This is a blog to discuss philosophy, chess, politics,
C. S. Lewis, or whatever it is that I'm in the mood to discuss.
It's time to amend the Constitution to get rid of the birth requirement for the President. It made sense in the 18th Century when the US was a new nation, but no longer serves any purpose.
The rule has always struck me as silly, and I think birtherism should have motivated us to move to amend.
Good luck amending the Constitution.
I am so disgusted with the presidential campaign so far that just this once, I'm going to break my "No Politics" vow. So sue me.This year's election makes me so depressed that I try not to think about it. (Good luck with that!) I've voted in every presidential election since 1972, and have pretty much split my vote between the two parties over the decades. (Like I've written before, I'm the only person I know who's voted for both George McGovern and Barry Goldwater.) But this is the first time I can truly say that I'd like to vote for None of the Above.Clinton? She'd make a terrible president. A vote for her is a vote for (at least) 4 more years of divisiveness and bitter, partisan battles on the Hill. Do we really need that? If she does win, the last 8 years will start to look like an Era of Good Feelings.Sanders? Don't make me laugh. As an independent (people seem to forget that!), he'd have ZERO support in congress for anything he'd like to accomplish. The 2020 campaign would begin the day after a Sanders inauguration.Trump? I simply cannot get past his dismissive, anti-Catholic comments (among others). Maybe that's just petty of me (Crude says it is), but to quote the great Popeye, "I yam wot I yam."Rubio? Isn't he just a second Obama? A newbie senator with no executive experience?Cruz? He'd be clobbered in the general, handing the presidency to Clinton on a silver platter. And when even Chris Matthews (!) has jumped on the birther bandwagon, you know he's in Big Trouble.O'Malley? Well, I gotta admit to a bit of Home State pride here, which probably taints what would otherwise have been a mostly negative view towards him. (As a Marylander, I'm familiar with his long string of broken promises, and his support for social issues I find abhorrent.) I'll grant him this - he's the most personally likable of the whole field, for what that's worth.Carson? Nice guy, but seemingly in over his head. A Carson presidency would be rule by adviser. But I will say that his wife would make a great First Lady!Rand Paul? I could almost support him, but at this point in the game, he's utterly irrelevant.Who'd I miss that's worth mentioning? Christie? Don't trust him. Bush? I'd go to the stake before I ever voted for another Bush.The sad thing is, I can easily think of two or three people I could enthusiastically support, but unfortunately, they're not running. So for now, I'd like to find a "None of the Above" bumper sticker for my car.
No he is not. Not because of his birth (Trump has pulled that trick before) but because he's an idiot and a fascist. Hey I', from Texas. I watched his rise to power it wasn't pretty.
Prokop, I knew a guy who was leader of young republicans for Goldwater and worked for McGovern,.I knew the guy in the McGovern campaign. Read Metacrock's blog. read my political blog "We need more Shovels."It's all out of date but it shows the folly of the Republicans.We Need More Shovels
According to the Harvard Law Review, Cruz is eligible to be Prez:http://harvardlawreview.org/2015/03/on-the-meaning-of-natural-born-citizen/
Although Obama's inexperience is a weakness, his primary weakness is ideological. Rubio and Obama are hardly comparable. That doesn't mean Rubio is above criticism. George Will did a recent article detailing some of Rubio's policy problems.
"According to the Harvard Law Review ..."But, they're lying ... they still need to protect Obama's pretense of being a natural born US citizen.Cruz is not a natural born US citizen; neither is Jindal, neither is Rubio ... and neither is Obama.The issue with all four of these gentlemen is the very same issue by which the Democrats attempted to disqualify Chester Arthur -- "Was his fatehr a US citizen at the time of his birth?" With all four of these contemporary men, we know that their fathers were not US citizens at the time of their births, and in Obama's case never was. Therefore, we know that they are not natural born US citizens.In the case of Arthur, he *accepted* the Democrats' argument -- as did everyone until we all got so ignorant -- he disputed that the Democrats had their facts about his father's naturalization right. I don't know whom to believe on that question; but I do know that the question of what are the true facts does not alter the question of what is the true issue.
According to legal scholars like Andrew McCarthy (NRO) and Mark Levin, Cruz is a "natural born" citizen. These are right-wingers, not Obama supporters. Have you read their documentation? The phrase itself is not defined in the Constitution. It's defined by legislation.
The problem with Hillary is not that she's divisive. Rather, her problem is her ideology, lawlessness, and totalitarianism.
"Have you read their documentation?"Have you considered Chester Arthur?Or George Washington, for that matter?Are you capable of thinking for yourself?"The phrase itself is not defined in the Constitution. It's defined by legislation."Now *that* is so lame, and so expected from you people who *will not* think about this issue.Does the Constitution define "citizen"? Does the Constitution define "Executive"? Does the Constitution define "Legislature"? Does the Constitution define "Judicial"? For that matter, does the Does the Constitution define "year"?One can go on and on and on listing terms the Constitution uses but does not define. It does not define these terms because their meanings were known ... as was the meaning of the phrase "natural born citizen.""... It's defined by legislation."Ah. So if some element of the federal government "defines", oh, say, "marriage", as "any conurbation or persons or non-persons, so long as someone gets his rocks of" then that is what “marriage” means?Or, if some element of the federal government creates a “law” stating that anyone born anywhere on earth is a US citizen, is that what “citizen” means?Cruz is not a natural born US citizen (nor is Obama, nor Jindal, nor Rubio), and all such intellectually dishonest attempts to wand-wave away the issue and the truth must, necessarily, end up subverting the entire Constitution and the Rule of Law that we all pretend to care so much about.
"... lawlessness ..."Oh, like *refusing* to abide by the Constitution because "everyone" (who matters) thinks its provisions are "stupid" or "outmoded"?
Ilion,The Constitution is not Holy Scripture - it's not inerrant. There are many things in it that are either stupid or outmoded or both. One example of stupidity is lifetime terms for Supreme Court Justices. (I'd like to see that amended to 12 years with no possibility of a second term.) An example of outmodedness is the very issue we're discussing here. Of what utility is the requirement for a President to be a natural born citizen in this century?
Obama.Prokop "The Constitution is not Holy Scripture - it's not inerrant."Goodness, how you strawman. And, humorously enough, your (your own!) approach to Holy Scripture itself amounts to denying that it is Holy Scripture.Besides which, you are wrong. In the context of how we shall be ruled, the Constitution, as written, *is* "Holy Scripture" -- this is why "progressives" for the past century and more have been constantly working to twist and/or ignore those written words."There are many things in it that are either stupid or outmoded or both."Doesn't matter until those written words are changed according to the provisions set forth."One example of stupidity is lifetime terms for Supreme Court Justices"Sure, but it wouldn't matter if we were abiding by the Constitution in the first place."An example of outmodedness is the very issue we're discussing here."It's not outmoded. And even if it were, until you folk who imagine that it is convince the nation as a whole to remove the qualification, it *is* the Constitutional requirement."Of what utility is the requirement for a President to be a natural born citizen in this century?"Of what possible utility is the requirement that proposed laws must be 1) written down;2) publically read and voted upon by the Congress -- as written down;3) sent to the Executive for signature or veto -- as written down;else there is no law;4) and subsequently, enforced -- as written down?For, as we have seen over the past few years, it's so much more efficient to simply *deem* the proposed laws one's partisans like to have been legally enacted; it's so much simpler to find out *what* a proposed law says *after* we have voted on it (if we even do, for why not just *deem* it to have been voted on?) and get the presidential signature; and it's so much more simple and efficient declare that even though written words of some law -- which we wrote, and presumably read, and claim to have legally enacted -- are "xyz", they're not really "xyz" unless and until we want them to be.And you still don't see the utility of limiting the damage those fools can do? You still don't see the utility of placing road-blocks in the way of the ambitions of politicians with divided loyalties?Is it outmoded to require members of Congress to be1) citizens of the US, and2) citizens of the state (and residents of the locality) they wish to represent?Goodness! What vile bigotry to deny Undocumented Democrats and/or Invader-Americans the opportunity to "serve" in Congress.
If you, Mr and Mrs Citizen, are willing the *deem* the Constitution to have been legally amended because you don't like that it contains (or lacks) some particular provision, then on what grounds will object when the politicians whose policy preferences you detest *deem* it to have been amended so as to exclude (or include) some provision you like?
"... some provision [they like but you dislike]?"
Oh, I'm not at all suggesting that we "deem" the Constitution amended. I'm suggesting we go through the process and amend the dang thing!And if I had my druthers, I'd also like to see it amended to specify that no person may hold a congressional office for two consecutive terms (thus, in one stroke, eliminating all incumbents). They can serve as many times as they please, just not two times in a row. It would also end the need for endless campaigning (they could fund raise and campaign in their off years), and get rid of the absurd system of senatorial seniority.Finally, I'd love to see an end to gerrymandering, but try as I might, I can't seem to come up with any wording for a proposed amendment that would do the job.
Ilíon said..."Have you considered Chester Arthur?"Irrelevant. Apparently, that's based on your anachronistic notion that American paternity is a prerequisite to be a natural born citizen. But the text of the Constitution doesn't stipulate that condition. Sorry to rain on your parade. Hope you brought an umbrella. "Or George Washington, for that matter?"In what respect? His wooden dentures?"Are you capable of thinking for yourself?"Since you're unable to lead by example, I'll be happy to do it for both of us. "Now *that* is so lame, and so expected from you people who *will not* think about this issue."It's hardly lame to point out that the text of the Constitution doesn't make American paternity a condition of "natural born citizenship." Therefore, the definition must be supplied by something else. One possibility is period legal usage. Another route would be the Naturalization Act of 1790. That also gives some notion of period legal usage. Keep in mind, though, that this was an act of Congress, which means Congress has the authority to define the terms of citizenship. Indeed, several framers were party to that act. "Does the Constitution define 'Executive'? Does the Constitution define 'Legislature'? Does the Constitution define 'Judicial'?"As a matter of fact, the Constitution does define the three branches of the Federal gov't by outlining their prerogatives. You need to learn how to think about this. But I'm glad to assist you in that endeavor. "Ah. So if some element of the federal government 'defines', oh, say, 'marriage', as 'any conurbation or persons or non-persons, so long as someone gets his rocks of' then that is what 'marriage' means?"I'm happy to clear up your multiple confusions:i) The Naturalization Acts of 1790 and 1795 demonstrate that Congress does, indeed, have the prerogative to define and redefine citizenship. So that can be updated anytime Congress pleases. ii) Marriage is grounded in nature whereas citizenship is a legal construct. You need to learn how to think about this issue. iii) Apropos (ii), you're confusing legal definitions with nature. A legal definition is whatever Congress defines it to be. As a matter of law, marriage can be whatever Congress says it is, if that's passed by the required majority and signed by the President. That doesn't make it right, but legality and reality are distinct propositions. Take the legal fiction of corporations as "persons"."Or, if some element of the federal government creates a 'law' stating that anyone born anywhere on earth is a US citizen, is that what 'citizen' means?"If the 'element of the federal gov't' in question is Congress, then that's what Congress does. Congress passes laws. If the President signs it, or it was passed by a veto proof majority, it becomes law. You're confusing good laws with bad laws. Legality is not the same thing as truth. Laws can be legalized lies.
"I'm going to break my "No Politics" vow. So sue me."Bob,Why the vow? If it was a vow, then you should stick to it.Otherwise, have at it. I like to read what you think.Our country is best with a financial, intellectual, spiritual, and political independent middle-class of average skeptical citizens. I think I know how that works and I can spot both the tune and melody in politicians who know the same.
Well, I think we need to look at things in terms of what makes a given person a citizen. It is either by birth or by naturalization. The US has not got any alternative ways to be a citizen. The question then is whether the Constitution mearly means to distinguish between born citizens and naturalized citizens or whether it intends some other meaning to "natural born citizen" than the meaning that the US government has used in deciding eligibility to vote the past 200 years.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_foreign-born_United_States_politicians
"Although Obama's inexperience is a weakness...'eight years in office isn't enough experience? True for Bush I guess but did you know Obama is not ruining?
"Cruz is not a natural born US citizen (nor is Obama, nor Jindal, nor Rubio), and all such intellectually dishonest attempts to wand-wave away the issue and the truth must, necessarily, end up subverting the entire Constitution and the Rule of Law that we all pretend to care so much about."Obama was born in America. You can pretend all you want nothing in the tea party propaganda can change it.
Joe Hinman, you are an intellectually dishonest fool.Whether or not Obama was born in America -- and even his wife has claimed, in public, that he was born in Kenya -- has no bearing whatsoever on the question. Nor does it have any bearing on Cruz.
Joe,I was comparing Obama's inexperience in 2008 with Rubio's inexperience today. They have/had at the same level of executive expertise at the time of their first campaign for president.
Here is a minor irony for ya' Concerning Chester Arthur, in the wickedpedia (*) -- "When Arthur was nominated for vice president in 1880, a New York attorney and political opponent, Arthur P. Hinman, initially speculated that Arthur was born in Ireland and did not come to the United States until he was fourteen years old. Had that been true, opponents might have argued that Arthur was constitutionally ineligible for the vice presidency under the United States Constitution's natural-born citizen clause.[c] When Hinman's original story did not take root, he spread a new rumor that Arthur was born in Canada. This claim, too, failed to gain credence"(*) I see that someone has been editing it again, so as to conflate "native-born" with "natural born citizen"
Contrarily to the current misleading content of the wickedpedia article, what Arthur's opponents argued was that he was not a natural born citizen -- despite being born in the US -- because his father was not yet a naturalized US citizen at the time of his birth. In contrast, Arthur argued that his father had been naturalized before he was born, and therefore that he was a natural born US citizen.BUT NOTE: both sides agreed on the law, what they disagreed on were the facts.
"[Y]our (your own!) approach to Holy Scripture itself amounts to denying that it is Holy Scripture."Ilion, you ought to ponder the prophetic words of Evelyn Waugh:"It is unquestioned that for the past 300 years the Authorized Version has been the greatest single formative influence in English prose style. But that time is over. When the Bible ceases, as it is ceasing, to be accepted as a sacred text, it will not long survive for its fine writing. It seems to me probable that in a hundred years' time the only Englishmen who know their Bibles will be Catholics." (my emphasis)Jezu ufam tobie!
From the Newsweek article: "A growing number of constitutional law scholars are arguing that Ted Cruz’s birth in Canada makes him ineligible to become U.S. president. ..."Totally irrelevant. It isn’t *where* he was born that makes him ineligible to be president.From the Newsweek article: "… There is some ambiguity in the question of eligibility..."No there isn’t; that there are people who want – and need – the question to be “ambiguous” doesn’t make it so.From the Newsweek article: "… The Constitution sets down three requirements to assume the nation's highest office: one must be at least 35 years old, have been a resident of the U.S. for at least 14 years (though whether those years must be consecutive or can be cumulative is a question up for debate) and must be a "natural-born citizen" of the United States. But the founders did not explicitly define "natural-born citizen," leaving room for doubt and debate ..."The Founders *also* did not explicitly define “State”, thus “leaving room for doubt and debate” as to what that term means. Nor did they explicitly define “year”; so who is to say what, exactly, it means that “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”? I mean, it could mean just anything! Right?In actual fact, the term “natural born citizen” was well understood in 1787, and for that matter, it was well understood in 1880 (see Arthur, Chester A.)From the Newsweek article: “According to Lee, two legal theories of citizenship were popular at the time the Constitution was ratified: jus soli (Latin for "law of the land), which held that a child's citizenship flowed from the actual, physical place of his birth, and jus sanguinis ("law of the blood"), which held that parents passed their citizenship to their children. However, Lee argues, at the time the Constitution was ratified, jus sanguinis applied only to patrilineal descent."However odious it seems today, a child born of a woman whose citizenship was different from her husband's—much rarer then than today—could not be a 'natural born Citizen' of the mother's country. That idea wasn't even considered until 1844 in Victorian England."”Uh-oh! The “liberals” are playing with fire here! It’s going to be a real tight-rope walk to get the mass of voters to understand that Cruz cannot be president while simultaneously keeping them bamboozled about Obama.
From the Newsweek article: “Mary Brigid McManamon, a constitutional law professor at Widener University, made a similar argument … The law Katyal and Clement are ignoring, McManamon argues, is 18th-century English common law, which the Supreme Court has said is a necessary lens for understanding the founders' understanding of the Constitution—a fact that Katyal, Clement and McManamon agree on. English common law was "unequivocal" on the subject, McManamon says: "Natural-born subjects had to be born in English territory." Katyal and Clement, rather than relying on common law, turn for their interpretation to a trio of 18th-century British statutes that were "a revolutionary departure" from the common law, McManamon argues.”We can turn *also* to American law – enacted by the First Congress. This is from the Naturalization Act of 1790: “And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens: Provided, that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States:”American law, from the very beginning, repudiated the ‘ jus soli’ theory of subjecthood/citizenship, and strengthened its stance with regard to the ‘jus sanguinis’ theory, such that *even* children born outside the territory of the US may be natural born citizens – provided their *fathers* are citizens at the time of their birth, and have been residents of the US.Please note, in the above I’ve left the fools a little trap to step into, as they will.The Naturalization Act of 1790 was later replaced by the Naturalization Act of 1795, which makes no mention of “natural born citizen.”From the Newsweek article: “Now a former teacher of Cruz's says he thinks the senator isn't eligible to run for president. Laurence Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard … "People are entitled to their own opinions about what the definition ought to be," Tribe writes. "But the kind of judge Cruz says he admires and would appoint to the Supreme Court is an 'originalist,' one who claims to be bound by the narrowly historical meaning of the Constitution's terms at the time of their adoption. To his kind of judge, Cruz ironically wouldn't be eligible, because the legal principles that prevailed in the 1780s and '90s required that someone actually be born on U.S. soil to be a 'natural born' citizen. Even having two U.S. parents wouldn’t suffice. And having just an American mother, as Cruz did, would have been insufficient at a time that made patrilineal descent decisive."”Tribe surely knows that he is saying isn’t *quite* the truth. As I’ve shown above, it is not true that “the legal principles that prevailed in the 1780s and '90s required that someone actually be born on U.S. soil to be a 'natural born' citizen”. From the Newsweek article: “Tribe later called Cruz a "fair-weather originalist" on CNN, saying the senator's philosophy is "antiquated...but it turns out Ted Cruz drops that when it doesn't serve his purpose."”But see, Tribe talks about “legal principles”, and airily dismisses ‘originalism’ as “antiquated”, because he doesn’t want to talk about the law. He *knows* the truth … and he knows that the truth convicts Obama of violating the Constitution, and convicts himself of endorsing and helping to hide that violation.“Progressives” have *always* dismissed the laws they wish to ignore (generally because they can’t get the votes to explicitly change them) – including the clear provisions of the Constitution – as “antiquated”, as though the age of a law has anything to do with anything. But if “the law” means whatever the people with power want it to mean – today -- rather than what it actually means, then there is no such thing as “the Rule of Law”, and none of us are safe.
"Progressive" like to gas on about "the Rule of Law" ... but what they *mean* is the "Law of Rules", with the assumption that they will always be the ones who get to say what "the rules" are.
B.Prokop, "you ought to ponder" the fact, as recorded in the scriptures themselves, that even the devil can quote scripture.
"even the devil can quote scripture"I'm well aware of that. It explains much of Protestantism.
Ironic that Illion would appeal to Larry Tribe:i) Tribe is a plagiarist. So he's not even a good legal scholar.ii) He's a ardent liberal partisan.iii) He doesn't say that he himself thinks Cruz is ineligible to run for president. Rather, he imputes hypocrisy to Cruz. iv) Here is Cruz in his own words:http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/in-his-own-words-ted-cruz-on-his-u.s.-citizenship/article/2580026How is that hypocritical? How is that at odds with his legal philosophy?It's a self-serving claim, but how is that inconsistent with his legal philosophy?
William: "Well, I think we need to look at things in terms of what makes a given person a citizen. It is either by birth or by naturalization. The US has not got any alternative ways to be a citizen."Was George Washington a natural born US citizen, or was he a naturalized US citizen?This is a trick question.William: "The question then is whether the Constitution mearly means to distinguish between born citizens and naturalized citizens or whether it intends some other meaning to "natural born citizen" than the meaning that the US government has used in deciding eligibility to vote the past 200 years."In using the phrase "natural born citizen", the Framers meant exactly what everyone understood the phrase to mean at the time the Constitution was written and ratified and which was understood even as late as 1880, when the Democrats (and possibly some Republicans) tried to disqualify Chester Arthur on the very point -- which wasn't about where he was born, but rather was about whether his *father* was a citizen at the time of Chester's birth.It's now, after several generations of deliberate enstupidization disguised as education, that many don't know -- and refuse to know -- what the term means.
"Ironic that Illion would appeal to Larry Tribe:"I expect that readers of normal intelligence and reading comprehension can figure out for themselves what's "ironic" here.
Ilion:As you know, the Constitution indicates that if Washington was a citizen at the time of Constitutional ratification it would not matter how he got there.I think the framers used brevity in order to allow reasonable interpretation of the phrase within limits, just as I think they would likely allow a "year" to be 364, 365 or 366 days but not 50 days.We definitely differ on how much wiggle room they would have allowed with the phrase "native born", but neither of us has standing to complain about they amount of wiggle room granted. That's up to Congress and SCOTUS, and they would seem to incline in the majority to agree with me, or Obama would not be where he is :)
Poor little Illion keeps missing the point. Defining citizenship is a Congressional prerogative. That was acknowledged in the early days of the Republic, when the framers were still alive and politicly active. That's an unchallenged presupposition of the naturalization acts. Congress has the right to define and redefine the terms of citizenship.
I still fail to understand why anyone should care.
Strangely, Hillary Clinton is an as-far-as-is-documented 100% Caucasoid who has made completely unsupported claims to be perhaps 1/128 Native American, as a Democrat.The Republicans have a mixture of Anglo-Saxon, Hispanic, and black candidates. Ironic? Only to those who think that only Anglo-Saxons have any business or professional roots in America today, which is of course provably false.
B.Prokop: "I still fail to understand why anyone should care."Let's be clear on what you're saying. Do you *really* mean to say that you fail to understand why any one should care what the Constitution actually says? ... which happens the prerequisite for knowing whether those who would rule us are abiding by the limitations the Constitution places on them.
"Let's be clear"What I mean is I can't understand why this is even an issue. What difference does it make where someone was born or who his parents were? Will it make him a better or a worse president? If the answer is no, then why should we care? And if no one can come up with a good reason for keeping this antiquated clause in the Constitution (I can see where it may have had some utility in 1789, but not today), then we need to amend the dang thing tout suite, so we won't be wasting our time about it.So far, the only reason you (Ilion) can cite in its favor is that it's there. But did you know there is still on the books a law in Tennessee that states no woman may drive a car unless a man is running before it waving a red flag, warning people of her approach? Are you going to insist that law be enforced, simply because no one has ever bothered to repeal it?We've got more important things to worry about.
steve: "Poor little Illion keeps missing the point. Defining citizenship is a Congressional prerogative. ... Congress has the right to define and redefine the terms of citizenship."Why do these people *always* double-down when they're wrong? Why do thet always go out of their way to turn being wrong (that is, being mistaken) into being in the wrong.Congress emphatically does not have the authority to define citizenship.You know, for years now, I've suspended judgment about 'steve'; but, if nothing else, this thread has helped me to understand that he's intellectually dishonest. After being show that his initial incorrect statements, which I could in cherity still consider to be honest mistakes, were indeed mistaken, 'steve' turned to ever more wild claims about the subject, wild accusations about ne, and *blatant* misrepresentations of what I have written. This is not behavior that can charitably be classed as honest mistakes; this is deliberate refusal to reason properly, and refusal to state the truth.====To the general reader:As seems the common pattern with people who try to dispute things I've said, these people either don't know what ther're talking about, or don't care (and yet care to dispute), or both.Use your minds -- if it were indeed true that "Congress has the right to define and redefine the terms of citizenship", then it wouldn't have required a Constitutional amendment to do either of these:1) make black Americans citizens (14th Amendment)2) make American women electors (19th Amendment)Hell! Even his choice of words betrays his willful ignorance -- Congress has no rights (you do); Congress has authorities and powers *and* limits on those authorities and powers.Use your minds -- if it were indeed true that "Defining citizenship is a Congressional prerogative. ... Congress has the right to define and redefine the terms of citizenship", then Congress has the authority to enact a mere statute stating that *all* persons on the planet have the rights of US citizenship ... which, ultimately, would include the "right" to "democratically" turn *real* Americans into their slaves. Now, while it appears to be the case that the Democrats would like to do just that, do *you*, Gentle Reader, really believe that Congress has that authority? And, if you do, then show us all where the Constitution gives Congress that authority.Use your minds (and your eyes) -- What the Constitution says is this: "The Congress shall have Power ... To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization."*Even there* Congress' power is limited.
B.Prokop,You've just amazing! You're "arguing" just like evangelical atheists do on certain topics. You (rightly) reject that false argument when they use it ... but as is so often the case with you, you hypocritically employ such false "arguments" when you think you can turn them to your use.Also, you're engaging in question-begging, and falsely attempting to shift the burden of proof, along with misrepresenting the topic under discussion.
William,You're intentionally missing the point (multiple points, in fact), aren't you?
Prokop,Someone of whom you claim to be a devotee once said, in a not wholly dissimilar circumstance: "So then, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise will be called least in the kingdom of heaven ..." and "... He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much."
"Congress emphatically does not have the authority to define citizenship."Sure it does. That's what it did all the way back in the 18C with the naturalization acts. That's when the Founders and Framers were still alive and politically active. So they understood Congress to have that authority. That was their intent all along. Hence, defining citizenship is a Congressional prerogative. "You know, for years now, I've suspended judgment about 'steve'; but, if nothing else, this thread has helped me to understand that he's intellectually dishonest. "Your self-importance is impressive only to yourself, and merely unintended comic relief for the rest of us. For years you've bluffed your way through debates by majoring in attitude and minoring in reason. You've become so dependent on your illusion of rational superiority that it will be difficult for you to walk on your own without that crutch, but I'm afraid it's my sad duty to disabuse you."Use your minds…"If only Illion was able to take his own advice, but he can't use what he never had. "if it were indeed true that "Congress has the right to define and redefine the terms of citizenship", then it wouldn't have required a Constitutional amendment to do either of these…"What a pitiful example of Illion's inability to reason logically. Acts of Congress and Constitutional amendments aren't contradictory principles. The same law can be an act of Congress or a Constitutional amendment. The advantage of statutory law is that it's easier to pass. But by the same token, it's easier to repeal. The advantage of a Constitutional amendment is that it's harder to repeal. But by the same token, it's harder to pass.There are situations where it would be preferable to lock in a national policy position by making it a Constitutional amendment, but we must often settle for statutory law because we don't have the votes to make the same law a Constitutional amendment. "Hell! Even his choice of words betrays his willful ignorance -- Congress has no rights (you do); Congress has authorities and powers *and* limits on those authorities and powers."So Illion is too illiterate to know that "right," "authority," and "prerogative" are synonyms. "What the Constitution says is this: "The Congress shall have Power ... To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization."Which has reference to…citizenship!BTW, does Illion think women have the right to run for public office?
Ilion,Like I wrote above, you appear to be confusing the Constitution with Holy Scripture. I have no qualms about holding one to a higher standard than the other. The Constitution is a purely human and totally fallible document, on the level of the rulebook for professional baseball. Which is actually quite a good analogy, as it contains similarly stupid things in it, such as the American League's designated hitter rule.
... and one team gets to ignore one of the minor rules as to how the game shall be played just so long as it deems it "outmoded"?But then, "progressives" have *always* deemed the limits the Constitution places on the people who would rule us as "inefficient" and "outmoded"; You know, the only real difference on this matter between you and that liar steve is that you *admit* that you don't give a damn whether those who would rule us even attempt to do it by the rules. But, given that you admit you don't give a damn whether our would-be rulers follow the rules, why do you keep trying to dispute-via-the-back-door on this? Don't you realize that by the very way you're playing it, you have already admitted that I am correct and that the liar is s liar. Don't you feel even the least need to shower, seeing as what you are willfully associating yourself with?Earlier in this thread, you also (*) mentioned some changes to the rules of how-we-shall-be-ruled that you'd like to see. But why did you bother? You don't give a damn whether those who would rule us abide by the only protection we have from their sinful drive to use us as things. (*) that is besides making your stupid let's-miss-the-point accusation
To the general reader --Look at the behavior of steve-the-lair in this thread, and especially consider his most recent post, and then understand these two things:1) he's engaging in the very sort of behavior for whichhe condemns Cal Metzger in this thread;2) he thinks you are stupid enough to be distracted by that behavior.
"you don't give a damn whether those who would rule us even attempt to do it by the rules"Not true, and not fair. Did I not say I'd like to see the Constitution amended so as to remove this ridiculous requirement? I'd say that was "doing it by the rules". It's not the rule that I don't give a damn about, it's what the rule is about. It serves no discernible purpose, so it's time to let it go.
In all this long discussion, Ilion, I note that not once did you ever defend the purpose of the requirement. All you seem to be concerned with is that it is one. How about we dig deeper here. Why should we restrict eligibility to the presidency to natural born citizens? Where is the value added?
It's revealing to see Illion's reaction. He cultivates this tough guy pose, talking down to everyone else, but when someone takes him on, he reverts to crybaby rhetoric. A bully on the outside, but a sissy on the inside. If you can't take it, don't be so patronizing. As for Cal Metzger, I'm defending miracles. By contrast, Illion's priority is to indulge in constant preening about his self-image.
Ilíon: You said: "Contrarily to the current misleading content of the wickedpedia article, what Arthur's opponents argued was that he was not a natural born citizen -- despite being born in the US -- because his father was not yet a naturalized US citizen at the time of his birth. In contrast, Arthur argued that his father had been naturalized before he was born, and therefore that he was a natural born US citizen.BUT NOTE: both sides agreed on the law, what they disagreed on were the facts."While I don't think the interpretation of 1880 politicians would be decisive, I'm curious about your claim. The Wikipedia article provides two sources, though they're not freely accessible. I've done a google search looking for freely accessible sources, and I found a few, but they don't support your claim. They support the claim of the Wikipedia article - namely, that the controversy about whether he was a natural born citizen was based on the question of whether he was born in Canada. For example: 1. http://law.marquette.edu/facultyblog/2009/10/14/president-chester-a-arthur-and-the-birthers-1880%E2%80%99s-style/This link doesn't mention the "His father not yet naturalized and that's enough to rule him out" theory, but points out that Hinman was the main defender of the "he was not born in the USA, and his father wasn't naturalized" theory, and Arthur insisted that he was born in Vermont, USA. 2. This is a relatively recent court case: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/in-court-of-appeals/1501011.htmlThe Court of Appeals of Indiana said: "We note that President Obama is not the first U.S. President born of parents of differing citizenship. Chester A. Arthur, the twenty-first U.S. President, was born of a mother who was a United States citizen and a father who was an Irish citizen. See Thomas C. Reeves, Gentleman Boss, The Life of Chester Alan Arthur 3-4 (1975). During the election of 1880, there arose a rumor “that [Arthur] had been born in Canada, rather than in Vermont as he claimed, and was thus constitutionally ineligible to become the Chief Executive.” Id. at 3. Although President Arthur's status as a natural born citizen was challenged in the 1880 Presidential Election on the grounds that he was born in Canada rather than Vermont, the argument was not made that because Arthur's father was an Irish citizen he was constitutionally ineligible to be President"3. Here's a newspaper article from 1880: http://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/50504526/?terms=hinmanA few more links: 4. http://face2face.si.edu/my_weblog/2012/10/chester-arthur-a-presidents-birthplace-and-his-constitutional-eligibility-to-be-president-.html5. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-original-birther-controversy/6. http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=100992.0;wap27. https://www.boston.com/news/local/vermont/articles/2009/08/17/chester_arthur_rumor_still_lingers_in_vermont/8. http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2009_08_30-2009_09_05.shtml#1251923886There are plenty of other links - as you can easily find. If his opponents argued that he was not a natural born citizen because he had been born in Canada, then it seems that they rejected the view Arthur's place of birth was not relevant. So, I would like to ask what your source is, and why should one believe it over all of the sources claiming otherwise. In particular, how would your source explain the 1880 newspaper article?
Angra Mainyu: "While I don't think the interpretation of 1880 politicians would be decisive …"1) You’re misrepresenting what I’ve been saying;2) You seem to be toying with intellectual dishonesty, in general, and now-now-ism, in particular.
Ilíon, Your accusation is both false and unfounded, as it should be obvious to a reader who is paying attention, is being rational and intellectually honest. When I say I don't believe that the 1880 interpretation of the Constitution would be decisive, I'm not attributing any positions to you. I'm stating mine. As for your claims about Arthur and his opponents, I kept looking for any source supporting them, and didn't find it. In any case, I have established conclusively - see my previous post and all of the evidence - that your claim "Contrarily to the current misleading content of the wickedpedia article, what Arthur's opponents argued was that he was not a natural born citizen -- despite being born in the US -- because his father was not yet a naturalized US citizen at the time of his birth. In contrast, Arthur argued that his father had been naturalized before he was born, and therefore that he was a natural born US citizen." was false. As for your claim "BUT NOTE: both sides agreed on the law, what they disagreed on were the facts."They disagreed on the facts, but their agreement on the law was apparently that it was relevant whether he had been born in Canada - against your interpretation of the law.
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