Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Birthers Have a BIG problem. Constitution Bars all From Being President

This great piece by Huffington Post’s Chris Kelly takes a glorious shot at strict constititutional constructionists and the birthers. Justice Thomas are you paying attention?

Barack Obama's birthday is tomorrow (or is it?) and in the spirit of gift giving, I've got something for the 28% of Republicans who don't believe Obama was born in America: An invitation to common ground.

If the Constitution says Barack Obama is ineligible to be president, he's ineligible to be president.

The Constitution is always right because the Framers were infallible, even about slavery and not letting women and Indians vote. The Constitution means what it says and says what it means.

The 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,

And that's what it means.

Originalism forbids interpretation. (Which could lead to thinking.) It says the document is what it is. We'll never know what the Framers meant, so the safest thing to do is exactly what they say.

So we can agree: Every word in the Constitution, no matter how oblique or arcane, is there for a reason and any president who violates it is gone, or our system collapses, strangers steal our mail, and our sons start playing with dolls.

Good. Now let's talk about the phrase "a Citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of this Constitution."

Six simple words that mean exactly what they say. No spin. According to the clear letter of the law of the United States Constitution, Barack Obama can't be president, even if he was born in Hawaii, because Hawaii wasn't a state when the Constitution was adopted.

For their own impenetrable but absolutely unambiguous reasons, the Framers made a rule that says you can only be president if you were born in one of the original 13 colonies.
Sorry Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, Dwight Eisenhower, Ulysses Grant, William McKinley, James Garfield, William Howard Taft, Harry Truman, Herbert Hoover, Harding, Harrison and Hayes. A rule's a rule. Get out.

Wait a second. I just had a thought. What if Article 2, Section One of the Constitution couldn't possibly mean what it literally 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..."

Read it again. It's not just about where you were born. It says you can never be president unless you were alive in 1788.

That leaves out everyone but Robert Byrd.

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