represent Hispanics/Blacks”. Class warfare worked: “Republicans don’t wan’t to pay their ‘fair’ share”.

3. Obama’s policies “aren’t likely very different from what Mitt Romney would have pursued” ?? I am no fan of Romney, but with that statement you lost all credibility.

#28 Comment By icarusr On December 18, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

“I care what the Founders who wrote the requirement intended.”

Er, you do know, don’t know, that ALL the Founders were, BY DEFINITION, subjects of His Majesty George III at the time of the Founding of the United States, and perforce “dual citizens”? Not only that, but to the extent that citizenship had any meaning, they were also citizens of their respective states – given that, before the Articles of Confederation, the states were independent entities. In any event, absolutely nothing in the phrase “natural born citizen”, in its 1789, 1865 or 2012 meanings, suggests “no other citizenship by birth permitted.” Especially because in “blood line” countries (almost all non-immigrant countries in the world), you cannot even get rid of your blood line citizenship. In your reading, the Founders would have excluded not only themselves from the Presidency, but also the children of all immigrants from bloodline countries – the first generation of immigrants born in the United States excluded from the Presidency, because of the laws of another country.

And of course, there is no evidence that other Presidents did not have dual citizenship of the sort Obama has: because his father was the citizen of another country.

Mind you, you are using the language of citizenship not to sound Trump-crazy; but the very phrase, “anti-birther enforcers” gives you away. Different lipstick; pig still stinks.

#29 Comment By John Jones On December 18, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

@ Dan Phillips

For the record, one of the Senators who intr0duced the resolution affirming McCain’s eligibility to run was Barack Obama.

That all said, it occurs to me that the best image of the GOP’s state of mind and being came during their convention when Clint Eastwood held his “argument” with Invisible Obama.

A cranky, possibly senile, old white man arguing with an empty chair.

#30 Comment By cka2nd On December 18, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

NGPM,

Oh, my stars and garters! You’re so right! Only a product of the “Chicago Political Machine” (“Boo! Hiss!”) would appoint someone to a cabinet post for base, political reasons instead of their qualifications. Thank goodness Reagan (he was so dreamy, sigh…) and the Bushes always picked the best person for the job and never let politics get in the way.

And I agree, it’s just horrible that this Chicago “Pol” (OMG, do you think they got that from Pol Pot?!?) has politicized the selection of ambassadors. It’s just such a break with the traditional way of selecting ambassadors based solely on merit and their experience in diplomatic or international affairs, it makes me sick!

It is so typical of the communist-inspired “Chicago Political Machine” of the Daleys (Wasn’t the father found to be a spy for the Soviets?) to appoint left-wingers to positions like Attorney General! I remember crying when Mayor Daley forced the police to stand down when those darn hippies went crazy at the 1968 Democratic Convention. Those poor policemen were just covered in blood.

I wish Representative Bachman would call for a Congressional investigation of the “Chicago Political Machine” for Un-American Activities.

#31 Comment By Bob Weber On December 18, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

@Dan Phillips, As I showed, it is impossible for any U.S. resident to “apply as a foreign student” to any U.S. college, and there is no advantage to doing so. Holding a second citizenship does not change one’s status under U.S. law, either. Perhaps you could cite some private program or school that gives an advantage to those with secondary citizenships.

It’s just as well that you don’t care whether or not a court rules that any possible second citizenships legally disqualify a person from holding the Presidency, because they’re not going to hear it, anyway. But to whom will you argue that MAYBE if he held a second citizenship, and MAYBE if it had been publicized, then MAYBE some that voted for him, wouldn’t have? Do you want a re-do of the election? Or, is this just a question for late-night college dorm bull sessions?

#32 Comment By Zhu Yu On December 18, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

Andrew E:
Google is your friend.

A quick search turns up, from Wikipedia:
‘The Chicago machine[1][2] is one of the most powerful political machines in American history. Also referred to as the “Chicago Democratic machine”, or as the “Chicago” or “Cook County regular Democratic organization” when contrasted with more progressive Democrats, it dominated, to greater or lesser degrees, Chicago politics (and consequently, Cook County and Illinois politics) for much of the 20th century since the 1930s… In recent years, investigations, indictments, and criminal convictions for hiring fraud and graft, including the federal conviction of the younger Mayor Daley’s patronage chief, have left little doubt that the machine, if it ever died, was reincarnated since its apparent collapse in the early 1980s. In July 2005, a federal court-appointed monitor reported widespread abuses of a previous court decree against patronage hiring, and the President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners alone still controls 200+ political jobs. The U.S. Attorney’s office contended in 2006 that the machine had been rebuilt.’

And a quick search of ‘most corrupt city in America’ turns up ONLY results about Chicago, with one slight exception being ‘LA corruption catching up to Chicago’s’.

Anyone who has lived in Chicago knows exactly how it differs from plain old ‘shrewdness’. Your ignorance of the Chicago Machine is not an argument against another poster’s point.

#33 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 22, 2012 @ 6:46 am

Don’t dump on Clint; he imaginatively called on the President to bring the troops home ‘tomorrow.’

If he meant it for the President, that meant he wanted Romney to do it too.

That wasn’t senility; it was a clever way to buck majority Republican opinion at the convention and to oppose Romney’s own position. It was positively Swiftian.

#34 Comment By WorkingClass On December 22, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

If Obama was a Liberal he would have given us single payer, universal health care when his party controlled house and senate. We got bamacare because he is a corporatist just like Bush or Romney or Clinton. The idea that Obama is a Kenyan or a Muslim or a Communist is just plain stupid. I would think that being a war monger and a traitor to the constitution would be enough. But then Obama is no different than George the lessor in that regard. The great impediment to progress in this country is not Democrats or Republicans. It’s Democrats AND Republicans.