Dateline Florida. According to a White House pool report, the president's motorcade was pulling into the Hilton Orlando where the Disabled American Veterans are holding their convention when it passed about 50 protesters on both sides of the street. The protesters -- "many of them older and most of them white," according to the report -- were holding birther signs and placards calling to "Impeach Obama."
Now protesters and especially ones considered "birthers" like those above, have a real problem. And the more they try to resolve it, the harder it becomes. That of course is the difficulty with trying to justify the unjustifiable. Trying to make logic of the illogical. Of creating one lie to support another.
So how does this come back to bite the tea-partiers? Well, for starters, one of their two most popular politicians and potential presidential candidates is Ted Cruz. Conservative. Very right wing. Anti-government. Extremist. Tea Party man of the year.
What could go wrong with this picture? Only one thing. For him to be qualified to be president, that would at the same time make Obama qualified (as if he wasn't already being born in Hawaii). If you want to believe the cockamamie fiction from the tea party, Obama was born in Kenya and thus he's disqualified from serving as our commander in chief. There are rules:
Section 1 of Article 2 in the Constitution states that only "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." While Cruz's case isn't covered by the Fourteenth Amendment exemption (which grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States but says nothing about children born to Americans who happen to be abroad), Section 301(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act extends citizenship to anyone born to an American citizen —such as Cruz's mother at the time of his own birth. Consequently, the central issue facing a hypothetical Cruz presidential bid is whether being a "national and citizen of the United States at birth" (Cruz's current citizenship designation) is the same thing as being a "natural born Citizen."
Okay, the facts speak for themselves. Cruz was born in Canada. One parent was a natural born citizen. The other wasn't. His father Rafael Cruz was an illegal immigrant from Cuba. Hmm, Cuba. Illegal. Seems to be the kind of people Ted Cruz is trying to prevent from a pathway to citizenship. So much for family influence. BTW, Rafael didn't become a US citizen until 2005, long after his son Ted was born. Adding to this mishmush is Ted was born in Calgary which then and now is not part of the United States.
Now let's take Obama. He was born in Hawaii. But let's put that aside. His mother Ann Dunham was born in Kansas -- to the best of my research it's still part of the US. Therefore she was a US citizen. Using the same criteria for Ted to be an eligible candidate to serve as president, it would also qualify Obama.
This puts the birther half of the GOP in a rather unenviable position. Since they're already on record claiming Obama's non-native birth disqualified him from the presidency, the only way they could ethically support a Ted Cruz presidency would be to admit to themselves that, platitudes notwithstanding, they love the Constitution only when it can be used as a weapon against liberals.
Sniff. Sniff. Is that the stench of Tea Party hypocrisy? No, we'll have none of that. So today, by protesting, they have signaled that Ted Cruz can no longer be considered a viable candidate for the top office in this land.
So long Ted. You won't be president you will be joining an ever growing list of one-term tea party officials after you endeavor toward leading our government to a shut down. Here's something you should think about as you sing to yourself, "Oh Canada" -- 'Adios.'