Yes, there is unbounded glee upstairs at the White House these days. One is reminded of the scene from the movie Bye, Bye Birdie in which the beautiful and talented Ann-Margaret sings and dances her way through the title song. The difference is, in the current instance the Usurper-in-Chief and his wife are doing cartwheels through the family quarters, thinking that they’ve put another one over on the American people.
But not so fast. One has to wonder why Obama has waited so long to release what appears to be his long form birth certificate. Could it be that he has purposely kept the “birther” issue alive so as to hide the real issue… his lack of “natural born” citizenship… from the people, and that he was forced to reveal himself only after Donald Trump forced his hand? If a totally ineligible man was deceitful enough to worm his way into the U.S. presidency, would he not be Machiavellian enough to maintain his giant hoax through misdirection of public opinion?
Let’s look at a few facts. Article II. Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution tells us that, “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.”
We know that Obama was not a citizen of the United States when the Constitution became the law of the land on June 21, 1788; we know that he was at least thirty-five years of age when he took office on January 20, 2009; and we know that he has been a U.S. resident for at least 14 years. But is he a “natural born” citizen? What is a “natural born” citizen?
When the Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia in September 1787 to approve the final draft of the U.S. Constitution, the physical scars of the War of Independence from Great Britain were still visible all around them and a deep-seated animosity toward all things British colored every aspect of their daily lives. So is it conceivable that, just five years and eleven months after Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, the Founders would have signed off on a Constitution that would allow an individual with divided loyalties – e.g. an individual with dual US-British citizenship – to serve as president or vice president of the United States? Not likely.
That is precisely why the Framers found it necessary to include in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution the often overlooked and little understood words, “or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution…” At the time the Constitution was adopted there were three types of citizens: 1) The former British subjects who, having renounced all foreign allegiances and having pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, became citizens of a sovereign nation on July 4, 1776; 2) The post-Declaration children of those who became citizens on July 4, 1776… the first “natural born” citizens of the United States, all of whom were less than twelve years old at the time the Constitution was ratified; and 3) A class of citizens comprised of those who were naturalized by act of law and those who were dual citizens by automatic operation of foreign laws.
To fully understand the significance of the words, “or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution…,” it is necessary to recognize three very important dates: 1) July 4, 1776, the date on which the Declaration of Independence was signed, making all citizens of the 13 colonies citizens of the United States; 2) June 21, 1788, the date on which ratification by the State of New Hampshire made the Constitution the official law of the land; and 3) July 4, 1811, the date on which the first “natural born” citizens… those born to U.S. citizens after the signing of the Declaration… became thirty- five years of age.
Since the Founders intended that only “natural born” citizens should ever serve as president or vice president… excluding naturalized citizens and those with dual nationality… and since they did not wish to entrust the new republic to twelve or fifteen-year-old children, it was necessary to provide an exemption of limited duration for capable and experienced individuals who were born prior to July 4, 1776.
For example, presidents Washington, J. Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, J.Q. Adams, and Jackson were all “citizens,” but not “natural born” citizens, because they were born prior to July 4, 1776. Martin Van Buren, born to U.S. citizens on December 5, 1782, became the first “natural born” U.S. president. It was the simplest and easiest way of creating a body of candidates during the earliest years of the republic, unconstrained by the requirement that they be “natural born” and at least thirty-five years of age. Every U.S. president since Van Buren… except for Barack Obama… has been a “natural born” citizen. The Constitution limits candidates for president and vice president to either “natural born” citizens or “citizens of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution.” There can be no exceptions.
Barack Obama, Jr., born to an American mother and a Kenyan father, Barack Obama, Sr. a British subject, was born with dual US-British citizenship under provisions of Part II, Section 5 of the British Nationality Act of 1948. He held dual US-British citizenship from birth until December 12, 1963, the date on which Kenya won its independence from Great Britain. On that date, according to Chapter VI, Section 87(3) of the Constitution of Kenya, he acquired dual US-Kenyan citizenship, which he held until his twenty-third birthday on August 4, 1984.
So how did we manage to allow a thoroughly incompetent, inexperienced, and unqualified man to literally steal the U.S. presidency? The short answer is that the three-stage vetting process designed by the Founding Fathers failed utterly in each instance.
The first failure occurred immediately following the close of the 2008 Democratic National Convention when the convention chair, Nancy Pelosi, was to certify the nomination of Barack Obama and Joe Biden to the election boards of the fifty state governments so that ballots could be printed. In only one certification, that of the State of Hawaii, did the Democrats include the words, “…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.” Those words were purposely omitted from the certifications sent to the remaining forty-nine states. Why? One might reasonably assume that it was because they knew when they nominated him that Obama was not a “natural born” citizen and that he was ineligible to serve as President of the United States. That information was purposely hidden from the American people.
The second failure occurred on December 15, 2008 when the members of the Electoral College… whose job it is to validate the qualifications of candidates for president and vice president… met to cast their votes. Prior to that date, most Democratic members of the Electoral College were made aware that there were serious questions relating to Obama’s eligibility. However, all 365 Democratic members of the Electoral College chose to ignore those warnings, violating their oaths of office and subverting the very purpose of the Electoral College.
The final failure occurred on January 8, 2009 when the Congress met in joint session to certify the Electoral College vote. Not a single member, Republican or Democrat… who took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” and that they would “bear true faith and allegiance to the same…” raised any objection based on Obama’s failure to meet the “natural born Citizen” standard. Instead, as members were inundated with complaints from constituents, numerous members sought guidance from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the Library of Congress.
One CRS researcher, Jack Maskell, was assigned the task of responding to the congressional inquiries. In his response, dated April 3, 2009 and distributed to all members of Congress, Maskell wrote: “… there is no federal law, regulation, rule, guideline, or requirement that a candidate for federal office produce his or her original birth certificate, or a certified copy of the record of live birth, to any official of the United States government; nor is there a requirement for federal candidates to publicly release such personal record or documentation. Furthermore, there is no specific federal agency or office that ‘vets’ candidates for federal office as to qualifications or eligibility prior to return.”
It is those words that members of Congress have been hiding behind since April 3, 2009. However, neither Obama nor any member of Congress should take comfort in those words. In a December 8, 2008 discussion of the congressional certification process, Dr. Edwin Viera, Jr., a leading authority on the Constitution, argues that, “Even by unanimous vote, Congress cannot constitutionally dispense with the requirement that Obama must be ‘a natural born citizen,’ by simply assuming that he is such, or by accepting what lawyers refer to as the ‘best available evidence,’ (Obama’s published certificate of live birth, versus a certified Hawaiian birth certificate).” Dr. Viera argues that, if no objection is made on the basis that Obama is not a “natural born” citizen… “the matter cannot be said to have been settled to a ‘constitutional sufficiency’ (emphasis added),” because Congress has no power to simply waive the eligibility requirement.
So, Mr. Obama, when you and Mrs. Obama have exhausted yourselves in celebration of your Pyrrhic victory, it might be a good idea to take a quick peek out the window. Those of us who are convinced of your ineligibility will continue to pursue you. And now that you no longer have the so-called “birthers” to kick around, there is nothing standing between you and the truth.