Yes, Democrats find themselves on the horns of a dilemma. After shielding a patently ineligible and thoroughly incompetent usurper from public scrutiny for the past eight years, they would love to unmask the two remaining Republican presidential candidates who, like Barack Obama, are ineligible to serve as president… i.e. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. However, in doing so, they would almost certainly reopen the debate over Obama’s ineligibility at a time when he’s already occupied the office for nearly seven years and is beginning to worry about his legacy, if any.
On August 28, 2008, the final day of the 2008 Democratic national convention, the Democratic National Committee caused official certifications of the party’s presidential and vice presidential nominees to be sent to the election boards of the fifty state election boards so that ballots could be printed. However, unlike all previous nominating conventions, the certifications provided to the state election boards in 2008 were not uniform. The certification provided exclusively to the State of Hawaii, pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes §11-113, contained the following language:
“THIS IS TO CERTIFY that at the National Convention of the Democrat Party of the United States of America, held in Denver, Colorado on August 25 though (sic) 28, 2008, the following were duly nominated candidates of said Party for President and Vice President of the United States, respectively, and that the following candidates for President and Vice President of the United States are legally qualified to serve under the provisions of the United States Constitution.”
Affixed were the names and home addresses of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. The documents were signed by Representative Nancy Pelosi and Alice Travis Germond, chairman and secretary, respectively, of the 2008 Democratic convention, and notarized by Shalifa A. Williamson. The remaining forty-nine states received a certification reading as follows:
“THIS IS TO CERTIFY that at the National Convention of the Democrat Party of the United States of America, held in Denver, Colorado on August 25 though (sic) 28, 2008, the following were duly nominated as candidates of said Party for President and Vice President of the United States, respectively:”
The phrase, “… and that the following candidates for President and Vice President of the United States are legally qualified to serve under the provisions of the United States Constitution” was purposely omitted. Other than that, all of the documents were identical… even to the misspelling of the word “through” in the second line of the certifications.
So, one might ask, why would the Democrats purposely eliminate the language certifying that Obama and Biden were both eligible to serve “under provisions of the U.S. Constitution?” Is it not reasonable to conclude that they knew when they nominated him that Obama was not eligible to serve by virtue of the fact that he is not a “natural born” citizen… as required by the U.S. Constitution? So, if many millions of conservatives and Republicans, including many members of Congress, were aware of Obama’s lack of eligibility, we can only assume that a like number of Democrats were also aware. So what did Nancy Pelosi know, when did she know it, and how many others in the Democratic hierarchy were aware of Obama’s lack of qualification?
Under the U.S. Constitution, it is the sole duty of members of the U.S. Electoral College to see to it that no unqualified or ineligible person should ever be elected president of the United States and commander-in-chief of the Army and the Navy. Yet, on December 15, 2009, when the Electoral College met to elect a president and vice president, 365 Democratic electors were so intent upon winning back the White House that they knowingly violated their electoral oaths and elected a man who was not constitutionally eligible to serve as president.
So why did those 365 Democratic electors violate their electoral oaths and their constitutional duties? There are only two possible answers to that question: 1) They were fully aware of the obligations of a presidential elector and they violated their constitutional oaths because they put the fortunes of the Democrat Party above their duty to God and country, or 2) They had no idea what the Electoral College was all about, or why they were selected to serve as electors.
In the weeks, months, and years that followed, Barack Obama’s selection was challenged in numerous federal, state, and local lawsuits, all of which attempted to overturn the unlawful and illegitimate actions of the 2008 Electoral College. However, while it is clear that Republican politicians and the courts have been derelict in their duty to “support and defend the U.S. Constitution,” by failing to investigate and prosecute Obama’s ineligibility, we are left to speculate on their reason for doing so. The most likely answer to that mystery is that they were terrified at the violence they knew would occur in cities all across America if the first black president in U.S. history was disqualified before he had a chance to be inaugurated.
However, the question now arises, will Democrats be quite as forbearing if Republicans choose to nominate an ineligible candidate in 2016 who happens to be white or Hispanic? Anyone who believes that they would quietly accept an ineligible Republican president… of whatever race or ethnicity… just because Republicans had allowed an ineligible Democrat to run the country for eight years, just doesn’t know Democrats.
That being said, it was only a matter of time before the qualifications of Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) were challenged. For example, Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL) has threatened a lawsuit against Senator Cruz should he win the Republican presidential nomination. In a broadcast interview with host Alan Colmes of Fox News Radio, Colmes asked, “So you’re saying, should (Cruz) get the nomination, Alan Grayson will file a lawsuit against his candidacy?” To which Grayson responded, “Absolutely! Call me crazy, but I think the President of America should be an American.”
Then, on December 9, 2015, a complaint was filed in Vermont Superior Court demanding that the Vermont Secretary of State, James Condos, declare certain candidates ineligible for the 2016 Vermont Primary Election ballot. The 45-page complaint is titled, H. Brooke Page v. State of Vermont, and names Vermont Secretary of State James Condos and Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell as co-respondents.
The complaint explains that Texas Senator Raphael Edward (Ted) Cruz, was born in Canada to a Cuban citizen father, who was not naturalized until 2005 when his son was 35 years of age; that Louisiana Governor Piyush (Bobby) Jindal was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to parents, both of whom were citizens of India; and that Florida Senator Marco Rubio was born in Miami to two Cuban nationals who came to the United States before Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba. They did not become naturalized citizens until 1975 when Marco was four years old.
However, lest one gains the impression that the complainant in the Vermont case is a “yellow dog” Democrat, just doing his best to embarrass Republicans and pave the way for a Hillary Clinton presidency, it is important to understand that, in May 2012, the same complainant filed a lawsuit against the Vermont Secretary of State in Page v. State of Vermont, et al, (Civil Docket 611-8-12 WNCV).
That lawsuit alleged that Pete Lindsay, the Socialist Party candidate for president of the United States, at age 27, was too young to meet the 35-year-old standard of the U.S. Constitution; that Yari Osorio, the Socialist Party candidate for vice president of the United States, at age 26, was too young to meet the 35-year-old standard of the U.S. Constitution; that Luis J. Rodriguez, the Justice Party candidate for vice president, born in El Paso, Texas, to parents who were citizens of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico… a Fourteenth Amendment “anchor baby”… did not meet the “natural born” standard of the U.S. Constitution; and that Barack H. Obama, the Democratic Party presidential candidate, whose father was a British subject, a citizen of Kenya, was a citizen of the United States, but not a “natural born” citizen as required by the U.S. Constitution.
The May 2012 complaint went on to explain that, “While (Obama’s) birth in Hawaii makes him a citizen of the United States under the Fourteenth Amendment, he is not a ‘natural born’ citizen and thus is constitutionally unqualified to serve as president or vice president.”
However, given the universal reluctance of the courts to hear any case that might imperil the Obama presidency, even at this late date, it is unlikely that either the Grayson lawsuit or the Vermont lawsuit will ever see the light of day. Jurists will continue to insist that such challengers lack the necessary standing to question the eligibility of presidential candidates.
But now it appears that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump may have taken the Democrat Party off the horns of their dilemma. Given Trump’s ability to attract national media attention to anything and everything he says, it may not be necessary for Democrats to raise the issue of Cruz and Rubio’s eligibility. With Senator Cruz gaining in popularity in recent weeks, approaching parity with Trump in the national and statewide opinion polls, Trump has found it necessary to question Cruz’s status as a “natural born” citizen.
If Trump finds it necessary to continue that line of attack, and if the mainstream media were to take up the issue and pursue it, the result could be devastating. The “natural born” question could easily drive both Cruz and Rubio out of the race, leaving Trump, Chris Christie, Dr. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and Jeb Bush as the top contenders. Left to choose, patriotic Americans would opt for a full examination and definition of the term “natural born Citizen.” Not only would it settle the issue once and for all, it may be the only way we will ever be able to bring Barack Obama to justice, relegating him to the trash heap of U.S. history.
Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College. He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.