© 2011 jbjd
Granted, Michelle Goldberg has her own web site; has written a couple of books which, according to her, were well researched and appear to be selling well (id.); and writes a column for the Daily Beast. But assuming she means what she says in her recent diatribe, “Why Birthers Won’t Die,” that is, taking on face value that she is not writing just for provocation or brainwashing then, I cannot emphasize enough: when it comes to issues related to establishing Barack Obama’s Constitutional eligibility for POTUS, Ms. Goldberg has demonstrated she has absolutely no idea what she is talking about.
It’s not just the fact she repeats the fallacy, the hard copy of the electronic image President Obama calls a birth certificate and recently ‘released’ to the press, is actually a long form birth certificate, that makes any information coming from her suspect. (I will write another article focusing on the lunacy of anyone’s continued bona fide belief, photocopying any electronic image adds to its authenticity.) Obama’s Director of Communications, Daniel Pfeiffer, posted this image on the WhiteHouse.gov blog. Ms. Goldberg even links her readers to that image effectively reasserting its authenticity. But Pfeiffer’s job is to shape the President’s message and not to communicate news, which is the job of the Press Secretary (notwithstanding Robert Gibbs, Director of Communication of Obama’s Presidential campaign and former Press Secretary for President Obama often conflated those 2 positions). Unlike Ms. Goldberg, Mr. Pfeiffer was doing a good job, by shaping the message.
Or that, she uses Mr. Corsi’s refusal to buy into this lie (that a bona fide birth certificate has been released) as a weapon against his motives and intellect. In spades.
Much of Where’s the Birth Certificate? rehashes old, debunked stories meant to cast doubt on Obama’s birth in Hawaii. But the book also claims that even if Obama was born in the United States, he still might not be a “natural-born citizen” because of his father’s foreign citizenship, which would make him ineligible for the presidency. To make this argument, Corsi dredges up a constitutional theory popular in white supremacist and anti-immigrant circles, making an invidious distinction between those granted citizenship by the 14th Amendment and those who were citizens under the Constitution as originally written.
What? Only those identified with “white supremacist and anti-immigrant circles” espouse that a bona fide difference exists between the terms “natural born citizen” in Article II, section 1 of the Constitution; and the term “citizen” as used in the 14th Amendment? (Of course, I reject claims by Corsi or anyone else that citizens of non-citizen parents are not natural born citizens; and this only makes sense, since I maintain that no ‘legal’ definition of NBC exists absent a ruling by a federal appellate court, in a case on point.)
Worse, adding insult to injury, Ms. Goldberg justifies her political stereotyping using flawed reasoning, thereby additionally exposing her Constitutional ignorance.
But Corsi’s ideas about the 14th Amendment, if taken seriously, wouldn’t just affect the children of immigrants—they could disqualify all black people from the presidency. “Obama defenders who want to define him as a natural-born citizen because he is native-born and a citizen under the 14th Amendment are engaged in an effort to redefine Article 2, Section 1, away from its original natural law meaning,” Corsi writes. The original meaning, of course, did not encompass black people. That’s why we needed the 14th Amendment in the first place.
Let me point to the absurdity of just one segment of this drivel: Ms. Goldberg’s mistaken focus on Corsi’s phrase, “effort to redefine Article 2, Section 1, away from its original natural law meaning,” to mean that, Mr. Corsi rejects Obama’s Presidency based on his race. She reasons, it is this focus on race which motivates Corsi to object to any attempt to steer the conversation toward 14th Amendment inclusion of blacks as eligible to become President, and away from the original intent, which clearly excluded blacks. But whether he is racist; she doesn’t know her Constitution and, based on her ignorance, obviously misconstrued the ‘plain meaning’ of Corsi’s words.
The phrase “natural born citizen” is listed in Article II, section 1, as a condition of Presidential eligibility. And, the word “citizen” is listed in Article I, sections 2 and 3, as the eligibility requirements for Representative and Senator, respectively, put there almost 100 years before the 14th Amendment.
No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.
No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen.
Get it? The Drafters used the word “citizen” in 2 (two) different contexts of eligibility for office, one to be President; and the other to be a member of Congress. (Technically, the wording for President applies to eligibility; whereas the term for Congress applies to actual holding of the position. This makes sense since members of Congress are elected directly – perhaps the Drafters did not trust the average citizen to choose the right person for the job – whereas Presidents are chosen by Electors who, it would appear safe to predict at the time, could not be anticipated to elect a President they were not certain was eligible for the job .) Since the Drafters used these 2 (two) different phrases, the tenets of statutory construction require that, we must assume, therefore, the Drafters meant 2 (two) different things. “When Congress includes a specific term in one section of a statute but omits it in another section of the same Act, it should not be implied where it is excluded.” Arizona Elec. Power Co-op. v. United States, 816 F.2d 1366, 1375 (9th Cir. 1987); see also West Coast Truck Lines, Inc. v. Arcata Community Recycling Ctr., 846 F.2d 1239, 1244 (9th Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 856 (1988).
See, contrary to Ms. Goldberg’s wishful projection; Corsi wasn’t at all waxing nostalgic, harkening back with longing to a time in our history when no blacks were counted as citizens and thus, could not be elected President (or Representative or Senator). Rather, his use of the phrase “original natural law meaning” referenced the requirement of eligibility for President in Article II – natural born citizen – as opposed to, say, the original requirement in Article I for holding the office of U.S. Representative or U.S. Senator – citizen – which excludes the modifier, natural born. Both of which applications of the term “citizen” he undoubtedly would agree should presently be read to include all citizens now Constitutionally defined as such, through the 14th Amendment. Even those whose skin color is black.
In other words, even assuming a preference for color; Corsi just wants people to stop conflating “citizen” with “natural born citizen.” Get it?
But that excerpt points to my biggest objections to Ms. Goldberg’s hit piece on Mr. Corsi: her disingenuous diatribe against the man for what she paints as a racially motivated focus on the 14th Amendment. Those of you who have dissected the information on this blog probably already ‘get’ that she reverses cause versus effect. In fact, the eligibility argument only arose because Obama raised it by calling himself a “native” citizen and not “natural born.” Indeed, he set up this false dichotomy, way back in 2007, when he – or perhaps more accurately, his campaign’s Director of Communications, Robert Gibbs – wrote “Fight the Smears,” the propaganda piece I have argued they would never have made public had he stolen the D nomination before the D Corporation Presidential Nominating Convention. And in that same electronic advertising campaign, he posted the red herring argument about the 14th Amendment, couching it in racial terms, perhaps to misdirect the attention of astute citizens who otherwise might have noticed, he had conflated the 2 (two) Constitutional terms; and suspected a likely reason to be, he was trying to mask his ineligibility.
Want to see the evidence that supports my hypothesis, Ms. Goldberg? IF DROWNING OUT OPPOSING FACTS IS “un-AMERICAN” THEN IGNORING UNPLEASANT FACTS MUST BE un-AMERICAN, TOO; or TOO IGNORANT TO LEAD Of course, I am only a blogger. (Then again, so was Dan Pfeiffer, in the context of posting that electronic image of the ‘document’ entitled, “Certificate of Live Birth” on the White House blog.)
Granted, maybe I am holding Ms. Goldberg to too high a journalistic standard. After all, in the context of writing for the DB; she wears the hat of “columnist,” arguably absolving her from the profession’s constraints of both accurate and impartial reporting.
(In the interest of full disclosure, I am reporting that, evidently, Mr. Corsi’s book endorsed the work originating here on “jbjd” focused on filing citizen complaints of election fraud with state A’sG in those states with existing laws requiring candidate eligibility for office in order to access the ballot. However, I have not read his book.)